Winter Tips for Residents During the Polar Vortex
by Michelle N. on 11/14/2014 12:25:27 PM
As arctic air plunges over most of the United States, we thought we would share an article on winter energy tips for apartment and condo residents.
Keeping your apartment warm and comfortable this winter doesn't mean spending more on your utility bills. Reducing your heating needs and controlling your thermostat temperature settings will help you keep your energy costs down without sacrificing comfort.
Winter Energy Costs
Heating your apartment or condo is your biggest energy cost during the winter. Paying attention to a few details will help you manage those costs—and be more comfortable.
Keep the heat in
Spend your money keeping yourself warm instead of wasting energy heating the outdoors.
- If you have storm windows, make sure they are completely closed.
- Install plastic window film kits on windows that are leaky or that don't have storms.
- Install covers on window and through-the-wall air conditioners.
- If you have a fireplace, close the damper when you're not using it.
- Pull your shades or close your drapes at night (but leave them open on east, south and west windows during the day for solar heating).
If you are renting and your apartment is too hot, don’t just open a window—work with your landlord to solve the problem. Helping your landlord save on heating will also save you money. Remember, you pay for your heat either directly or through your rent, so don’t throw that money out the window.
Control the temperature and humidity
The temperature at which you set the thermostat affects how much it costs to heat your apartment or condo. Regularly lowering your thermostat will save you money. Lowering the normal setting (all day, all night, every day) one degree saves three percent on your monthly heating bill. Two degrees will save six percent. You can save another one percent for every degree that you lower your thermostat for each 8-hour period you’re asleep or away at work.
- Set your thermostat no higher than 72°F when people are home.
- Lower your thermostat to 65°F or less when you are sleeping or when no one is home.
- If you have baseboard heat, turn down the units in unused rooms.
- If you are a condo owner and have your own furnace, make sure it is energy efficient (90 percent AFUE* or higher). If it isn't, consider replacing it with a high efficiency unit. Also, keep your furnace filters clean.
- And remember: the thermostat is not like the gas pedal on your car—turning it to the highest (or even to a higher) setting does not warm you up any faster.
During the winter you’ll feel warmer if the air in your home is not too dry. Maintaining the relative humidity between 20 percent and 40 percent can let you lower the thermostat setting without making you feel cold.
To read more about winter tips, click here.
2 year Twitterversary :)
by Michelle N. on 11/6/2014 7:24:17 AM
Did you know that NAA has an Emergency Preparedness library?
by Michelle N. on 11/5/2014 1:16:29 PM
NAA Emergency Preparedness is your source for information and resources related to preparing for and responding to the emergencies that can affect your community. Find information about what you can do to prepare yourself and your community in the event of an emergency.
NAA's Emergency & Disaster Library
The documents found in this library help members plan for natural disasters and other emergencies.
The Emergency & Disaster Library resources have been split into sub-categories for easier browsing:
- Health and biohazard preparedness
- Specific weather-related documents, such as hurricanes, winter storms and tornadoes
- General disaster planning
- Disaster recovery
Periodic natural disasters displace Americans across the country from their housing. National Apartment Association members have a history of generosity in response to these events. NAA is proud to recognize its members' philanthropic housing efforts.
NAA supports the American Red Cross. For information on how to help disaster victims, including directions for making monetary contributions, please visit the American Red Cross.
Read full Emergency Prepardeness information via www.naahq.org
A Few Tips for Apartment Trick-or-Treating
by Michelle N. on 10/31/2014 3:58:19 AM
Kids everywhere love knocking on doors for candy, and apartment buildings are a sweet way to get tons of treats in the shortest distance! So we found some great tips for your little monsters who plan to trick-or-treat at apartment properties this Halloween. Be safe and Happy Halloween.
Do you think that trick-or-treating is just for kids who live in houses? The truth is, this Halloween tradition can be fun for apartment dwellers, too. Your neighbors are close by, you never have to brave the cold, and your children can flaunt their cute or creative costumes without having to cover them with jackets and scarves.
