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1 year ago · by · 0 comments

Ladder Safety Tips for Christmas Decorating

Millions of Americans every year decorate their homes for the Christmas holiday. Some outsource and pay companies to do it, while others enjoy doing it themselves. Who doesn’t enjoy showing off their beautifully decorated home and receiving compliments from passerbys. However, while getting caught up in the Christmas spirit isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can become dangerous when you’re not thinking about your safety.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that emergency rooms treat around 14,700 decorating injuries during the holiday season—an average of 240 injuries per day. Most holiday home decorating incidents involved:

  • Falls (41%)
  • Lacerations (10%)
  • Back strains (5%)

Unfortunately, an injury is the least of your problems in this scenario. While there hasn’t been many, there have been a few deaths reported as well.

Have help

This couldn’t be any simpler. Having someone to assist you in decorating the outside of your home can reduce your risk of accidents. The other person can hold your ladder while you’re climbing and make you aware of any potential hazards they may notice. Of course, if something were to happen, you have someone there who can call for help immediately.

Watch your set up

As a general rule, ladders should never be placed in front of an opening door. Also, you should always set your ladder on a solid foundation, preferably not in the grass. Setting up a ladder on an unstable surface, or on top of an object to gain a little height, is ALWAYS a bad idea that should be avoided at all costs.

Don’t decorate in bad conditions

Planning to decorate the outside of your home while there’s a  snowstorm or rain is a bad idea. This can lead to a number of injuries and unforeseen accidents. The last thing you need is a slippery ladder thanks to rain, or getting knocked off balance by high winds. Plan accordingly.

Watch your step (literally)

Be very attentive when stepping up your ladder. You can do so by:

  • Using slip-resistant footwear
  • Avoid pulling, leaning or making any other sudden movements on the ladder
  • Keep yourself centered at all times
  • Utilize the “3-point contact” rule when using a leader. This means two hands and one foot, or 2 feet and 1 hand should always be in contact with the ladder.

Avoid being under the influence

It’s not unreasonable to expect some individuals to be under the influence when decorating the outside of their home. It’s the holiday season and you may drink a small cup of eggnog or wine. That’s fine and all, but make sure you’re not engaging in those activities before you begin decorating the outside of your house. Alcohol and ladders are a bad combination.

Utilize an appropriate ladder

Utilizing the right ladder is just as important. A good rule is to ensure the ladder is able to extend beyond your roofline, approximately 3 feet above. Of course, the ladder should also be able to hold your weight. If you have a single, extension, or straight ladder, it should be propped up at a 75-degree angle for the best results.

We care about the safety of our readers and will continue to write about best practices when doing anything potentially dangerous. Make sure to check out our recent blog on Christmas decoration safety, since that goes hand in hand with ladder safety while decorating.

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1 year ago · by · 0 comments

6 Christmas Lighting Tips You Need to Know

Christmas time is the happiest time of year where you exchange gifts with loved ones. One part of the Christmas holiday that people love most is seeing the beautiful homes in their neighborhood decorated with Christmas lights. These decorations add to the Christmas spirit! However, those beautiful decorations can cause a lot of trouble and misfortune if you’re not careful.

The National Fire Protection Association stated, “U.S.fire departments responded to an estimated average of 800 home structure fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees, in 2012-2016. These fires caused an annual average of two civilian fire deaths, 34 civilian fire injuries and $11 million in direct property damage.” Again, these numbers do not include Christmas trees.

Here are 9 tips to ensure that you and your family are safe around Christmas decorations.

Don’t leave your lights unattended

It doesn’t matter if you’re driving down the street to the local food market or gas station; never leave your home with your Christmas lights on. This may seem tedious, always having to make sure your lights are turned off when you leave. However, you can use light timers and other remote controls that turn off your indoor and outdoor lights. You can even use an automated timer if you’re a forgetful individual.

Outdoor/Indoor Lights are not interchangeable

There may not be an obvious difference for most people when it comes to indoor and outdoor lights. However, outdoor lights are sealed against moisture, while indoor lights aren’t. Be sure to check labels when buying lights to see which category they may fall under.

