Winter Car Prep

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(Photo courtesy StockVault.net)

Winter Car Prep

We don’t know where you live but winter is here in the Midwest. Some areas are reporting massive amounts of snow and that means it’s time to make sure your vehicle is prepared. We found an article from the NHTSA with tips not only for being safe on the road, but it also offers tips on how to prepare your vehicle for winter:

– Check the Battery. Make sure your battery is charging properly. Check the belts & cables to ensure they are working properly. Replace as necessary.

– Check those Lights. Make sure your headlights, taillights, turn signals, parking lights, & interior lights are in good working order.

– Check the Coolant. Make sure your coolant system is in good working order with no leaks. The coolant should be replaced according to the schedule in your owners manual. Be sure to use the right coolant mix for your vehicle & climate.

– Check the Windshield. Make sure your windshield is free of cracks/chips and replace as necessary. Check the front & rear defrosters to make sure they are in working order. Use de-icing windshield fluid and replace the wiper blades if they look worn/damaged/cracked.

– Check the Tires. Make sure the tread on your tires is within the guidelines in your owners manual and replace them if the tread is worn or damaged. Maintain proper tire pressure, going by your owners manual or the sticker on the door frame – DO NOT go by the pressure indicated on the tire itself!

 

Be sure to read the whole article from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for more tips on preparing your vehicle for winter!

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

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Halloween Pet Safety Tips

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Halloween Pet Safety Tips

 

Many people think about their child’s and other childrens’ safety when it comes to celebrating Halloween, but how many think of their pets? This week we shared some tips from an article at PetMD to help keep your pets safe during the Halloween holiday celebration.

– Keep Candy Out of Reach of Your Pet. Chocolate and candies containing xylitol can be deadly to your pet. Keep candy in sealable containers rather than the trick-or-treat bags.

– Keep Your Pet Indoors on Halloween. Leaving your pet outside during the holiday could allow the pet to be taunted/abused/killed or could cause the pet stress and they could react negatively. Be smart, keep them indoors.

– Keep Your Pet Secluded Indoors. Just as with the Fourth of July holiday, you want to minimize your pet’s exposure to loud sounds and lights. Put them in a back room with the lights turned down and soothing music to keep them calm.

– Keep the Glow Sticks Out of Reach. Even though most glow sticks are non-toxic, the taste of the material may make your pet ill or stress them out with the glow stains on their paws/face. Get them to drink water or a small meal to help get the taste out of their mouth.

– Keep the Display Vegetation Out of Reach. Pumpkins, gourds, & uncooked corn could cause intestinal issues for your pet if ingested in large pieces. They can also develop mold growth that could be toxic to them.

Be sure to check out the full article from Pet MD for the rest of these wonderful tips to keep your pets safe on the Halloween holiday.

 

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

 

 

 

 

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Covered Causes

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Fall Fire Safety Tips

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Fall Fire Safety Tips

October is National Fire Prevention Month, which makes sense because the nights are getting cooler and many will be turning on their furnaces or using their wood stove/fireplace for the first time of the season. We found tips from the Madisonville Fire Department’s website for keeping you, your loved ones, & your property safe:

– Inspect Furnace/Fireplace/Wood Stove. We mentioned this on a previous podcast, but it’s still good information to refresh your memory. Have your furnace/fireplace/wood stove inspected each year before you turn it on. This is to ensure that there are no dangers present. Make sure you use a certified/qualified person to do the inspection.

– Use Space Heaters Sparingly. Space heaters should not be the only source of heat in the house. If you use space heaters as supplemental heat, be sure to inspect them for any damage to the unit or electrical cord before use. Keep an area of 3-4ft clear around the heater & never allow the heater to remain on when you go to bed or leave the house.

– Leaf Burning Safety. Check with your local authorities for information on burning leaves in your area. Never leave a pile of burning leaves alone & keep a fire extinguisher or other means to snuff out the fire nearby.

– Check Those Detectors. Check the batteries in your smoke detectors & carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are fully-charged and in good working order. Vacuum & clean as necessary, dust/dirt build up can affect the performance of the detector.

