Home Safety Tips – HomeownersInsurance.org http://www.homeownersinsurance.org Homeowners Insurance Tips and News Fri, 28 Jun 2013 15:01:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 Identify and Eliminate Mold http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/identify-eliminate-mold/ http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/identify-eliminate-mold/#respond Mon, 16 Jul 2012 19:07:19 +0000 http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/?p=1782 The Dangers of Mold

Mold is a common but potentially dangerous substance found in many homes and other buildings. There are thousands of varieties, but the most common are greenish, white, brown or black in color and often have a dusty texture. While trace amounts of mold exist in the air and on surfaces, prolonged exposure to household mold can cause a number of health issues.

Exposure to molds like Alternaria can trigger hay fever-like allergic symptoms, coughing and wheezing, as well as nasal stuffiness and eye or skin irritation. People with chronic respiratory diseases may experience difficulty breathing or develop fungal infections in their lungs. More serious reactions to molds have been reported, but the link between these symptoms and mold exposure has not been conclusively proven.

Mold flourishes in moist, humid environments. Nutrients that encourage mold to develop can be found in many building supplies. Spores can enter the home from the outside through open doors and windows as well as heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Airborne spores also attach themselves to people and animals and are thus carried indoors.

Common Household Sources of Mold

Paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles and wood products that have been exposed to moisture encourage the growth of certain molds. Mold can also grow in dust, lint, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet and upholstery. Leaking roofs, pipes, walls or even plant pots will support mold growth as well. Water damage, excessive humidity, water leaks, condensation or flooding all contribute to the spread of mold in the home, particularly the highly toxic Stachybotrys chartarum, a greenish black mold.

Best Treatments for Eliminating Mold

Mold can usually be eliminated from hard surfaces by a thorough cleaning with products like Mold Armor or Moldex, soap and water or a bleach solution of 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water. If the mold is present in porous or absorbent materials, those may need to be thrown away.

To keep mold out of the house, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises use of an air conditioner or dehumidifier. The home should have sufficient ventilation, including exhaust fans in kitchen and bathrooms. If repainting is necessary, mold inhibitors can be added to paints. Bathrooms should be carpet free and cleaned with mold-killing products. Water leaks, condensation, infiltration or flooding should be corrected to prevent mold from growing and the home inspected for indications of visible mold. Serious cases will require professional mold removal services such as ServiceMaster Clean.

Permanent Mold Solutions

Serious mold problems will require professional cleaning services and may even lead to extensive home repairs. Homeowners facing restoration issues can consult expert repair sites such as This Old House, Mr. Handyman or Bob Vila. It may be possible for homeowners to make minor repairs on their own; however, professional services from a company like SERVPRO, which offers restoration for significant mold damage, could become necessary.

]]>
http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/identify-eliminate-mold/feed/ 0
Easy Ways to Make Your Home Safer http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/make-your-home-safer/ http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/make-your-home-safer/#respond Mon, 16 Jul 2012 19:03:40 +0000 http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/?p=1777

You may feel safer in your home than anywhere else, but statistics show that you might not be as secure as you imagine. In the United States, about 20 million people are hospitalized every year due to injuries that happen in their homes.  Roughly 7 million of those injuries cause some type of disability, and nearly 20,000 of them are fatal.

Children and pets are especially vulnerable to accidents, since tend to be more active and are less able to recognize danger. However, accidents are common among adults as well. The good news is that you can significantly reduce the chances of injury by following some simple home-safety tips.

Fall-Proof Your Home

The most common cause of injuries at home is falling, which can result in sprains, broken bones and even more serious injuries. Fortunately, it isn’t hard to remove potential falling hazards from your home.

Perform a quick walk-through, covering every room of the house. Look for any clutter in your doorways, halls and other walking spaces. Make sure children’s toys are put away safely. Loose rugs can trip you, so secure them under heavy furniture or remove them completely. Tuck away any wires or cables that protrude underfoot. If you see any broken or dim light bulbs, replace them. Poor lighting is a common cause of falls so be sure all rooms are properly lit.

