Home safety Archives - Spencer Insurance Agency, Inc

Chimney Safety Tips

Chimney Safety Tips

Leaning toward an old wood-burning fireplace to help cut your heating bill this winter? Before you spark a log you should know, fireplaces and chimneys are involved in 42% of all home-heating fires. So before you use your fireplace, ensure you know how to properly use it and follow these safety tips.

  1. Hire a chimney sweep – The National Fire Protection Association recommends that chimneys be swept at least once a year to remove soot and debris. A professional chimney sweep should also inspect for any damages.
  2. Cap your chimney – Chimney caps will keep rain, birds, squirrels, and debris from entering your chimney. Repair or replace a missing or damaged cap.
  3. Burn seasoned hardwood – Choose dense wood that has been split and stored in a high and dry place for at least 6 months.
  4. Don’t overload – Small fires generate less smoke and less creosote buildup. Large, hot fires can potentially crack your chimney.
  5. Build it right – Place logs at the rear of the fireplace on a metal grate. Use kindling instead of flammable liquids to start the fire.
  6. Use a spark guard. Spark guards will prevent embers from shooting out of the fireplace. A guard in front of the fireplace is especially important when the room is unoccupied.

Winter is coming. It will be here before we know it. Get everything prepared for the cold months now before it’s too late! Stay warm and safe all winter long. Another good tip is to contact Spencer Insurance Agency at (215) 885-2200 or online at https://spencerinsurance.com/ to review your homeowners insurance policy before you strike a match.

Source: https://www.thisoldhouse.com/fireplaces/21018422/how-to-prep-your-fireplace-for-the-cold-season

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Fall is a beautiful time of year. The air is cool and crisp, and the leaves are changing colors. As homeowners, it can also be a very busy time of year! Take advantage of the moderate weather to repair any damages to your home before the first frost sets in.

Taking the time to care for the exterior of your home in the fall will help your home last through the winter. Check the foundation for cracks. If you have cracks in your foundation, repair them before it’s too late. Caulking around windows, door frames, and where pipes and wires enter your home can help prevent heat escaping in the colder months. Install storm windows and doors and remove screens. Check exterior walls for peeling or blistering paint. If left untreated, the siding itself will deteriorate. Ensure your roof is in good shape. If there are some missing or loose shingles, get them repaired or replaced!

Interior maintenance is just as important. Properly sealing and insulating your home can save you up to 10% on your annual energy bill. Applying weather stripping and caulk to windows and doors is a simple and easy way to help keep the heat in and the cold out – don’t forget about the basement windows! Have your heating system checked by a licensed heating contractor. Properly working heating systems will use fuel more efficiently, last longer, and have fewer problems. Change the direction of your ceiling fans to redistribute warm air from the ceiling. Test and change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and keep extra batteries on hand.

Now that the house is taken care of, it’s time to move back out into the yard. Prepare your yard equipment for storage by draining the fuel from all gas-operated equipment. Check to see if all your snow equipment is in proper working order and ready for the first snowfall. Drain garden hoses and store them inside. Also shut off outdoor water valves to keep them from freezing. Take some time to organize your garage. Clean and store your summer garden tools, and move your rakes, gloves, and winter equipment within easy reach.

If you are a homeowner, keeping up with home maintenance is important! This is just a short list of maintenance items that should be completed during the fall.  For more Fall tips go to our Fall Section of our website. Take the time to call Spencer Insurance Agency, Inc. at (215) 885-2200 or visit us online at https://spencerinsurance.com/ to review your homeowners insurance policy so you know your home is fully protected for the next season!

Source: https://www.bobvila.com/articles/1499-fall-home-maintenance-checklist/

Emergency Preparedness Winter Car Kit

Emergency Preparedness Winter Car Kit

Having the proper items in your car during the winter can be the difference between life and death during a critical situation. The items listed below can help provide comfort and save your life. Along with the following items, you’ll want to be sure you have a fully charged phone before hitting the road. This can also save your life should an emergency arise.

The Basic Supplies:

These are the essentials.

Remember that along with these basic supplies, you’ll need an adequate amount of gas. It’s important to check that your antifreeze is at the proper level as well.

  • Blankets – Even having one extra blanket can provide much-needed warmth and protection.
  • Extra clothes such as mittens, socks, hats, and jackets
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Jumper cables
  • Bottled water
  • A proper first aid kit with all the supplies that come in it. If you use something in your kit, replace it as soon as you get a chance.
  • Windshield cleaner
  • A simple multi-tool such as a Swiss Army Knife or a Leatherman Tool
  • Road flares or warning triangles

 

Remember that along with these basic supplies, you’ll need an adequate amount of gas. It’s important to check that your antifreeze is at the proper level as well.

Extra Supplies:

If your area experiences extreme winter weather, it’s a good idea to keep these extra supplies on hand as well.

  • Non-clumping cat litter for gaining traction in the snow
  • A folding shovel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Small fire extinguisher (Class B or C for your car)
  • Tire changing essentials such as a jack and lug wrench
  • Paper maps
  • Compass
  • Snacks such as canned nuts or granola bars
  • Ice scraper
  • Tow strap or chain
  • Matches or lighter

 

You can pick from the many options on the market for emergency car kits, or you can take the above listed items and make your own based on your needs. Always remember to check these items and make sure they are still in working order every month. If something needs to be changed out, do so immediately, as you never know when you may need your emergency kit.

Need coverage? Have Questions?

Call Spencer Insurance Agency’s  licensed insurance professionals at 215-885-2200 or visit our website. 

Support your local fire company!

 

Help us pick a charity AND SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FIRE COMPANY!

For the 4th quarter of 2019 you, our clients will pick the charity that Spencer Insurance will highlight and send a donation.  October is Fire Prevention Month and we want to thank our first responders and support a local fire company.