If you have children who will be going trick-or-treating in your apartment building this Halloween, play it safe by doing the following:
- Supervise young children. If young children don't like the idea of an adult shadowing them, you (or a nanny) can watch your children enjoy trick-or-treating from down the hallway.
- Set rules for older children. Make pre-teens promise not to enter anyone's apartment and to return home by a certain time. Give older kids a cell phone to keep in touch, and instruct them not to ring the doorbell of any neighbor with whom you're not on good terms.
- Enjoy treats later. Once you're home, check all treats carefully and discard any that look like they've been opened or tampered with. Also, keep homemade treats only if you know they've come from a trusted source. Finally, get rid of anything your children should avoid because of allergies or other dietary concerns.
If you're expecting trick-or-treaters at your apartment this Halloween, follow these tips:
- Be inviting. Put a Halloween decoration on your door so trick-or-treaters know you're game.
- Keep pets away. Keep dogs, cats, and other pets a safe distance from trick-or-treaters. Some children scare easily, and certain pets can get aggressive or run out of your apartment and into trouble.
- Offer pre-packaged treats only. Play it safe by offering trick-or-treaters store-bought, pre-packaged treats. This will help parents feel confident that their children will enjoy a snack that's fun -- and safe.
- Consider fun, safe alternatives. A treat doesn't have to mean food. Given the many children with food allergies or other dietary restrictions, why not offer some non-food Halloween treats to those kids who want them?
To read more, click here.
Preparing Your Properties for Winter
by Michelle N. on 10/27/2014 10:31:04 AM
Depending on where your properties are located, you may find yourself spending weeks preparing them for the cold winter months. Even those in more temperate climates will need to do some basic housekeeping in order to keep maintenance calls in check.
Here are a few preparation tips for your property as winter approaches.
• Have a ready supply of ice melting products on hand.
• Tune-up the snow blower to ensure it will function properly before use.
• Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses in order to prevent pipes from freezing.
• Service any working fireplaces prior to burning a fire. Check the flue for proper ventilation.
• Inspect the current heating system in your rentals for potential problems.
• A solid inspection of the property should also be done at this time to check for leaks and drafts that may need additional insulation.
• Change air filters and the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Provide your residents with a handy winter preparation checklist that they can refer to. The list makes it easier for residents to remember what needs to be done, and they can check off the item once it’s completed. This makes for more satisfied residents and a well-maintained property.
Ebola Information Update: Basic Facts To Know
by Michelle N. on 10/15/2014 11:47:34 AM
Ebola Information Update
Posted by Membership Department on Monday, October 06, 2014 - http://www.haaonline.org/EbolaFacts/
With all the news and questions about the Ebola patients in Dallas, it's important to know some basic facts. Here is information from official health authorities:
From the World Health Organization:
• Ebola spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.
• The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms is 2 to 21 days. Humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms.
• First symptoms are the sudden onset of fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash and, in some cases, bleeding (from the gums, in the stool, etc.).
From the Centers for Disease Control:
• Ebola is not spread through the air or by water. There is no evidence that mosquitoes or other insects can transmit Ebola virus. Only mammals (for example, humans, bats, monkeys and apes) have shown the ability to become infected with and spread Ebola virus.
• Healthcare providers caring for Ebola patients and the family and friends in close contact with Ebola patients are at the highest risk of getting sick because they may come in contact with the blood or body fluids of sick patients.
• Practice careful hygiene. For example, wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoid contact with blood and body fluids.
• Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids (such as clothes, bedding, needles and medical equipment).
Advice for the Multifamily Industry:
• Ebola is most commonly transmitted through bodily fluids such as vomit, blood, urine and feces. We echo the public health officials by recommending an abundance of caution on any task involving unknown fluids found in common areas or vacated units. Take extra precaution to avoid – or carefully manage – all bodily fluids. We encourage you to visit the CDC website for updated information and safety precaution tips.