Prevent Poisoning

Toxic substances are especially hazardous to children and pets, but a significant number of adults also poison themselves each year at home. Help prevent accidental poisoning with an inventory of all toxic chemicals in your house, such as cleaning products, lighter fluid and medications. Check all of the lids to make sure they are tightly closed. Sealed caps keep vapors locked inside the bottle, and prevent contents from spilling onto the ground where toddlers or animals might find them.

Use a mop or wet rag to wipe down windowsills and furniture. This will remove paint chips and other particles that could end up in children’s mouths. Also, keep prescription and over-the-counter drugs in their original containers and out of reach of children. Medicines are common sources of poisoning.

If you suspect poisoning, call the American Association of Poison Control Centers 24-hour hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Keep that number handy in case of emergency. The association will send refrigerator magnets and stickers for your phone upon request.

Minimize Carbon Monoxide

You may have given little thought to carbon monoxide in your home, but this colorless, odorless gas can be deadly in large quantities. All fuel-burning appliances, including gas stoves and heaters, burn oxygen and emit carbon monoxide. Wood-burning fireplaces can be a major source of carbon monoxide, as well.

Prevent poisoning by making sure vents and chimneys are not blocked, and open a window if you use a gas-powered space heater. To monitor levels in your home, buy a carbon monoxide detector. Similar to smoke detectors, these gadgets display a digital reading of carbon monoxide levels and emit an alarm sound if levels climb too high.

Additional Resources:
Preventing Carbon Monoxide Problems: Colorado State University identifies common sources of carbon monoxide in this guide, and offers steps to eradicate the deadly gas from  your home.

Home Fire Prevention: The United States Fire Administration provides this tip sheet to help you prevent fires and take the safest actions if a fire starts.

Poisoning: First Aid: This guide from the Mayo Clinic goes over the symptoms of poisoning and how to treat them, as well as when to call for help.

5 Ways to Make Your Home Safer: This article from This Old House outlines five suggestions for increasing the safety in your home. Topics include smoke alarm testing, kitchen habits and drowning prevention.

]]>
http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/make-your-home-safer/feed/ 0
Hottest Tips on Preparing for House Fires http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/hottest-tips-on-preparing-for-house-fires/ http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/hottest-tips-on-preparing-for-house-fires/#respond Tue, 29 May 2012 14:14:09 +0000 http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/?p=1599 The American Red Cross states that the single most common disaster they respond to is home fires. Furthermore, they say that house fires are the most preventable disaster. If you know how house fires occur, you can take the necessary precautions to prevent significant damage and possible danger to household residents.

 

How They Happen

  • Cooking – According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking was involved in 44% of reported home fires in 2010. This includes accidents caused by unattended cooking, clothing items lighting up, frying, and the ignition of food and other cooking materials. The NFPA also notes that the peak of cooking fires occur around Thanksgiving.
  • Smoking – Although not the primary cause of home fires, smoking is the single greatest cause of deaths by home fires. Those who smoke indoors do not always pay close attention to how close their cigarette is to furniture and clothing, both of which tend to catch on fire and often result in the death of the individual. When a cigarette or cigar is not properly extinguished before being disposed, it can light paper in wastebaskets on fire and get out of hand before anyone notices.
  • Electrical – The two most common reasons electrical fires start are lights and home electrical systems. People don’t always check the maximum wattage requirement for lamps and other lighting fixtures and when they use bulbs that generate too much heat, it can cause a house fire. Placing things on top of lamps and lights will also result in the object potentially igniting.
  • Heating – In the winter months, heating results in numerous house fires. Contrary to what you might assume, furnaces are not the primary cause of heating-related fires. Space heaters pose the biggest problem as they are often placed too close to the wall or flammable materials. Another common mistake people make with space heaters is hanging socks and shoes on them to dry. After a while, however, they forget about the clothing items, which eventually catch on fire.
  • Christmas trees – In December, that gorgeous evergreen is covered in lights and plastic tinsel. Old strings of lights can have faulty bulbs or exposed wires. The slightest contact with a drying pine-needle or synthetic material on the tree can quickly cause the whole tree to go up in flames. Although lights look prettiest at night, it is vitally important to turn off the lights before bed.
  • Children playing with fire – Keep all matches and lighters out of reach of small children. Kids who don’t know how to properly handle fire are responsible for many house fires each year. Proper education on this subject can prevent children from mishandling flammable materials. A field trip to the local fire station can be a fun way to teach them about fire safety.