Consider an artificial Christmas tree over a real tree

Christmas trees are the leading cause of house fires during the holidays. Real Christmas trees are beautiful and all, but being that they are dried out, they’re extremely flammable. A recent National Fire Protection Agency report shows that most house fires caused by Christmas trees are caused by natural trees sadly. Now, artificial trees cause fires as well, just not as much as natural trees. One thing to look for in artificial trees is whether or not they come with lights already on them. If so, be very careful and make sure it’s fire resistant if possible.

Ensure outdoor light strings are fastened

High winds and storms during the winter can cause Christmas lights to go flying! Ensure that you decorations are tied to trees, walls, or whatever you prefer to keep them from flying everywhere. This can cause electrical hazards and can lead to accidental fires.

Be Mindful of Extension Cords

Extension cords are often used for outdoor lights. However, placing extension cords outside on the ground where they can become surrounded by rain or melted snow is a bad idea. Keep your extension cords as dry as possible and utilize surge protectors to minimize damage.

Throw Away Old Lights

It’s easy to continue to use old Christmas lights for years upon years. The more modern lights made now days are safer since they are made to help prevent fires. Old Christmas lights can cause major damage. Your best bet is to simply throw them away and spend a few dollars on new lights. Besides, I would rather spend $20 on new Christmas lights than pay for damages caused to my home by a fire.

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year….and we want to keep it that way! The last things we need are tragedies and misfortunes that could have been avoided. Be sure to read our most recent blog on ladder safety when it comes to putting up those Christmas decorations.

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1 year ago · by · 0 comments

Prevent Injury in Kids Sports

Do you have children who play sports? Do you play sports yourself? Well, I’m sure you’ve heard horror stories about children and teens injuring themselves, or worse, while playing sports. It’s not a good situation to be in. As a parent to a child athlete, it’s your job to ensure that you understand the signs of injury and understand how to prevent them from happening in the first place.

 

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Injuries from organized and unorganized sports account for 775,000 emergency room visits annually for children aged 5-14 years old. Sports-related injuries are the leading cause of emergency room visits in 12-17-year-olds.” These numbers are too high for our liking.

With that being said, we’ve compiled a list of ways to prevent/recognize these unfortunate injuries.

 

Hydration

Sometimes coaches can push children beyond their limits. Believe it or not, grabbing some water or a sports drink may be the last thing on their mind when they’re training. It’s important to tell your children about the importance of drinking at least 16 ounces of water one hour before practice and another 4-8 ounces of water 20 minutes into practice.

 

Stretching/Warm-Ups

Injuries are more likely to happen if you fail to stretch before practice or a game. The objective of a warm-up is to prepare the body for vigorous activity. If you skip this step, you can easily pull or strain a muscle.

 

Balanced Diet

Building healthy bones and muscles are crucial for all athletes. Besides, childhood and young adulthood are the bone-building years. Not only does building strong bones help protect against fragile bone diseases, it also helps prevent injury by helping your bones become strong and not so fragile.

 

Visit the Doctor

It’s best to pay your pediatrician a visit for physical exams (at least once a year), and to talk about sports activities your young one is going to engage in. Pediatricians can offer good tips and direction on staying safe and healthy.

 

Plenty of Rest

Who doesn’t love a nice rest period after working hard? Professional athletes and entertainers need rest periods just the same as kid athletes. Without rest, your performance will be poor, injuries are more prone to happen, and burn out will be waiting for you around the corner.

 

Don’t Ignore Pain

Many people tend to ignore minor pain that their children may be experiencing. They simply brush it off as minor soreness. However, discomfort and pain are two different experiences. If your child feels pain, let them know to tell their coach immediately instead of trying to fight through it on the field. Playing through an injury can have long negative affects that can lead to more injury down the road.

 

Be Cautious During Practices, Too

Many professional athletes are injured before the season even starts. These injuries occur at practices. Be sure that your younger one understands that practice isn’t a “safe zone” and that they should be even more careful during practices as well.

