Friday, December 30, 2016

5 Tips For New Year's Eve Fireworks

At AMG we believe everyone  has the right to celebrate New Year's Eve and our country's freedom on the 4th of July with Joy & Enthusiasm. Keep in mind that your right to celebrate ends where the local noise ordinances, laws, your neighbor's rights and property begins.

Any fireworks that explode, emit a flame or spark, performs as a projectile, may be illegal and prohibited in many municipalities by Fire Prevention Codes. Violators could be subject to arrest,  fines, and could be liable for damages or injuries caused by those fireworks.

 Here are 5 tips to help you have an enjoyable New Year's Eve if it involves fireworks:

1. Use only legally purchased, approved fireworks. Use them as directed, under supervision and clear of any combustible material and clear of all buildings.  Legal fireworks should be used or overseen by a responsible adult. No such fireworks may be thrown into, over, or around other homes, forested areas, or left in the common areas of the HOA. Residents who fail to comply with these restrictions will be held responsible for any damage and repairs.

 2. Local Code enforcement Laws - If you plan on using fireworks you should first check with the local law enforcement or city codes before setting off fireworks. There may be noise ordinances and fireworks may be illegal all together. This goes beyond the governing by your HOA.

 3. HOA Property rules and regulations - If you plan on using fireworks for New Year's eve celebration it is important to check your HOA documents,  Association’s CC&Rs regarding the use of fireworks. You could be in violation of HOA rules or safety rules.

4. Safety-Insurance - You need to fully understand your homeowners insurance policy regarding your own property damage, accidents or injuries as a result of using fireworks. If your fireworks go or land on another resident's property or on common areas, you may be responsible for damages to property and accidents or injuries that may occur.

People think sparklers are safe. Some sparklers can attain a temperature as high as 1800 degrees Fahrenheit and cause severe injuries. Whether a spectator or the user of malfunctioning fireworks, victims may be able to seek damages for their injuries.

5. Littering - Fireworks leave debris, paper shreds, fuses, powder residue and other materials that may leave a mess and be potentially harmful.   Be sure to clean up after your fireworks display. You could incur a fine for littering or damage to yards, sidewalks, streets or other common areas.

To ensure a safe New Year's Eve we encourage residents to know and adhere to all policies by your community association and local laws before having a fireworks display.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

3 Tips For HOA's To Use Technology To Communicate With Members

The Internet has drastically changed how neighborhood associations interact and communicate with their community. Digital media and social media can be a great tool for any association when used correctly and monitored for reputation management.

 Check out these three tips that can boost homeowner interest and interaction. 

3 Tips For HOA's To Use Technology To Communicate With Members

1. ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER - Have an Association newsletter to keep people in the community involved. Lack of communication between the board and the residents is key. The last thing homeowners  or condo owners want is to find out is that there are new regulation changes or notices that they were not made aware of. Open communication shows the community that the Association Board is interested in their engagement.

Show public displays of gratitude and appreciation in the newsletter. Give credit for Yard of the Month, member and community events and milestones, municipal notices and changes to rules or regulations.
People love to be publicly acknowledged.  Highlight members achievements, write up a mini blurb or post a video about the staff or board members and what they do to help the community. Highlight anyone who helps in the community - volunteers or donations. These efforts will inspire people to get motivated and get more active.

2. COMMUNITY WEBSITE -  Everyone is online and an association that has a website is more likely to get more positive feedback from the residents. Residents like to know that the money they pay for dues is going to the betterment of the community. Technology is important to community members as they see their association progressing and moving forward. If community members see a website they can be proud of they may share items on the site. This will help the community increase positive engagement between the residents.

Include a resource section with important links to other sites that would enable other community related  websites to become easily accessible to their neighbors. Links to sites such as; law enforcement, emergency medical, local schools, Neighborhood Watch etc.

All of these website features help to build a neighborhood association that grows stronger and more active, because everyone can access information when they need it, and your association becomes a valuable resource for the residents.

A great idea to include in your association website is an online calendar. An online calendar would enable the association to post dates and times about meetings, events, garage sales, birthdays, road closings, etc. The calendar can be open for anyone in the community to submit information that can be approved by the newsletter editor. You may be surprised to see what a Neighborhood Association website can do for you and your association. This kind of involvement can increase volunteerism.
3. MOBILE FRIENDLY WEBSITE- By making your website mobile friendly residents can use their mobile devices for viewing and interaction.

Information distribution is important to keep the community informed about what is happening. We hope these three tips help with communication between residents and the HOA.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

10 Tips To Secure Holiday Packages Delivered To Your Door

Burglars scout neighborhoods prior to the holidays looking for easy targets. Packages sitting on doorsteps , on lawn chairs or sticking out of mailboxes are all a sign of the residence being unattended. Most HOA's struggle with crime during the holidays. While it is not the responsibility of the HOAs to secure or accept  delivered packages, they can assist residents with support, resources and tips to reduce burglary during the holiday season.

Around 23 million people said their packages have been stolen from their homes, according to a December 2015 survey from

UPS delivers 17 million packages around the world every day and much more during this time of the year. In fact, during December, they will delivering some 585 million packages, with single-day volume surging as high as 34 million on their peak day December 22.  

Here are a few tips that all of your neighbors can use to help keep your community free of crime this holiday season.