 

How to Prevent

Prior to dealing with a blaze in the home, there are some basic preparations you can make that will prevent accidents like the ones listed above from happening.

For starters, identify two escape routes from every room in the house and make sure all members of the household are aware of them. About twice a year, hold drills to refresh the route in everybody’s mind. Locate all ladders and hoses around the outside of the home and check that they are all in working order in case it becomes necessary to use either one.

Additionally, replace all fire alarm batteries at least once a year. Windows often become stuck over time so periodically it’s wise to ensure they open smoothly.

Always supervise cooking and have a fire extinguisher near the kitchen. For space heaters and all other electronic devices, read the warnings and instructions to avoid accidental ignition of objects in the immediate vicinity.

 

How to Respond

The Red Cross lists multiple response tips in case a fire does occur. If possible, they recommend you use whatever escape plan you have practiced and set in place. In case doors or passageways are blocked by flames or excessive smoke, stay in the safety of the room you’re in at the moment. Close the door and block the empty space under it with a towel or some other cloth.

If there is a window in the room that can be opened, do so if you are certain of a hasty escape. Leaving the door open for a prolonged period of time supplies more oxygen to the nearby flames and can increase the speed that it approaches your location. If a window-exit does not seem possible, flash any available light through the window to get anybody’s attention who might be outside.

If there is any way to contact the fire department, do so immediately. After you have escaped from the house, do not reenter for any reason. Keep a first aid kit outside somewhere safe in case of injuries that need attention after escaping.

]]>
http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/hottest-tips-on-preparing-for-house-fires/feed/ 0
Plants That are Poisonous to Your Pet http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/plants-that-are-poisonous-to-your-pet/ http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/plants-that-are-poisonous-to-your-pet/#respond Fri, 27 Apr 2012 19:42:01 +0000 http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/?p=1404 Keeping plants in your home and garden is a great way to refresh a space, but you should be cautious if you own pets. While some plants are commonly known to be poisonous to pets, there are other plants that are often used in gardens and indoor decor that people do not realize are harmful to animals. Avoid a sick pet by learning more about which plants are poisonous to your pet.

 

Household Plants That Can Poison Your Pet

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) points out that aloe vera can cause diarrhea in pets. Although it is not life threatening, it is still a good idea to keep aloe vera out of reach of your pets.

Calla lilies are popular for people who favor modern decor. Unfortunately, this plant can be extremely toxic to pets. Depending on the amount that the pet ingests, calla lilies can be fatal to a pet. Peace lilies are another type of indoor lily that can harm pets. The symptoms of ingesting peace lilies involve a swelling of the mouth and tongue.

Be cautious when you receive plants as gifts during the holidays. Poinsettias can cause a mild allergic reaction in pets. According to the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, the biggest concern during the holidays is mistletoe. Mistletoe can cause serious reactions for pets and may even be fatal. English ivy is a plant that is commonly used for indoor wreaths. The plant can cause gastrointestinal distress in pets and may lead to diarrhea, vomiting and extreme stomach pain.

 

Outdoor Plants That Can Poison Your Pet

Earth Clinic lists a variety of plants that could cause harm to your pet. If you are gardening while your pet is outside, make sure to keep an eye on your plants and bulbs. Tulip bulbs can cause heart issues and convulsions in pets. Lilies are known to be very poisonous to cats. Cats that have eaten the plant have suffered from kidney failure.

