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Baldwin / Welsh & Parker

Baldwin / Welsh & Parker

Cold temperatures will affect Massachusetts for at least the next week, and we want to offer some helpful tips to protect your property from the potential of frozen pipes and other hazards this winter.

When standing water gets trapped in pipes and the temperature plummets below freezing, the frozen water expands and bursts a hole right through the pipe or breaks the pipe at its seam. As the water in pipes freezes it expands, creating as much as 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch, enough to cause almost any pipe filled with water to rupture. The bad news is that a burst pipe can releases hundreds of gallons of water per hour, causing thousands of dollars in damage to repair.

So what are some signs that you might have a problem with your pipes? Here are five things to look for:

Thursday, 14 December 2017 16:46

Don’t Get Stuck in the Snow

Forty-one percent of all weather-related car crashes on U.S. roads are due to conditions involving snow, sleet, ice, and slush. Accidents caused by winter weather result in 150,000 injuries and 2,000 deaths each year, on average, according to a study by the Federal Highway Administration.

First Things First: What To Do Before It Snows

  • Before the next storm arrives, check your tire air pressure as well as tire tread. If the tread is worn, it's time to buy new tires.
  • If you drive long distances and frequently, you may want to consider snow tires for New England winter driving. Snow tires offer the best traction -- according to The Heart of New England, traction is improved by 25% in deep snow with snow tires vs. over all-season tires. (Find out how to choose snow tires.) Note that four-wheel drive vehicles, require replacement all four tires to maintain safe handling, not just the rear tires. 
  • If you drive on well plowed and maintained roads, you may get by with all-season tires that are in good condition.
  • If you drive on roads that aren't as well maintained during snow storms, an all-wheel-drive vehicle with winter tires will serve you well
  • A Consumer Reports survey indicates that most AWD drivers don’t think of adding winter tires: Of 54,295 subscribers who drove AWD or 4WD vehicles in the snow for more than six days during the winter of 2014, less than 15 percent equipped their vehicles with winter tires. The rest kept rolling on their all-season tires and took their chances. Consumer Reports strongly recommends  buying four winter tires for whatever vehicle you drive.

Is All-Wheel Drive Enough For New England Winter Driving?

All-wheel drive is perceived as a must-have for many car buyers. But can all-wheel drive really save you when there's snow and ice on the roads? It provides some benefit, but it may be insufficient to get you through a touch New England storm. All-wheel drive gets your car moving from a dead stop, but there are limitations.

According to tests done by Consumer Reports, "Through weeks of driving in snowy, unplowed conditions at Consumer Reports’ 327-acre test center in Connecticut, we found that all-wheel drive didn’t aid in braking or in certain cornering situations. Our evaluations conclusively showed that using winter tires matters more than having all-wheel drive in many situations, and that the difference on snow and ice can be significant."



Keep a snow shovel in your vehicle.

It's better to be prepared with a shovel in your vehicle. Not only will this come in handy for you, you may be a hero to those who are caught unprepared. (Speaking of preparedness, here’s a winter safety kit checklist of other items to keep in your car so you’re ready for pretty much any winter road condition.)


  1. Store a snow shovel in your vehicle. This is particularly handy when you're vehicle is plowed in.
  2. Keep a 20 lb. bag of clay kitty litter in the trunk of your car during the winter months. The added weight in the trunk can help stabilize you (whether or not you have rear-wheel drive), keeping you in control of your vehicle on slick roads. And if you get stuck, simply sprinkle some of the litter around each tire to provide traction in ice or snow.
  3. Turn off the car’s traction control system (usually with a button somewhere on the dashboard or console). Both drive wheels need to have traction for you to get you unstuck. These are the front tires on a front-wheel-drive and the rear tires on rear-wheel drive, AWD and 4WD vehicles. 
  4. Stay with your vehicle; it provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you.
  5. Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window as a distress signal.
  6. If you become stranded after dark, keep the dome light on. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
  7. Make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. If the engine is running, a blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide fumes to leak into the passenger compartment.
  8. Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps.
  9. If possible, run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill while trying to conserve gasoline.


Wednesday, 29 November 2017 04:07

Prevent Text Neck

Text Neck Is A Real Thing!

Spine Journal, surgeons are noticing an increase in patients with text neck—upper back and neck pain related to poor posture when using mobile devices. In fact, young patients who shouldn’t yet have back and neck issues are reporting disk hernias and alignment problems. As mobile device usage is relatively recent, such injuries are unprecedented, and doctors are worried about the effects of prolonged usage on people’s posture as they age.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017 04:01

Why You Should Water Your Christmas Tree

Why You Should Water Your Christmas Tree

Wednesday, 29 November 2017 03:17

Christmas Tree Safety Tips

Christmas tree and decoration fires

Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. Carefully decorating your home can help make your holidays safer.