 

Understand Signs of Concussion

Concussions happen more often than you would think in sports. Football is a sport known to induce the most concussions amongst players. Of course, this can occur in any sport. But, its best to pay extra attention to your children who play Football specifically. The symptoms of a concussion can mimic other problems, like most injuries and sicknesses. But, the following are common signs of a concussion:

  • Blurry Vision
  • Dizziness
  • Poor Balance
  • Headache
  • Slow Speech
  • Drowsiness

 

Even if you don’t notice symptoms of a concussion, if your child falls or gets hit, you should keep a close eye on them. According to Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, you should rush your child to the emergency room if they experience sever neck pain, horrible headache that won’t go away, vomiting, or disorientation.

 

We love our children and our number one priority is to keep them safe. The above-mentioned tips can also be applied to adult athletes as well. Enjoy the competitive world of sports even more by knowing that you’re safe!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 year ago · by · 0 comments

4 Common Homeowners Mistakes

Who doesn’t want to own a home? Owning a home is pretty much on everyone’s list of goals. It can be a great place to build a family, and even if you don’t want to live there anymore, it can become a great investment when being used a rental property. Because of this, you want to ensure that your home is well kept and isn’t in need of small repairs that can lead to pricier repairs.

Here are 4 mistakes to avoid if you currently own a home.

 

Ignoring Minor Repairs

Of course, no pays attention to a leaky faucet or a constantly running toilet. I mean, why should you? It’s not causing any big issues, right? Wrong. These minor things can cause quite a headache by hurting your pockets. A leaky faucet and a toilet that constantly run can cause a huge increase in your water bill. Tiny cracks in your homes foundation can also lead to bigger cracks that can become costly to repair. Point is, make it your business to handle these issues as soon as you spot them.

 

Procrastinating on Home Maintenance

Home maintenance is more than fixing small repairs. You must do a thorough check of your home on a monthly basis at the minimum. Many homeowners fail to check crucial places in their home such as the attic, basement, and small crawlspaces. This leads to big price tags when it comes time to finally fix the issue.

 

Forgetting Appliance Maintenance

Checking appliances are usually overlooked when it comes to home maintenance. When home maintenance is mentioned, most people think about the common things such as interior/exterior cleaning, plumbing, lawn care, painting, etc. They rarely think about the actual appliances in their home. Appliance repairs can be very costly. For example, a dryer’s exhaust vent needs cleaning (the vent on the back or side), not the one you pull out. Too much lint accumulation can cause a fire. That’s the last thing you need.  Other appliances that should be checked out include your refrigerator, washer, dishwasher, and more.

 

Forgetting HVAC System Maintenance

Your HVAC system is pretty much always in use. During the winter months you’re using it to produce heat, and during the summer time you’re using it for air. Since it is one of the most used systems in your home, being aware of maintenance needed on it is vital. Ensure that your ducts are cleaned, and filters are changed frequently.

 

Be sure to check out our blog on spring maintenance as well to ensure you’re prepared for spring when it rolls around!

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2 years ago · by · 0 comments

Monthly Home Maintenance Checklist

Owning a home is a great feeling! You can renovate and add many things to make it more personal to you. However, homes require lots of maintenance to make sure it remains comfortable for your family. The responsibilities of a homeowner should not be taken for granted. Besides, you want your home to be more valuable than when you first bought it, correct?

Consistent maintenance of your home should always be on your monthly to-do list. It will save you lots of money in the long run and is well worth the very little labor and time invested. It’s better to catch small problems before they turn into even more complicated tasks. Once they become complicated tasks, you’ll be at the mercy of the prices of an independent contractor, which can be very expensive.

 

 

Home Exterior

The exterior may not seem important when it comes to your home interior. But, some things can indeed infiltrate your home if left untreated.

  • If you would like your curb appeal to continue to look nice, remove shrubs and dead plants from around your home
  • Ensure that all gutters and drains are draining away from your home
  • Check for missing and damaged shingles
  • Check for cracks in the foundation (if you spot any, you really need to check the severity of them because it can allow termites in your home or lead to larger structural issues later down the line)
  • Checking your garages automatic reversing mechanism is a must. An improperly operating automatic reversing mechanism has been linked to many deaths and injuries. This is especially important if you have children.

 

Attic

Attics are usually only used for storing things in most homes, which means they’re highly overlooked when it comes to maintenance. This has proven to be a costly mistake in some cases.

