Kaz USA Recalls Honeywell Portable Electric Heaters Due to Burn Hazard

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 12, 2012
Release #12-087
Firm’s Recall Hotline: (800) 370-8137
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Kaz USA Recalls Honeywell Portable Electric Heaters Due to Burn Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Honeywell Surround Select Portable Electric Heaters

Units: About 19,000

Distributor: Kaz USA Inc., of Southborough, Mass.

Manufacturer: Ningbo Honecho Industry Co., Ltd. of China

Hazard: The heater’s internal housing, including the fan, heating element and circuitry, can detach, posing a burn hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Description: This recall includes Honeywell Surround Select Series portable electric heaters with model numbers HZ-420, HZ-430, and HZ-440 and five-digit date codes that have 11 as the last two digits. The heaters are black or white cylinders with a handle on top. The model number is stamped into the plastic on the bottom of the heater. The date code is located on the metal prongs of the heater’s electrical plug. “Honeywell” and “Surround Heat” are printed on the front of the heaters. This heater was distributed by Kaz USA under license from Honeywell.

Sold at: Best Buy, Meijer and Walmart stores nationwide from July 2011 through December 2011 for between $50 and $70.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately unplug and stop using the heaters and contact Kaz for a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Kaz at (800) 370-8137 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.kaz.com/recall

Picture of recalled HZ-420 heater
HZ-420

Picture of recalled HZ-430 and HZ-440 heaters
HZ-430HZ-440

Location of date code
Location of date code

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell us about your experience with the product on www.saferproducts.gov

CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

Under federal law, it is illegal to attempt to sell or resell this or any other recalled product.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, go online to: www.saferproducts.gov, call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain this news release and product safety information at www.cpsc.gov. To join a free e-mail subscription list, please go to https://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx.

An All-Natural Alternative For Cleaning Your Microwave

Atlanta home inspector clean microwave Sharing environmentally friendly and pocket-book savings pointers, the Atlanta Home Inspector  hopes that you find this cleaning alternative helpful.  Microwaves are a daily convenience.  Due to the heavy usage of microwaves, many spills and splatters dot their ceilings and  line their walls. Remember that at least once weekly microwaves should be cleaned to optimize performance.

 Many of us use store purchased cleansers to clean our appliances. However, if would like an all – nautral alternative to clean your microwave, we have a recipe for you.  An all-natural approach will yield the same results, with only slightly more preparation time. The chemicals from the store may seep into your foods and containers over an extended period of time. So you are not only saving pennies, but also saving a future health issue from arising.

To keep your microwave fresh and clean, using organic materials only, here’s what to do :

  1. Unplug your microwave from the wall for safety.
  2. Gather a microwave safe bowl; 1 1/4 cups of water; a lemon; baking soda; white vinegar; and cleaning cloths.
  3. Slice the lemon and place the slices into your bowl. Add the water.
  4. Heat the bowl in the microwave for 7 minutes. Leave the microwave door closed for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the bowl (CAUTION : Bowl will be hot).
  6. Remove the microwave’s glass cooking surface and wheel system. Hand wash and set aside to dry.
  7. Dip a clean cloth in the lemon water mixture. 
  8. Wipe down the microwave’s exterior and interior surfaces, remoistening the cloth as required.
  9. Moisten a clean cloth with vinegar. Wipe down the microwave door’s interior surface. 
  10. Replace glass and wheel system, and plug the microwave back in to the wall.

If you find lingering stains in your microwave, mix baking soda with water to form a thick paste. Dip a corner of your cleaning cloth into the paste and apply it to the stain directly, gently rubbing in a circular motion until the stain is gone.

Let us know if this all natural approach worked for you!

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David & Bonnie Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

Pesky Organism Leaves Behind Huge Clues For the Atlanta Home Inspector

The Atlanta Home Inspector finds clues to a possible wood destroying organisms existence.  Boring into wood and leaving bits on the kitchen floor, this pest needs evicted before the new owners take possession.  Although this Canton Home Inspection reveals the organisms trail, an experienced pest control service can help eradicate and prevent further destruction.


 

 

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David & Bonnie Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

Housing And Mortgage : The Experts Make Their 2012 Predictions

Atlanta home inspectors crystal ballAs the new year begins, there are no shortage of stories telling us what to expect in 2012. Housing finished 2011 with momentum and mortgage rates closed at the lowest rates of all time.

Some expect those trends to continue through the first quarter and beyond. Others expect a rapid reversal.

Who’s right and who’s wrong? A quick look through the newspapers, websites and business television programs reveals “experts” with opposing, well-delivered arguments views. It’s tough to know who to believe.

