6 STEP STORM PLAN

READY, SET, STORM!
12 Steps to Weather a Hurricane Safely
Part 2: 6 Step Storm PLAN

Hurricanes are violent, dangerous and destructive. Being prepared will help you, your family and/or your business minimize the impact of any storm. As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” SMART HOMEOWNERS have a plan, if you don’t this feature is for you– and if you do, it’s a good review! Read on smart subscribers…

1. When a WATCH is issued

Hurricane expected within 24-36 hours

  • Purchase any emergency supplies that you don’t already have on hand. Hit the stores early, as items such as batteries, candles and flashlights will get snapped up quickly.
  • Prepare your yard by removing all outdoor furniture, lawn items, planters and other materials that could be picked up by high winds. If you haven’t already, remove weak branches on plants and trees. Lower antennas and retractable awnings.
  • Prepare for a potential evacuation by reviewing your evacuation plan and, if you have a pet, your pet’s evacuation plan.
  • Fully charge your cellphone and all mobile devices
  • Fill your car’s gasoline tank.
  • Jot down the name and phone number of your insurer and insurance professional and keep this information handy in your wallet or purse.

2. When a WARNING is issued

Hurricane expected within 24 hours or less

  • Stay informed of the storm’s progress by listening to the radio or TV. Even better, listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
  • Install hurricane shutters, board up or otherwise securely shutter large windows and draw drapes across windows and doors.
  • Get off the boat—never remain on a boat during a hurricane! Check mooring lines of boats in water.
  • Double check your go-bags, add last minute personal and perishable items.

3. When to EVACUATE

Consider leaving early

  • Don’t wait until the last minute—shelters might be full or the roads might be jammed. If you have pets, consider traveling before an evacuation is ordered—otherwise, you might be ordered by officials to leave your pet home.
  • Take along survival supplies from your list.
  • Keep important papers with you at all times, including your home inventory and make sure you have the name and phone number of your insurance professional.
  • Take warm, protective clothing for the whole family in case you get stuck.
  • Lock all windows and doors on your home. Don’t compound hurricane damage with the threat of possible looters.
  • Keep all receipts for anything that might be considered to be an

4. If you SHELTER IN PLACE

Don’t go outdoors!

  • Don’t go out even during the brief calm when the eye of the storm passes over as wind speeds can increase dramatically in seconds.
  • Stay away from windows and glass doors and move furniture away from exposed doors and windows.
  • Stay on the downwind side of house. If your home has an “inside” room, stay there during the height of the hurricane.
  • Keep the television or radio tuned into information from official sources.
Road Closed sign with tree and power lines down after a big storm

5. Recognize POST-STORM HAZARDS

The storm has passed, leaving new dangers in its’ wake

  • Beware of outdoor hazards like loose or fallen tree limbs, loose signage or awnings that are in danger of breaking off and falling.
  • Keep away from loose or dangling power lines, and report them immediately to the proper authority.
  • Walk or drive extra cautiously as washouts may weaken road and bridge structures.
  • In the event of a power outage, throw out food that may be spoiled.
  • Boil municipal water before drinking until you have been told it is safe.

6. DEALING with DAMAGE

Notify us at 401-846-9629 as soon as possible so that we may assist you with the claims process

  • If you had to relocate, let us know where you can be contacted. In addition:
  • Make temporary repairs—if they can be made safely—to protect property from further damage or looting; for insurance purposes, keep all receipts for materials used.
  • Get written estimates for any proposed repair jobs and use only reputable contractors. Be especially careful of building contractors who want huge deposits up front or encourage you to spend a lot of money on temporary repairs. Ask for their references and check with the Better Business Bureau on complaints.
  • Gather any other receipts for expenses that will be covered by insurance or will be tax deductible.

9 Back to School Identity Protection Steps

9 Back to School Identity Protection Steps

As a recent victim of identity theft told us: “All it took was one use of an unsecured WiFi network combined with repeated use of similar passwords to open the door for thieves to gain access to my social security number, email addresses, banking and credit card accounts. Unwinding the damage has been un-nerving, time-consuming and fraught with additional phishing attempts to fend off.”

Identity TheftAs students head back to campus, fighting fraud may not be at the top of their list of priorities. However, college students are very susceptible to identity theft. Don’t let this happen to your family. Review and share these 9 protection steps with your back to school online and college-bound students.