• Although most public health officials have publicly stated that Ebola does not survive on surfaces in “real-world settings,” it is always wise to use precaution. If you have any belief that your apartment community has symptomatic people, try to avoid “common touch” areas by using a tissue or handkerchief. Also, wash your hands frequently.
• If a resident is exhibiting symptoms of Ebola, do not direct janitorial or maintenance staff to the apartment. Immediately notify the local health department and contact the CDC for guidance regarding appropriate measures to be taken by maintenance staff.
• You may want to contact a biohazard cleanup provider for advice or services.
If you receive questions from concerned residents or the media about a possible Ebola infection on your property, we recommend referring them to the CDC and health officials, who are better qualified to answer their questions at this time. NAA, TAA and HAA are not health care professionals and guidance should come from the CDC. Here is an example statement provided by NAA for our members, if contacted by the media or concerned residents:
“We understand your concerns. Your questions are best handled by the local health officials and/or the CDC for the most current information. Our understanding is that the
building owner/manager are cooperating fully with CDC/local public health guidance and are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of all residents. We encourage
you to visit the CDC website for updated information and safety precaution tips. Based on current guidance, we can share that the risk appears to be contained to people with direct
contact with a symptomatic victim, or that person’s bodily fluids, such as vomit, blood and feces.”
If you find yourself involved in an Ebola case with a resident and need additional guidance, please call NAA at 703-518-6141.
CDC: www.cdc.gov or www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html
City of Houston Health Department: www.houstontx.gov/health or 832-393-5169
Harris County Health Department: www.harrishealth.org or 713-634-1000
Dallas County has compiled a set of Ebola fact sheets in more than a dozen languages, including English and Spanish.
We recommend that people take seriously the advice from the CDC and other officials on basic things you can do to remain safe.
Buyers Access Strengthens Midwest Region
by Michelle N. on 10/14/2014 7:04:25 PM
Denver, Colo., October 15, 2014 – Buyers Access (http://www.buyersaccess.com), the nation’s leading Multifamily Group Purchasing and Cost Control specialist for the multifamily housing industry, announced today it has added Joe Graziano to the Buyers Access Sales team. Joe brings over 15 years of successful account development and management of key business to business relationships. He has a proven history of delivering procurement solutions for a wide variety of distribution products within the Senior Living industry and Group Purchasing Organizations. Most recently, Joe was a Portfolio National Account Manager with HD Supply, where he worked with executive purchasing teams as well as increased savings and efficiency within their Maintenance, Repair, and Operations programs. Joe coordinated efforts with leading companies in the Senior Living marketplace, extended operating budgets, drove compliance through contracted programs, and realized cost savings throughout the procurement process. Joe also spent 8 years with Direct Supply’s DSSI division, where he leveraged the benefits of complex e-Commerce purchasing solutions to senior level procurement teams and integrated the same platform within an extensive supply chain network. In addition, Joe spent 5 years at Lawrence University, a 550 bed facility, where he served as a Resident Hall Director as well as a Coordinator of Resident Life Programming.
Joe holds a Masters Degree in Student Affairs Administration from the University of Central Arkansas.
“We are very excited about Joe coming on board with Buyers Access. We will benefit greatly from Joe’s knowledge in e-Commerce purchasing solutions and integration. We look forward to his contributions as he will be a strong addition to our sales team and will expand our presence in the Midwest market,” Johnathan Hovanec, Vice President of Sales, Buyers Access. “I am very excited to join the Buyers Access team! The ability to offer end to end procurement solutions as well as consultative expertise to effectively implement those solutions is something I have not often seen in my 12 years supporting procurement professionals. Everyone I have met at Buyers Access is committed to the success of our business partners and I consider myself lucky to be part of this outstanding organization," says Joe.