  • Check for any leakage which can easily ruin the rest of your home
  • Look for any sunlight shining through cracks, this can help identify if your roof needs repair
  • Look for signs of rodents that may be living there. This can lead to damaged walls, doors, and furniture from gnawing. Not to mention being exposed to a host of diseases and increasing allergies

 

Home Interior

The interior of your home is always in your line of sight. You live there!

  • Cooling and heating vents should be vacuumed or dusted
  • All drains should be unclogged and cleaned
  • Carbon Monoxide and smoke detectors should be inspected. Ensure that batteries are changed atleast every 6 months
  • Make sure the alarm system is still functioning properly for the safety of your family

 

Basement

The basement is the second most overlooked place in a home, behind the attic, and it happens to be ground zero to a host of problems that can affect your home.

 

  • Similar to the attic, you need to check the entire basement for any dampness in the walls and floors
  • Replace and clean filters as needed such as water filters, dryer exhausts, and HVAC system filters
  • Drain your water heater as needed to remove any sediment, while also checking for corrosion and leaks
  • Locate and have knowledge of how to turn off the main water supply valve
  • The floors underneath toilets, sinks, showers and tubs should be checked for leaking water

 

Kitchen

The kitchen is an obvious place to maintain because majority of your time is spent here. Keeping appliances in tip-top shape will save lots of money and prevent you from buying new ones or paying for repairs.

  • Your oven and refrigerator should always be deep cleaned
  • Dishwashers and sinks should always be checked for leakage
  • Clean the coils on a refrigerator using a coil brush or vacuum to ensure it continues to cool properly. Make sure to unplug the refrigerator before doing so

 

Feel free to complete additional maintenance on your home as needed. Seasonal maintenance is more specific in terms of what to check. You can find more information on spring maintenance here. Our job is to save you lots of money by informing you of preventive actions that can be taken to do so.

If all else fails, another way to ensure that you’re protected is having home insurance coverage. Even if you already have a policy, it’s always good to look over it annually to ensure it will provide enough coverage for any damages that may occur in an emergency. You can give us a call at 217-345-7063 to go over your coverage or get more information on signing a new policy for new homeowners.

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2 years ago · by · 0 comments

Common Car Distractions and How to Avoid Them

Driving a vehicle is always an activity that should be done with one’s full attention. With the increasing usage of technology, it’s easier to be distracted while driving than it was years ago. Not to mention the fact that vehicles have technology built into them, which can be distractions themselves!

Below are a few car distractions that you should be aware of. Some are obvious while others aren’t.

 

 

Built-In Technology

Newer cars are equipped with lots of entertaining and unique technology. Of course, these systems can be very distracting because of their complexity. Most of these systems require multiple steps to perform functions such as connecting Bluetooth or utilizing your navigation. Some vehicles even allow us to utilize apps and text contacts from our phone. All these features have one thing in common- they take our mind off the road and can cause slower reaction times.

 

Pets

We all appreciate our little furry friends coming along for a car ride with us! They’re usually great travel companions. But, they should be restricted in some way to avoid your view being blocked while driving or other distractions that may occur with them being free in your vehicle. This will save you lots of headache.

 

Hands-free Talking

Hands-free technology is very common in new vehicles. However, hands-free doesn’t mean distraction-free! While you may have your hands on the steering wheel, mentally, your mind is focusing on giving voice commands or talking to a friend on the phone. This slows down reaction time and the ability to be a defensive driver when needed.

In fact, there was a study done by Brain Research that indicates a significantly lower driving performance when talking on the phone.

 

Food Consumption

We’re all guilty of eating a fast food burger in the driver’s seat. In fact, an Exxon Mobil survey shows that 70% of people admit to having done this before. This takes your focus off the road and shifts it to not dropping or spilling anything on your clothes (or shifts it to how good your burger is…..guilty). Either way, it can wait!

Rowdy Passengers

You should always be aware of the passengers in your vehicle. This is especially true for teens. When beginning a drive, you should communicate to your passengers the rules of your car. This sets the tone for the entire car ride to avoid any absurd actions that can distract you from driving.

