Here are some cooking safety tips to follow as you get ready for Thanksgiving:

  • Keep your cooking area clean and clutter free.
  • Be cautious of your surroundings
  • Immediately turn off unused burners/appliances
  • Never leave unattended cooking – this is the major cause of fires in the kitchen
  • Keep children and pets away from  the cooking area by declaring a 3 foot “kid-free zone” around the cooking area
  • Keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper and plastic away from the cooking area
  • Always use turkey fryers outside and a safe distance from the house and on a flat surface
  • Make sure turkey is completely thawed
  • Thaw a turkey approximately 24 hours for every five pounds in weight

Follow these tips and have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving.

Twenty-five million veterans are living among us today.  These men and women selflessly set aside their civilian lives to put on the uniform and serve us.  On behalf of all the members of our agency, we want to say “thank you” to all our Veterans. 

Sunday, November 4th, is the end of Daylight Savings Time.  What does that mean, you gain an hour of sleep?  So don’t forget to turn your clocks back an hour before going to be on Saturday, November 3rd.

According to a recent National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, approximately a third of women and a quarter of men report being a victim of violence by a partner at some point in their lives.   This means an employee being a victim or perpetrator is higher than you realize.

 

Protecting our employees at the workplace requires an action plan and implementation plan for prevention and intervention strategies to address domestic violence within the workplace.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, businesses lose $729 million each year in lost productivity related to domestic violence.  60% of employees experience domestic violence reported losing their jobs as a result, either because they were fired or had to quit.

 

If you’re an employer what signs should you look for:

  • Unexplained bruises.
  • Unusually quiet/withdrawn.
  • Frequent absences.
  • Lack of concentration.
  • Wearing concealing clothing, even in warm weather.
  • Depression and/or anxiety.
  • Change in performance attitude.
  • Frequent breaks or appointments with friends/family.
  • Receipt of harassing phone calls.

If you have an employee exhibiting any of these signs, intervening in a sensitive and private manner to encourage he/she to seek help before the problem escalates.

How do you protect your employees; by being proactive.  Establish a comprehensive policy to insure that employees can report abuses, to provide services the employer for the victims, and disciplinary procedures for perpetrators.

 

Source:  Nobert Alicea, MA, CEAP, EVP of EAP+Work/Life Services

Making updates or upgrades to your home?  You should be aware of how these changes can affect your insurance premiums.  Here are common upgrades and their impact:

 

Square Footage

If your project adds square footage to your home, then your home insurance needs to be updated.  This change will prevent your home insurance from covering less than the market value.

 

Customization

Adding a deck, a mother-in law unit, or adding a room, these upgrades will change your policy.  Before starting on a project, give the agency a call to find out how these changes will affect your policy.

 

Building Materials

High-quality building materials are more expensive to cover than standard materials.  They can raise your home’s replacement value.  Keep your receipts and give them to the agency as back up to  help calculate premium costs.

 

Household Items

New appliances, fixtures or other new items will definitely add to the value of your home.  How you wish to insure these items will affect your premium increase.  You can decide on actual cash value or replacement costs.  We can explain the difference and explain the benefits of replacement and how your premiums will be affected.

 

Liability Coverage

Home upgrades like pools or hot tubs bring risk and you will want to make sure you have the right liability coverage in case of injury.

 

Roofing

Putting on a new roof is a great way to save on premiums.  

 

Plumbing & Electrical

An home upgrade is an excellent time to update electrical wiring and plumbing systems.  Old plumbing and electrical are prime cause of home insurance claims.  Upgrading these systems, in addition to reducing risk, can reduce your premiums by as much as 10%.

 

Want more information, go the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Consumer Home Insurance Guide for consumers.

 

Source:  Today’s Homeowner, NAIC Home Guide

 

More than 30% of workers’ compensation claims stem from construction sites are the results of falls from elevated surfaces according to Nationwide Mutual Insurance.

 

Falls from elevated surfaces are more severe than other injury claims because these accidents result in more time away from work, damage to multiple part parts, and more short- and long-term disability leave. 

 

To assist you and your workers in fall prevention, you can download the Fall Protection in Construction Flyer.   

 

Source:  Business Insurance, Nationwide, and OSHA

With children back in school, now is a good time to remind you about safety tips in a school zone.

  1. Look for school zones signals and obey the speed limits posted.
  2. Drivers in both directions must stop their vehicles and wait until the lights go off, the stop sign is back in place and the bus is moving before they can start driving again.
  3. Never pass a bus loading or unloading children.
  4. Unless licensed to do so, never use handicap or emergency vehicle lanes or spaces to drop off or pick up children at school.
  5. Yield to pedestrians in cross walks, and take extra care in school zones.
  6. Avoid using a cellphone, unless it’s completely hand-free, while driving in a school zone.
  7. Watch out for school crossing guards and obey their signals.
  8. Never pass a vehicle stopping for pedestrians.
  9. 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children, stop far enough back to allow them to safely enter and exit the bus.

Keep these safety tips in mind when driving in a school zone.

Source: Property Casualty 360

Emergencies can create a variety of hazards for workers in the impacted area. Preparing before an emergency incident plays a vital role in insuring that employers and workers have the necessary equipment, know where to go, and know how to keep themselves safe when an emergency occurs. These Emergency Preparedness and Response pages supplied by OSHA can  provide information on how to prepare and train for emergencies and the hazards to be aware of when an emergency occurs. The pages provide information for employers and workers across industries, and for workers who will be responding to the emergency. Go to https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/emergencypreparedness/index.html for specific plans for tornadoes, floods, wildfires, and hurricanes.

On August 20, 2018, T-Mobile contacted their customers to alert them of an unauthorized person accessing certain personal information.  The data that was compromised was name, phone number, email address, account number, and type.

 

Breaches such as this are now common place and you need to protect yourself with identity theft insurance coverage.

 

Give us a call at the agency to discuss.

These five causes of home damage were identified by the Travelers in their recent report which tracked claims from 2009 to 2016.

  • Water-related water - leaking roofs and frozen pipes 
  • Wind – damage to roofs, walls, and uprooted trees
  • Non-weather related water damage – plumbing, sewer or appliance leaks or failures
  • Hail – damage to roofs (home or cards)
  • Fire – Electrical, cooking, wildfires

When reviewing your policies we will review your homeowner’s coverage to make sure that you have the right limits and coverages in place to protect you against these types of claims.

 

Have a question, give us a call at the agency.

 

Source: Travelers, Property Casualty 360

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