Other flowering plants that people often include in a garden that can be harmful to pets include azaleas, oleander and daffodils. If you live in a warmer climate, you may have sago palm in your garden. This plant can cause serious stomach distress, vomiting, liver failure and death.

 

Protecting Your Pet From Poisonous Plants

Mother Nature Network suggests they pet owners become familiar with different kinds of plants and how they can affect pets. If you do choose to keep a plant that is poisonous to pets in your home or garden, make sure that the plant is out of reach of your pets.

Keep an emergency fund for pet health expenses in case your pet has a medical emergency. Some pet owners find themselves unable to pay for the treatment that their pet needs after being poisoned by plants. Even if you make sure that your pet cannot reach dangerous plants, there is always a possibility.

The most proactive method of keeping your pet protected from poisonous plants is choosing not to keep these kinds of plants in your home or garden.

 

Plants That Harm Pets and Humans

While the beautiful flowers of the oleander make it a perfect addition to a garden, it is considered to be one of the most poisonous plants in the world. Green Buzz warns that one leaf from this plant is capable of killing a person. Ingesting oleander can quickly cause a person’s nervous system to shut down. The plant has a similar effect on pets, and even less of the plant can be fatal based on the smaller body weight of most pets.

One popular addition to gardens in California is the castor bean plant. This plant is extremely harmful to both people and pets when ingested. One bean from this plant can kill a person or a pet, and there is no known antidote for castor bean plants.

These are just two of the most harmful plants to people and pets. Many indoor and outdoor plants that cause reactions in pets can hurt people. People with small children should take care to keep dangerous plants out of reach to avoid accidental ingestion.

 

Has Your Pet Already Been Poisoned?

If your pet has already been poisoned by a plant, the first step is to stay calm. Panicking wastes valuable time that you could be using to help your pet. Seattle PI highlights the importance of contacting a veterinarian immediately. You may forgo the phone call if there is an emergency clinic in your immediate area that you can take your pet to as soon as possible. Before heading out the door with your pet, quickly try to determine what kind of poisonous plant the animal ate. This information may help the vet determine how to treat your pet.

Take the a sample of the poisonous plant that your pet ingested if possible. It is important to avoid trying to medicate your pet or make them throw up. The vet will determine if medication or induced vomiting is necessary.

Make sure that you are familiar with dangerous plants so that you can protect your pet from poisoning. Keep plants that may cause adverse reactions out of the reach of your pets, and make sure that you have a plan in case of accidental ingestion. If your pet does ingest a poisonous plant, stay calm and seek the advice of a veterinarian. Sometimes the best solution is avoiding plants that can cause harm completely.

]]>
http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/plants-that-are-poisonous-to-your-pet/feed/ 0
Keeping Your Home Safe http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/keeping-your-home-safe/ http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/keeping-your-home-safe/#respond Fri, 08 Oct 2010 15:59:38 +0000 http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/?p=1046

Accidents are the leading cause of death in people under 45, and they account for about a third of all injury-related emergency room visits, according to the CDC. In-home accidents are also the leading cause of homeowners insurance claims, but there are many things you can do to reduce your risk.

