Recent News

Fall Driving Tips

Being prepared for fall's inclement weather and hazardous driving challenges is half the battle.

  • Watch your speed: Drive a bit slower when faced with fall driving hazards, especially if you're driving around a school bus. 
  • Keep your distance: Leave a little more space between you and the car in front on rainy or foggy days, during dawn or dusk, and in areas with wet leaves. This will give you more time to react.
  • Stick with low beams: Keep your headlights on low when driving in the fog (and rain). High beams will only cause glare. 
  • Clear frost away from your windows: Frost can reduce visibility and response time on the road.
  • Approach traffic lights carefully: Sun glare can make it harder to see traffic lights change, so approach them with more than the normal care. 
  • Avoid using products that increase gloss: Washing and waxing with these products can magnify the fall's sunny glare and make it hard to see.
  • Clean your windshield, inside and out: When your windshield's illuminated by sunlight, dust particles, streaks, and smudges become magnified, making it hard to see the road.
  • Watch for wildlife: especially in the early morning and evening hours. 
  • Check your tire pressure: Since fall weather rapidly changes from warm to cold, your tires will often expand and contract. This can lead to a loss of pressure.

Knowing what to look for and using these tips can help you avoid weather-related car accidents in the fall. 

The Ultimate 8 Fall Maintenance Tips

With spring cleaning far behind, and summer fun all but over, it’s time to start fall home maintenance.  Fall is the perfect time to perform important maintenance to your home so you’re not caught in the middle of winter with a drafty house or a malfunctioning heater.  We’ve compiled the top eight fall home maintenance tips, along with what you can do to ensure your home stays warm and comfortable this winter.

 

1.  Heating System

If you have a furnace you need to take some basic care:  Change the filter, check the blower belt, and oil the blower motor; inspect all electrical components and controls; ensure that the exhaust flue to the outside is clear of obstructions and in good condition from the furnace to the roof cap with all connections securely fastened; and finally, remove all flammable objects from around your furnace and water heater

2. Chimney and Fireplace

Chimneys and fireplaces cause some of the most expensive damage to homes. Build-up from creosote can easily ignite, causing a devastating fire. If you are unfamiliar with inspecting a chimney, it may be worth calling in a chimney sweep, which is usually quite affordable. Make sure to leave your flu closed when not in use, and always have a fireplace screen in front of open flames to protect your home from wayward sparks.

3. Windows

Windows may be a continual source of frustration for homeowners. There are many seal repair kits available at local hardware stores. Walk around the interior windows, placing your hand near the seal. Check for any breezes flowing through. Do the same process for doors. When you find one, mark it with a sticker or other indicator so you can tally how many repair kits you need. If a window is improperly sized, cracked, or broken, it needs to be replaced.

For doors, you can purchase draft preventers and other seal kits to improve the seal. Every 1/8 of an inch can lower a room a whole degree, so it can really pay off to have updated, well-sealed doors and windows. 

4. Smoke Detectors, Fire Extinguishers, and First Aid Kits

Every six months, replace batteries in all the detectors in your home. Check the expiration dates on your first aid kit and fire extinguisher, and that each is up to date and in a convenient place. If you don’t have a fire escape route, this is a good time to draft one.

5. Indoor Pipes

Winterizing pipes is one of the easiest, most valuable ways to protect your home over the winter. Most home repair stores carry fitted insulation that can easily wrap around any size pipe. If you can’t afford to do every pipe in your home, give priority to the pipes that are closest to the outdoors, or most likely to freeze. It’s also a good idea to shut off water to any area that won’t be used, and to check pipes for leaks or cracks that may grow larger with the varying temperatures of fall.

6. Yard Maintenance

Fall leaves may be beautiful, but these can slowly rot, causing huge backup and damage in gutters. This backup will cause water to spill over the gutter and into your yard and walking areas, which can cause damage to your home and make walking conditions dangerous. Disconnect all garden hoses, and store them coiled and flat in a cool, dry place. If possible, turn of water to all outside faucets and drain them to protect the outside pipes from damage. Also, store any outdoor furniture that may become damaged from snow or ice.

7. Roof Inspection

A roof inspection may seem overkill, but harsh winter winds and heavy snow can take a toll on your home. It may be a good idea go up to your rooftop to check for any broken tiles or cracks. It’s important to take care of any damage now to avoid repairs during the cold winter months.

8. Stock Up on Winter Supplies for Your Home

Before prices on winter gear soars, stock up on winter items such as snow shovels, firewood, or sidewalk salt. It’s better to have the supplies now than to have to run to the store during a snowstorm!

These fall home maintenance tips are quick, easy, and affordable. It might be a good idea to brush up on home repair insurance coverage as you’re making improvements and renovations. As the adage says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure - especially when it comes to home repairs.

