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FINGER LAKES FIRE & CASUALTY
6905 Route 227
P.O. Box 550
Trumansburg, New York 14886


607.387.6800
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Articles: Property Maintenance

Don’t Let “Unexpected” Issues Surprise You!

October 25, 2018

When you see "small" things around your property, address them as soon as you can.

Do a “walk-through” of your property, inside and out! 

  • Inspect the attic or crawl space areas.
  • Look for wear on the seals around the windows and doors. 
  • How is the roof looking?  
  • Any visible cracks in the siding?
  • Clear the dryer exhaust vent of debris.
  • Check the refrigerator coils at least annually.
  • Test the smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors twice a year, replacing the batteries each time.
  • Have your HVAC system serviced annually.

When your home is your biggest investment, as it is for most Americans, maintaining it is a must.  Don't hesitate to get out the tools or call a professional if needed.  Keep on top of the small stuff, so you do not get any “unexpected” surprises.


Categories: Home Tips, Property Maintenance,

Tis the Season...

December 12, 2016

With Christmas and New Year’s right around the corner many people are getting ready for their annual holiday parties.  However, hosts need to take steps to limit their liability before the party begins.

  • Provide plenty of outdoor lighting so guests see the walk-ways.
  • Keep pathways and steps clear of snow/ice to prevent falling.
  • Never leave cooking food unattended on the stove or outside grill.
  • Encourage guests to pick a designated driver who will refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages.
  • Have non-alcoholic beverages available.
  • Be a responsible host/hostess. Limit your own alcohol intake so that you will be better able to judge your guests’ sobriety.

Whether you are hanging out with a small group of friends for cocktails or throwing a big family bash, remember that a good host is a responsible host, and needs to take steps to ensure their guests' safety. 

Have a wonderful and safe holiday season!


Categories: Home Tips, Liability, Property Maintenance,

Smoke Alarm Placement

December 5, 2016

The National Fire Protection Association recommends homes should have smoke alarms installed inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. 

 

You can help protect your family in a home fire with smoke alarms. Install smoke alarms on each level of your house (including the basement), outside each sleeping area, and inside each bedroom. Test each smoke alarm every month to make sure it is working correctly by pushing the test button with your finger. Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.


Categories: Fire Prevention, Property Maintenance, Safety,

Winter Preparation....

November 7, 2016

Cooler temperatures and shorter days can only mean one thing — winter is on its way.  Improve your home’s energy efficiency this fall with these smart winterizing tips.

  • Weather-stripping for windows, a door sweep strip and some caulking can help fill any air leaks to limit energy loss. 
  • Replacing the furnace’s air filter every three months since a clogged filter can reduce the unit’s overall efficiency and lifespan.
  • Invest in a programmable thermostat to keep the temperature low when no one is home and programming it to increase the temperature when everyone arrives home.
  • If ice damming on the roof is an annual problem, consider taking measures to completely stop dams from forming.  Spray foam insulation is a modern solution that both insulates and seals to help stop ice damming.
  • If using a fireplace or chimney this winter, hire a professional to sweep the chimney and perform an annual inspection.

Categories: Property Maintenance,

Hot, Dry Conditions Mean Increased Fire Danger

July 5, 2016

The Finger Lakes region is in the midst of the third-driest June since records began being kept in the 1800s.  We know the lack of rain and higher temperatures can do damage to our lawns, but did you know that it can also spark mulch fires?   

Mulch comes in many forms, from pine needles and grass or hay, to wood chips and shavings, to recycled, shredded rubber.  All types of mulch are flammable.  All it usually takes is some type of heat source. It could be a carelessly discarded smoking material or a spark from a workman's tool or spontaneous combustion.  

When mulch naturally decomposes it creates heat that has nowhere to go.  The mulch will start to smolder and work its way down into the pile.  To prevent mulch fires, home and business owners should “turn” their mulch to release heat and keep it at least 18 inches away from a structure.  If you have a good water source, keeping the mulch wet, will also prevent smoldering.  Also, safely dispose of smoking material in a non-combustible container filled with water or sand.


Categories: Fire Prevention, Property Maintenance,

It's Pool Season

June 15, 2016

POOL AND SPA DRAIN SAFETY

An entrapment occurs when a person, or an object attached to a person, is sucked onto a pool or spa drain and becomes stuck by the drain’s force.

BE AWARE:  5 TYPES OF ENTRAPMENT

Hair Entrapment

  • Hair can become entangled in an improperly covered drain.

Limb Entrapment

  • Arms or legs can get lodged and may not be able to be pulled free from an improperly covered drain, even if the pumps are turned off.

Body Entrapment

  • Any part of the body that covers a drain can be held down by the suction.

Evisceration

  • Sitting on a drain with suction or a broken or missing cover can cause injuries or disembowelment.

Mechanical Entrapment

  • Fingers, toes, as well as jewelry or a bathing suit can become entangled.

If a drain cover becomes loose or falls off, shut down the pool or spa immediately.  No one should enter the pool or spa area until its repaired by a licensed maintenance professional. Install an emergency pump shutoff system and anti-entrapment drain covers on your pool systems.  Pool and spa safety drain covers are an important safety step and are required by law.        


Categories: Home Tips, Property Maintenance, Safety,

Hurricane Season 06/01/16 – 11/30/2016

June 8, 2016

The Atlantic hurricane season is now underway. The season runs June 1, 2016 – November 30, 2016.  Severe weather events are not just limited to hurricanes along the East Coast; they can occur in every state.

