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Community Newsletter - Fall 2015


Before the 16th Century, in regions where most people worked the land, the fall season, or autumn, was known as Harvest. Today, during this time of year, various cultural and religious groups celebrate autumn harvest festivals. Among those celebrations, in the U.S. and Canada: Thanksgiving; in the Jewish tradition, Succot; and in the Chinese tradition, Moon Festival, to name a few. The predominant mood of these autumn celebrations is, gladness for the fruit of the earth, mixed with a certain melancholy which can be linked to the coming of winter and its imminent challenges.

For us, the change in seasons from summer to fall, with all its beauty, gives rise to some concerns; heating our homes, shorter days, safety on the roads, potential danger of leaf piles, flooding from rain, and the danger of hurricanes. We are hopeful for a beautiful, mild fall, but alert to the potential challenges of the winter season.

Please read and share the information below containing seasonal reminders and other beneficial information.

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Testing Heating Equipment

Since early September, many of our communities have been testing central heating equipment. Our objective is to make sure that when temperatures fall and demand kicks in, our heating systems will function properly. We urge residents, who control their apartments’ heating equipment, to test their heating system now, before the cold weather arrives. The first time you turn on the heat there may be a smell (especially with a new heater) which should go away after a few minutes. When testing your heating system, please make sure that your utility closet remains free of any storage; no saved newspapers, recycling materials, cleaning products, brooms, mops, or any other items. It is a matter of proper functioning of the equipment and above all safety.

Safety in the Home

Fire officials recommend that we replace the batteries in our smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors when we change the time on our clocks from Daylight Savings Time to Eastern Standard Time. (Remember its spring forward and fall back”.) On November 1, 2015 we turn back the clock one hour. After replacing the batteries, push the test button to be sure that the batteries have been installed properly and these life saving devices are in good working order. Removing or disabling one of these devices is not only potentially dangerous for you and others, but also carries a heavy penalty by a fire marshal.

In addition, if your apartment is equipped with a furnace, replacing the filter at this time is recommended. The inexpensive blue filters are suggested as they are less apt to restrict airflow.

Open Windows Time - Words to the Wise

When we are blessed with beautiful autumn days, enjoy the fresh air. No air conditioning, no heat, just pleasant fresh air. However, before leaving your apartment, especially if you are a ground level or first floor resident, lock all windows and sliders, even if you plan to be out only for a few minutes. While you are at it, always make sure that your gas stove and oven are turned off while you are out.

In Case of Power Outage

Be proactive – Keep a supply of flashlights and batteries on hand now. If a power outage should occur your favorite store may not have any supply left. Please avoid using candles due to danger of fire. Since our experience with hurricane Sandy, most rental offices have been equipped with emergency generators so that communication may be maintained with our residents.

Basement Water Infiltration May Occur

During Hurricane Sandy some basements that have never experienced flooding had as much as a foot of water. Excessive rain may saturate the outside soil and may raise the water table. To avoid possible loss of personal possessions keep valuable family heirlooms and for that matter anything that you really care about off the floor. Even one inch of water can result in serious loss. Test your sump pump and consider the impact of a possible power outage. You can find some inexpensive water sensing alarms on Ebay or at your favorite hardware store.

You Can Prevent Sewer Backup and Damaged Pipes

Some items should never be deposited in toilets and drains. Toilets are designed for… you know what… and toilet paper, which disintegrates in water. Anything else must go into the garbage (This includes handy-wipes, diapers, sanitary products, paper towels, razor blades and rags which do not disintegrate in water and may result in severe blockage. Other items that should never go down the drains include grease and hair. Grease should be allowed to cool, poured into an empty jar or container and placed in the garbage. There is normal hair loss in the process of showering or bathing, fine plastic or metal strainers can trap the hair which we should dispose of in the garbage. Please do your part to keep our toilets and drains flowing.

Does Your Circuit Breaker Trip?


A circuit breaker “trips” or shuts off the electrical flow to protect the circuit from overheating and causing damage – even possibly an electrical fire.
So, before you flip the breaker on again, contact maintenance. A super will help determine the root cause of the tripping. The most common reason your circuit is tripping is circuit overloading. That means that you are running too many heavy power consuming devices at the same time on the same circuit. For example, using your refrigerator, dishwasher, toaster oven and coffee maker at the same time, through the same circuit, may draw greater amperage than that circuit can handle; thus, tripping the circuit breaker. The solution; redistribute the power heavy devices from the overloaded circuit to another general purpose circuit that is connected to a different breaker. However, circuit overloading is not the only cause of a tripped breaker. There may be a short circuit or ground fault. For these reasons, we advise contacting maintenance to inspect the problem and provide a solution.


Safety on the Roads


During this season many road accidents occur on the ride home from work. Be extra careful driving at twilight. Natural light is fading and headlights are not very effective. In addition, drivers are fatigued from a day’s work and reaction time is slower; added to that, are slick roads due to rain or wet leaves. The best thing that we can do is watch our speed and definitely avoid distractions.


The Piles of Leaves- CAUTION


Our landscapers’ work is completed when the last pile of leaves is removed. Until that happens driving or walking through a pile of leaves may be slippery and dangerous. You can never be sure what may be inside. It could be debris or even a child at play. Those leaves may also be a fire hazard. Be extra careful discarding a cigarette butt or a match.


The 20 and 30 Yard Dumpsters


If you think purchasing items is expensive, disposing of unwanted items is costly as well. Removing a filled dumpster is only a legitimate community maintenance expense when the content of that dumpster is debris from various repairs undertaken at the site; roofing, siding, lumber, masonry and renovation debris.

When residents replace home furnishing including mattresses, couches, televisions etc., please ask your suppliers if they will dispose of your old stuff that they are replacing. If they will not take away the items that you want to throw out, contact maintenance to accept the bulk items for a nominal fee. Placing unwanted bulk items at the regular garbage dumpster locations is not a solution. Our staff will have to move it and load it into our 30 yd. container. When full, we are responsible to pay for the removal, dumping fee, and return of an empty container. The company that empties our garbage containers will not accept mattresses, couches, TVs and other bulk items.

Contractors have been known to illegally use our dumpsters. Provide us with photos and/or license plates for a reward. Thank you for your cooperation.


Is it Fall or Autumn?

Both terms describing the season between summer and winter are acceptable. It begins with September equinox (Sep 23) and ends with December solstice (Dec 22). 

Let us hope and pray that the transition from summer to winter will be a mild one with just the right amount of rainfall and otherwise uneventful. 



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