The Vital Importance of a Boating Safety Kit: A Must-Have for Boat Owners

boating safety kit

Boating is an enjoyable experience, offering a chance to reconnect with nature, spend quality time with friends and family, and enjoy the peacefulness of open waters. However, safety must always be a top priority when venturing out on the water. Even for the most experienced boaters, unpredictability is an inherent trait of the lake and ocean. It’s not just about knowing how to navigate your boat or understanding weather conditions; it’s also about being equipped with the right tools – and that’s where the boating safety kit comes in.

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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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Boating Safety Tips

Boating Safety Tips

Going boating can be a wonderful way to explore the open waters and stay cool in the summer heat. However, boating can carry significant safety hazards if you aren’t careful. Without proper precautions in place, a boating mishap could easily lead to extensive property damage, various injuries, and—in severe cases—drowning or death. To keep yourself and your passengers safe on the water, follow these boating best practices.

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6 summer driving hazards to look out for in Atlanta

Summer driving comes with some unique hazards.

Summer driving comes with some unique hazards.Everyone knows about the hazards of driving in cold weather, but there are a lot of dangers that drivers overlook during the summer. Temperature changes can affect your car and your driving ability no matter what the extreme. So, it’s vital to understand all the risks in extreme weather seasons like winter and summer. So, here are 6 summer driving hazards to look out for, whether you’re going on a trip or getting to and from work.

6 summer driving hazards to look out for this summer.

1. Glare

Just because you’re not staring directly at the sun doesn’t mean it can’t damage your eyes and become a summer driving problem. Although asphalt is a pretty dark material, it has the uncanny ability to reflect the sun’s rays. Those rays can bounce back into your windshield and spread out over the glass, making everything you see seem washed out. This vision wash-out can quickly tire out your eyes and even cause vision damage if you’re exposed to it for a long period of time.

So, be sure to protect your eyes with the proper sunglasses, especially if you’re on an elongated road trip or if you have a long commute. Look for sunglasses with UV A, B, and C protection, and purchase glasses with polarized lenses if you can. The UV protection can help protect your eyes from visual diseases and the polarization of the lens will cut the glare from the road and keep your eyes focused on the colors, lights, and signs that you’ll need to focus on.

2. Road blindness

Speaking of concentration, don’t fall victim to road blindness – basically where you’ve been driving for so long that everything starts to blur together. You may think that the tons of fast-moving cars around you are enough to keep you alert, but brains are tricky. Especially on long trips, your brain can start to filter and ignore the constant view of the cars and the markings on the road as white noise. Your body can then fall into a routine instead of taking in all of your surroundings while driving to avoid obstacles.

To prevent road blindness on road trips, take at least a 15-minute break every one or two hours to allow your eyes to adjust. It’ll be a great opportunity to stretch your legs and return your focus.

3. Mechanical issues

Make sure your car is prepared for summer driving. Even if your car is built to navigate through the roughest terrain, all vehicles can fall victim to a rise in temperature. Hot air can cause rubber to weaken and air to expand. So, it’s vital to not only regularly check your tire pressure, but to make sure that you have a spare tire and the proper tools and knowledge to change it if need be.

Additionally, regular maintenance is important. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a tune-up, take your car to a trusted mechanic to make sure there are no holes, cracks, or leaks in your car’s hoses, belts, and fluid tanks. Have them check your tire treads and brake pads so that you can replace anything that’s in danger of losing traction, especially in inclement weather. Regular preventative maintenance now can mean avoiding a hefty auto repair bill later.

4. Harsh weather

Even though we think of the summer season as bright, clear skies and hot weather, the occasional flash flood may pop up. In fact, both hurricane and hail seasons start during the summer. So, keep an eye on weather forecasts and keep a solid disaster plan nearby for any (literal) rainy days. Plus, disaster kits aren’t just for your home. Make sure to keep items like:

  • A rain poncho
  • A flashlight
  • A reflective vest and triangle
  • A first-aid kit
  • Emergency water

in a safe and dry place that’s easily accessible in your car in case of emergency. Overall, if the weather looks too bad, postpone any trips that aren’t absolutely necessary. If you’re already on the road when a storm hits, don’t be afraid to pull over onto a shoulder or obey radio traffic safety instructions until you feel comfortable getting back on the road. Weather can become a big summer driving hazard.

5. Distracted/Drunk drivers

Summer can be the time for some people to get a little wild and carefree. School is out and many people can choose to take vacations to unknown locations that may just include Atlanta.

While you can’t do anything about their choices and driving behavior, there are certain actions you can take to keep you and your family safe.

  • Know the signs of drunk and/or distracted driving. Move over and away from drivers who are swerving, suddenly braking, or jerking their vehicle to course correct.
  • Try to drive in the middle or right-most traffic lanes. This will put you farther away from any reckless drivers on a two-way street that may cross yellow lines.
  • Be patient. Whether they have out-of-town license plates or not, you may be dealing with a new driver or someone who just isn’t familiar with the area. Give other cars enough room to merge, stop, and navigate safely.

6. Construction, roadwork, and traffic

These three things aren’t new concepts to Atlantans, but it bears repeating that summer can be peak season for major roadwork. Again, it’s important to be patient whether you’re commuting to work or traveling in or out of the city. Take special notice of roadwork signs, especially those for closed lanes – which can back up your normal traffic route, and workers on the side of the road. If you have to drive through one of these work zones, give yourself a little extra time to get where you’re going or search for a different route around the construction.

Hopefully, these tips will help your summer stay fun and free from accidents. By staying alert, maintaining your vehicle, and getting the right auto insurance coverage, you’ll be able to travel almost anywhere safely and soundly throughout the city.

Plus, when you work with our car insurance professionals, you can get great rates on the coverage you need, no matter where the roads may take you. Call us today, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with an agent now to start saving tons on the best car insurance for you.

Top 10 tips to save water this summer in Atlanta

Check out these ten tips to save water this summer.

Check out these ten tips to save water this summer.

Atlanta summers are well-known for being very hot and very humid. Along with protecting your family from the summer sun and hiding indoors with the air-conditioning turned up, you also have to remember to be conscious of the environment, especially your water consumption. The heat causes water to evaporate at hyper-speed, so we need to think about our water use and how to save water. And here’s the thing – saving water isn’t just good for the environment. It’s good for your bank account!

So, without further ado, here are our top tips for how to save water this summer – and how to lower your water bill.

1. Think about when you’re watering your lawn/plants.

Here’s the thing:

The sun is strongest in the middle of the day. Sunlight causes water to evaporate quickly. So, if you’re spraying water on your lawn at high noon, chances are your grass won’t be getting as much of that H2O as you were hoping. The water just disappears into the air so quickly, especially with the Atlanta sun.

The ideal time to water? The morning or the evening when the sun is a little weaker. Or, you could just not water your lawn. That’s the pro way to save money!

(Oh, and another tip – when you set up your sprinkler, make sure it’s actually angled at your lawn and plants and not the driveway. Concrete doesn’t need to be watered.)

2. Shower smarter.

Nothing feels better than a nice, refreshing shower in the summer. But there are a few things you can do to save water as part of your shower routine.

  • Take a shorter shower. Shorter shower, less water.
  • Turn off the water when you’re shampooing your hair or shaving.
  • Get a big bucket and use it to collect the water as you wait for the shower to warm up. Then you can take this water and toss it on your plants to give them a drink. This is a super easy way to reuse water.
  • If you want to save your soapy water, make sure you’re using an eco-friendly soap that’s safe for plants.

3. Check the toilets.

Your toilets could be wasting a lot of water if they’re broken. If the tank is leaking water into the toilet bowl, you’re practically flushing money down the drain.

Test your toilets for leakage by putting some food coloring into the tank. Wait a while. Then check and see if the water in the toilet bowl is the same color as the food coloring. If it is, you need to get your toilet fixed. It may be time to call in a professional.

(While you’re at it, you may as well go on the hunt for other leaks from pipes and faucets around the house. Get any leaks repaired – leaks can cause water damage to your home.)

4. Think about getting water-saving appliances.

There are a lot of new products nowadays that are designed to save water, and the other cool trick they do is save you money on your water bill. For example, showerheads, faucets, dishwashers, and washing machines can be switched for water-saving versions.

5. Don’t hand-wash your dishes or car.

So, here’s a surprising fact:

It actually takes less water to run your dishwasher than to wash all of your dishes by hand every day. The dishwasher exists for a reason. Just make sure to only run it when it’s completely full.

And it’s the same thing for your car. If you really must get your car washed (which, since we’re in Atlanta, might be a little silly in the summer with all the rain and pollen making it dirty two seconds after you get it washed anyways), go to a car wash instead of dragging out your hose, buckets, and sponges.

Save water by being smart about when you water your plants or lawn.

6. Get rain barrels to save the rain.

Collect rainwater by getting rain barrels. Set them up under your gutters and catch the rainwater that pours off your roof. Then you can take that water and use it to water plants or your lawn. May as well take advantage of the perfectly good – and perfectly free – water that falls from the sky!

7. Think about your drinking water.

Here’s a tip:

Instead of grabbing a glass and waiting for the tap water to get cold enough – and watching the water flow down the drain – fill up a pitcher of water from the tap and stick it in the fridge. It’ll be cold and ready to drink instantly, and you won’t have to waste water while you wait for the tap water to get cool.

8. Go with refillable water bottles.

Oh, and another thing. Rather than using disposable plastic water bottles, get a refillable bottle and use that instead. You’ll be saving energy and consuming less plastic. Consider getting a water filtration system so you don’t have to buy water bottles.

And since we’re on the topic of consuming less, be sure to recycle your paper. It takes a lot of water to make paper, so by recycling, you can help save water.

9. Wait to do your laundry.

A lot of our water consumption comes from doing laundry. If you wait to run the washer until you have a full load, you minimize the water you’re using to wash clothes.

10. Use native plants in your garden.

Plants native to the area where you live will actually need less water than a species or plant that is not. Plus, they require fewer chemicals and less attention to keep them alive.

We need to be especially conscious of saving water in the summer when it’s so hot outside. Try these simple tips to help the environment and conserve water. You’ll also be able to lower your water bill – a major plus! It’s quite easy to make a few quick changes around the house so you can do your part to save water.

Looking to save money on home insurance? We can help. Our team can help you shop your home insurance rates so you can get the best coverage at the best price. All you have to do to get started with multiple home insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today.


7 sun safety tips to protect your family from the Atlanta summer sun

It's important to practice good sun safety in the summer.

It's important to be safe in the sun this summer.It’s no secret that Atlanta summers can be brutal. The heat and sunlight can get very intense – not to mention the humidity. The intensity of Atlanta summers makes sun safety (and severe weather safety) super important. Since summer is right around the corner, now seems to be an appropriate time to review sun safety. In between all of the picnics, barbeques (grill safety is also important, by the way), swimming excursions, and sports events, don’t forget to take the time to protect your family from the sun. Check out the following tips.

7 sun safety tips

1. Try to prevent sunburns.

This one is super important.

Too much time in the sun can increase your chances of getting skin cancer (which is actually the most common type of cancer in the US.) Skin cancer can be serious. According to the CDC, the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause damage to your skin in fifteen minutes.

So, do yourself a favor – prevent your skin from turning a shade of lobster red by staying in the shade, staying indoors, or putting on a lot of sunscreen. Beat the Georgia heat and protect your skin from ouch-worthy sunburns.

2. Apply sunscreen. A lot.

Make sure that you and your kids slather on the sunscreen. Sunscreen is kind of like an invisible sun shield – it will either absorb the sunlight or bounce it off your skin to protect you from ultraviolet (UV) rays, so it’s a sun safety must. Use a sunscreen with an appropriate SPF.

Now, here’s the trick to sunscreen success:

You have to keep applying it throughout the day. This is especially important if you’re swimming or sweating. It will wash off. So, make sure to wrangle the kids and ply them with sunscreen, even if they wiggle and giggle. Put on sunscreen wherever your skin is exposed to the sun. Reapply every two hours or after swimming, seating, or toweling off.

Oh, and be mindful of the expiration date. Sunscreen doesn’t last forever, and it lasts for less time if it’s exposed to high temperatures.

3. Stay inside from about 10 am – 4 pm.

The sun is particularly strong in the middle of the day. If you’re planning to be outside, try to arrange your schedule so you’re outside in the morning or evening when the sun isn’t quite as powerful.

Sun safety goes hand in hand with preventing skin cancer.

And at any rate, it’s Georgia during the summer. Embrace the air-conditioning and stay comfortable. The middle of the day is an ideal time for inside chores, anyways. Take a break and have the kids play inside for a little while. Sun safety can be fun!

4. Dress appropriately.

No, that doesn’t mean shorts and a T-shirt, tempting as that is in the heat. If possible, wear long-sleeved clothes made with a tight weave to cover your skin. Top off your outfit with a wide-brimmed hat. Pick a hat that’s made of a tight weave, too, to really block out those UV rays. If you’re at the pool or beach, at least throw on a cover-up or a T-shirt for some extra protection.

Now – keep in mind that this is not a substitute for sunscreen. You still need that.

5. Be aware if you’re at a higher risk.

There are some people who may be more susceptible to skin cancer and who need to take extra care to protect themselves from the sun.

  • People with light hair, light eyes, pale skin, and freckles
  • People who simply burn easily whose skin doesn’t tan
  • People with lots of beauty marks or moles

6. Keep an eye on any suspicious moles.

It’s not a bad idea to see a dermatologist if you notice any moles that look strange. If you have any new moles or any moles that have started to look different, you may want to get them checked out.

7. Don’t go tanning.

Tanning beds can be very bad for your skin. In fact, it can be just as harmful as going out into the sun. Indoor tanning exposes the person to high levels of UV rays (which are known to cause cancer.) Besides, tanning beds can spread icky germs and cause skin infections.

Sunscreen is a key part of sun safety.

Summer is prime time for outdoor fun and games, but don’t forget to follow sun safety practices. Apply and reapply sunscreen. Wear long-sleeved, tightly-woven clothing to cover your skin. Chill out inside during the middle of the day when the sun is strong. Don’t underestimate how dangerous the sun can be and take steps to stay safe.

Do you want to get multiple home insurance quotes so you can save money on your premium? We would be happy to help you with your insurance shopping. We work with several of the top-rated carriers in the country, so we can help you get the best coverage at the best rate. All you have to do to get started with your quotes is fill out our form or give us a call.