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Displaying items by tag: Spring Cleaning

Spring has sprung and your home is due for a thorough cleaning but there are a few tasks you should add to your spring cleaning checklist to lower your risk of having an insurance claim while you’re at it. These 10 spring cleaning tips from Central Insurance Companies will improve your home and help prevent home insurance claims.

Spring cleaning your house:

  1. Change and Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors. Spring is a good time to change the batteries in your home smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. It is also a good idea to test these units (once a month is recommended) while you are replacing the batteries to ensure they are still working correctly before it is too late.

  2. Clean the Dryer Vent/Hose. It is good to clean the lint hose on your dryer once a year, as some lint may get past the trap. Clean the dryer exhaust duct and under the machine as well. This will help reduce the likelihood of a fire starting and it can even save you money, as you won’t need to run the dryer as long.

  3. Change Heating System Filters. Filters should be changed several times a year, not only during the winter season.

  4. TuneUp Air Conditioner. Have a professional tune up your AC before summer temperatures rise. This could help your AC run better and cooler, and will ensure there are no issues that will come up.

  5. Inspect Water Heater. Check your water heater for leaks or corrosion that need to be repaired. Fixing these issues as they arise will keep repair costs low and help prevent any major damages.

  6. Inspect Window and Door Seals. Before you head outside to start your yard work, check all the seals on your windows and doors to see if there are any cracks in the caulking, where leaks can form and cause damage. If you find any dried out seals, re-caulk them to keep out moisture.

Spring cleaning the outside of your house:

  1. Trees: Trim any dead branches that may be on your property or near powerlines to prevent them from causing damage as the result of a storm. Trim any healthy trees to keep them under control and away from wires.

  2. Roof: Check for any damages that may have been caused during the winter from ice or snow and repair them to reduce the chance of leaks.

  3. Gutters: While you have the ladder out to check the roof, it is a good idea to clean out the gutters too. This will keep the water flowing away from your house and prevent the possibility of water damage and leaks.

  4. Shrubs: Trim any shrubs or bushes near or around your house to deter thieves. Home break-ins increase during the summer months and bushes that are untrimmed provide coverage for criminals.

While these tips will help to prevent any serious damage that could lead to a claim, the best way to guarantee you are protected in the event of an accident is to have the right coverage for your specific needs. And the best way to ensure that you have the coverage you need is to call and speak with our knowledgeable insurance experts at 800-590-5383 to review your current policy or get a free, quick quote.

Published in Homeowners
Tuesday, 14 March 2017 19:34

Spring Cleaning—and a Safety Check

clutter

From our Trusted Choice Friends

It's Spring and everyone is optimistic that our forecast will bring warmer and sunnier weeks are ahead. With these seasonal changes, millions take on “spring cleaning” of homes, garages, and yards.

When you’re longing to get outside in the spring months, consider several simple steps to enhance safety for you and your family. After all, the numbers show where the danger is: Home accidents result in 10 million emergency room visits each year in the U.S., according to Home Safety Council estimates. Many injuries occur in garages and near doorways to a home.

Here are some suggestions for an effective spring safety sweep:

Check fluids

Look under sinks, in bathrooms, closets, garage and basement for liquids that include chemicals. Look for potentially hazardous liquids including: cleaning solvents and disinfectants; oil-based paints, primers and thinners; gasoline, kerosene, motor oil, anti-freeze, windshield washer, and other car products; insecticides, pesticides and fertilizers; and charcoal lighter fluid.

Safely discard any liquids that are unneeded or expired, based on the manufacturer’s instructions. Proper disposal is usually best accomplished with a community-based program. Typically, pouring hazardous materials down a sink, on the ground, or in a storm sewer—or placing them in the garbage—is not a safe option.

Cap, label and raise

Safely cap containers containing chemicals of any kind. If these materials need to be kept, make sure they are labeled correctly. Raise up (out of the reach of children and pets) any containers with hazardous materials.

Ventilate

Make sure petroleum-based products and other products with noxious fumes are not stored in a confined space such as a basement or closet. Nor should they be near a heat source. Springtime also is a good time to have chimneys professionally cleaned.

Check alarms

Housing codes typically require smoke and carbon-monoxide alarms in a residence. Consider adding these safety devices in garages and basements. Check the batteries in all smoke and CO alarms.

Clean up clutter

Many trip-and-fall or fall-from-above accidents happen because houses are cluttered near doors. Garages, basements, and attics are places where many homeowners put things out of the way—only to find them “by accident” come springtime. Clean up for safety’s sake.

Separate for safety

In the garage and basement, make an area for bikes, balls, and toys—away from potentially dangerous areas and items such as fuels, paints and power tools.

Prepare for an emergency

Make sure all entrances and exits to your home, including through the garage or basement, are clear. Place a first-aid kit and flashlight in the garage and basement. Mount a fire extinguisher in the garage, and train adults how to use it based on manufacturer’s directions.

Check appliances

Check appliance hoses for dishwashers, refrigerators, washers, and dryers. Danger signs: crimping, cracking or other damage on power wires, supply/discharge hoses, and vents. If you have a sump pump, test it—before spring downpours and melting snows do.

Talk to one of our Baldwin / Welsh & Parker Trusted Choice® insurance professionals for additional tips on how to protect your family and home.

Published in Homeowners

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