 

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

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Preparing Your Fireplace

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(Photo courtesy StockVault.net)

 

Preparing Your Fireplace

Well, the temperatures are starting to dip during the night. Fall is officially upon us, despite the roller-coaster daytime temperatures. Time to start pulling out those wool blankets, long-sleeve shirts, & of course getting your fireplace ready for the upcoming season! We found this article from the DIY Network with tips on maintaining your fireplace. Be sure to click-through to the full article and read all the tips!:

– Safety First. Make sure you have smoke alarms & carbon monoxide detectors and that they are in good working order.

– Keep Clear. Make sure that all combustible materials are clear of the fireplace while it is burning. Also be sure there is nothing combustible within 12 inches of lintel (metal plate over fireplace).

– Inspect It. Sweep & inspect the chimney/fireplace every year before you start using it. Creosote buildup, cracked bricks, or other hazards could be dangerous if not taken care of.

– Season It. Use only “seasoned wood” and not green wood for burning. “Seasoned wood” is dried for at least 6-12 months and has a moisture content of 20% or less. Green wood doesn’t burn completely and attributes to more creosote & soot buildup.

 

Be sure to check out the full article from the DIY Network for more tips on maintaining/preparing your fireplace for the upcoming season!

 

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

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Winterizing Your Summer Home

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(Photo courtesy StockVault.net)

 

Winterizing Your Summer Home

The end of summer is here, temperatures are starting to drop as well as the leaves on the trees. Time to prepare your summer home/cottage for winter and we found this article from Bob Vila with tips on winterizing:

– Evaluate. Check the property, the foundation/siding for cracks or damage. Inspect the interior for signs of damage or potential hazards and take care of them before they spread or become a larger issue.

– Clean the Gutters. Often overlooked, keeping the gutters clear of debris will help with potential ice dams in the winter and snowmelt come spring.

– Inspect the Roof. Check for damage/missing shingles, dark or discolored areas, “soft” spots. Make repairs as necessary.

– Turn off Gas & Electricity. Turn power off at the main panel, leaving circuits for your alarm system engaged. Unplug all appliances to avoid problems in case of lightning. Gas should be shut off at the main pipe, but to be safer call the gas company to suspend service for the winter.

Be sure to go to Bob Vila’s website to read more tips on preparing your summer home for winter.

 

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

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Pet Travel Tips

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(Photo Courtesy StockVault.net)

Pet Travel Tips

Travel season is not yet over with summer gone & some will be taking their beloved pets with them. We found this post from the ASPCA with tips not only for road travel, but also for airline/train/bus/boat travel as well. Be sure to click-through and read all the tips!:

– Prepare your Pet. If you will be driving a long distance, train your pet beforehand by taking several shorter trips – each time increasing the time/distance so your pet gets used to its environment. If traveling across state lines, you may have to have proof of vaccinations so be sure your pet is up-to-date.

– Keep Your Pet Secured. Use a proper-size crate for your pet. They should be able to stand/sit/lie/turn around in it. Make sure to secure the crate to keep it from banging around if you stop suddenly. If foregoing the crate, your pet should be harnessed to the safety belt in the back seat and not allowed to roam around.

– Direct Flights. If at all possible, try to get a direct flight when flying to minimize the chance for your pet to be stuck on the tarmac in extreme temperatures or mishandling from baggage personnel.

– Properly Identify. Make sure the flight-approved crate is clearly marked “LIVE ANIMAL” with both your pet’s information (including a photo) and your information in case your pet escapes. Keep a photo of your pet with you for the same reason.

– Let Employees Know. Let every airline employee you encounter both on the ground and in the air that you have a pet in the cargo hold so they can be ready for any additional considerations/issues arise during the flight. If you are concerned for your pet, see if they can check on your animal (when feasible).

Traveling can be exhausting for humans and even more so for pets. Be sure to check out the full article from the ASPCA with more tips to help you when traveling with your pet!

 

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

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