  1. Send sensitive mail to your permanent home or a post office box. School mailboxes are not always secure and often can be accessed easily in a dorm or apartment.
  2. Important documents should be stored away safely. This includes your U.S. Social Security card, passport, and bank and credit card statements. Shred credit card offers and any paper documents that have sensitive financial information before discarding.
  3. Identity TheftNever lend your credit or debit card to anyone. Just say no if your friend wants to borrow your card or asks you to co-sign for a loan or financing for items like a TV. When using an ATM or credit card machine, don’t let anyone ‘shoulder surf’ your personal identification number (PIN).
  4.  Guard your passwords and don’t give them out to anyone. Use strong passwords and don’t use the same password for all sites.
  5.  Watch for phishing. Be vigilant and be careful of clicking on links in emails and texts; verify the content with the website.
  6. Make sure your computer has up-to-date antivirus and spyware software. Always install any updates and patches to your computer’s operating system or browser software, which keep your computer safe from new advances by identity thieves.
  7. Identity Theft ProtectionAlways check your credit or debit card statements closely for any suspicious activity. The sooner you identify any potential fraud, the less you’ll suffer in the long run.
  8. Be careful when shopping online. Check out businesses on BBB.org. Look for the BBB Accredited Business seal; click on the seals to confirm that they are legitimate.
  9. Check your credit report at least once a year. You are entitled to one free report a year from each of the three reporting bureaus: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Look for any suspicious activity or inaccuracies. You can do this for free by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.

6 STEP STORM PREP

READY, SET, STORM!
12 Steps to Weather a Hurricane Safely
Part 1: 6 Step Storm PREP

Hurricanes are violent, dangerous and destructive. Being prepared will help you, your family and/or your business minimize the impact of any storm. As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” SMART HOMEOWNERS have a plan, if you don’t this feature is for you– and if you do, it’s a good review! Read on smart subscribers…

1. Plan EVACUATION ROUTE

While you’ll no doubt get instructions from the local government, it’s wise to create your evacuation plan well before a disaster strikes. This way, you can know ahead of time about the nearest shelters, take your pets into account in your plan, make sure to take important papers and make a trial run.

2. Stock EMERGENCY SUPPLIES

  • Extra batteries
  • Candles or lamps with fuel
  • Matches (keep these dry)
  • Prescription drugs
  • A three-day supply of drinking water
  • Food that you don’t have to refrigerate or cook
  • First aid supplies
  • A portable NOAA weather radio
  • A wrench and other basic tools
  • A flashlight
  • If you need to evacuate, you’ll bring these supplies with you. As expirations dates approach (for example, food or batteries), use the items and replenish your emergency stash.
  • Materials and tools for emergency home repairs–such as heavy plastic sheeting, plywood, a hammer, etc.

3. Make a HOME INVENTORY

Creating a home inventory will help ensure that you have purchased enough insurance to replace your personal possessions. It can also speed the claims process, substantiate losses for income tax purposes and is helpful should you need to apply for disaster aid. In the event you need to evacuate, be sure your home inventory is among the important documents you take with you. Our feature HOME INVENTORY contains step-by-step instructions to simplify this daunting project!

4. Review INSURANCE POLICIES

Our feature 5 FACTORS OF HURRICANE INSURANCE provides information on specific areas of coverage to review. If you own a boat, review your MARINE INSURANCE policy as well. If you are a business owner, review your COMMERCIAL INSURANCE policy. As always, if you have any questions about what your current policy will cover give us a call at 401-846-9629. We’ll help you to understand your options and provide the BEST coverage to meet your needs.

5. PROTECT PROPERTY

Hurricane force winds can turn landscaping materials into missiles that can break windows and doors and much of the property damage associated with hurricanes occurs after the windstorm when rain enters structures through broken windows, doors and openings in the roof. While retrofitting your home to protect against these possibilities is undoubtedly an expense, you can do it in stages.