  • Dog Bites – There are over a million instances of dog bites every year. The CDC recently estimated the number to be as high as 4.7 million. Every year, over half a million dog bite victims have injuries serious enough to send them to the emergency room, and dog bite claims are driving insurance premiums up. Know what you can do to prevent dog bites, and make sure your family and friends are safe around your pets.
  • Slips and Falls – Falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for children up to age 19, and approximately 8,000 kids are rushed to the emergency room every day for injuries resulting from falls. To keep kids safe, always supervise their playtime, and use safety gates to keep toddlers away from stairs. One-third of all seniors also take a tumble every year. While falling down may not seem like a serious problem for most adults, older folks have brittle bones and falls commonly lead to hip fracture and even premature death. To keep your home safe, eliminate tripping hazards, add grab bars and railings, and make sure there’s adequate light.
  • Fireworks – According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, seven people died and approximately 7,000 were treated in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries in 2008. Most of these took place in the weeks surrounding Independence Day, and of those injuries, more than 40% were children under 15. Always supervise children when using fireworks, and leave the large displays to professionals.
  • Poisoning – In 2008, more than 2,000 people a day were seen in emergency rooms due to accidental poisonings, and poisoning death rates went up by 63% from 1999 to 2004. With such a dramatic rise in fatalities, it’s more important now than ever to pay special attention to household chemicals. Don’t store food and chemicals together, and always keep substances in their original containers to avoid confusion.
  • Accidental Fires – Deaths from fires and burns are the fifth most common cause of accidental death in the U.S., and the third-leading cause of home accident fatalities. To keep your loved ones safe from fire, install approved smoke detectors and routinely check batteries. Keep cooking areas free of fabrics, and use caution when operating space heaters.
  • Choking – In 2000, 160 children ages under 15 died from choking. More than half of these cases involved non-food items such as toys being ingested by children. When you consider that every choking death represents about 100 trips to the emergency room, you start to grasp the size and scope of the problem. To keep kids safe, keep dangerous toys, foods, and household items out of reach, and always supervise children at play.
]]>
http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/keeping-your-home-safe/feed/ 0
5 Ways That a Fire Can Hurt Your Family http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/5-ways-that-a-fire-can-hurt-your-family/ http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/5-ways-that-a-fire-can-hurt-your-family/#respond Wed, 15 Sep 2010 16:51:19 +0000 http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/?p=948

While the current housing crisis may find you occasionally wishing that your house would just burn down so you could walk away from it and your mortgage without destroying your credit, the truth is that these tragedies hurt you in more ways than most people would think of. Here are some of the many ways in which losing your home to a fire can hurt you, many of which your homeowners insurance can’t do anything about:

  1. Loss of a place to live. This is the most obvious, and the one you’ve probably already thought of, so we’ll start here. No one likes to move. Well, no one normal, anyway. Losing your home to a fire doesn’t leave you much choice in the matter. You’re going to need to find someplace else to live.
  2. Loss of personal possessions. Most of us really don’t have any idea how much money’s worth of stuff that we have. Take a quick inventory of all the things in your house that could be lost in a fire and you’ll begin to realize that you’re dealing with a small fortune. Replacing all of the average family’s clothing alone can cost thousands of dollars. What’s worse is that some homeowners insurance policies don’t cover the valuable you lose in a fire.
  3. Loss of sentimental items. There are some things that money can never replace. Children’s favorite toys or blankets come to mind. Photographs, of course, may be gone forever. Look through your house. Chances are there is sentimental value attached to all kinds of things that you really wouldn’t think twice about until it was lost.
  4. Loss of life. No one wants to think about this happening to a loved one, but house fires do claim many lives. Make sure that your family has a plan for how to get out of the house in the event of a fire, and that everyone knows the plan thoroughly.
  5. Emotional losses. We know of one family whose children had migraines for several years after a house fire, reputedly due to the emotional stress. Additionally, those who have lived through house fires often claim an acute emotional sadness which comes on them when they look for something, only to realize that they lost in the fire. This can even happen two or three years after a fire.

Let’s hope you never have to go through a house fire. But in case you ever do, make sure that you are adequately insured and that your insurance includes such things as living expenses while you are looking for new housing arrangements and the replacement of your valuables.

]]>
http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/5-ways-that-a-fire-can-hurt-your-family/feed/ 0
Simple Ways to Save on Homeowners Insurance http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/simple-ways-to-save-on-homeowners-insurance-2/ http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/simple-ways-to-save-on-homeowners-insurance-2/#respond Sat, 11 Sep 2010 20:34:30 +0000 http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/?p=924

If you are an average American home owner, chances are you are paying more for your homeowners insurance than you need to. Most insurance companies have their agent or another representative, often a third party company that specializes in gauging insurance risk, check out your home and property. This inspection is often completed without your knowledge, or even while you are away.