For example, here are some “on-the-record” predictions for 2012 :

The issue for buyers, seller, and would-be refinancers in Atlanta and nationwide is that it can be a challenge to separate a “prediction” from fact at times. 

When an argument is made on the pages of a respected newspaper or website, or is presented on CNBC or Bloomberg by a well-dressed, well-spoken industry insider, we’re inclined to believe what we read and hear.

This is human nature.

However, we must force ourselves to remember that any analysis about the future — whether it’s housing-related, mortgage-related, or something else — are based on a combination of past events and personal opinion.

Predictions are guesses about what might come next — nothing more.

For example, at the start of 2009, few people expected the 30-year fixed rate mortgage to stay below 6 percent, but it did. Then, at the start of 2010, few people expected the 30-year fixed rate mortgage to stay below 5 percent, but it did.

All we can know for certain about today’s market is that both mortgage rates and home values are low, creating favorable home-buying conditions in and around Bridge Mill and nationwide.

At that start of last year, few people expected mortgage rates to even reach 4 percent. Today, rates “with points” price in the 3s.

What 2012 has in store we just can’t know.

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David & Bonnie Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

New Home Sales Approach Bull Market Territory

New Home Supply 2010-2011New home inventory is approaching bull market territory.

According to the Census Bureau, the number of new homes sold rose 2 percent in November. On a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis, home buyers bought 315,000 newly-built homes last month.

November’s New Home Sales data marks the 4th straight month of rising sales volume, lifting the housing-market metric to a 7-month high, and adding to the housing market’s recent show of strength. 

Last week, we learned that Existing Home Sales also climbed in November.

The big story in the New Home Sales report, though, is the remaining new home supply nationwide.

With just 158,000 homes “on the market” and the pace of home sales hastening, the complete, national inventory of “new homes” would now be sold in just 6.0 months, a 0.2-month improvement from October. This is the quickest home sales pace in nearly 6 years for the new construction market. 

It’s even faster than in April 2010 — the buyer-deadline month of last year’s federal home buyer tax credit.

Home builders expect the trend to continue, too. Buyer foot traffic is on the rise and builders have a strong outlook for the next 6 months.

It’s an unsettling series of developments for today’s Atlanta home buyers. As home supplies drop and builders gain confidence, the ability of an buyer to negotiate for price reduction and/or upgrades shrinks.

If you’re a home buyer in search of new construction, therefore, consider that the best new construction “deals” of the next 12 months may be the ones you find today.

“Mom, I’m bored” Winter Break Blues


 When the Atlanta Home Inspector was a kid, the first few days of Winter break were great! The kids stayed up late and got to play or watch TV when they would have usually been at school. Then, the holiday traditions would begin, but by the time the hoopla had subsided, it was common to hear, “Mom, I’m bored!” Now the Atlanta Home Inspector  has kids of his own who share the same lament! Here are a few suggestions to curb the Winter break blues:
  
Be a camper
Seasonal camps, such as summer or winter camps, are specifically designed to offer a balance of fun and continued learning during transitional periods from school. While engaging children in activities they love, seasonal camps provide a simple solution for families who may need to work or simply catch up on holiday shopping and errands.

KinderCare, for example, offers a winter camp for both preschool and school-age children during the last two weeks in December. Children can explore the science of chemical reactions and learn about the magic of flight through educational and hands-on themed activities, including “Bubble Trouble,” “Volcano Blast,”  “Helicopter Propellers,” and “Balloon Rockets.”  KinderCare’s winter camp activities also reinforce core learning areas such as language arts, math, science and creative expression.

Capture holiday memories through reading and writing
The holidays are a time to capture special memories when families spend more time together. Nothing is better than snuggling up to a great book with your child. Creating a holiday journal is another excellent way to preserve memories while participating in a creative, family-friendly activity.  Studies have shown that even younger children enjoy exploring writing and that their scribbles and scrawls have meaning to them. This type of writing is called prewriting and it helps children develop language and literacy skills.

There are simple ways to foster children’s creativity and inspire them to write during the holidays.

* Encourage “writing for a reason.” Make writing a part of daily life whether writing holiday shopping lists together, writing brief descriptions of holiday pictures or photos, or planning holiday food menus together.

* Invite your child to dictate his or her story into a tape recorder, then write the story down and read it back to your child.

* Inspire an art book by encouraging your child to draw holiday memories. Then ask your child to describe his or her pictures and help him or her write the story that goes with the pictures.

“Focus on the intended meaning of what your child is trying to write instead of the appearance of the writing,” explains Megan Riede, senior director of education programs for KinderCare. “Not only does this create bonding opportunities, but it also allows for new ways to support your child’s learning during the holiday season.”

