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Household Safety Checklist

The new school year is fast approaching, and for some of us is already here.  We have a couple of weeks left of this summer.  Now is a great time to review some household safety practices, as a family. Here are a few questions to ask:

Household Safety Checklist

fire household safety

  • In case of fire, does your family have an escape plan in place?
  • Are all of your smoke alarms working properly?
  • Do you have CO detectors?
  • Do you have a working fire extinguisher?
  • How safe are your space heaters?
  • How safe are your stairs and railings?

 

We wish you a great new school year!!

Kitchen Renovation- Are you covered?

This time of year many people are thinking about spring cleaning, or even home renovations.  Is this true in your case?

kitchen renovationAre you covered for a kitchen renovation or bath remodel?

Homeowner’s policies typically cover the value of the home.  Kitchen renovations add value to the home.  If you add value to the home by renovating and or adding square footage, it is important to keep your local agent in the loop and also update your existing homeowners policy.  If you do not, and then something happens to your home, you may not have the coverage needed for repairs.

  

Contact your local agent for more information …

 Also when choosing a contractor be sure to do your home work.  Ask if they are insured and see if they have been reviewed online. Ignorance is not always bliss.

 

It’s Motorcycle Season- Are you ready?

Motorcycle Season is here!  This past weekend marked the beginning of spring!  Are you ready to hit the road on your motorcycle? Before you go take a minute to review these safety tips from US DOT.

Tips for Motorcycle Season

Before taking your first ride be sure to check your bike for:motorcycle season

  • Oil level
  • Condition of  the chain and suspension.
  • Check the air in the tires.
  • Working turn signals?

If you are new to the motorcycle world or an expert its still good to refresh yourself before taking a long trip.  Take a practice run, especially since you’ve had time considerable time off the bike this winter.  Or if you are a beginner take it slow, a safe ride is the best ride.

 

 

 Motorcycle Safety:

Looking for safety tips? The RMV has a helpful video on this topic.

Click here for a Motorcycle Video from Mass RMV

 

Contact your local agent for motorcycle insurance coverage questions.

Melting Snow Causes Backups

Is melting snow causing problems? Hopefully not!

Between wild weather and water main breaks, this area has seen its fair share of floods. We have had a lot of snow.  Melting snow causes water to seep wherever it can.  If it seeps into your basement, that’s a problem.  A few inches can cause thousands of dollars in damage. If nothing else it’s worth it to take preventative measures to protect your home.  Chubb  Insurance has a few tips we thought you would find useful.  To read more, click the link below.

Tips for Dealing with Melting Snow-spring flood

  • Make sure the ground around your home slopes away from your home.
  • Check your basement to make sure there are no cracks in the foundation wall.
  • Seal basement windows.
  • Clear away debris from drains along your home’s foundation.
  • Check to make sure sump pumps are working properly.
  • If storing valuables in your basement use water proof containers and keep them above floor level.
  • Read more

Have a happy & dry spring season.

Things to know about Heavy Snow

Heavy snow damages your roof, now what?

Winter doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.  How much snow have you gotten?  Some parts of Massachusetts have seen upwards of 6 feet of heavy snow.  We haven’t seen this much snow in a long time.  Seems like more is around the corner. What does this mean for your roof?

Houses are built with roof’s that can withstandheavy snow the elements.  That being said, if a large amount of snow is left of your roof, for an extended amount of time, damage can occur.  This is especially true in older homes where the weight can be the “final straw.”

Common Problems from Heavy Snow:

Contact your contractor in either case.  Many contractors also offer snow removal.  This can help prevent more issues.

In most cases there would be coverage under the dwelling section of your Homeowner’s policy.  Review your policy with your local agent to make sure you have enough coverage for other structures on your property.  For questions about roof damage claims contact your local agent.

 

Snow Shoveling and CO Poisoning

What could snow shoveling possibly have to do with Carbon Monoxide poisoning?

When you think of snow related injuries, what comes to mind?  Maybe you think of tripping on icy snow filled walkways, or being hit with a snowball?  You probably don’t think of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning, but it is something to take precautions against.

How could a lack of snow shoveling or removal lead to carbon monoxide poisoning?  If snow piles up around vents in your home, blocking the vent, gas from your appliances can “back up” into your house.  So while you are outside shoveling your driveway be sure to also clear the snow away from dryer vents and other vents on your property.

It is important to have working carbon monoxide detectors in your home, especially around your heating appliances.