 

Grooming

Running late for a date? An interview? Important meeting? These are common reasons for people doing their grooming in their vehicle while they’re driving. It doesn’t matter if you’re combing your hair, shaving, or putting on makeup, it should be done at home. If you must do it while in a vehicle, pull over somewhere safe and do so. If not, you may not ever make it to where you’re going versus being late and apologizing later.

 

Texting (obvious)

We had to mention the most obvious distraction. Unfortunately, Childrens Hospital at Vanderbilt reports motor vehicle accidents to be the number one cause of teenage deaths. That’s not a pretty statistic. What activity do most teenagers engage in while driving? You guessed it, texting! You get the point of how deadly this activity can be. Not only in the teenage community, but in the general population as a whole. The text can wait. Trust us.

Rubbernecking

You’ve ever been driving and spot an accident on the side of the road? Sure, you have! Chances are you probably even slowed down just to take a peak. Well, you were rubbernecking. Rubbernecking causes a little over 15% of accidents.  That’s a big enough percentage to have us worry! Your only focus should be on the road and not on getting the details of an accident.

 

Even the slightest distraction can cause accidents. This is why we wanted to inform you of the obvious and the not-so-obvious distractions. If you can, share this article with anyone who can benefit from it. We encourage to make any teenage drivers that you know to read as well.

 

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2 years ago · by · 0 comments

Fine Tuning Your Motorcycle for Riding Season

Riding season is here. It’s spring and summer will be here in no time. Although the weather can be very volatile, it’s still warm enough to ride! You have warm weather that allows you to engage in outdoor activities, including feeling the warm breeze while riding your motorcycle.

However, before you hit the road and travel far distances, it’s best to make sure you’re safe while doing so! The best way to ensure safety is to make sure your motorcycle is tuned up and have all the repairs needed to avoid serious injury or worse.

 

Check Brake Fluid

Brake fluid attracts a lot of moisture. Brake chains should be inspected for wear and brake fluid levels should be checked and topped off. Coolant should be added to appropriate levels as well.

 

Check your battery

Your motorcycle sits during the cold winter months, so it’s very common if you have a dead battery. You should first remove the battery and check for any white powder. If you find any, it’s best to replace it immediately. If not, hook it up to your trickle charger and give it a kick. Once it’s done, put it back in your bike and take it for a spin!

 

Change oil & oil filter

Simply put, if you didn’t change the oil on your motorcycle before putting it up for the winter, you need to change it before taking it for a spin this spring. These are very important components that need to be checked. The last thing you want is a locked engine on the side of the road.

 

Inspect your tires

It’s very natural to try and squeeze every single mile that you can out of your tires before you change them. This couldn’t be more dangerous. This is especially true since motorcycles themselves are high risks vehicles due to you being exposed versus inside of a vehicle.

Make sure to check for any cracks or flat spots that may have formed over the Winter. If everything checks out here, go on and check the tire pressure and fill or remove air as needed.

 

Give it fresh fuel

If you’ve had fuel sitting in your motorcycle all winter, most likely it’s not any good at this point. This can be very harmful to the engine and can cost you tons of money in the long-run. We recommend changing it altogether.

 

Give it a good cleaning

You want your bike to look good when you’re driving it in the warm weather, so give it a good shine. Besides, a clean bike adds to your appearance as well!

 

Ensuring your bike is ready to hit the road is essential when it comes to enjoying your bike rides accident-free. Of course, you can do everything yourself if you’re a handy person. If not, take it to a shop and tell them what you want inspected. Or at the very least, do some of the above mentioned items yourself and allow the shop to do the rest. This way, you save a little cash.

 

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2 years ago · by · 0 comments

The Importance of Saving for Retirement Early On

Many millennials are entering into an exciting stage of their life. Some are graduating college and starting careers. While adjusting to true adulthood, it can be challenging to think about the future and begin planning for retirement. This is due to a number of reasons. What they don’t consider, especially in their 20s, is the best time to begin saving is now!

We’ve came up with 4 advantages on why millennials should consider saving in their early 20s.

 

Money Skills
Being away from your parents and living on your own terms is a lot of responsibility. You especially have to be smart about your finances. You will have to plan for future expenses by putting money aside for short term and long term goals. Saving for retirement early helps change the way you think about money and financial stability in your future. This mindset shift will help you create greater wealth and save you financial heartache in the long-run.