Most insurance agents won’t tell you what you can do to get a better rate on your homeowners insurance because they are paid on a percentage basis. So, for them, the more you spend on homeowners insurance, the better. They don’t even need to fear competition, because the things which insurance companies charge more for are fairly universal.

Here are some simple things you can do to save money on homeowners insurance:

  • Remove all knob and tube wiring. If you have an older house, you might have some of this old fashioned wiring still in the basement, often because a contractor never took it down when the home was rewired. If your house is still actually using knob and tube, call an electrician and have it replaced right away. It presents a fire hazard. Even if it’s not functional, though, an insurance company can rate you simply for having it still hanging there.
  • Cut down all trees near the house. If you really must have trees close to the house, at least make sure that no branches are touching the house, especially the roof. Better yet, make sure that no trees are even overhanging the roof, as insurance companies will charge you more because of the danger of storms knocking the limbs down.
  • Keep all wood piles away from the house. Also clear out any brush or dry vegetation close to the house.
  • Don’t keep old cars or appliances close to the house. This may sound crazy that we even need to mention it, but you’d be surprised how many houses keep old appliances and cars around the yard. If you must keep such things (to sell for scrap or whatever), at least put a fence around them.
  • Fence in any pools or trampolines. Insurance agents lick their chops when they see these things left unlocked, because your insurance is going to cost you more.
  • Make simple repairs. Don’t let things like broken windows, cracked sidewalks, or missing shingles or siding go unattended. This makes insurance companies believe you are more likely to need to make claims in the future, which means they will charge you more for your homeowners insurance.

Image by Clarity J

]]>
http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/simple-ways-to-save-on-homeowners-insurance-2/feed/ 0
Homeowner Rescue Scams http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/homeowner-rescue-scams-2/ http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/homeowner-rescue-scams-2/#respond Fri, 03 Sep 2010 15:05:39 +0000 http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/?p=888

You won’t catch us saying “trust the government” very often, but when it comes to dealing with issues concerning your home ownership, you might want to at least check with the government concerning anyone who claims they are going to help you. With the exception of your mortgage company, your homeowners insurance company, and your immediate relatives, most of the organizations who offer you unsolicited help will only help relieve your bank account of what little you have left.

Let’s face it, we were all hit by the housing bubble. Our home values dropped, many of us were stuck with increased payments due to adjustable rate mortgages cranking the interest rates sky high, and some have even lost their homes to foreclosure. Unfortunately, the best homeowners insurance in the world doesn’t protect us from any of those things.

If you’re behind on your mortgage payments and in danger of facing foreclosure, your bank or lending institution has to file claims with your local courts. Unfortunately, these are public records which can be viewed by anyone. They are often published in the local newspaper, so any scam artist or con man can easily tell whom they can target.

Many of the scams being run offer help protecting you from foreclosure in return for a one time fee, typically $1,000 or more. The reason why the fee is one time, of course, is that the con artist will be long gone with the cash from every sucker who gave him money long before he would’ve been able to collect a second fee anyway.

So, who can you trust? Believe it or not, for this one, it’s the government and your lender.

Your first course of action if you are in danger of losing your home should be to contact your lender. They are thoroughly versed with all of the latest government programs which are designed to help you stay in your home. And in today’s market, they are more than happy to try to do whatever it takes to help keep you in your home. They would much rather get you back on track with your mortgage than be stuck with a foreclosure that will be sold for half of what you owe on it due to plummeting home values.

If you think you may have already been scammed, contact your local authorities immediately. They represent your best chances of being able to recover your money and bring con artists to justice.

Image by neighborworksamerica

]]>
http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/homeowner-rescue-scams-2/feed/ 0
Heating Your Home http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/heating-your-home/ http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/heating-your-home/#respond Wed, 11 Aug 2010 13:22:54 +0000 http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/?p=862 These days when you say wood burning stove, it conjures up images of great grandparents who lives sometime around the Stone Age. Most of us heat our homes with natural gas, in highly efficient furnaces. Some even use ultra modern technology like solar, wind, and geothermal power to provide some or all of our heat. And yet, if you’re looking to cut costs, you just might consider tearing a page from great grandma’s playbook. You’ll pay a little more in homeowners insurance, but you’ll pay a lot less in heating bills.

These days, those who choose to heat their homes with wood have plenty of options , including the following:

  • Fireplaces. While we wouldn’t seriously suggest anyone use fireplaces as their primary heat source these days, many people do supplement their home heating with fireplaces. On top of giving a wonderful, dry heat, a fireplace adds ambiance and charm to your home.
  • Wood Stoves. Growing up, we had a wood furnace, and it kept the house nice and warm. Of course, we had several acres of trees, so it was more economical for us than for others. Wood stoves come in many different sizes and styles, from those which are meant to be used as a space heater to those which are designed to heat an entire house.

  • Pellet Stoves. These are one of the newer additions. Not only can you burn wood pellets (which are mostly sawdust), but you can buy pellet stoves that will burn corn (it smells like popcorn when it burns), cherry pits, and several other naturally combustible substances. Again, these are made in various sizes, some of which are capable of heating a large farm house.

Of course, if you do choose to fully or partially heat your home with wood or other natural substances, you’re going to want to minimize the risk of fire in your home. Here are some basic things you can do to mitigate the chances of a fire. Incidentally, they’ll also save you a little on your homeowners insurance.

  • Make sure that your stove is at least 6 inches away from the wall.
  • Make sure that the exhaust has a metal sleeve around it where it touches the wall.
  • Make sure that your wood stove is off of the floor. Typically, it should be set on bricks, cinder blocks, metal legs, or something else no flammable.
  • Make sure that you store your fuel at least 10 feet away from the heater.
  • In the case of fireplaces, never leave a fire burning unattended.

Photo via Robbie1

]]>
http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/heating-your-home/feed/ 0
Top 51 Home Safety Blogs http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/top-51-home-safety-blogs/ http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/top-51-home-safety-blogs/#respond Thu, 17 Jun 2010 01:34:57 +0000 http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/?p=650

Injuries that occur at home are one of the top reasons for emergency room visits each year. Whether it is falling from a wobbly ladder or a child putting a small object in their mouth, these are the types of accidents that can be prevented with just a little foresight and preparation. For this reason, it is important for consumers to be aware of the pitfalls to safety that can be present in their homes. The following blogs have thorough and practical information that is applicable to keeping everyone safe in their homes, regardless of whether they live in a house or an apartment.

