Tag Archives: Home Safety

spring safety tips

Spring Safety Tips

The weather is getting warmer,  trees and plants are beginning to bud and bloom, and soon enough spring will have sprung once again. Along with better weather and beauty, spring also brings with it potential safety hazards in and around your home. It’s a good idea to observe the following safety tips and prepare your home and property accordingly for the additional risks of springtime.

Safety Tips for the Great Outdoors

  • Get a battery or crank-operated weather radio for severe spring weather like tornadoes and thunderstorms. The NOAA is still the best source for real-time weather and emergency services updates during natural disasters and storms that are prevalent in the spring.
  • Head inside when you hear thunder or see lightning. Try counting to thirty between the flash of the lightning and the sound of thunder. If you don’t make it to thirty, get to shelter quickly and remain there until at least thirty minutes after the last thunderclap.
  • Never attempt to cross flooded roads or streets on foot or in your vehicle. Even six inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet and sweep you away. If you are in your vehicle and water is rising around you, immediately get out and seek higher ground. Even large cars and trucks can be swept away by as little as two feet of rapidly moving water.
  • Keep a stock of emergency supplies like water, canned and dried food, a can opener, and other necessities handy throughout the spring in case severe storms or flooding knock out power and utilities in your area.

Safety Tips for Inside Your Home

  • Check the batteries in your smoke detectors, and remember to change them out every time Daylight Savings Time changes.
  • Sign up for a PO box at your local Post Office, and send and receive mail there to protect yourself against identity theft.
  • Ensure all your door locks are in good working order, and you should have a deadbolt on all doors with exterior access.
  • Keep shrubs, hedges, and trees trimmed and well maintained to protect sightlines on your property and eliminate places an individual could easily hide when breaking into your home.
  • Don’t leave your garage door open while working in the yard unless you can keep it in your line of sight the entire time.

Safety Tips for Vacation

  • Don’t post plans about departure and return publicly on social media before you leave, and do not post photos while you are traveling. Disable GPS features on social media apps to prevent your mobile device from advertising the fact that you are away from home, too.
  • Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to check out your home while you are away. Tell them to feel free to park in your driveway, and request that they pick up any flyers or papers that accumulate in your driveway in your absence.
  • Asking the post office to hold your mail deliveries until you return is highly recommended.
  • Turn off your garage door opener.
  • Use timers to mimic a typical lighting pattern for your daily activities inside the house.
  • Make sure your answering machine message on your landline phone does not imply that you are away for any significant amount of time.

Final Thoughts

Following these safety tips is a great way to keep you, your loved ones, and your home safe and secure during the warmer, more active months of spring. Remember to review your homeowners, car, and personal insurance annually to ensure your coverage is sufficient, and consider contacting Northeast Insurance should you require additional insurance. Let us help you protect your home and family during the spring and throughout the rest of the year.

4 Tips to Avoid Water Damage in Your Home

Flood DamageAs the weather gets warmer and the trees begin to flower, those of us who live in temperate climates know that spring is finally among us. However, with all of the benefits that come with the season, such as warmer weather, there are also drawbacks; especially the spring showers. Although this may provide much-needed water for your lawns and gardens, excessive rain that falls in April can cause significant water damage to your home if you don’t take the proper precautions. To prevent this from happening, here are several tips on ways you can prevent water damage to your home:

  1. Fix leaks.

This may seem obvious, but a surprising amount of people don’t know how to act in the situation that a leak appears in their roof or other areas of their home. Many simply believe that they can place a bucket under it to collect the water and that you can work on fixing it once the rains stop. However, if you have a leak, you must act immediately to fix it, as the longer water continues to seep through it, the larger it will get – until finally, you may experience flooding.

  1. Protect your roof.

Take measures to protect your roof in the event of heavy rains, such as by placing a tarp over certain sections that you believe to be weaker and more prone to leakage. You can also invest in a rubber roof underlayment, which will serve to block water advancing into your home if it gets past the shingles that cover your roof.

  1. Clear gutters.

One of the greatest causes of flooding and water damage is gutter buildup. your home’s gutters are built to allow rainwater to flow through and escape out onto the ground rather than collecting on your roof. However, if your gutters are clogged with leaves, dirt and other debris, the water will not be able to get through, and will instead percolate in the shallowest areas of your roof. This encourages leaking and, eventually, water damage.

  1. Get insured.

You can’t always prevent floods from happening, even if you take the time and effort to insulate your roof or clear out your gutters. That’s why you should always purchase flood insurance if you live in a flood-prone area; that way, you know that you have a backup plan if your flood prevention measures fail.

If you do not currently have insurance to protect your home from flood damage, now is the time to inquire! Prevent major headaches down the road ask about our coverage options for your home by clicking here.

Spring-Cleaning: 11 ‘To-Do’ Tasks We Sometimes Forget.