 

Time Advantage
Starting young at anything is an advantage. It gives you time to make mistakes and plan. In this case, you have over 40 years ahead of you to make your money work for you, utilizing the power of compounding. For example, if you’re 26 years old and you decide to place $500 bucks into a retirement plan each month, with an average of 8% being earned annually, and allowing it to grow for 40 years, you would have over $1 million when you’re 65-66 years old. However, if you procrastinate until your 30s to begin this process, you wouldn’t be so happy with your retirement savings.

Also, keep in mind that you can earn more than 8% annually, depending on how or where you invest your money. This can easily earn you a couple million dollars by the time you retire. Sounds good right? We know.

 

Workplace Advantages
Sometimes voluntarily putting money into a retirement account is hard. In that case, this is where workplace retirement plans such as 401(k) or a 403(b) come in handy. They will automatically take a percentage of your salary and deposit it into your plan. A good thing about this is that you are not required to pay taxes on the growth of your funds until you begin withdrawing money. This also lowers your taxable income. However, any withdrawals before the age 59 1/2, in tax-deferred retirement plans, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty.

 

Financial Flexibility
Besides student loans, millennials still have less financial burdens than someone older who has a family. Especially since you may still utilize the help of your parents. With that being said, it’s easier to free up a few dollars to place into a retirement plan. Establishing this habit now will greatly improve your living situation after retirement.

 

We understand retirement is the last thing millennials think about, but it shouldn’t be. We have helped many individuals from all age groups set up individual retirement accounts. If you are interested and would like a free consultation, give us a call at 217-345-7063 to invest in your future. Contributions do not have to be big. Whatever is affordable for you is sufficient.

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2 years ago · by · 0 comments

Fire Prevention Guide

Preventing a fire is not an impossible task. It’s simple quite frankly. However, having a fire prevention guide isn’t something many households think about creating. Everyone loves to assume that they’re very responsible people and that nothing can happen to them. While there’s no doubt you’re a responsible individual, fires can happen from the least expected culprits. Many people make grocery lists to remember to buy certain things. Why not make a fire prevention list as well?

Below is a complete guide to take preventive measures when it comes to fire safety for the sake of you and your loved ones.

 

The National Fire Prevention Association reported 475,500 brick and mortar fires causing 2,950 civilian deaths, 12,755 injuries, and $7.9 billion in property damages. Those are outrageous numbers, right? Who knows when this can strike close to home?

We have a quick quiz for you. What part of your home do you believe is most likely to cause the most fires? That’s right, the kitchen! 50% of fires inside of a resident’s home originate from the kitchen, with many of these fires being caused by forgetting that food is actually cooking on the stove. With that being said, it only makes sense if your fire prevention guide begins with the kitchen!

 

Kitchen Area

  1. Ensure that there’s no food left unattended while cooking (try utilizing a timer)
  2. Going off of the last point, the worst thing you can do is leave your home, even if for a moment, while food is cooking
  3. Ensure small appliances aren’t plugged in while not being used
  4. Avoid built up grease on the stove-top and inside the oven
  5. Avoid using a power strip or extension cord for larger appliances. Ensure they’re plugged directly into the wall

 

Electrical

  1. Ensure space heaters are in good condition and keep anything that can catch fire at least 5 feet away & also keep them unplugged if not in use
  2. Hire a professional or someone knowledgeable with chimney cleaning and ensure it’s cleaned thoroughly every year
  3. Going off the last point, your furnace or boiler should be inspected and cleaned annually as well
  4. Try to keep extension cords and power strips are not so overloaded & also keep them from under rugs or anything else made out of cloth

 

Home Exterior/Interior

  1. Flammable items and liquids should be kept outdoors and away from sources of heat
  2. If possible, limit smoking to the outdoors (although we would prefer to have you avoid smoking in general for health reasons)
  3. Ensure your dryer and dryer exhaust is free of lint (this is highly overlooked)
  4. Make sure candles are not still lit when you decide to leave the house or sleep
  5. Barbecue grills should not be left indoors, especially if it’s a propane grill. When outdoors, they should not be underneath tree branches or a hanging part of your roof since that can catch fire as well

 