Source:  Trusted Choice

Disaster Preparedness

With National Preparedness month wrapping up, it's a good time, in light of the hurricanes and storms, to remind you to prepare.  One project to consider is a Family Communication Plan.

Family Communication Plan

Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area.  Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

FEMA has prepared four steps to create your plan and test it.

To find out what you need to know click on Make a Plan .

Child Passenger Safety - September 17-23rd

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old, according to the National Passenger Safety Board.  Many deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts.

One item that might not be used by caregivers and parents is the tether.  The tether connects the top of a forward-facing car seat to the vehicle. It helps to prevent serious head and neck injury.

Click here to down load "How to Use a Car Seat Tether" to add another layer of car seat protection for your children.

Labor Day

We want to take the opportunity to celebrate Labor Day by dedicating our prayers and resources to the people in Texas as they deal with the devastation from Hurricane Harvey. 

To assist in the recovering efforts and to provide food, water, and shelter, please donate today to the charity of your choice.

Tragedies can bring us all together. Let the fruits of our labors go to the people of Texas letting them know they are not alone.                                                                                      

Thank you.

Back-to-School Safety Checklist

School is starting and is your child ready?  Keeping him/her safe from injury is extremely important.  To assist you, we have provided a Safety Checklist from the National Safety Council which speaks to walking to school, riding a bike to school, riding the bus, and then school safety tips such as back-pack related injuries and preventing playground injuries.

 

Take a moment to download this important document and prepare your child for traveling safely to school.

Solar Eclipse Safety for the 21st

We are set for unique experience on Monday, August 21st --  a total coast-to-coast solar eclipse. During that time, the sun will be blocked for two minutes and create eerie diamond rings of light, weather permitting.  So, if you are watching on tv or seeing it in person, you should be awed. 

If you are planning to view the eclipse in person, here are some safety suggestions: 

Make sure you wear eclipse glasses for eye protection.  Safe solar viewing is ISO 12312-1. 

Experts stress that the only safe way to look directly at the sun, except at the brief phase of totality (in the path of totality), is using a special-purpose solar filter, popularly known as eclipse glasses. Eclipse glasses block more UV rays than everyday sunglasses, protecting your retinas from burning even when you feel no discomfort looking at the sun through shades.

NASA offers the following solar eclipse viewing safety guidelines:

  • Always inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched or damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter.
  • Always supervise children using solar filters.
  • Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the sun.
  • Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.
  • Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury.
  • Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device. Note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics.
  • If you are within the path of totality, remove your solar filter only when the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to look at the remaining partial phases.
  • Outside the path of totality, you must always use a safe solar filter to view the sun directly.
  • If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your eclipse glasses on over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.

Be safe as you enjoy the eclipse - the next one is 2024.

 

 

Safety Items for Back-To-School

You received your list of supplies your child needs to go back to school.  Here are some safety items you might consider adding to your list.  Each is designed to provide immediate ways to protect your child from unwanted attention. 

Here is a video which explains each item in depth.  

Among them: React Mobile's Reach Sidekick, Wear Safe Emergency Buttons, Noise Grenade, Run Lights, and more.

All these items are available on the Internet.

Start school knowing you have provided your child with an immediate way to alert adults of a potentially dangerous situation.

Family Fun Month

August is Family Fun Month and keeping everyone safe while enjoying the outdoors can be challenging.  Here are some safety tips to ensure you have a wonderful experience from the NYSPCC. Practice water, sun, bike, barbecue, and fire safety.  To read the entire article, click here.

Follow these tips and enjoy your family fun.  

Pets & Hot Weather

What can a pet-parent do to prevent heat stroke danger? Be smart and proactive!

  1. When the temperature is high, don’t let your dog linger on hot surfaces like asphalt and cement. Being so close to the ground can heat their body quickly and is also an invitation to burns on sensitive paw pads. Keep walks to a minimum.
  2. Giving your dog a lightweight summer haircut can help prevent overheating, but never shave to the skin, the dog needs one-inch of protection to avoid getting sunburned.
  3. Provide access to fresh water at all times. Make certain an outside dog has access to shade and plenty of cool water.
  4. Restrict exercise when temperatures soar, and do not muzzle the dog because it inhibits their ability to pant.
  5. Many dogs enjoy a swim, splashing in a wading pool, or a run through a sprinkler in warmer weather can help bring body temperatures down.
  6. Never leave your pet in a parked car, not even if you park in the shade or plan to be gone for only a few minutes. The temperature inside of a car can reach oven-like temperatures in just minutes, often in excess of 140 degrees. That quick errand can turn into a disaster and could be fatal for your pet.

Follow these tips for a safe, healthy pet in the summer heat.

Source: DogTime