It’s the most wonderful time of the year… to take the time to get your home ready as the temperatures start dropping and we anticipate harsher weather. Taking steps now to protect your home and belongings can help you enter the new season worry-free, and you might save money in the process. Clean your furnace and switch out filters. Check your furnace for soot, ignition problems, pilot-light health, and the state of its components to make your home ready for fall. You should also clean up dust and dirt, and if you see anything that could spell trouble, call for an inspection. This is also a great time to switch out your filters as you’ll probably be using your heater, which draws air from the outside. You may also need to winterize your outdoor air conditioner unit, depending on the type of system you have. This usually involves cleaning your coils and covering the unit to protect it from the elements. Check your insulation. Fix insulation issues before the cold weather arrives. You’ll need to climb up into your attic or down into your crawlspace during daylight hours, which is the best time to spot any rays of light in the corners. You should be getting light only from attic vents. If you see light in a corner, it could mean you have cracks somewhere or you need to replace some of your insulation. You should also inspect your ducts. Have a family member or friend shine a light into your ducts while you watch from the crawlspace to see if any light comes through, which would mean you may have a crack in your vent. Those cracks mean that precious hot air is leaking, which will cost you money. Tend to your fireplace. Clean out your fireplace, check your chimney for blockages and make sure that your damper is working smoothly. If your chimney is coated in soot, you need to have it cleaned to prevent fires. For gas fireplaces, vacuum out any dust and check that the pilot light is properly turned on. Prepare your outdoor furniture. Wash your outdoor furniture and bring in any sensitive cushions or fabrics. This is true even for durable outdoor padding, as it can develop mold over wet seasons. Insulate pipes. When temperatures drop below freezing, standing water in your pipes can start to freeze. This can ruin valves and even crack brittle pipes, leading to leaks and water damage. If your pipes aren’t protected or you have installed new plumbing, you can get your home ready for the cold by insulating your pipes. This can be done with simple foam sleeves. Inspect screens and windows. Check your window screens to make sure they aren’t bent and don’t have holes. Insects can enter your home through spaces in faulty screens. While you’re at it, check your window weatherstripping to make sure the felt is intact and not letting any drafts through. Clean your rain gutters and downspouts. Climb a ladder with a garden hose and flush out your rain gutters to remove natural debris like twigs and leaves. After flushing them, don a pair of gloves because you will likely have to dig in there with your hands to get the rest of the debris out. While you’re doing that, check the gutters for damage, and repair as needed.
With school back in session and most institutions open for in-person classes, traffic may be congested outside schools early in the day and later in the afternoon as parents drop off and pick up their kids. As you drive past schools, use extra caution and pay attention to school zone traffic limits: when children are present, it’s time to slow down. Here is a refresher on driving safety in school zones: Don’t block the crosswalk. This can happen if you're caught at a red light or if you are making a turn, putting students in potential harm’s way from other traffic as they walk around your vehicle. Yield to pedestrians. When you’re in a school zone, yield to pedestrians - and keep a careful eye out for jaywalkers. Stop for crossing guards. Always drive slowly near the crosswalks so you can be prepared to stop quickly. Watch out for children. Before and after school, these zones are often buzzing with activity. Be on the lookout for kids on bicycles, and beware of kids unpredictably dashing out into the road. Don’t pass stopped cars. If the vehicle in front of you has stopped for pedestrians, do not pass. Additionally, school buses have two types of lights to be aware of: Flashing yellow lights: This means the bus is preparing to stop to unload or load children. On two- or four-lane roads without a median, cars on both sides should prepare to stop. Flashing red lights: These are usually accompanied by an arm with a small "Stop" sign that extends from the side of the bus. This means that children are in the process of boarding or leaving the bus, and some may need to cross the street. All drivers must stop and wait until the lights stop flashing, the extended arm retracts, and the bus starts moving again. Give the bus a wide berth. School buses are large vehicles and are not as maneuverable as smaller vehicles. Give them space to stop and make turns. Remember that school buses are required to stop at railroad crossings before proceeding. If you are a parent or guardian who drops off and picks up a child at school, you will have an added dimension of risk. To avoid hitting another vehicle or child, here are some tips: Get acquainted with the school’s rules for dropping off and picking up kids. Don’t double park. Don’t load or drop off your child across the street from the school. Consider organizing a carpool with a neighbor who has children attending your child’s school. Drive extra slowly and be on the lookout for running kids, particularly if you are unloading yours in a school driveway.
The Importance of Training Employees from the Start
For all new hires and those given new job assignments, OSHA requires employers to provide training. This includes whenever new substances, processes, procedures or equipment are introduced to the workplace and represent a new hazard or previously unrecognized hazard.