Additional Information on Fire Prevention

  1. NEVER try to extinguish a grease or oil fire with water, it will only make matters worse!
  2. Each floor in your home should have a fire extinguisher. Fire extinguishers should be replaced at least every 5 years or when it shows signs of rust.
  3. Make sure you have at least 1 safety route from each room in your home if a fire were to break out
  4. All smoke detectors (and carbon monoxide detectors) should be functional (updated batteries) and placed in the kitchen and each sleeping room
  5. Create an evacuation plan and make sure to share it with any kids in the house hold until they have a full understanding of it

Our reason for putting together this guide is because we know how overlooked this topic is. Fire safety is a must if you want to protect yourself and your loved ones. Preparation and knowledge on this topic is the best way to make sure you don’t find yourself in this situation. If you enjoyed this blog, check out some of our other blogs here and learn more about various topics.

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2 years ago · by · 0 comments

Mold Sickness is a Real Issue. How to Spot It & Stop Mold Growth

A basic science class teaches you that some mold is beneficial to the environment. It helps with the decomposition of organic material such as fallen trees. You consume it as well when you order that nice bleu cheese burger or when you use soy sauce on your Chinese food. However, the types of molds that we’re referring to are detrimental to your health and can cause severe damage. The symptoms that can occur varies between individuals and can mimic other illnesses. Because of this, we want to educate on this matter and ensure everyone is well equipped to handle this.

 

The reason we take mold so serious is due to the fact that it’s not easily spotted. All that’s needed for mold to develop is a damp environment. Because of this, a leaking pipe or even a home with high humidity can encourage mold growth within your walls, under carpets, and even behind appliances.

 

According to “The Cleveland Clinic”, some of the symptoms you may experience include:

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Inflamed Lungs
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Cough with spots of blood

You’re probably thinking, “that wasn’t helpful, those are common cold/flu symptoms.” Our point exactly! This makes it even more serious. Some of these symptoms, when left untreated, can lead to a serious disease.

 

How to Prevent Mold Growth

 

Dry wet areas promptly

Moisture is what allows mold to grow to begin with. Eliminate moisture, you eliminate the opportunity for mold to grow. You may have seepage in a basement after it rains or accumulation of water from a leaky pipe. These issues should be resolved within 2 days, at most, to avoid the possibility of mold growing. Even the little things that we do every day can put us at risk. Leaving wet clothes in a washer without drying them in a reasonable amount of time is bad, or spilling a drink on a carpet without cleaning it up can produce mold. Simply put, ensure wet areas are dried within a good time frame.

 

Clean & repair roof gutters

Damaged gutters lead to leaky roofs that can produce mold. The gutters on your roof should always be cleaned and inspected. A sign that your roof may be leaking is water stains after a storm.

Don’t overlook household plants

Household plants are very attractive and helps give your house a homey feeling. They also help purify the air. However, mold loves the moist soil inside household plants as well. When mold begins to grow, the air you breathe can become more detrimental than beneficial. This accumulation of mold can be due to poor maintenance or over-watering.

There are a few ways you can rid your plants of mold. One popular way is to scrape the mold off the affected areas of the soil.  This should be done wearing a mask to avoid inhaling it. If there’s a lot of mold, repotting the plant is your best bet. You can sprinkle a tad bit of cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, or baking soda on top of the soil, which acts as an anti-fungal solution.


Invest in Humidity Monitors

Humidity monitors gives you a good estimate on how much humidity your house is currently holding. The EPA suggests keeping your home humidity between 30-60%. A moisture meter can be purchased at a decent hardware store near you.

 

Create Airflow

Air holds less moisture when the temperature drops. To increase the flow of air in your home, opening doors and windows is the best route. Without this air flowing in, excessive moisture can accumulate on walls, windows and floors.

 

We relay information onto you because we care about your safety and health. If you suspect you may have mold sickness or have an abundance of mold growing in your home, please act quickly to resolve the issue!

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Company information

Bob Oetting & Associates Insurance

905 W. Lincoln Ave
Charleston, IL 61920

Contact details

Phone: (217)-345-7063
Fax: (217)-348-5241
Email address:
KarenPitcher@oettinginsurance.com

(217)-345-7063

Available Monday-Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm