Home Safety Research: How to Create a Safe Living Space for Your Family

home safety research

Home safety is a key component of establishing a secure and comfortable living space for you and your family. Nevertheless, countless homes aren’t nearly as safe as they should be, and accidents occur all too frequently. You can, however, learn how to establish a safe living space by conducting some home safety research.

This post will discuss tips for recognizing hazards, educating your family, and staying up to date on the latest preventive measures. Let’s get started!

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Is It Safe to Have a Fire Pit Under a Pergola?

fire pit under pergola safe

As a homeowner, you’ve likely considered the usefulness and aesthetic charm of adding a fire pit to your outdoor living space. Perhaps you’re drawn to their cozy atmosphere and delicious smoky aroma. But before you invest in one, it’s important to understand all of the potential risks involved—particularly if you plan on placing it under your pergola or patio cover structure.

This blog post will discuss whether it’s safe or not to have a fire pit beneath your pergola. We’ll address common safety concerns associated with using this type of setup and outline solutions that can help ensure everyone stays safe while enjoying this warm and inviting feature within the comfort of your own backyard!

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4 Facts about Homeowners Insurance That No One Tells You

homeowners insurance facts

Purchasing homeowners insurance is an important step in the home-buying process. You must have enough coverage so that you can protect your home and its contents, but there are also things that many people don’t know about homeowners insurance. From discounts available to understanding common policy exclusions, here are some facts regarding your homeowners insurance policy.

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12 Tips for Buying a Home in Atlanta

Whether you’re tired of renting or you’re moving to a new town, buying a new home can be stressful – especially in a big city like Atlanta. There are many diverse neighborhoods and various things to do around the city. You’ll feel like you don’t want to miss out on any of it!

However, there are numerous things to consider before you make that final step. To make the process easier, here are 12 tips for buying a home in Atlanta.

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Theft Prevention Tips

theft prevention

No home is immune to the risk of theft. Whether you’re looking to protect your home while you’re on an extended vacation or simply at the office for the day, it’s important to take precautions to help deter criminals from targeting your property.

Be sure to utilize these theft prevention tips to keep your home secure and help mitigate the likelihood of burglaries while you’re away.

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What to Know about Hard to Place Homes

hard to place homes

Although it’s always important to purchase homeowners insurance to protect your investment, some homes are harder to insure than others. These homes, referred to as “hard to place homes,” are usually exposed to a large number or variety of risks. As a result, many insurance providers are more hesitant to provide coverage for them.

Keep reading to learn more about what makes a home “hard to place.”

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Safety Tips for Using Space Heaters in Your Home

According to the US Fire Administration, around 20,000 house fires occur every year. Fifty percent of these fires are caused by portable heaters in the winter.

Space heaters can keep your place cozy throughout the colder months; however, they can also cause a fire if you use them carelessly. 

However, you can reduce this risk substantially by following certain safety tips. Don’t worry, if you have no idea how to go about it, as we have you covered. As we delve into the discussion, let’s quickly understand some of the key safety features you should consider when using a space heater in your home.

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Will My Homeowners Insurance Cover a Sinkhole?

When dealing with insurance, getting a concrete “yes or no” answer is often difficult. We say this because the insurance market offers various degrees of coverage. Moreover, each insurer, whether big or small, operates differently.

The same goes for sinkhole coverage in your homeowners insurance policy. While getting coverage for sinkholes on the property depends on the insurance company, you also need to take your state and city into account.

We say this because many homeowners invest in sinkhole insurance to ensure they’re covered. This especially applies to homeowners residing in regions that are notorious for sinkholes. Some of these places include Kentucky, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia.

Keep on reading to find out whether your homeowners insurance will cover a sinkhole and how you can protect your home.

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11 tips for holiday decorating safety (and avoiding home insurance claims)

Make sure to avoid fire hazards when you decorate for the holidays.

Make sure to avoid fire hazards when you put up holiday decorations.

If you’re gearing up for the holidays, you’re probably already scheming how you want to decorate your Atlanta home. You’re thinking lights. You’re thinking lawn decorations. You’re thinking festive holiday cheer. It’s all starting to take form. But the thing is that holiday decorations can go horribly awry. We’ve got 11 holiday decorating safety tips to help you avoid a catastrophe – and a potential home insurance claim. Don’t let an unexpected fire ruin your holiday cheer.

Tips for holiday decorating safety

1. Check all your lights before using them.

Whether you’ve bought new lights or you’re pulling your tried and true set out of the attic, make sure to check all the strings of lights. Look for cracking in the cord, broken cords, fraying, exposed wires, and loose connections. Get rid of any lights that could be unsafe. (This can help you prevent electrical fires.) You definitely don’t want an electrical fire to get in the way of the holidays.

2. Follow all instructions for electrical decorations.

Yes, instructions aren’t super fun to read. But it’s important to follow all the proper directions for using and installing your decorations. Just do what the manufacturer tells you to – improvisation is not a great strategy when electricity is involved.

3. Don’t connect too many lights to a single extension cord.

Don’t put more than three sets of lights on a single extension cord. You could overload it. These things are only designed to take so much strain.

4. Check for the UL testing label on all decorations.

Make sure the decorations have a label certifying that they’ve been tested by the UL (Underwriters Laboratory) – this is a consumer product testing laboratory that makes sure various products are safe for use.

5. Be careful with your outdoor lighting.

If you’re plugging in lights outside, make sure that you’re only using GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupting) outlets. These are designed to protect the outlet from exposure to water. (Remember – water and electricity do NOT mix.)

Also, don’t use staples or nails on your outdoor lighting cords. While you want the lights to be secured to something stable so that they won’t sustain wind damage, it’s probably not a great idea to stab them with metal things.

6. Watch your indoor extension cords.

If you’ve got extension cords inside the house, avoid putting them under furniture, rugs, and so on. These things can cause the cords to get really hot, and that can lead to problems of the fiery variety.

(On a bit of a side note, getting Atlanta home insurance means that you can protect yourself financially in the event of a fire or another loss. Need some help getting quotes? Just give us a call or fill out our online quote form and we’ll be happy to help you find the coverage that’s right for you.)

7. Set your tree up carefully.

First of all, use a sturdy tree stand to keep your tree standing. Anchor it to the wall or ceiling with guy wires if you have to. (Curious pets do love to climb on trees…potentially causing them to crash to the ground.)

And think about where you’re putting the tree. It needs to be at least three feet away (preferably farther) from anything that could produce heat. Think about it – trees are wood and needles. And wood burns. Yup. Make sure your tree isn’t going to go up in flames.

If you’re going the artificial tree route, make sure that it’s made out of a fire-resistant material.

8. Be careful with your ornaments and decorations.

It’s a good idea to make sure all ornaments or decorations are made of flame-resistant material. If you have kids or pets, you probably don’t want ornaments that could break into sharp pieces that could slice someone. You also probably don’t want to have ornaments that are small or are made of small parts, as these present a choking hazard. Be mindful of what you’re putting up around the house and what tiny fingers or paws could reach and eat and/or destroy.

9. Unplug lights before bed or leaving the house.

Yes, your lights look beautiful at night when it gets dark. But turn them off before you head to bed or before you leave the house. You don’t want any fires to start while you’re either sleeping or not at home. It’s best that you’re at home and alert when your lights are lit because you’ll be able to notice any problems with the lights or outlets sooner rather than later.

10. Don’t put the wrapping paper near the fire or other heat sources.

Presents are exciting. But make sure that you don’t let the wrapping paper get too close to the fireplace or any heat sources. Paper is made of trees, and as we’ve established, trees are flammable.

Also, don’t burn wrapping paper in the fireplace or in a bonfire. That’s just not a great idea. It’ll probably get a bit more out-of-hand than you were hoping it would.

11. Only keep your tree for two weeks.

While you might want to keep your tree up forever – it’s so pretty! – it’s best to only have it for about two weeks. If you keep it longer than that, it’s going to dry out a lot. And a dry tree is way more flammable than a fresh tree. Unfortunately, trees just don’t last that long when you keep them inside.

The holidays are a great time of year, but it’s important to decorate safely. Get into the holiday spirit safely to avoid having the joy and cheer interrupted by a fire or accident. (And, as a general rule, it’s also a good idea to avoid a home insurance claim.) Anyways, stay safe this holiday season!

If you’re looking for home insurance quotes, we can help. Our agents can help you get multiple quotes so you can compare rates and save on your Atlanta home insurance. You can get started with your quotes by filling out our online quote form or giving us a call today.

Source:

https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/611.pdf

14 steps to secure your Atlanta home and prevent burglary while you’re on vacation

It's important to keep your home safe while you're on vacation.

It's important to keep your home safe while you're on vacation.If you’re planning a family vacation this summer, you’re probably looking forward to getting out of town for a little while. But in all the excitement, don’t forget to take some steps to secure your house before you leave. When you’re not there to keep an eye on things, your home can be susceptible to burglary. That’s why you need to outsmart the burglars and amp up the security around your house. The following tips can help you get your home ready for your vacation and prevent a burglary.

14 tips for home safety while you’re on vacation

1. Consider getting a home security system.

Monitored home security systems can help deter burglars from attempting to break into your house. They can also alert the police to a burglary and send them to your house quickly. If you don’t already have a security system, you may want to consider having one installed. And if you do have one, check that everything’s working properly before you head out on your trip.

The benefits of a home security system don’t stop at the added protection for your home. A home security system can help you save money on your home insurance because many insurance companies offer a discount if you have one. So, you can protect your home and save money on your insurance at the same time – it’s a win-win.

2. Know where all your keys are (and don’t hide a key outside.)

It’s important to know where each key to the house is so that none of them get misplaced or lost. Keep track of all keys.

Also, don’t leave a key hidden outside. Burglars know the best hiding places for house keys. Under the mat? Yep. In the potted plant? Yep. On the eaves? Yep. The burglars think that same way you do. So, if you think you’re outsmarting them…you might just be outsmarting yourself.

3. Lock everything.

Okay, we know this one’s a little “no duh.” But it’s still very important to double check that all windows and doors are securely locked before you leave for your trip. Don’t forget to do one last check that your home is locked up tight. Otherwise, you may as well yell, “Come on in, burglars!”

4. Do what you can to make sure your home looks occupied.

If your house looks dark and empty for a long period of time, it won’t take long for a burglar to figure out you’re not home. And they’re also looking for an easy target, which your home could be if you’re not home. To a burglar, they see a home that they can break into and skedaddle from with no one the wiser, perhaps for quite a while – long enough to make a clean getaway.

One way to make your home look lived-in is to get timers for your lights. The timers can turn the lights on and off at specific times so that it appears that someone’s moving around in the house. It makes it look like someone’s home, so your house becomes less of an easy mark.

5. Get someone to tend to your lawn.

An overgrown, slightly shaggy lawn can be a dead giveaway that no one’s home. Ask a neighbor or friend to mow your lawn and tend to any other landscaping tasks. It may seem like a small detail, but why not? It’s better to play it safe.

6. Ask a neighbor to keep an eye out for any flyers, packages, and so on.

Ask a trusted neighbor to look out for anything suspicious around your home. Advertisements stuck to the mailbox or flyers hanging from the doorknob can indicate that there’s no one home to throw them away. You can stop your paper and your mail, but sometimes people come and leave ads on the mailbox or on the driveway. It’s not a bad idea to have someone looking out for your place.

7. Put a hold on your mail.

You may want to stop your mail while you’re away so that it’s not piling up and doesn’t turn into Mount Mail outside your house. Or if you’ve got someone coming over to check on your house or feed the cat, you can ask them to bring the mail in every day.

8. Stop your newspapers.

Hmm…a pile of newspapers outside your house, dotting the driveway…That house looks like a good one to rob.

Newspapers piling up can be another sign that you’re not home. Either stop your newspaper or have your pet-sitter/house-sitter pick them up and bring them inside.

9. Move your valuables out of sight.

If you can, it’s not a bad plan to move your valuables so they’re out of sight. May as well not leave your expensive electronics in plain sight where potential burglars would be tempted. If you have jewelry and such, you might want to consider getting a hidden safe to keep those things super secure.

10. Be smart when you’re talking about your vacation plans.

It’s not the best plan to go broadcasting your vacation plans and blabbing about when you’re not going to be in town. You never know who could be listening to your conversation. Only tell people who need to know about the details of your travels and be discreet when you do. Tell your kids to be careful about it, too.

And another thing:

Don’t talk about your travel plans on social media, and try to refrain from posting pictures while you’re on your trip. It’s best to not inform the whole world where you are. Wait until you’re back to post your vacation pictures.

11. Consider getting outdoor automatic lights.

Light can be a major deterrent to burglars. You can think about getting exterior lights that run on timers so that they’ll come on every night and flood your yard with light.

12. Get a neighbor to pull your trashcan to the curb on trash pickup day.

Ask a neighbor to take your trashcan and recycling to the curb for pickup day and then put them away. That will help it look like you’re home. And then the trash won’t get too stinky either.

13. Unplug your electronics.

You can save money on your electrical bill by unplugging any electronics that aren’t necessary while you’re away (the fridge, of course, will have to stay on unless you want to come home to spoiled food.) This will also help you prevent an electrical fire while you’re away.

14. Consider getting a pet-sitter or house-sitter to stay at your house while you’re gone.

Asking someone that you trust to stay at your house can help you keep your house safe. Besides, if you have pets, you’ll need someone to check on them anyway. They’ll be able to keep an eye on your home – and check that no pipes have burst, no fires have started, and no disasters have happened. They can also get the mail, pick up the papers, take out the trash, and so on. And if you have cats or dogs, you’ll feel better knowing they have someone to keep them company and look after them.

Going on vacation is great, but you have to take steps to protect your home if you’re going on a road trip or traveling somewhere. Before you leave, take some time to ensure that everything is shipshape at home.

Another way to protect your home is to get home insurance. Our team can help you get Atlanta home insurance quotes from some of the top carriers in the country. We’ll help you get the best coverage at the best rate so you can get the insurance that’s right for you and save money. To get in touch with our team, all you have to do is fill out our online form or give us a call.