Turn holiday chores into holiday cheer
Believe it or not, it’s easy to turn seemingly daunting holiday tasks like cooking, decorating and wrapping gifts into family fun time.  Think about creating kid-friendly games and activities out of your seasonal chores so that you can spend quality time together while checking off your to-do list. Each of these activities introduces children to more than just the task at hand. 

1. Cooking and baking exposes children to measurements, mixing, and the properties of solids and liquids which help them learn about math and science. For example, you could ask your child to measure a cup of flour or show him or her how water and oil separate when in a bowl. 

2. Wrapping packages can be an opportunity to discover and identify different shapes, sizes and patterns, as well as practice eye-hand coordination. For example, ask, “Which package is the biggest?” or “Which box is round in shape and which one is square in shape?”  Have your child practice wrapping a gift for someone in the family with a pre-cut piece of wrapping paper. 

The holiday season is a perfect opportunity to bond and make memories with loved ones while learning together. Whatever families choose to do this winter break, look for ways to expose your children to a myriad of age-appropriate activities that allow them to imagine, explore, have fun and keep learning while sharing in the holidays.

 

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David & Bonnie Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

Now is the Time to Purchase a Fixer-Upper

 It’s a great time to be in the market for a fixer-upper. Buying an Atlanta area home that needs some work can allow you to achieve your dream home for less than you would probably

pay for a move-in-ready abode. While the rates and prices are low, it is a great opportunity to invest in a renovation project that can yield more return for you down the road. Make

sure that you schedule an Atlanta home inspection professional to assess and report on the home’s findings, even if the home is being sold “as is”.  This way you will know what

renovations you will need to plan for now, and which you will need to plan for in the future.

It pays to take a look at your credit before you buy and begin your remodel. You’ll not only need credit to cover the purchase price of the house, but you’ll need it for renovation

expenses as well. Websites like www.creditreport.com can help you understand your credit. Understanding your credit will help you know whether or not you can afford to buy a house

that needs work and if you’ll be able to pay for the needed renovations.

You should also carefully research what your options are for financing your remodel. Learn what your options are, from traditional fixed mortgages to home equity lines of credit, and

decide before you buy which type of financing will be best for you. Getting a handle on your financing before you buy can help ensure you stay on budget when you’re in the middle of

renovations. If you do not have a mortgage lender, your Atlanta Real Estate professionals can provide a list of reputable lenders in your area.

When you’ve got a clear picture of your credit status and financing options, you can start looking at fixer-uppers. When you find a good prospect, have your remodeling contractor walk

through the house with you so he can give you a rough estimate of what needs to be done and how much the work will cost.

If you’re buying a house that’s in basically good condition but just looks dated, you’ll have to make some decisions about where to invest your money. Focus on improvements that will

not only look good, but will also enhance the value of your home. Resources like Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report can give you a good idea of how much of your original

investment you’ll recoup on different remodeling projects at the time of resale.

Once you’ve signed all the paperwork and the house is yours, it’s time to get to work. If you’re handy, you may be able to save money by doing some of the renovation work yourself.

Projects like painting, adding crown molding and even putting down new flooring are well within the skills of most do-it-yourselfers. More complex projects like drywall, plumbing or

electrical work may be best left to professionals.

Whether you do the work yourself, or hire contractors, you’ll need to carefully manage all aspects of the renovation to ensure your remodel stays on budget. The excitement of

remodeling a house into your dream home can make it easy to get carried away on spending. Keep in mind that remodeling estimates are just that – an estimate. The final tab is rarely

exactly what your contractor predicted it would be. Build in at least 10 percent extra to cover emergency overruns, and avoid making any unnecessary changes to the plans while the

project is underway.

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough

home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David & Bonnie Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-

788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind

One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

 

Home Builders Experiencing Heavy Foot Traffic And Higher Sales Volume

Housing Market Index 2010-2011In another good sign for the housing market, today’s home builders believe that the housing market has turned a corner.

For the third straight month, the Housing Market Index — a home builder confidence survey from the National Association of Homebuilders — reported strong monthly gains.

December’s Housing Market Index climbed 2 points to 21 in December after a downward revision to last month’s results. The index is now up seven points since September 2011, and sits at a 19-month high.

When home builder confidence reads 50 or better, it reflects favorable conditions in the single-family new home market. Readings below 50 reflect unfavorable conditions.

The Housing Market Index has not crossed 50 since April 2006.

The HMI itself is actually a composite reading; the result of three related home builder surveys. The National Association of Homebuilders asks its members about their current single-family home sales volume; their projected single-family home sales volume for the next 6 months; and their current buyer “foot traffic”.