1. Ask a neighbor to watch your home for the delivery of holiday packages and to retrieve the packages until you arrive home.
2. Consider an alternate destination. Have your packages delivered to work, family or friends. Encourage residents to use different delivery options or addresses during the high-crime season. Have packages delivered where someone can accept them, or require a signature.
3. Instruct the delivery company. Find a non visible place at your home and leave detailed instructions as to where to hide the package. FedEx and UPS drivers will place packages behind a gate, shrub, or other location; residents should contact their carrier.

4. Be diligent about tracking your expected holiday packages. Residents can often receive a text message when their package is delivered. This will eliminate your package sitting in the open for long periods of time.
5. Help your HOA by volunteering a few hours in your Neighborhood Watch program. Extra eyes can help deter crime and stop burglary in progress.
6.  Require a signature so that your item won't be left unattended. It may be a little inconvenient, but you can have the package redelivered or go pick it up at the local station.
7. Most homes have a security camera so that, if a theft occurs, you have proof for insurance purposes and to help police find the burglar.
8. Customize your deliveries. Use FedEx Delivery Manager® to customize your residential deliveries. You can change the time of delivery. You can select the actual time you will be home from work. During the holidays they deliver late evening hours.
9.  Signs for security systems can be a great deterrent for thieves. Post a security warning sign near your front door. These warning signs can help protect your packages and your whole house as well. 

10. Insure your packages if they are valuable. At least if your holiday package goes missing you will recover the money for valuables. 

Security cameras may work well, but check with your HOA about policies regarding security cameras and where they can be located. Some HOAs may restrict usage of cameras (especially "dummy" cameras) for reasons of liability. If your community has a serious crime problem ask your HOA to support asking local law enforcement to patrol the neighborhood more frequently.

Strong communities can reduce crime. Owners who know their neighbors are more likely to report suspicious behavior. Although midway through the holidays may be too late, boards should try community-building events throughout the year. At minimum, make sure that everyone has the appropriate police phone number.

Help your neighbors have a great holiday season by stopping burglary of holiday packages. Involve your HOA and at least ask them for recommendations on how to handle the issue in your neighborhood.

Friday, December 9, 2016

5 Ways Residents Can Help Their Community And Their HOA


You have a tremendous opportunity to have an impact on your HOA and a positive influence on other residents by getting involved.  When residents are engaged and involved the community association tends to run more smoothly. Ask yourself not what your homeowners association can do for you, but what you can do for your HOA. If you are not the type of person to volunteer for a board position or be out in the limelight you can help behind the scenes. 

Here are 5 Ways Residents Can Help Their Community And Their HOA

  1. Adhering To Municipal Recycling Requirements – Some communities have guidelines and regulations on recycling their glass, plastic and other recyclable debris.  You can help by making sure newspapers, plastic bottles, glass and other items are put in the designated containers, location or wrapped in bundles to avoid any possible notices or fees for non-compliance. Eliminating fees lowers operating costs of the HOA and helps the homeowner have a more positive outlook about their HOA.

  1. Follow the Community Standards Polices In Your Covenant And Restrictions. – Every community has community standards covenants and restrictions.  Following the rules is always easier than resisting. Your property values depend on everyone doing their best to follow the rules set forth by the HOA. Insurance rates and property values are assessed by what is observed in a neighborhood. Following the rules helps to maintain better values and lower costs for all residents.

  1. Protect Your Property And Common Area Property – Be appreciative for the amenities your community offers and be mindful of the community’s property at all times. Be sure to pick up trash if you see it laying around, safely extinguish cigarettes, avoid damage to exterior or interior buildings, soiling carpets and use charcoal or gas grills safely.

  1. Landscaping Expenses – Residents want your community to look well maintained. If residents are being active in protecting the landscaping, your association will not have a lot of expense. Help maintain common grass, plants and landscaping.

  1.  Respect The Community Association Management - Setting a good example for your neighbors can go a long way. You have the opportunity to be a leader and an influencer. If you maintain your community’s high standard of living, rules, regulations and other policies, it will benefit everyone.  Read your community’s rules & regulations, which you can obtain by visiting your community’s website or requesting a copy from your property management company. By adhering to the rules, you demonstrate your respect for your neighbors, HOA board, and yourself.

Share these tips with your neighbors and get everyone on board for the future betterment of the entire community.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Holiday Pet Safety - Top 5 Holiday Dangers For Family Pets

The holiday season is upon us, and many pet parents plan to include their furry companions in the festivities. At AMG we understand that your family pets are very important and we want to help you protect them this holiday season.

Keeping your home safe is hard enough, so here's an infographic from Consumer Safety that will help you keep your pets out of harm's way.

Here are five top dangers that your pet might encounter.

1. Did you know holly, mistletoe, some holiday trees and poinsettia plants are poisonous to dogs or cats? If you normally use these plants to decorate your home, they should be kept in an area your pet cannot reach.

2. Burning candles should be placed on high shelves or mantels, out of your pet's way -- there's no telling where a wagging tail may end up.

3. Keep wires,  electronic devices, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws' reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and batteries can be harmful is chewed or swallowed.

4. Dangerous or excessive access to holiday foods. Here is a list from the ASPCA of foods that could harm or potentially be fatal for your pets.

5. Pets accidentally running outside getting lost. There is a lot of hustle and bustle during the holidays. Put pets in a safe area so they cannot run out during door openings and get hurt or lost.

Here you can find an infographic from the Consumer Safety with pointers for you to remember.

AMG wishes a safe holiday season for you and your pets.