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carbon monoxide detectors

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

By Safety & Maintenance Tips

We all know we should have a smoke detector on each level of our home, but did you know you should also have a carbon monoxide detector on each level too?  As cold winter weather approaches, now is the time to remind ourselves about carbon monoxide poisoning and detection.  

Kidde.com provides the following information about carbon monoxide:

Carbon monoxide can come from any fuel-burning appliance this is malfunctioning or is improperly installed.  Examples include furnaces, gas range/stove, gas clothes dryer, water heater, portable fuel-burning space heaters, fireplaces, generators, and wood-burning stoves.  

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to the flu without a fever – dizziness, severe headaches, nausea, sleepiness, fatigue, and disorientation.  

Steps to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning include installing carbon monoxide alarms on every level and in sleeping areas of your home.  Have the heating system, vents, chimney and flue inspected by a professional on a yearly basis. Never use a gas range/stove to heat your home.  More tips can be found on Kidde’s website here: https://www.kidde.com/home-safety/en/us/co-safety/carbon-monoxide-alarm-faqs 

Stay safe this fall with both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

Fall Home Maintenance Tips

Fall Home Maintenance Tips

By Safety & Maintenance Tips

Fall is upon us and that means it’s time to prep your home for cooler temperatures and winter weather like snow and ice.  HomeAdvisor’s website offers the following fall home maintenance tips:

  • Clean gutters and downspouts to prevent build-up of leaves and debris.  
  • Ensure that water drains properly and does not pool.  The pooling water can cause damage to foundations, driveways and walkways.  
  • Check seals of windows and doors to prevent drafts and lower home heating costs.
  • Replace the filter in your furnace.
  • Have a professional inspect your heating system.
  • Ensure that your pipes are well insulated to prevent them from freezing and bursting.
  • Know where your water shut-off valve is in case the pipes do freeze.
  • Have a professional inspect and clean your chimney to prevent dangerous chimney fires.
  • Trim any tree limbs that are close to power lines or the roof of your house.  Heavy snow and ice can cause damage to your home.

We hope you find these tips useful and have a great fall!

Cooking Safely in the Kitchen

Cooking Safely in the Kitchen

By Safety & Maintenance Tips

Fire prevention is on our minds this month as October is Fire Prevention Month.  According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), based on 2010-2014 annual averages, unattended cooking is the leading factor in home cooking fires.  The USFA offers the following ways you can prevent cooking fires in your home:

  • Stand by your pan:  If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off.
  • Watch what you are cooking:  Fires start when the heat is too high.  If you see any smoke or the grease starts to boil, turn the burner off.
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove:  In doing so, no one can bump them or pull handles over the stove top.
  • Keep a pan lid or baking sheet nearby:  Use it to cover the pan if it catches on fire.  This action will put out the fire.
  • Wear short sleeves or roll your sleeves up.

We hope you stay safe in the kitchen and prevent a devastating cooking fire.  

October is Crime Prevention Month

October is Crime Prevention Month

By Safety & Maintenance Tips

October is Crime Prevention Month and in this blog post we will discuss ways to secure your home and deter theft.  

  • Use an alarm system.  Not only is it a deterrent to thieves, but many systems alert local law enforcement in the event of a break-in.  
  • Install motion sensors.  These lights can deter thieves because they will not want to be seen.  
  • Keep a clean yard.  Overgrown bushes and trees can be perfect hiding spots for thieves.  
  • Change your locks.  Have you recently moved into a new home?  Change the locks on all exterior doors.  
  • Keep doors and windows locked.  This simple task can make it more difficult for intruders to break-in to your home.  
  • Don’t advertise an absence.  If you are going out of town, don’t publicize it on your social media accounts.  Ask a neighbor to pick up any mail or newspapers in your driveway. Lastly, adding timers to lights can be helpful to make it appear you are home in the evenings.  

If you do have a theft, know that you have protection to recover you from the loss with your homeowners insurance.  Have a question about your policy? Contact your agent today!

Source:  https://www.propertycasualty360.com/2019/10/02/crime-prevention-month-home-security-tips/

 

5 Ways to Reduce Fire Hazards

5 Ways to Reduce Fire Hazards

By Safety & Maintenance Tips

Home fires can happen at any time of year.  Here are five ways to reduce fire hazards in your home:

  1. When cooking on the stove, stay in the kitchen.  Do not leave the kitchen or if you do leave the kitchen, turn off the stove.  According to the NFPA, unattended cooking was the leading cause of cooking fires and casualties.  
  2. Clean your outdoor grill.  According to the NFPA, the grill had not been cleaned in roughly one-quarter of the fires.  
  3. Replace frayed wires, untangle electrical cords and never plug a power strip into another power strip.  
  4. Heating season will be coming this fall.  Remember the three foot rule when you use space heaters — keep combustible objects at least 3 feet away from them.  
  5. Clean your chimney.  According to the NFPA, the leading factor contributing to home heating fires (27%) was failure to clean, principally from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.  

We wish each of our readers a safe, fire-free fall.  For more ways to reduce fire hazards in your home, go this NFPA website:  https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Top-fire-causes