Merlino & Gonzalez October 2018

HAVE A FUN AND SAFE HALLOWEEN! Even the Most Frightening Ghouls Need to Be Careful Before heading out for some good old-fashioned trick-or-treating, take the time to go over basic safety tips. Teach kids to look both ways before crossing, use crosswalks and traffic signals, cross streets on the corners, and never run across the street. Making eye contact with drivers before walking in front of their cars is also a good way to make sure the driver knows the child is there. CHOOSE SMART COSTUMES Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween without costumes! They should be fun, but you can also make them safer by following a few simple guidelines. Add reflective tape to candy bags and costumes and wear light colors to stand out in the dark. Buying or making the right- sized costumes is also important. If they’re too large, they create a tripping hazard, and if they’re too tight, they can restrict movement. If your child wears a mask, make sure they can see out of it properly. MAKE A PLAN Before heading out to trick or treat, create a plan and discuss it with every member of your family. This ensures that if someone in your group wanders off, they’ll know where to look for you or where to go. In case you’re separated, label your child’s costume with your name, address, and phone number. If your children are old enough to trick or treat without adults, make sure that their cellphones are charged and on them at all times, and schedule regular check-ins. as to how they got there. After contacting relatives, though, they were told that every pet the family had was buried in those holes. Needless to say, buyers weren’t keen on living above a burial ground. DIY DONE WRONG Home improvement is a passion for many but a talent for few. There are countless stories of wild homemade fixes discovered during inspections: Saran-wrapped pipes, duct-taped framing, you name it. But we wanted to play special tribute to a Long Island homeowner who decided to support their awning with a pair of decrepit crutches, a design choice guaranteed to scare trick-or-treaters and inspectors alike. SURPRISE INSPECTION GUESTS During a routine carbon monoxide check, a Chicago inspector heard a knock at the door. That knock quickly became a rumble as a handful of ATF agents burst the door looking for the owner. The inspector was terrified, but quickly explained that he was not the person the agents were looking for. Oh, and the house did have elevated carbon monoxide levels, but we’re guessing the owner had bigger problems to deal with.

Happy Halloween, you goblins, ghouls, witches, and spooks! It’s that time of year again when kids and adults alike can dress up and roam the streets as their favorite heroes, frights, or princesses. While kids are eager to show off their outfits and fill their pillowcases with sugary treasures, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential dangers on Halloween night. PRACTICE STREET SAFETY Make sure your kids understand basic road safety. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, “Children are more likely to be struck by a vehicle and killed during Halloween than any other day of the year.”


We’ve discussed the importance of a thorough, impartial home inspection before. When you’re buying a property, you want to make sure that everything is as advertised. A licensed inspector will make sure there’s nothing dangerous or unsatisfactory lurking within the home you want to purchase. While inspection discoveries are a normal part of the real estate process, sometimes an inspector will find something positively terrifying. In honor of Halloween, we wanted to share a few stories of creepy, bizarre inspection finds. A BUZZING PLUMBING VENT No inspection is complete without getting up on the roof to check for damage and hazards. When a Maryland inspector checked a plumbing vent stack, he was shocked to find a colony of hornets nesting within it. We’re sure that sent a shiver up his spine. REAL-LIFE PET CEMETERY Everyone wants to ensure that their four-legged loved ones have an appropriate final resting place, but one Connecticut family took that notion a little too far. After noticing several holes in the concrete basement floor of their property, inspectors were stumped


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