Insurance carriers are also offering “simplified issue” policies, including life insurance that does not require an exam. That may be convenient, but it may not be a great deal for you - especially if you have less-than-perfect health.
Builders Risk and Umbrella Insurance Pricing Climbing Fast
Insurance rates are rising rapidly for contractors, especially for Builders Risk and Excess Liability policies as the cost of claims continues to increase dramatically. Pricing for excess liability and umbrella coverage have, in some cases, doubled from the year prior.
An umbrella policy, often referred to as excess liability coverage, kicks in when the underlying limits on your homeowner’s or auto insurance policies have been exhausted, or if you are sued personally for something that neither your homeowner’s nor your auto insurance covers.
One of the most unpleasant accidents for a motorist is hitting a deer or other animal. Additionally, if you live in or are ever driving through a rural area, there is always a chance of stray livestock wandering onto the roadway. As deer and livestock are fairly large, the damage to the vehicle can be substantial.
Signs Your Child May Need More Support During the Pandemic
While the COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful for everyone, many children and teens are having an especially difficult time. They're struggling to deal with the lack of activities and social interaction, especially if they are attending school online. Depression has skyrocketed as a result of isolation, lost jobs, and/or the illnesses or deaths of family members who have contracted the coronavirus.
Thousands of Americans are blinded each year by work-related eye injuries that could have been prevented with the proper selection and use of eye and face protection. Eye injuries alone cost more than $300 million per year in lost production time, medical expenses, and worker compensation.
COVID-19 has changed a lot about society, with many people working from home, wearing masks in public and socially distancing from others. A recent government study also indicates that the pandemic has also made us worse drivers.
While pet insurance may not seem like a needed investment, many pet owners are reconsidering its importance. In some cases, pet owners are better off setting up their own savings accounts for vet expenses, but there are also many people who may benefit from buying this type of insurance.
How to Reduce the Risk of Theft and Vandalism at Your Business
Burglary, robbery, and vandalism can be particularly devastating to small businesses in terms of financial loss and customer and employee safety. Merchandise and equipment could be damaged or stolen, and employees and customers could be in mortal danger if your facility is robbed.
Life Insurance provides peace of mind that our loved ones will be protected from financial loss after we die. But the need for this protection changes throughout our lives. What was important when the kids were young is less important when they’ve grown up and moved out on their own. Marriage and business ventures also begin and end, and the importance of life insurance in financial plans changes with them.
With the holiday season rolling around again, so are holiday safety considerations. From holiday parties and risk of electrical shock to fires and trips and falls, companies have a set of safety and risk management challenges that may not be present during the rest of the year. Decorating and decorations present their own specific safety challenges. Here are some things to be aware of when decking your office’s halls.
Home-Based Business Not Covered by Homeowner’s Policy
With many working from home or having been laid off due to the pandemic, you may be planning to start a home-based business. But will your homeowners policy cover the risks of a home-based business? In most cases, the answer is no.
Now that the weather’s cooling down, if you own a boat you have likely pulled it out of the water and parked it at home or in some other dry dock. Just like you, we’re already looking forward to next year when it’s time to get back on the boat. For now, it’s important to make sure to keep your boat primed and protected by properly preparing for fall and winter.
Does it seem that whenever you are trying to save money, a big, unexpected expense pops up? Many people feel the same way. One way to prevent this feeling is by creating a budget, looking carefully at your current expenditures and itemizing your expenses to help you focus on how to get the most out of your paychecks.
For many people, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought up concerns for those with dependents just what would happen to their loved ones if something were to happen. As a result, there’s been a growing interest in estate planning in order to secure the futures of our loved ones should we pass.
What Every Parent Should Know About Teen Drivers And Car Insurance
Behind every teenage driver is, as every parent knows, an expensive insurance policy. This is because many insurers consider anyone under the age of 25 a risk. Here are some tips to help keep your driver safe and your insurance costs down.
A fact that many people often overlook is that getting insurance isn’t a one-and-done thing. For example, the policy you purchased when you had sparse furnishings after buying your home is no longer going to fit once you’ve outfitted your home with nice furniture and appliances.
Nearly 100,000 people each year have their identity stolen, according to Federal Trade Commission statistics. Just one bank slip or piece of mail can lead to having your credit destroyed by an identity thief. Here are 5 ways you can help protect your personal information.
Traditionally, insurance companies have considered a driver’s history when calculating auto insurance premiums, basing prices on factors such as age and record of accidents and traffic tickets. Usage-based insurance or “pay as you drive” and “mile-based insurance,” is gaining traction.