Tropical storms rarely make landfall in New York, although it is common for remnants of these storms to produce heavy rainfall and flooding.  Even areas well away from the coastline can be threatened by dangerous flooding, destructive winds and tornadoes from these storms.   We’d like to remind you of the need to make sure that you are prepared in the case of natural disasters.  

Preparing Your Property    

  • Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before the threat, trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
  • Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
  • Reduce property damage by inspecting the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors to make sure they are secure and in need of no repairs.
  • Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages.
  • Put together a disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate.
  • Call your insurance agent to make sure you have enough insurance to repair or even replace your home or business.  Remember, standard homeowners/business owners insurance doesn’t cover flooding.  You’ll need a separate policy for it.

Categories: Home Tips, Property Maintenance,

It's Deck Season!

May 9, 2016

With the weather warming up, you feel like you’re ready to start entertaining guests on your deck.  The first thing you want to be sure of is that all your guests will be safe and secure.

  • Inspect Your Deck – Check for loose nails/screws, warped wood, splinters and rot.
  • Secure Your Deck – Check for loose railings/stairs.  Repair as soon as possible to prevent falls.
  • Clean Your Deck – Remove any mold or mildew to prevent slippery surfaces. 
  • Seal Your Deck – Add a waterproof stain to protect your deck from elements like rain and UV rays.

Inspect your deck now and you’ll enjoy a safe outdoor season from beginning to end.


Categories: Property Maintenance,

Protect Your Home While on Vacation.

April 18, 2016

After you have packed your bags and planned your itinerary, you still need to consider how to best protect your home while on vacation.

  • Hire a House – or Pet- Sitter.
  • Stop mail/newspaper delivery.
  • Lock ALL of your doors and windows.
  • Invest in timers that turn on the interior lights for a few hours every evening.
  • Put a bar on your sliding glass door.
  • Install a home security system or even just exterior lights that run on timers.
  • Don't post your vacation plans for the whole world to see.

Categories: Home Tips, Property Maintenance,

Low- Risk Land Lording…

March 21, 2016

Learn how to protect your rental property from common mishaps and risky situations. Reduce likelihood of lawsuits, harm to tenants and guests, damage to your property, and financial distress.

Get the Right Insurance for Your Property – Review and discuss your current policy with your Agent.

Provide a Safe Environment – Keep your property safe so that people don’t get hurt.  Regularly inspect the property for hazards.

Maintain the Property – Install hard-wired smoke detectors, child-safe windows and have well-lit hallways and walkways.

Require all Tenants to Have Renters’ Insurance Coverage – Include a clause right in the lease that requires all tenants to provide proof of renters’ insurance coverage prior to occupying the premises.

Create an Emergency Procedure – Provide your tenant(s) with a manual that has an evacuation plan that’s tailored to your property.

Operate your rental unit in an Honest, Ethical, Professional manner.

Reach out to one of our Independent Agents today to see if you are getting the best price and coverage for your landlord’s insurance.


Categories: Liability, Property Maintenance,

Spring Cleanup...

March 16, 2016

Spring is just around the corner and good planning and maintenance in spring will create less work and more enjoyment in summer.  The outside of your home has been exposed to the elements all winter season. Inspect the following:

Foundation- Look for cracks that may have developed during the winter.

Siding- Clean the siding with a pressure-washer to remove/prevent mold growth.

Landscape- Trim back shrubs, and cut down tree limbs that could cause damage.

Gutters- Clean out debris.  A clogged gutter sends a cascade of water down the side of your house, saturating your foundation.

Deck- Repair any loose or warped boards.  Apply a wood preserver.

Roof-  Have your roof inspected to ensure you won’t experience leaks during those April showers.

And if you’re looking to do a little spring cleaning of your insurance policy, contact one of our Independent Agents near you.


Categories: Property Maintenance,

Holiday Decorating Safety

December 9, 2015

The holiday season is here!  No matter if you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or all three, you should always make it a safe celebration.

Here’s a few tips while decorating your home and yard this season.

• If buying an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant.” Fire-resistant trees are less susceptible to catching fire.
• If purchasing a live tree, keep the stand filled with water by refilling daily.
• Place your tree at least 3 feet away from all heat sources, including fireplaces, radiators, and space heaters.
• Do not use “Indoor” lights outside.
• Check each set of lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.
• Avoid artificial snow sprays as they can irritate lungs if inhaled.
• Poinsettias are poisonous when eaten, so keep them out of reach of kids and pets.

We wish everyone a Safe and Happy Holiday!


Categories: Fire Prevention, Property Maintenance,

April Showers Bring May… Water Damage?!

April 7, 2015

Spring time seems to be a magnet for water damage.  As the weather warms and the snow melts, flooding is imminent.

It is much easier to protect your home from flooding than it is to clean up after your home is flooded.   Just a little water in a basement or ground floor of a home can be a huge mess that is expensive and time consuming to clean up.  This spring, take a few minutes to walk around the outside of your home to see if you are at risk for flooding.

  • Inspect your gutters and downspouts for debris.
  • Inspect the foundation for cracks or holes.
  • Check to see if the soil around the foundation slopes away from the house.
  • Re-direct your gutter downspouts – At least five feet away from your home.
  • If you have a chronic problem with water seeping into your basement, invest in a sump pump.

In the past 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods and Homeowners insurance does NOT cover flood damage.  Contact your agent to discuss Enhancement Endorsements that can offer some assist, should you experience interior water damage.


Categories: Products, Property Maintenance,
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