create_a_fire_escape_plan_with_your_family_blog

Home Fire Escape Plans

Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Your ability to get out of your home during a fire depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning.

Why do you need a home escape plan?

  • Working smoke alarms and a home fire escape plan can reduce your risk of injury or death in a fire.
  • Most fatal fires happen in homes.
  • When fire strikes you may have less than one minute to get out of the building.
  • Fires double in size every minute.
  • Fires create thick, black, choking smoke which makes it impossible to see or breathe.
  • Fires produce heat, smoke and toxic gases.

In the event of fire, time is the biggest enemy, and every second counts. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can turn into a major fire. Having an escape plan will help you and your family to get out of your home quickly. Practice E.D.I.T.H. — Exit Drills in the Home — with your family.

A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Below are guidelines on how to write your home fire escape plan. As your insurance agent, we strongly encourage you to follow these steps and create a plan for your own home.

  • Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home. Show all doors and windows.
  • Visit each room, find two ways out, including windows and doors, and mark them.
  • All windows and doors should open easily. You should be able to use them to get outside.
  • Push the test button on each smoke alarm to make sure each alarm is working. Replace the batteries where needed.
  • Pick a meeting place outside. It should be in front of your home. Everyone will meet at the

meeting place.

  • Make sure your house or building number can be seen from the street.
  • Talk about your plan with everyone in your home.
  • Learn the emergency phone number for your fire department.
  • Practice your home fire drill!

Watch these steps to making a home fire escape plan from the National Fire Protection Agency.

According to an NFPA survey, only one of every three American households have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. While 71% of Americans have an escape plan in case of a fire, only 45% of those have practiced it. One-third of American households who made an estimate thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life-threatening. The time available is often less. And only 8% said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out!

Taking time to review these safety precautions and write your home fire escape plan might just save a life!  At Peterson McGregor Insurance, we look forward to helping keep you and your family safe by providing the insurance coverage for all your home needs. You can reach us at 866-547-4474, online at https://petersonmcgregor.com/services, or any of our social media channels.

Source:

https://fire.arlingtonva.us/safety/escape-plans/

https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Preparedness/Escape-planning

https://www.gohealthuc.com/library/does-your-family-have-fire-escape-plan

https://www.mass.gov/service-details/create-and-practice-a-home-escape-plan

Saxophone_Blog

Are Musical Instruments Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

Standard homeowners insurance policies often cover musical instruments, but it might not include coverage if the instrument is being played for compensation. Situations including fire damage, vandalism and theft are often covered by homeowners insurance.

You should check your policy to find out the total coverage limit for your personal property. If you have about $150,000 to replace all of your personal items in an incident of a fire or other disaster, but your instrument is worth $50,000 alone, that only leaves $100,000 for the rest of your belongings. In cases like this, it would be a good idea to insure your instrument separately. Here are some ways to determine whether or not you may need extra coverage for your instrument(s):

  • Take an inventory of your instrument(s).
  • Figure out the value of your instrument(s), and get a professional appraisal if your instrument(s) are extremely valuable.
  • If your homeowners insurance policy isn’t enough to cover your instrument(s) in addition to the rest of your belongings, consider getting extra coverage.

There are two options for getting extra coverage for your instrument(s). One option is to endorse coverage on your current homeowners insurance policy. The other option is to get separate coverage for your instrument(s).  An endorsement on your homeowners will most likely cover a larger range of disasters that involve your instrument(s) than a standard homeowners policy does.  If you perform for a compensation, the instrument(s) may not be able to be covered at all through a homeowners insurance policy. Standalone instrument policies also often cover the instrument(s) no matter where it is at any given time. Musical instrument policies may cover the following circumstances:

  • Damage caused by temperature changes and/or humidity
  • Theft
  • Water damage
  • Flood damage
  • Earthquake damage
  • Vandalism
  • Shipment damage
  • Repair damage

Musical instrument policies may not cover:

  • Gradual deterioration
  • Mold damage
  • Damage from insects, worms, rodents, or vermin

Separate musical instrument insurance policies usually provide an agreed value coverage as well. This is important for higher valued instruments that appreciate, so that they are being insured at their full value.