The results are compiled into the single Housing Market Index tally.

In December, builder survey responses showed strength across all 3 questions :

  • Current Single-Family Sales : 22 (+2 from November)
  • Projected Single-Family Sales : 26 (+1 from November)
  • Buyer Foot Traffic : 18 (+3 from November)

These results support the recent New Home Sales and Housing Starts data, both of which show an increase in single-family sales, and a decrease in new home housing supply.

When demand rises and supplies fall, home prices climb.

It’s also noteworthy that the Housing Market Index put buyer foot traffic at newly-built homes at its highest level since May 2008. With even more buyers expected to enter the market, new home prices are expected to rise across Canton in 2012 — especially in the face of shrinking home supplies. 

For now, though, with home prices stable and mortgage rates low, buyers can grab “a deal”. 60 days forward, though, may be too late.

The Spring Buying Season unofficially starts February 6, 2012. 

Bank Repossessions Drop To A 44-Month Low

Foreclosure concentration November 2011Foreclosure activity continues to concentrate over just a few states.

According to foreclosure-tracker RealtyTrac, November’s foreclosure filings fell 3 percent as compared to October, and 14 percent from November 2010.

“Foreclosure filing” is a catch-all term for the various “action steps” throughout the foreclosure process. The grouping comprises default notices, scheduled home auctions, and bank repossessions.

As in most months, though, foreclosure activity remains concentrated by state. More than half of last month’s bank repossessions can be traced to just 6 states.

  1. California : 14.8% of all bank repossessions
  2. Florida : 12.7% of all bank repossessions
  3. Texas : 7.0% of all bank repossessions
  4. Georgia : 6.9% of all bank repossessions
  5. Arizona : 6.7% of all bank repossessions
  6. Michigan : 6.3% of all bank repossessions

Meanwhile, with just 5 repossessions, South Dakota topped the list of states with the fewest bank repossessions in November. The Mount Rushmore State accounted for just 0.009% of REO nationwide in a month in which bank repossessions dropped to a 44-month low point across the United States.

The drop in REO is coming at a tough time for today’s Atlanta home buyers. Distressed properties are in high demand — mostly because they sell at steep discounts.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, distressed homes accounted for 28 percent of all home sales in October. As fewer bank-owned homes become available, though, there will be fewer “deals” to be had.

Especially as the broader housing market continues to signal its recovery.

If you plan to buy a bank-owned foreclosed property, do your research first. As supplies drop, the price for foreclosed homes throughout GA relative to non-distressed homes may rise, rendering REO properties less of a relative “value”.

Before you write a contract, therefore, talk with a licensed real estate agent. There’s plenty of foreclosure data available online but, when it’s time to buy, you should have an experienced agent on your side.

A Simple Explanation Of The Federal Reserve Statement (December 13, 2011 Edition)

Tuesday, the Federal Open Market Committee voted to leave the Fed Funds Rate unchanged within its current target range of 0.000-0.250 percent.

The vote was nearly unanimous for the second straight month. Just one FOMC member dissented in the vote, favoring additional policy stimulus beyond what the Federal Reserve currently provides.

In its press release, the Federal Reserve sais that the the U.S. economy is improving, noting that since its November 2011 meeting, the economy has been “expanding moderately”. The Fed also added that domestic growth is occurring despite some “apparent slowing in global growth” — a nod to ongoing uncertainty within the Eurozone.

The Federal Reserve expects a moderate pace of growth over the next few quarters, and believes that the jobs market will continue to improve, but slowly.

Other potential soft spots within the economy include :  

  1. A slowdown in business investment
  2. A “depressed” housing market
  3. Strains in global financial markets

The Federal Reserve added no new policies at its December meeting, and made no changes to existing ones. It re-iterated its plan to leave the Fed Funds Rate within its current range of 0.000-0.250 percent “at least until mid-2013″ and re-affirmed “Operation Twist” — the stimulus program through which the Fed sells Treasury securities with a maturity of 3 years or less, and uses the proceeds to buy mortgage bonds with maturity between 6 and 30 years.

Mortgage bonds are mostly unchanged since the Fed’s announcement, giving mortgage rates in Atlanta little reason to rise or fall.

Mortgage rates remain near all-time lows and, for homeowners willing to pay points + closing costs, 30-year fixed rate mortgages can be locked at less than 4 percent. If you’re thinking of buying or refinancing a home, it’s a good time to lock a mortgage rate.

The FOMC’s next meeting will be its first scheduled meeting of the new year. The meeting is slated for January 24-25, 2012.