Email Charlie at cspencer@spencerinsurance.com and vote for your local fire company.  In the subject line of your email write “my vote.” You must be a client to vote and you get one vote per household. Deadline to vote is December 1, 2019.

The fire company that receives the most votes will receive a check from Spencer Insurance Agency.  We will donate $5 for each referral you send to us in the 4th quarter of 2019.  The minimum check will be $250.  Help us send a bigger check by referring your friends, family and co-workers. Vote Today!

As the holidays decorating season approaches, some safety tips. . .

 

Candles, fires (indoors in your fireplace and outdoors in your fire pit), strands of lights and Christmas Trees can make your home look beautiful for the holiday season. Be extra careful during this time of year. Remember most home fires occur during the winter months so we want to share some safety tips.

  • If you use a live Christmas tree make sure it is properly watered. Check out this video which shows dramatically the fire danger for a dry tree and one that is properly watered.
  • FEMA Video sharing winter fire prevention tips.
  • Check out the Spencer Insurance Winter Tips for some tips for:
    • Driving in winter conditions
    • Preparing an emergency kit for car and home
    • Preparing your teen driver to drive in winter conditions
    • Taking time during the winter when you are inside more to review your finances

The severity of our winters change each year.  Even the Farmer’s Almanac can’t get it right all the time.  So take some time now to prepare so you are ready for that blizzard or ice storm.  Hope I didn’t jinx us.

Contact us with any questions or if you would like a review of your insurance.

Have a wonderful winter.

Fall is here and so are the Spencer Agency’s fall safety tips!

Fall Auto and Home Maintenance - Abington, Glenside, Jenkintown Homeowners Insurance company Spencer Insurance

 

As summer comes to a close I ask “will we get rid of this rain and humidity.”  I am looking forward to some crisp fall days and seeing the beautiful change of the color of the trees.

But it would not be fall without Spencer’s fall safety tips.   Check these tips out so you can prevent future claims. This fall section has tips on how to prepare your car and home for fall and winter.  It also has some teen driver tips for parents of teen drivers.

       

Lastly, September is Life insurance awareness month so I have some tips on how to protect your family with life insurance.  Tips on what you need to do with your life insurance if you are getting married or divorced. Rachel will tell you why you should not delay purchasing life insurance.

As always just contact us if you have any questions or concerns.  “Your protection and peace of mind is our only business.”

Spring Tips

Although the Spring weather has been with us on and off all winter, the calendar turns to Spring.  As we move our clocks forward in March the days are getting longer.  The flowers will be popping up and the green returning to the trees. What a great time of year! A new beginning for all of us.  Now that Spring is here check out Spencer Insurance Agency’s Spring Tips on our website.

Some of the topics include:

 

    Tips if you are getting married this year

 

 

 

 

Many of these tips will help make sure your home and “toys” are ready and safe for the summer.  Hopefully this will help reduce any claims and out of pocket deductibles. Contact us today to set up a review of your insurance. We will be glad to meet with you.  Have a wonderful Spring.

There is more to moving clocks ahead for Daylight Savings Time. . .

 

Daylight Savings Time begins Sunday  March 12, 2017.  I am sure you don’t need another reminder to set your clocks ahead however this is not the main reason for this email.  Changing your clocks is a great reminder to do some home safety.

Spencer Insurance Agency suggests you do all of the following when you set your clocks ahead in the Spring and when you push them back in the Fall:

  • Replace all the batteries in your smoke detectors and clean them so they are free of dust or dirt.  A few years back one of my smoke detectors went off and a neighbor called the fire department.  It turned out my smoke detector was just dusty.  I little embarassing but what a great neighbor! Nice to know people in your neighborhood care.
  • Check your carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are still working.
  • Check the tags on your fire extinguishers to make sure they are not out of date.  Replace them or have them serviced if needed.

These are a few small steps to take now to save you from a fire claim later.  Remind your friends and family to do the same.  Our goal is to help you prevent claims.  Your Protection and Peace of Mind is our only Business!

For more tips on life changing events go to our website. 

Thank you for the trust you put in Spencer Insurance Agency!

Life changes, did you update your insurance?

Just married truckcollege packing

There are many life changing events during our lifetime.  Have you considered how these events affect your insurance coverage?

As agents we review your needs when we meet with you. However, unless you tell us about these life changing events when they happen we will not know to update your coverage.  This could leave you and your family very vulnerable.

Here are examples of some life changing events:

  • Getting Married or divorced
  • Child leaving to live at college
  • New teen driver
  • Remodeling your house
  • Downsizing and preparing for retirement
  • Buying a new home or car
  • Moving to a assisted living or nursing home facility

These are just a few.  Check out the “Life Changing Events” section of our website for more information.

Contact us today for an insurance review.

Smoke Alarms for People who are Hearing Impaired

Fire Extinguisher character with happy pose

I have a few friends who have a hard time hearing or are deaf.  I thought about all the elderly whose hearing is impaired and I wondered “What good are smoke detectors and fire alarms if you can’t hear them?”

Smoke Detectors save lives!! We have heard this numerous times.

We take smoke detectors for granted. We change the batteries twice a year and inspect them to make sure they are working properly. Hopefully we never have to hear that sound except when I burn the bacon while cooking breakfast.  I like my bacon crispy!

Google “smoke detectors for hearing impaired” to find out about new technology that will help the hearing impaired know when a smoke detector alarm sounds. Some devices shake your bed and activate strobe lighting to alert you.

Check them out to see what will work best for your situation. Spread the word to your friends and family you know that have someone living with them who are hearing impaired. It could save their life!

Let me know if you are using something that really works well.   Have a great week!