Source: https://www.rollingstone.com/product-recommendations/finance/theft-music-instruments-homeowners-insurance-1214015/

_Lawn_&_Garden_Blog_1

Yard Work Safety Tips to Keep You Out of the ER

Amid all the green lawns and manicured gardens of summer lies a grim statistic: Every year, while mowing the grass, cutting a branch, or power washing a deck, at least 100 people die and an estimated 143,000 are injured badly enough to require a trip to the emergency room.

The injuries people suffer run the gamut from overexertion and dehydration to cuts and amputations from using all kinds of power equipment. It’s also worth noting that in our research, we also came across a disturbing number of injuries associated with a common piece of equipment that doesn’t have a motor at all: ladders. Falls from ladders cause more injuries than all the power equipment in our research combined, resulting in broken backs, ankles, legs, and hips.

But using power equipment can cause far worse accidents. When working in the yard turns deadly, it can be due to carbon monoxide poisoning from a gas-powered engine running in an enclosed space, for example, or people getting trapped under large equipment, like a riding lawn mower.

And it’s not just the person doing the yard work who’s at risk. Bystanders also get hurt, such as children who have been killed or injured when playing near a mower or other outdoor power gear. As your insurance agent, we strongly urge you to read and follow the following safety prevention tips to keep you, friends, and family safe this summer.

Prevention Tips

∙ Keep children away from power equipment and do not let them in the yard while you are working.

∙ Wear safety goggles, closed-toe shoes, and long pants when using lawn mowers and other machinery.

∙ Protect your hearing when using machinery.

∙ Wear gloves to lower the risk for skin irritants, cuts, and certain contaminants.

∙ Use insect repellent containing DEET to protect yourself from mosquitoes and ticks.

∙ Wear long sleeves, wide-brimmed hats, sun shades, and sunscreen to protect your skin.

∙ Follow all instructions and warnings associated with lawn equipment.

Power Equipment safety is a priority for every homeowner. You may not want to spend the extra few minutes checking the function of the equipment and inspecting the lawn. However, doing so can help prevent risks, including those related to injury to you or your family. More so, power equipment can also do damage to your home when operated improperly.

We proudly insure the residents of Michigan, and are your local independent insurance agent. We can provide coverage from many insurance carriers so you receive the insurance for your budget and needs! You can reach us at 866-547-4474 or online at https://petersonmcgregor.com/.

Sources: https://www.consumerreports.org/outdoor-safety/yard-work-safety-tips/ and https://www.lifespan.org/sites/default/files/lifespan-files/documents/centers/4-safety-program/Lawn-and-Garden-Safety-Navy-and-Marine-Corps-Public-Health-Center.pdf

Garage Blog 1

Garage Clean Out Tips

Imagine a world where you could actually park inside your garage. What if we told you that dream could be a reality with just a weekend’s worth of work?

We rounded up expert garage cleaning tips and turned them into a five-step plan you can use to get your garage organized quickly and painlessly.

  1. Take Everything Out

The first step to decluttering your garage is to find out what’s in it. Pick a section of your garage to start with and pull everything out onto the driveway to sort through. Besides making it easier to work, this garage cleaning tip will also allow you to see what space you have to work with and what types of storage might work best when it’s time to organize the items you’re keeping.

  1. Decide on Your ‘Keep’ Criteria

Once you’ve pulled everything out, it’s time to set some ground rules for deciding what to keep. This garage cleaning tip will speed up the process by preventing you from agonizing over each individual item. When deciding what to keep and what to throw away, ask yourself: “Is this item in the garage for a reason, or because I didn’t know what to do with it?” If it’s the latter, either find a use for it or get rid of it.

  1. Decide What to Do with the Garage Clutter

Whatever doesn’t make your “keep” list is, by default, clutter. Don’t let it hang around your garage any longer.

