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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!

Categories: Uncategorized

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!

Categories: Uncategorized

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!

Categories: Uncategorized

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!

Categories: Uncategorized

Pool Closing Tips

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(Photo courtesy of StockVault.net)

 

Pool Closing Tips

Well, school is in session for pretty much all of the country. The night temperatures are starting to fall below 60 degrees. The cool breezes of fall are getting closer. It’s time to start putting away the summer toys and prepare for the coming winter. Today we share an article from Leslie Pools with tips on closing your swimming pool for the season:

– Start closing the pool a week prior. Use the recommended winterizing chemicals for your pool when the night temperatures begin to dip below 65 degrees. Any earlier and you risk bacterial/algae growth.

– Clean the pool of debris. Vacuum your pool and scrub down the walls to eliminate leaves & other debris. This will save time when it comes to opening the pool next year.

– Adjust your water level. If you’re in an area that freezes, then pull out enough water to fall below the skimmer or tile line. If not, fill the pool to almost overflowing.

– Check the pool chemistry. Make sure the alkalinity & PH is balanced. Check your owner’s manual or talk to your local pool supply store for the proper ranges for your pool.

– Add chlorine & shock the pool. Shock/chlorinate your pool at least a few days before, at the very least the night before you cover the pool.

 

Be sure to check out the full article from Leslie Pools for additional tips on closing your swimming pool for the 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!

Categories: Uncategorized

Labor Day Safety Tips

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(Photo courtesy StockVault.net)

Labor Day Safety Tips

Labor Day is upon us, a time to round out the summer with a weekend of fun & relaxation. This week we share some tips from Safewise, be sure to click through to read all the tips!

1) Be Safe on the Road. According to the NSC, over 400 deaths are the result of motor vehicle accidents over the Labor Day weekend. Plan ahead, get plenty of rest, make sure everything is mechanically-sound, & don’t forget your emergency kit!

2) Watch Those Fireworks. The NSC also reports that tweens/teens are more likely to be injured by fireworks than other age groups. Check out our post on fireworks from July for firework safety tips.

3) Party Responsibly. Alcohol & cookouts often go hand-in-hand, so be careful about consumption. Give yourself and limit and stick to it. Drink a glass or bottle of water in between alcoholic drinks in order to stay hydrated.

4) Grill Carefully. Food poisoning is increased when it comes to cookouts/picnics/barbeques. Be careful of cross-contamination when handling meat, keep salads or other items that need to be cool in a tub or cooler of ice.

Be sure to check out the other tips from Safewise to help make your Labor Day festivities safe and enjoyable!

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!

Categories: Uncategorized