It’s impossible to prevent every accident or disaster. But there are some simple steps you can take that will go a long way to protecting both your home and your family.
- Know your shut-off valves. Few people know where the emergency shut-off valves are located for gas, water and electricity. Take a moment and find them, and make sure everyone in your house knows where they are. If you're leaving your home for any extended length of time, it's a good idea to turn off the water before you go.
- Check your washer. Worn out rubber hoses in your washing machine can burst, spilling hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water on the floor. If your rubber hoses are more than just a few years old, swap them out for steel-belted hoses.
- Check your dryer. Over time, lint can build up in your dryer vent and spark a fire. It's estimated that happens almost 3,000 times a year in the U.S., even though just a little maintenance can prevent that from happening. Here's a link that shows you how - https://www.thespruce.com/clean-your-dryer-vent-1824761
- Check your smoke detectors. Every home should have at least one smoke detector on each floor and you should check the batteries twice a year - best time for that is right before you adjust your clocks in the fall and spring. Most smoke detectors last about 10 years. Each time you get a new one, write down the month and year of the purchase on the back.
- Check your gutters. Make sure they're clear of leaves and debris before the spring rains come. Also, if your roofing tiles haven't been replaced in more than 10 years and you notice a lot of sludge build up from your shingles, it may be time to look into getting a new roof installed.
- Check any large trees for dead branches. They're the most susceptible to getting knocked down in a storm or with high winds and can cause damage to anything below. Getting them removed by a tree trimmer is well worth the cost.
- Prepare for time away from home. Cancel your mail and paper delivery for that time period. If you can’t afford a monitored security system, the next best thing is to give the appearance that someone’s home while you’re away. Install lamp timers, and have a friend shovel your walkway if needed and maybe even park his or her car in your driveway. Above all, keep lower-level windows and garage doors closed and all entrances locked.
- Make sure any new additions are adequately covered. If you or a loved one received a high priced gift over the holiday, the item may not be covered for loss or damage under your current homeowners policy. Likewise, if you're planning any new room additions or other major changes on your property, make sure your coverage gets updated. Check with us if you're not sure.
There are all sorts of additional items we could list regarding electrical outlets, space heaters and cooking in the kitchen just to name a few. And unfortunately, accidents do happen which is why you need insurance in the first place. The key is to make sure that your home and your family are properly covered for your specific needs - and we're always ready to help assure you have the ideal policy that's right for you.