  • Replace gravel landscaping materials with shredded bark, which is lighter and won’t cause as much harm.
  • Cut weak branches and trees that could fall on your house and keep shrubbery trimmed.
  • Install storm shutters to protect your windows from breakage. Alternately, fit plywood panels to your windows, which can be nailed to window frames when a WARNING is issued.
  • Make sure exterior doors are hurricane proof and have at least three hinges and a deadbolt lock that is at least one-inch long.
  • Sliding glass doors should be made of tempered glass and, during a storm, covered with shutters or plywood. These types of doors are more vulnerable to wind damage than most other doors.
  • Replace old garage doors and tracks with a door that is approved for both wind pressure and impact protection. Wind coming into your home through an opening this large poses grave problems for the rest of your home—especially your roof.
  • Seal outside wall openings such as vents, outdoor electrical outlets, garden hose bibs and locations where cables or pipes go through the wall. Use a high quality urethane-based caulk to prevent water penetration.
  • If you have a boat on a trailer, know how to anchor the trailer to the ground or house.

6. PREPARE BUSINESS

  • Create an emergency business response and continuity plan. In the event of a hurricane this will help your business quickly recover.
  • Keep contact information for employees, suppliers and vendors current so you can check on their wellbeing and communicate next steps for resuming normal business operations.

 

5 FACTORS OF HURRICANE INSURANCE

Cover the Structure

Hurricane1A standard homeowners policy covers the structure of your house for disasters such as hurricanes and windstorms, along with a host of other disasters. It’s important to understand the elements that might affect your insurance payout after a hurricane, and adjust your policies accordingly.

Check your policy limit and make sure the amount is enough to rebuild your home – The cost of rebuilding or extensively repairing a home is dependent on a number of factors—and, remember that the real estate value of a house is not the same as the cost to rebuild. Therefore, it pays to understand in detail what it will cost to rebuild in the event your house is severely damaged or destroyed and make sure your insurance will cover that amount.


Understand Deductibles

Hurricane2Unlike the standard “dollar deductible” on a homeowner’s policy, a hurricane or windstorm deductible is usually expressed as a percentage, generally from 1%- 5% of the insured value of the structure of your home. Like any deductible, a hurricane or windstorm deductible will affect the bottom line of your insurance payout. If you have a high hurricane or windstorm deductible consider putting aside the additional money you may need to rebuild your home.

Check the Declarations (front) page of your Homeowners Policy. A hurricane deductible is applied only to hurricanes, whereas a windstorm deductible applies to any type of wind. If your policy has a hurricane deductible, it will clearly state the specific “trigger” that would cause the deductible to go into effect.


Consider Exclusions

Hurricane3Understand what disasters your insurance policy covers—and those it doesn’t – Standard homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for hurricanes, wind, theft, fire, explosion, lightning strikes and many other disasters. However, all policies also list exclusions, which are events NOT covered by the policy. One common exclusion is flooding. People tend to underestimate this risk, but 90% of all natural disasters—especially hurricanes—include some form of flooding. If you live in a flood zone or a hurricane-prone area, a separate flood insurance policy is a must. Another common exclusion is sewer backups (which is also not covered by flood insurance) Sewer backup insurance is also good to have in hurricane-prone areas.

If you own a co-op apartment or condo – check with your management company and the bylaws to understand what is covered under the building’s master insurance policy versus what damages you need to cover in your own co-op or condo owner’s insurance policy.


Cover Your Stuff

Hurricane4Imagine the cost of repurchasing all of your furniture, clothing and other personal possessions. Whether you have homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance, your policy provides protection against loss or damage due to a hurricane. Homeowners policies provide approximately 50 to 70% of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of your home. If you rent, know that your landlord’s insurance will only cover the structure of your home—you need a renter’s policy to protect your possessions against loss or damage.

Whether you own or rent your home creating a Home Inventory will enable you to determine the value of your possessions. Cross-check the inventory total with your policy to see if you are sufficiently insured for either replacement cost or cash value of the items. The inventory will also speed the insurance claims process and help provide proof of losses for tax or disaster aid purposes.


Rest Your Head

Hurricane5Be sure your policy provides enough coverage for Additional living expenses (ALE) – the extra costs incurred if you need to live elsewhere because your home is rendered uninhabitable as the result of a hurricane (or any other insured disaster). While your home or apartment is being repaired or rebuilt, ALE covers hotel bills, restaurant meals, etc.—expenses over and above what your customary living expenses would be at home.

Generally, the ALE policy limit is 20% of the amount of insurance coverage on the structure of your home. Standard renters’ policies also provide for ALE. Depending on where you live (which may dictate your expenses), you may want to consider a higher ALE. Also review the time limits in your policy as reimbursements may be limited to a specified amount of time.

If you rent out part of your home, ALE coverage also reimburses you for lost rental income. Make sure your policy reflects the current amount of your rental income.

Content Source: iii.org

Don’t want to go it alone? Give us a call at 401-846-9629 for a FREE Policy Review. We’ll walk you through the details and present you with options for coverage to meet your needs. We’ll often find ways to save you money and ALWAYS do our BEST for YOU!

 

FIRE PIT SAFETY

Do you have a fire pit in your backyard? If so, you’re in good company, a blazing fire pit has become an increasingly popular added touch to backyards everywhere. Sales soared last autumn as homeowners rushed to create cozy, inviting outdoor spaces for the COVID-19 winter. True Value Hardware, a wholesale supplier to more than 4,500 independently owned stores, said sales of wood-burning fire pits were up over 300% last fall compared to the same time in 2019. For owners and soon-to-be owners of these crowd-pleasing bastions of warmth, here are some important tips that will keep you, your children, pets, and friends safe.

Location & Clearance:three burning billets in hot stove

  • Do not place the pit on a grassy surface, wooden deck, or enclosed porch.
  • Before lighting ensure a minimum of 25 feet clearance from anything flammable including your home, outbuildings and overhead tree branches.

Fire Pit Fuel:

  • Always burn dry, seasoned wood that was cut at least six months earlier.
  • To keep sparks from flying, use logs less than three-quarters length of the pit’s diameter; do not overload to avoid danger of some falling out.
  • For gas pits, clear all vents to avoid smoky flare-ups; only use the fuel intended for the pit

Starting the Fire:

  • Never use lighter fluid, gas or kerosine.
  • Be ready for the unexpected with these items nearby:
    • Dry-chemical (Class B and C / multipurpose) fire extinguisher.
    • Garden hose, with the water turned on and the nozzle set to “spray.”
    • If your pit will not withstand water, keep a bucket of dry sand nearby to dump on the flames.
  • Cellular phone

Flaming hot red yellow charcoal briquettes in a grill starter

Putting Out a Fire Safely:

  • Use Water or Sand as indicated above
  • For a gas or propane pit, turn off the supply before attempting to extinguish any fire.
  • Coals, embers, and wood can retain heat for hours and hours, even days in the right circumstances.
  • Many house fires occur when remnants of a fire are prematurely tossed into a trash can or dumpster; leave the ash, coal and ember out for several days after an intense fire.
  • Wind can reignite a barely smoking fire; stir and spread-out coals and use water, dirt or sand to extinguish any remaining heat.
  • Don’t to bury the coals in the dirt for that will have the opposite effect.
  • If fire spreads beyond the confines of the pit or flares above your head, or prevents you from switching off the propane tank or natural-gas valve, calmly evacuate everyone from the area and call 911.

It’s important to note that most RI towns and cities allow small recreational fires in their neighborhoods. To build a recreational fire means you are burning a reasonable amount of wood and there is not an unreasonable amount of smoke that can affect your neighbors. Rhode Island has state-wide regulations and each city / town has its own set of rules regarding recreational fires, but most follow similar safety guidelines and laws. These laws and burn bans are for the safety of everyone in the area.

Generally speaking, the State of Rhode Island requires:

  • The fire must be 30 feet away from any abutting residence.
  • The diameter of the pit or place must not exceed 3 feet.
  • The size of the fire must not exceed 2 feet in height.

Firepit-SallyAnne Santos-1200xFind local ordinances here:
Newport
Portsmouth
Middletown
Jamestown
Tiverton
More RI Locations

Common local regulations:

  • Weather conditions must be amenable. Fires cannot be burned when wind speed is above 15 miles an hour or if a “Code Red” has been issued by the National Weather Service.
  • The pit or place must have a “spark arresting” cover or cap.
  • The wood must be seasoned for six months, cut and dried.
  • The fires would only be allowed at single family properties or duplexes.
  • There must be a water source such as a hose within range of the fire.
  • All fires must be attended and supervised by an adult the entire time they are burning.

What You Can and Can’t Burn:

BurningPaper1200wSmoke, chemicals, and poisonous gases are not only offensive; they are dangerous to both people and wildlife in the area. Fumes infect the environment and enter into the water supply that various creatures drink from. Wildlife often get the brunt of toxic chemical and smoke which can kill off birds and force small mammals out of their homes. In most places it is illegal to burn the materials below as they pose significant health hazards.

  • Paper causes unnecessary smoke and as it is treated releases unhealthy chemicals into the air.
  • Cardboard creates offensive smoke and can cause a dangerous surge in the fire.
  • Particleboard is held together by adhesives that emit toxic gasses when burned.
  • Wooden pallets are treated with a chemical called methyl bromide which can be released when burned.
  • Magazines ads, newsletters and colored gift-wrapping paper are all made with ink which release toxic fumes when burned.
  • Plastic releases toxic chemicals that are especially bad for young children.
  • Poison Ivy, Oak or Sumac contain irritant oils, fumes cause severe lung irritation and allergic responses for some people.
  • Trash releases toxins into the air and produces excessive smoke. It is illegal to burn trash.
  • Pressure treated or painted wood may give off toxic fumes, especially lead-based paints.
  • Green leafy branches and plant life contain moisture that cause excessive smoke.

What You Can Burn, Seasoned Split Wood:

  • Oak produces significant heat while also burning slow and steady.
  • Hickory does not hold onto moisture and burns hotter than oak.
  • Ashwood retains less moisture, burns easily and does not produce much smoke.
  • Cedar is misleading because it does not produce big flames, but it creates toasty heat with an amazing aroma, making it the perfect choice for firewood on a chilly night.

Now that you know, grab the marshmallows and go!

Some Content: This Old House

PREVENT TREE DAMAGE TO YOUR PROPERTY

Everyone benefits from trees; they reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and provide much of the oxygen we need. They also provide us with beauty and shade, but homeowners can have mixed feelings about trees. In addition to being somewhat messy during changes of season, if one falls on your tree or car— your feelings can become quite clear!

Much of the damage trees can cause to property is often covered by insurance. Generally speaking, if a tree hits your home or other insured structure, your standard homeowners’ insurance policy covers the damage to the structure and its contents.

Properly selected, placed, and maintained trees can provide excellent wind protection for a house, which can reduce heating costs and noise from neighbors and traffic. By putting thought and energy into planting and maintenance, homeowners can reap these benefits while preventing much potential damage.

tree with roots

Planting:
While some trees don’t handle wind well, others can withstand some of the most powerful gusts. Select trees with strong root systems and thick bark to support them in windy conditions. That said, do not plant large shade trees within 2 feet of your home as growing roots can shift the soil under and around the foundation, potentially rendering it unstable.

Maintenance:
To minimize damage from your own trees, it’s important to maintain their health and properly prepare them for winter weather and storms. A diseased tree is more likely to have branches that will break off and cause damage during high winds. Trees with inadequate root systems may blow over or break off at the ground line.

What If…

  • A Neighbor’s Tree Falls on Your House?
    You’ll need to file a claim with your insurance company. If negligence can be proved—such as a diseased tree or tree that wasn’t properly maintained — your company may try to collect from your neighbor’s policy. If that happens, you may be reimbursed for your deductible.
  • A Tree Falls on Your Car?
    Damage is covered under the comprehensive portion of your auto insurance policy.
    Trees Are Damaged by Fire, Lighting, Explosion, Theft, Aircraft, Vehicles* and Vandalism?
    Most homeowners’ policies typically provide coverage, limited to about $500 per tree, shrub or plant. *excluding residents’ vehicles.

Any Questions? Give us a call to discuss your coverage at 401-846-9629.
We’re always here to help!

Content: iii.org

Top 10 Boating Etiquette Tips

Recreational boating has a customary code of accepted behavior on and around the water. Boating etiquette is about safe behavior, as well as what’s socially accepted. Here are some of the basics to help you navigate the boating world with ease while not “making waves” among fellow users of the water.

  1. Respect the Rules of the Ramp: complete your pre-float prep and checks before you position your trailer in line for launching. Making fellow boaters wait unnecessarily is disrespectful, we all want to get on the water asap.
  2. Watch Your Wake: Throwing a big wake is not just a nuisance, it can pose actual danger for smaller vessels. Slow down and give a wide berth when passing.
  3. Keep the Peace: When planning a party onboard, seek a secluded location where your festivities will not disturb the tranquility of fellow boaters. Always remember sound is amplified over the water.
  4. Carry In, Carry Out: Plan for your trash, and whatever you do, don’t toss it overboard! For your fellow boaters, it’s an inexcusable misstep; for nature, it can damage fragile ecosystems. Best to avoid both.
  5. 12mRs at NYYC Race Week 2018Check Your Speed: Know and respect the speed limit, slow down when being passed.
  6. Fuel Up Pay and Go: Others are likely waiting for your departure to take their turn at the fuel dock.
  7. Assist Others: Friendliness among boaters and the willingness to help one another make boating special. Offer to help catch the dock lines of a vessel coming to a dock; however, if the captain or crew wave you off, respect that they have a method and aren’t looking for assistance. And if you are on the ocean, stopping to assist boats is more than courtesy, it’s the law.
  8. Stow Your Stuff: A messy boat or marina is dangerous, anything not in use should be properly stowed.
  9. VHF Radio Conduct: Channel 17 is for hailing and distress calls, once you’ve made contact switch to another frequency to continue the conversation.
  10. At the Anchorage: Enter the area at a slow speed, don’t create a wake that will disrupt other anchored boats. Take your cues from the first boat to arrive, use similar length of line to create scope with same distance between boats.
  11. BONUS
    Wave! Boating is all about having fun, and being part of a special community!

Top 10 Green Boating Tips

Green Boating helps to save our blue backyard AND it can save you money too! Keep these 10 Green Boating Tips in mind both on and off the water this season!

  1. Keep Your Engine Well-Tuned, Maintained and Inspected: A well-maintained engine improves fuel efficiency helps to reduce your carbon footprint, it also saves you money since you’ll go farther on every gallon of gas. Inspect your boat’s propulsion system for leaks in fuel tanks and supply lines. Inspect your propeller, bent blades or dings will cause a drop in your boat’s efficiency.
  2. Maintenance in the Water: Even the simplest maintenance chores, like cleaning the boat, can have an impact on the water, so be sure to use non-toxic, phosphate-free boat soaps. It’s almost always much safer and easier to perform regular maintenance tasks like oil changes, fuel filter changes, and tune-ups with the boat out of the water.
  3. Fuel-Up Carefully: Prevent spills by filling slowly and don’t “top off” your tank, leave 10% empty to allow for fuel expansion. Use an absorbent bib or collar to catch drips, and if you do spill fuel or oil, don’t use soap to disperse it. Store spare oil-absorbent socks, pads and pillows onboard your boat for this purpose. Notify marina management for assistance, they should have equipment on hand and a procedure to address the problem quickly. Also, contact the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802 for clean-up advise.
  4. Slow Down, and Wake Responsibly: You will vastly reduce your carbon footprint if you run your boat at its most efficient cruising speed. Generally speaking, this will be around two thirds or so of wide-open throttle. You’ll also save money by reducing trips to the fuel dock!
    Classic Power Boat Rally 10/07/12
  5. Reduce the Use Toxic Bottom Paints: Try alternative antifouling paints that are less toxic, these may also save money as they typically last longer than copper-based paints.
  6. Dispose of Trash and Hazardous Waste Properly: Paints and used brushes, batteries, antifreeze, cleaning products, oil, oil filters, old fuel, and other hazardous wastes need to go to the proper local facilities, not the trashcan in the marina parking lot.
  7. Use Your Head, Manage Sewage Waste Properly: Use a Marine Sanitation Devise with a holding tank to store waste properly between trips to pump-out stations. Remember, it is illegal to discharge treated or untreated sewage within 3 miles of shore.
  8. Be Moor Kind to the Bottom: When choosing where to “drop the hook” for the night, look for available mooring buoys instead. Boats and anchors can have dramatically adverse impacts on marine life. Propellers rip scars in shallow weed beds, churn muddy bottoms and disturb shellfish beds.
  9. Clean, Drain and Dry: To stop the spread of invasive aquatic species, wash down your boat, drain the bilge and any system holding water. This will help to prevent the transfer of “hitch-hikers” from one body of water to another.
  10. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Plastic pollution poses the greatest risk to our blue planet. Limit single use plastic items including water bottles, plates, flatware, shrink-wrap and fishing line. Recycle glass bottles, cans and paper as you would on land.

Information Sources: Discover Boating and Sailors for the Sea

Window Safety Week

Window Safety Week

The National Safety Council and the Window Safety Task Force established Window Safety Week in 1997 to heighten awareness of the actions that homeowners can take to establish window safety and fall prevention as a year-round safety priority.  Window Safety Week, observed annually during the first week of April (4/4-11/21), coincides with the arrival of spring, when people naturally want to open the windows and let in fresh air. The goal of this observance is twofold– for families to understand the role of windows in escaping a fire or other emergency and to learn how to safeguard against window falls.

Follow these NSC recommendations to keep your family safe:

Window Safety WeekReview and Practice Your Emergency Escape Plan:
  • Identify at least one window in each sleeping and living area that meets escape and rescue requirements.
  • Include two escape routes from each room and teach children how to safely use windows as emergency exits.
Ensure Window Functionality:
  • If your windows have guards, bars, grilles or grates check that they have operable release mechanisms.
  • Don’t install air conditioners in windows that may be needed for escape or rescue. Never paint or nail windows shut, you must be able to open them in an emergency.
Window Safety WeekKeep Windows Closed and Locked:
  • For ventilation, open windows that children cannot reach. Prevent children from playing near windows and/or patio doors. Keep furniture – or anything children can climb – away from windows.
Don’t Rely on Insect Screens to Prevent a Fall:
  • Screens are designed to provide ventilation while keeping insects out; they are not designed to prevent a child’s fall from a window.
Consider Strategic Landscaping:
  • Plant shrubs and soft edging like wood chips or grass under windows to cushion potential falls.
Call us at 401-846-9629 for a FREE Homeowners’ Insurance policy review;
We’ll always do our BEST for YOU!

Spring Home Inspection

Spring Home Inspection

After sheltering your family from winter storms and howling winds, the exterior of your home and yard have taken a beating this year. A sunny spring day is the perfect time to get outdoors and take a good look around. Use the guide below to reveal possible damage and tackle a few DIY fixes.

Let’s take it from the top…

Spring Home Inspection, check roof for mold

Examine Roof:
  • Inspect shingles to see if any blew away or were damaged during winter. Shingles that are loose, cracked or buckled should be replaced.
  • Check flashing to ensure it hasn’t corroded or cracked, that rubber gaskets around plumbing vents haven’t deteriorated and that the metal collars on vents used with gas appliances are tight.
  • Prune tree branches at least 10 feet from your home to prevent damage to roof and siding
  • Look for signs of unwanted wildlife in the attic– shelter-seeking raccoons, squirrels and roof rats can be very destructive!
  • Remove moss with an air broom then apply a growth-inhibiting treatment to kill the remaining spores. If left untreated, moss will continue to absorb rainwater which wicks underneath shingles, soaks the underlayment and rots the roof sheathing.
  • Do NOT power wash the roof, it will drive water underneath the shingles or tiles.
Spring Home Inspection Gutter CleaningCheck Gutters:
  • Clean out all debris in gutters and downspouts.
  • Direct downspouts away from the foundation for proper drainage.
Inspect Windows and Doors:
  • Check for bent or broken hinges, cracks or holes.
  • Repair window and door screens to prevent bugs from sneaking in.
  • Follow National Window Safety Week guidelines
Check Air Conditioners:
  • Clean up any leaves or branches around the cooling unit.
  • Replace filters.
Spring Home Inspection, test sprinkler systemExamine Deck and Fences:
  • Look for loose slats, rotted sections, water stains or discoloration.
  • Remove any loose or rusty nails and make sure the railings and stairs are secure.
Test Exterior Plumbing:
  • Turn on the water to see that it is running properly. Place your thumb over the opening, if this stops the water flow, the water pressure may be too low and could indicate a damaged pipe.
  • Run your sprinkling system, look for leaks or broken sprinkler heads, adjust as needed.
Inspect Hardscape:
  • Look over your driveway and sidewalks for any sign of cracks or movement.
  • Cracks can be mended with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk.
Call us at 401-846-9629 for a FREE Homeowners’ Insurance policy review;
We’ll always do our BEST for YOU!
 
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