About Buyers Access
Buyers Access is the nation’s leading Multifamily Group Purchasing and Cost Control specialist for the multifamily housing industry. We take an active role as your business partner, and provide full service solutions to help your business maximize the value of your real estate. Since 1986, Buyers Access has helped thousands of properties reduce their operating costs and become more efficient. Through the use of our operational expertise, these properties have added millions of dollars to their real estate value. Celebrating 28 years, Buyers Access looks forward to meeting new challenges in the multifamily industry. For more information, contact Buyers Access at www.buyersaccess.com or call 1.800.445.9169
Director of Marketing
Nasty Workplace Germs: Learn To Protect Yourself and Co-Workers
by Michelle N. on 10/14/2014 2:38:24 PM
We have all been there, heading off to work feeling miserable, chills running through our body, with achy bones and a fever. Studies show that about half of U.S workers reported to work ill in the past year. The fear of lost wages, minimal or no paid sick time off, or guilt about missing work is typically the reason for reporting to work feeling so badly.
As flu season approaches, we thought we would share some ways to prevent getting sick from the flu, or other infectious diseases. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, some viruses and bacteria can live for hours, sometimes days, on surfaces like keyboards, desks, and phones. So as gross as it may sound, the co-worker who is hacking and sneezing all over the office can turn your work space into a breeding ground for all infectious “bugs”.
Here are a few ways to keep yourself and co-workers from getting those nasty germs:
• Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze. If no tissues are around,
sneeze or cough into the sleeve, not your hands.
• Wash your hands often during the flu and cold season, but especially
after coughing or sneezing. Use soap and warm water to wash those nasty germs away. It should take you 15-20 seconds to do a thorough job.
Helpful Tip: Don’t want to use a stop watch or keep count, try singing your ABCs or the Happy Birthday song!
• Keep an alcohol-based hand sanitizer around your workstation.
• Use alcohol-based wipes to disinfect your keyboard, mouse, desk, phone, etc.
• Avoid close contact from co-workers who are sick.
• Stay home if you are feeling ill--no need to bring the germ party to the office.
• Get a flu shot.
So, don’t be that sick guy or girl at work and follow these easy tips to protect yourself, and co-workers, from infectious diseases in the workplace.
Fire Prevention Week: October 5 -11, 2014: Cintas Study Reveals Significant Lack of Household Smoke Alarm Testing
by Michelle N. on 10/6/2014 9:11:22 AM
October 5-11, 2014 is Fire Prevention week and we thought we would share results of a survey that Cintas, a Buyers Access National Supplier, recently conducted. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast, so make sure your properties are testing their smoke alarms as often as possible. Working smoke alarms save lives!
In recognition of Fire Prevention Week and this year’s
theme, “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month!”, Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ: CTAS) recently commissioned a study to determine how often Americans test their household smoke alarms. The survey revealed that 90 percent of U.S adults don’t test them monthly.
“According to the National Fire Protection Association, roughly two out of every three fire-related deaths happen in homes where a smoke detector isn't present or working properly,” said John Amann, Vice President of Operations, Cintas Corporation. “Testing a smoke alarm is as easy as pushing a button, and yet, our survey findings suggest most of us still neglect to test these devices each month. This puts us and our families in danger.”
The survey, which was conducted online by Harris Poll in September among 2,013 adults ages 18 and older, revealed that:
• Some adults (10 percent) test their smoke alarms at least once a month.
• Nearly half of adults (48 percent) only test their alarms once or twice a year.
• Almost a quarter of adults (23 percent) don’t have alarms present in their home, don’t test
their alarms or don’t know how often their alarms are tested.
These findings reinforce the importance of this year's Fire Protection Week campaign and the fact that we still have a long way to go in educating the public about monthly smoke alarm testing.
Fore more information on Cintas fire protection services, visit www.cintas.com/fire.
To find out more about how you can benefit from being a Buyer Access member and access a national supplier network, please contact us today!