Spring CleaningSpring weather is starting to peak out! This means it’s time to get the yard in shape, cook on the grill, and spend quality time outside with family and friends. It is also the time of year to start from the ground up and get the house in order. With so many things to do, it’s no wonder we can often overlook important tasks to put on our spring-cleaning list. Here is a list of 11 chores that may slip your mind when making up that spring to-do list:

  1. Gather Unwanted Items

    The first step is to get rid of clutter around the house. Collect and separate unwanted items to either donate or throw away. Keep in mind that donating items to organizations such as Goodwill can be tax deductible if you obtain a receipt.

  2. Dust From Top to Bottom

    Begin your cleaning tasks by dusting absolutely everything. From the ceiling fans to entertainment centers and all flat surfaces, dusting first will ensure that no excess dust will fall onto areas you have already cleaned.

  3. Wipe Down the Walls

    Use a damp cloth with a mild cleanser to wipe down all painted walls and remove dust, dirt, handprints, etc.

  4. Wash All Linens

    Bed sheets, comforters, pillowcases, mattress pads and even cushion covers on couches should be washed and sanitized to remove built up germs and bacteria.

  5. Clean the Blinds and Curtains

    Washing windows is easy to remember, but blinds and curtains are often overlooked. Use a cleansing cloth to wipe blinds; Check to see if the fabric of your curtains is washing machine friendly and wash accordingly.

  6. Clean and Disinfect Trash Cans

    Use a hose (preferably outdoors to prevent a wet mess) and a disinfectant soap to wash the interior of your trash cans to eliminate odors that can accumulate and linger over time.

  7. Shake and Beat Rugs

    Shake your rugs outside and then wash with a scrub brush and stain remover appropriate for rugs and carpets. Hang them on a clothesline or banister to get a fresh, clean scent.

  8. Clean Out the Fridge

    Remove all expired food. Wipe down all interior shelves and storage bins with a sanitizer that is safe for the fridge. Insert a new and full box of baking soda to keep food odors to a minimum.

  9. Replace Batteries

    This task should be conducted YEAR-ROUND. Replace all of your fire and carbon monoxide alarms with fresh batteries and test them every month.

  10. Organize Documents

    All important documents should have a designated filing area. Any files or documents that are no longer necessary to keep must be shredded to prevent someone from obtaining your personal information.

  11. NEVER Mix Cleansers

    Combining cleaning substances doesn’t make them more effective, it can actually make them more dangerous! Mixing cleansers without proper knowledge of their contents could result in combustion or even illness.

We all have our “laundry list” of tasks that we automatically prepare for every spring season, but we hope that the list above has helped you think a little outside of the box. These are just a few suggestions for ways to freshen up your living space as warmer weather is finally among us. For additional information on healthy living, insurance inquiries, everyday safety and much more, check out our Facebook Page!

The Silent Killer: 5 Ways to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

In small doses, carbon monoxide is a normal part of the Earth’s regular ecosystem. In large quantities, however, it is a deadly, nearly undetectable killer.

Carbon MonoxideThe gas, which consists of one carbon atom and one oxygen atom per molecule, is tasteless, odorless, and totally colorless. Without the proper technology, it’s almost entirely invisible to the human senses. When introduced into a person’s bloodstream, it blocks red blood cells from delivering oxygen to the body. Carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to nausea, dizziness, fainting, and death.

To protect yourself and your loved ones from potential carbon monoxide poisoning, consider these tips.

1. Use Carbon Monoxide Detectors

It’s not enough to just own carbon monoxide detectors (something required by many state laws), it’s important to have enough of them and to keep them working properly. Install them on every floor with a preference towards bedrooms and other rooms where you and others may congregate.

Check the manufacturer’s advice to see how often you should replace the detector’s battery.

2. Understand Carbon Monoxide Risks

Carbon monoxide primarily comes from fuel-burning sources like fireplaces, furnaces, vehicles, and gas appliances. If installed and maintained properly, they should have the ventilation to divert the carbon monoxide output. Monitor these devices as you would your carbon monoxide detectors.

Keep aware of the previously mentioned carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms: dizziness, headache, nausea, etc. Reacting quickly to them may protect you from further illness.

3. Keep Vents Clear

Carbon monoxide-related deaths happen most often during winter months; debris caused by storms—particularly snow—may sometimes block the ventilation of fuel-burning sources and cause carbon monoxide to route back into your home. Whenever you weather a storm, check your home’s perimeter to make sure no snow, trees, or other items are blocking your vents.

4. Don’t Run Engines in Closed Area

Not all fuel-burning sources are stationary and plugged into proper ventilation at all times. Some carbon monoxide producers, like grills, vehicles, and generators, are mobile and may not always have the right ventilation.

Avoid using these items over a long period of time in spaces like garages or basements. Even those with open doors may find carbon monoxide build up in the center of the structure.

5. Seek Professional Help

If safety’s a top priority (which it should always be), seek the advice of professionals. Have your carbon monoxide detectors professionally installed and invite a home inspector to also check out your fuel-burning sources to make sure they are properly ventilated. Having a second opinion can bring peace of mind and long-term health benefits.

Northeast Insurance Agency not only wants your homeowners’ insurance to be affordable but also for your home to be as safe as possible for you and your loved ones! Check out our Facebook Page for additional safety tips, updated insurance information, and much more!