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Getting Organized Month – Home Inventory Time

By Insurance

January is Getting Organized Month.  Here’s one way to get organized – create a home inventory.  Why? Well, it’s human nature to think “That could never happen to me” and yet when disaster strikes, we want to be as prepared as possible — which is why we have insurance in the first place.

However, many of us tend to overlook the vast amount of things we’ve accumulated over time. Have you packed to go on a trip and then when it was time to pack to return home, suddenly there is too much to fit in your suitcase? From souvenirs and gifts to dirty unfolded clothes, suddenly nothing fits quite like it did before in that suitcase.

Throughout the course of last year, your home, much like your suitcase, has probably collected a few new items and lost a few older ones. Each year it’s important to inventory your belongings to see to it that you are properly insured for the contents that are actually there. No one should ever have to experience being under-insured during a disaster, but on the other hand, you also should not be paying to be over-insured unnecessarily.

By walking through your house, documenting the items you have with a camera or a home inventory app on your phone or tablet, and reviewing your contents with your insurance agent, you can determine the best coverage for you and your home in the New Year.  So, why not take advantage of Get Organized Month and create that home inventory today?

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Home Maintenance Tips for January

By Safety & Maintenance Tips

Hello January.  It may be cold outside, but there are still maintenance items you can take care of around your home in January.  Check out our list:

  • Clear gutters and downspouts.  You probably cleaned your gutters of leaves in the fall, but sometimes those trees hang onto their leaves and drop later – pin oaks are a good example.  Having your gutters and downspouts clear of debris can help prevent ice building up on your roof.
  • Create or update your home inventory.  Taking photos or even videos of each room of your house and also its exterior can help save you time should you have a claim.
  • Insulate any exposed outdoor pipes can help prevent the pipes from freezing.  
  • Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  January is a month where you may be using wood heat fireplaces, so testing your detectors is a good idea this time of year.

We wish all of our clients a great January and hope their 2019 is off to a wonderful start!

Holiday Baking Time

Holiday Baking Time is Here

By Everyday Living

Ahh, December.  This is the month of holiday baking and what fun it is to have that special fresh baked cookie scent throughout your home. Yes, there are candles that try to replicate that bakery smell, but there is nothing like making cookies in your kitchen for the holidays.  

What are your favorite holiday cookies?  Frosted sugar cookies? The peanut butter blossoms with a Hershey Kiss in the middle?  Crescent-shaped cookies shaken in powdered sugar once they are cooled off?

What about other baked goods besides cookies?  Fudge perhaps. Or Oreo Cookie balls? Simple things like dipped pretzels are fun to do as well.  

No matter what you bake (or make) in the kitchen this holiday season, we hope your time is filled with not only that wonderful cookie smell, but also filled with good memories too.  Whether you are baking with loved ones or gifting your holiday baked goods to others, it’s those memories that are such fun to reflect back on this time of year.

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Holiday Decorating Tips

By Safety & Maintenance Tips

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that two of every five decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source.  Heat sources include fireplaces, space heaters, wood burning stoves, etc. The NFPA shares some helpful holiday decorating tips in this PDF that can help prevent a fire:

  • Choose holiday decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.  
  • Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
  • Check your lights.  Some lights are for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.  Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands to connect.
  • Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
  • Keep decorations away from windows and doors.
  • Blow out lit candles when you leave the room or go to bed.  
  • Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.

We hope our clients have a safe holiday season!

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Christmas Tree Safety Tips

By Safety & Maintenance Tips

Christmas trees are everywhere!  According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), one of every four home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.  If you are decking your halls with a Christmas tree this time of year, please take a moment to read these tips from the NFPA about Christmas tree safety:

  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source.
  • Add water to the tree stand and be sure to add water daily.
  • Make sure your home has working smoke alarms and test them at least once a month.
  • Remove the tree after Christmas or when it is dry.

Read more tips from the NFPA here in a PDF.  Are you decorating a Christmas tree in your home?  We hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday season!