Backyard grilling and good eating are just some of the great things about the summer in California. As everyone preps for their memorable July 4th, we wanted to dive in to part of the Residential Purchase Agreement (and to highlight an amazing firework show later tonight - July 3rd).

1) Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide devices are often an overlooked part of the purchase/sale process in California, but nonetheless, an important one. As people get caught up over the purchase price and the terms, buyers often forget how important it is to keep in mind the little things that really matter after the sale (making sure there home is a safe one). Section 7.B of the Residential Purchase Agreement is designed to make sure that either the Buyer or the Seller takes responsibility for the Government Requirements and Retrofit (including water heater bracing). Although it is a relatively easy "fix" as a buyer if you select to take responsibility, do not forget to do it!

So, when was the last time you checked your smoke alarm? Although you might be at work now reading this blog, try to set a reminder on your phone to check the batteries on your smoke detector! To put things into context, the risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms. Later today/tonight please go and check to make sure you "Hear the Beep where you Sleep!" Every bedroom needs a working smoke alarm as half of home fireS happen between 11pm and 7am. Although the recommendation is to test the alarms once a month, most of us forget to even check them once a year! You also need to set a reminder to replace your smoke alarms every 10 years!

2) It is time to party! The annual tradition in the Highlands area of San Mateo kicks off with the July 3rd Fireworks show later this evening, where I have many memories of family BBQs and sitting on the grass field with friends as fireworks light up the sky. Tomorrow (July 4th) make sure to go back for the wonderful parade and day of activities at the Highlands Recreation Center.

3) For those who wish to practice their master chef performances at home on the grill, make sure to consider these tips:

  • Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house
  • Clean your grill regularly, allowing grease to build up can cause fires to spread
  • Keep a spray bottle of water close by, if there is a minor flare-up you can calm things before they get out of control (purchase a fire extinguisher to have in your home if you don’t have one already)
  • Don’t leave the grill unattended, fires can double in size every minute so make sure to plan ahead and get yourself a BBQ buddy to help

Lastly, many cities throughout California will be cracking down on illegal fireworks, so please be aware of the local guidelines to ensure a happy and safe 4th of July.