Remember, Carbon Monoxide is odorless, colorless and it is very bad for you and your family.  The CDC has a wealth of information on how you can protect yourself from Carbon Monoxide. Click the above link to see more information about Carbon Monoxide.

Protect your Pets this Winter

Protect your pets from what?

protect your petsPets are a big part of many families.  Do you have pets?

Your dogs and cats may enjoy playing outside this time of year.  Winter weather means freezing temperatures.  The past week has shown how quickly driveways and walkways can be ice skating rinks.  How does this affect your pets?

Many products we use to “de-ice” can be hazardous for pets.  How can you de-ice your walk way and still keep your pets safe?  Use ice melt that is pet friendly.  Many stores sell rock salt or other products that are deemed pet friendly.  Sand can also be used. It’s good to check with your vet for further questions.  Also when you and your pets return home from the great outdoors, be sure to wipe their paws off.  This way you make sure they don’t get injured by chemicals they may have stepped in while outside.

Also be advised that antifreeze in your driveway, from your car, is harmful to your pets.  Keep an eye on your pets so they do not get into anything dangerous.

Below freezing temps can also be hard on our pets.  Protect them from the cold by not leaving them out in the cold too long.   Cars can also be dangerously cold for them.

Have a fun safe winter with your four legged furry friends.

 

 

 

 

Earthquakes

Recently in the news there has been a lot of talk about earthquakes. What should you know?

California is not the only state to be prone to earthquakes.  New England is also at the mercy of the faultlines.   The last few days have shown this to be true.  It should be said of course, that the recent earthquakes in connecticut were minor.  Still it reminds us of the fact that New England does reside on a fault, so this may happen from time to time.  Here is a link to USGS.com.

 

Ready.gov has tips for dealing with Earthquakes.  It’s a good idea to review these tips from time to time, even if you don’t end up using them.  Better to be prepared than under prepared.

Indoor

  • Drop to your hands and knees.
  • Cover your head with your arms, If possible move away from falling objects.  Sturdy furniture or interior doors may provide good cover.
  • Do not use an elevator.
  • Do not leave the building during the quake, or else you may be injured from debris.

Outdoor

  • Get away from buildings, utility poles and wires.  Anything that could fall on top of you.
  • If you are in a city , you may need to take cover to avoid falling debris.

In an Automobile

  • Stop!  Stay away from anything that could fall on your car.
  • Avoid bridges or other structures that could be weakened by the quake.

 

 

Questions about Earthquake Coverage? Get answers here.  You can also contact your local agent.

 

Read more tips here

Winter Home Heating Tips

How do you heat your home?  GAS? OIL? Other?

It’s cold out side… and this is only the beginning of winter.  There are many options for heating your home.  Heating equipment ranges in types and price.  Energy.gov has useful home heating tips.  Click here to see an easy to read infographic.

 Basics for Winter Home Heating

Five things to consider before addressing your heating needs:

Fuel: Access to heating fuels change depending on where you live.

Climate: Weather patterns where you live will affect which heating system you use.  Obviously, if you live in Florida you need less heat than in New England.

Efficiency: Products are now being designed to meet energy standards, look for the Energy Star when purchasing equipment.

Size: Work Smarter not harder.  The size of the heating system will depend on the need.

 winter home heating

 

*Using a thermostat allows you to save energy, by controlling temperatures and stopping the system from running on full blast at all times.

 

 

 

 

Also please remember regular cleaning and maintenance can prolong the life of your heating system.  For example, you should clean filters and make minor repairs before they become a greater problem.

 

Don’t forget to consult with a professional before making a decision, to prevent future headaches.

Have a warm winter 🙂

 

Winter Fire Safety Tips

winter fire safetyBrrrr…Looks like winter arrived early this year.  Heating your home is a big part of New England Life.  Ready.Gov has great winter fire safety tips for staying safe this winter.  Click the link below to learn what to do; before, during , and after a fire.

Winter Fire safety tips:

 

  • Clean and check your woodstove or fireplace for damage, before use.
  • Use screens on your fireplace to stop sparks or logs from rolling into your home.
  • Do not operate generators in the home, as they are made for outdoors and could prove toxic.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher, contact local fire department for tips.
  • Read More

 

You know the phrase, “curiosity killed the cat.”  Well educate your children about fire so that their curiosity will not get them into trouble.  Kids are smart, take time to explain the proper use of fire.  That being said don’t leave them unattended around stoves fireplaces or even candles.

Have a safe warm winter 🙂