  1. Sandwich Ink: This blog gives advice about keeping seniors safe to the “sandwich” generation, the generation that is taking care of both their children and their parents.
  2. Seabridge Bathing Blog: This blog entry reminds seniors, and those people who care for and love seniors, about the home safety issues that are of particular importance to this segment of the population.
  3. Pocket Change: This blog entry features gadgets such as smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms that are essential to ensure that a family is safe in their home.
  4. HJDS Investment Group: This blog entry tells consumers about the common mistakes that are made in regards to home safety.
  5. Caring Companions: A blog entry that focuses on keeping seniors safe during the cold days of winter.
  6. My Philly Lawyer: This blog entry, written by a lawyer in Philadelphia, focuses on the safety issues surrounding swimming pools as well as the responsibilities that come with pool ownership.
  7. Family Home Security: This blog focuses on helping people keep their home safe by covering many different aspects of home safety including keeping children safe.
  8. She Knows: This blog article features some tips on staying safe while entertaining in the home.
  9. Do it Yourself: These articles give consumers lots of tips about how to stay safe when dealing with electricity.
  10. Home Safety Tips: This article focuses on safety tips to keep in mind when consumers attempt home improvement jobs around the house.
  11. Home Security: This article details some items consumers need to be aware of in order to be safe in their homes
  12. Do it Yourself HQ: This entry offers some timely tips to remind consumers about being safe while using power tools.
  13. Solar Power: This blog entry cautions people about being safe with their solar power battery banks.
  14. Ask the Electrician: This article details a variety of ways in which people need to be safe around electricity.
  15. Natural Handyman: The Natural Handyman has a handy article that gives consumers great advice about how to make a backyard playground a safe area.
  16. Atlanta Injury Attorneys: A blog article that deals things consumers need to know concerning the prevention of burns.
  17. Crime, Safety, Security: This website is full of tips for families to keep themselves and their family members safe.
  18. Mrs. Fixit: Mrs. Fixit gives consumers advice about how to enjoy the beauty of candles in the house in a safe way.
  19. House Plans and More Blog: This blog entry gives lots of information about how consumers can be safe around pools.
  20. GaGa Sisterhood: In this blog entry, the writer reminds people how to keep children safe around water.
  21. Creating Communities: This blog details a wide assortment of safety tips in celebration of June as Safety Month.
  22. Mommy B Knows Best: This mother discusses keeping children safe and baby proofing the home.
  23. Ron Hazelton: Ron Hazelton’s blog details how to keep children safe in the home.
  24. All Things Frugal: The blog focuses on frugality and offers some tips on how to keep older adults safe in the home.
  25. Life 360: This blog entry focuses on summer tips safety tips.
  26. Blog4Safety: This blog entry offers some tips for consumers to stay safe during hurricane season.
  27. Community Blog: This blog entry gives a number of tips to keep young babies safe.
  28. Home Safety Blog: This entry details some pitfalls consumers need to be aware of in order to stay safe in their homes.
  29. Listen 2 Your Gut: This blog entry brings consumers’ attention to the safety of Wi-Fi for children in the home.
  30. Debra’s List: Debra details some simple ways that consumers can be safer in their homes.
  31. My Child Safety: This blog entry gives detailed information about ensuring children stay safe around water.
  32. Earth Easy: This blog entry gives consumers lots of alternatives to toxic cleaners that are often used in the homes thus filled the home with noxious fumes that can make it unsafe for people.
  33. American Safe Room: This blog entry gives details on building a safe room appropriate for use during a natural or man made disaster.
  34. Six Wise: This blog entry reminds consumers about how dangerous small appliances can be.
  35. How Cast: This article offers lots of easy to implement ideas for keeping older people safe in their homes.
  36. Fake Kid: This blog article goes consumers many suggestions for keeping children safe at home.
  37. Security Choice: A blog entry that details numerous ways for people to keep their families safe.
  38. Home Inspector Locator: This blog has a thorough listing of many safety tips and resources designed to keep people safe in their homes.
  39. Home Safety: This article discusses in detail how to keep seniors safe from the most common household accidents.
  40. Apartment Search: Although targeted to apartment dwellers, these safety tips can be applied to any to help stay safe in the home.
  41. Apartments.com: This blog entry is full of safety tips that people that rent apartments will appreciate.
  42. Home Insurance: This blog has a number of safety tips geared toward the summer time. They are conveniently group by category.
  43. Gomestic: This blog gives many practical solutions to help consumers ensure their home is safe for their toddler.
  44. Christian Homemaking: This blog entry gives consumers 15 ways to stay safe from house fires.
  45. I Think Therefore I Blog: This blog entry focuses on helping consumers stay safe while using space heaters.
  46. Hibber Bothwell: This blog features a host of safety tips for those households with babies.
  47. Quazen:  This blog entry details ways to ensure that consumers are safe in their homes, one room at a time.
  48. Daily Puppy: This blog gives simple and concrete ways for consumers to stay safe in the home.
  49. My Precious Kid: This blog details how people can keep the children in the house safe from large televisions.
  50. Home Evolutions: This blog focuses on keeping the older segment of the population safe in their homes.
  51. Oregon Injury Attorney: This blog entry details the dangers of mini blind cords to children in the home.
]]>
http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/top-51-home-safety-blogs/feed/ 0