Archives: December 2023

Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

With the holiday season approaching, I know many of us are starting to think about decorating our homes. This is often a fun experience for family members of all ages, but I do want to urge caution, as decoration-related injuries are unfortunately fairly common.

The good news is that you can reduce the risk of injury and stay focused on the true joys of the season by taking precautions and keeping safety considerations top of mind. Here are a few such hazards to consider: 

  • According to the National Fire Protection Associationone-third of home decoration fires are caused by candles, and two out of every five decoration fires result from placing decorations too close to heat sources. As you decorate, be sure to keep candles away from anything flammable and out of reach from children. It’s also a good idea to double-check that smoke alarms and fire extinguishers have fresh batteries and work correctly in case a fire does break out.
  • As you decorate your home, avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations. If you notice lights flickering or dimming or hear a buzzing noise coming from your outlet, you may have overloaded the circuit. It’s best to use surge protectors and power strips to distribute the load safely and regularly check cords and plugs for any signs of wear or damage.
  • A common injury we see during the holidays is people falling off of ladders. When hanging decorations or stringing lights, make sure you have the right sized ladder for the job and avoid getting on a ladder if you’ve been drinking. A safety “rule of thumb” is to make sure to always maintain three points of contact while climbing a ladder.
  • If you have young children or pets, consider their safety when selecting decorations. Opt for non-breakable and child/pet-friendly decorations to prevent accidents and potential injuries. Be mindful of anything that could be a choking hazard or, worse, poisonous.

I hope these are helpful for you as you start to prepare your home for the holidays. As always, if you have any questions or need anything during the holidays, I’m just a call away. Enjoy your holiday season.

Winterizing your Vehicle for Colder Temperatures

With the arrival of winter, I wanted to remind you about the importance of winterizing your vehicle for the upcoming colder months.

As you know, winter weather presents numerous challenges on the road, like icy conditions and reduced visibility. Properly preparing your vehicle can help ensure your safety and minimize the risk of accidents or breakdowns.

Here are a few tips to help you to do just that: 

  • Fill up your tires. As the temperature drops outside, so does the tire inflation pressure. That’s why you should check your tire pressure more regularly in the winter months and ensure each tire is filled to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation (which you can find in your owner’s manual). 
  • Have your battery tested. Cold weather can strain your vehicle’s battery. In fact, when temperatures go below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, car batteries lose 35% of their strength. With that in mind,  it’s crucial to have your battery tested before winter weather or temps hit to ensure it’s in good condition.
  • Replace windshield wipers and washer fluid. Windshield wipers are essential to your safety if you happen to be caught in icy conditions. You may want to consider temporarily installing winter wipers, which can better handle ice or snow. At the minimum, however, replace any worn windshield wipers, and make sure your windshield washer fluid is at appropriate levels.
  • Make an emergency kit for your car. It’s always good to have all the essentials in your vehicle in case of a breakdown or emergency. Supplies you may want to stock your car with include:
    • Ice scraper
    • Jumper cables
    • Flashlight
    • Blanket
    • Cell phone charger

I hope these tips are a helpful safety reminder this winter. You can visit the United States Department of Transportation website for more winter weather driving tips. And if you have questions or concerns about your auto coverage or other insurance needs, don’t hesitate to reach out. 

Stay safe.