With your “keep” items set aside, start going through the rest of the stuff you pulled out of the garage. Identify items you’d like to sell or donate first. Have plastic bins, cardboard boxes or bags on hand so that you can pack up donation items as you work and stash them somewhere out of the way.

Bag up or box up junk that doesn’t make the “keep,” “sell” or “donate” piles. If you’ve rented a dumpster for your weekend cleanout, toss the garbage bags into the container as you go.

  1. Deep Clean the Space

While you’ve got your garage entirely cleaned out, it might be a good idea to scrub it down before putting things back. In general, the best way to clean up a garage is from top to bottom. Start by dusting off and wiping down the tops of your cabinets, shelves and refrigerator if you have one. Then, wipe down your garage walls and the doors of your fridge and cabinets with a warm, damp cloth and a mild household detergent. Next, sweep the floor to get rid of the dust you’ve shaken loose. Finish up by mopping and hosing off the floor. Allow the floors two to four hours to dry before putting things away. As your insurance agent, we want you to stay safe. A clean garage is a safe garage!

  1. Get Organized

Now that you’ve whittled your inventory down and finished your garage cleanup, seize the opportunity to keep clutter from building back up. So, what’s the best way to organize a garage? It depends on what exactly you need to store.

 

Cleaning out your garage not only provides the benefit of a clean space but it also works in your favor when it comes to your insurance! Here are reasons why to clean out your garage space:

  1. Safe from the elements- rain, snow, wind

This is probably one of the most obvious, but rain, snow, wind and other weather elements are enemies of a car’s exterior. They can leave dirt and acid on a vehicle that can cause significant damages to the exterior, like rust and a weakened top clear coat. UV rays from the sun can damage a vehicle in ways most car owners don’t consider. Extreme hot and extreme cold can both lead to deterioration of the inside and outside.

  1. Protects from dings and scratches from elements or other vehicles

Hail and falling tree branches are just a couple examples of ways a car can get damaged from simply being outside. Dents, scratches, and broken windows are all possible exterior problems that can occur when a vehicle is left outdoors.

  1. Less likely to have theft or vandalism

Cars are a huge investment, and for most they are one of the most valuable things they own. Parking outside leaves a vehicle exposed to vandalism and theft. A garage helps eliminate the temptation for those that want to harm a vehicle in any way.

  1. Lower insurance costs

That’s right, some insurance companies offer lower policies for people who store their vehicle in a garage. Saving money is always an advantage.

  1. Keeps vehicles exterior looking great

Believe it or not, mechanics can tell if a car is stored in a garage or outside. Vehicle exteriors are kept in much better condition when stored in a garage which can lead to greater resale values.

  1. Engine stays lubricated / Coolant stays warmer, heat/AC comes on faster

Because a garage keeps a vehicle warm, the fluid and oil are kept in a stable condition which leads to an engine that runs better than one that is kept outside. Also, with a warmer car comes faster AC and heat. On cold days, the heat will warm up faster than being out in the elements. Same is true for extremely hot days.

  1. Visibility is ready to go

Forget the ice scraper or dewy windshield. Parking in a garage helps keep windows clear of weather and condensation so there is no need to ride with one head out the window.

Parking a car in the garage seems to be a thing of the past. Garages are used for a lot of other things like storing junk or home workshops, but parking in the garage is one of the best things for a vehicle.

Peterson McGregor Insurance is an independent insurance agent located in Traverse City, Lake City, Harbor Springs/Petoskey, Cadillac, Grand Rapids and Manistee in Michigan. We can provide coverage from many insurance carriers so you receive the home insurance for your budget and needs! You can reach us at 866-547-4474 or online at https://petersonmcgregor.com/.

Source: https://www.budgetdumpster.com/blog/how-to-clean-out-your-garage-and-conquer-the-clutter-for-good/ and https://www.mrcleancarwash.com/blog/10-benefits-of-parking-a-car-in-a-garage/