1. Choose a fresh tree:

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

Workplace violence may be a rare occurrence, but you should never underestimate the importance of being prepared in the event that your workplace is targeted by an active shooter. An active shooter is an individual who is engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.

Shootings can happen anytime, anywhere. The general perception is that these events happen in bad areas or in buildings that contain key members of society. However, this is not always the case, and the majority of shootings that occur in the workplace are carried out by employees, or former employees, for reasons associated with their job.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017 14:58

Declutter for a Safe Workspace

Declutter for a Safe Workspace

A cluttered, unorganized workspace isn’t just unsightly—it is also dangerous. Poor workplace housekeeping, such as failing to clean up after yourself, can contribute to the following:

  • Injuries caused by slips and falls when clutter is on the floor
  • Potential fire hazards
  • Exposure to hazardous dust and vapors
  • Ergonomics issues that arise when clutter takes over your workspace, leaving you little room to work

According to researchers, a cluttered environment can cause stress, and restrict your ability to focus and process information. The following tips can help you keep your workspace safe and organized:

  • Regularly wipe down your workstation with a damp cloth or disinfecting wipe to remove dust, dirt and germs. Don’t forget the keyboard and mouse if you use a computer.
  • Clean up spills and dispose of all trash immediately.
  • Avoid eating at your workstation, especially if you work with hazardous materials.
  • Keep walkways and floors free of clutter and tripping hazards.
  • Store equipment in designated areas when tasks are complete.

No matter what type of environment you work in, it is important to keep your workspace clean and organized, not only for safety reasons, but also for productivity and morale. 


Tuesday, 24 October 2017 22:04

10 Smart Ways to Keep Halloween Fun & Safe

Before Halloween festivities begin, review these tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FDA to help keep the festivities safe and fun for your family:

Getting a homeowners quote can only take a few minutes when you have all of your information at hand. Knowing the details of your house, including what kind of safety features you have installed, may help you qualify for money-saving discounts and help ensure that you choose the coverage that meets your needs.

There can be more questions involved in getting a homeowners quote than a car insurance quote, so it can be helpful to gather your paperwork and be ready to answer specific questions about your home in advance. Here’s a checklist to help you get started.

  1. Who lives at your house? You may be asked for contact information about you and anyone else who lives at your house, how long you’ve lived there, your marital status, whether you run a business from the home and whether you own a dog or any pets. 
  2. What’s your insurance history? It’s good to be ready with details about your existing coverage, if your home is already covered by homeowners insurance. Do you have a mortgage on the home? Are there any prior insurance claims? How much would it cost you to rebuild your home?  
  3. What’s your house like? You’ll likely be asked a series of questions, including the year your house was built, the type and age of the roof, the style of the home, its exterior finish and whether or not you have a garage. You’ll also probably want to know the square footage of your home and may be asked for details on the number of bathrooms or fireplaces. This information helps determine the cost to rebuild your home and may help with determining the amount of coverage that fits your needs. 
  4. What improvements have you made? If you have made upgrades to your home since you bought it, such as replacing the roof, installing a central air system, finishing your basement, remodeling a kitchen or other updates that increase the value of your home, your existing homeowners policy may not reflect the current value and replacement cost of your home.  
  5. What kind of safety devices do you have? If you have certain safety devices, including smart or connected home technology, a security system or fire sprinklers, you may qualify for a discount on your insurance.

Having all of this information ready to go can make it easier for you to get a quote and can help you get coverage to protect you and your family that fits your needs. Contact us to help your with your homeowners insurance quote.


Source: Travelers Insurance

The “seasonal 7” is the average number of pounds people gain between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

Consider these tips during the coming weeks:

  1. Try a little bit – If tempted by a tasty confection, only try a small portion. Keep healthy snacks handy to nibble on. 
  2. Eat throughout the day – In anticipation of an evening party, thinking “I won’t eat during the day, so I can fill up tonight” will lead to overeating. Instead, eat breakfast and lunch as always, then munch on something healthy before the party.
  3. Take a seat – You’re more likely to eat only what’s in front of you if a sit-down dinner is served instead of a buffet at a party. 
  4. Enjoy the conversation – Get-togethers are about socializing, so don’t make food the only reason to go. Talking more and eating less can help you control your weight. 
  5. Have fun – That’s what the holidays are about! Balance delectable treats with healthy foods, like fruit salad or raw vegetables.
  6. Choose wisely – Don’t let being worn out from activities such as shopping make you forget good eating habits. Choose healthy dishes if you’re ordering out.
  7. Meet Jim – Actually, it’s Gym. Fitness Center. Exercise Room. Call it what you like, but it can be among your best friends any time of year. Consult your physician before beginning a diet and exercise regimen.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) online for tips on healthy eating. And, of course, we hope you enjoy the holidays!

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Waltham, MA - 781-890-3740

Hudson, MA - 978-562-5652

Wayland, MA - 508-358-5383

Winthrop, MA - 617-846-0731


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