Homeowners insurance blog

Keeping your home safe for trick-or-treaters

Before the goblins and ghouls come knocking for Halloween candy, take a few extra precautionary steps to prevent accidents on your property this Halloween.

1- First, make sure the front of your home is well lit so that the neighborhood kids can see where they are going from behind those Halloween masks.

2- Take a look at your walkways and steps to your front door and make sure there is nothing that could cause a trip and fall. Loose bricks, rotten floor boards, etc. can send a little person in a costume on quite a tumble.

3- Pick candy that is well sealed and non-perishable. While many people think that cooking up their own Halloween treats is a good idea, it may be better to provide something store bought to lessen the risk of food contamination.

4- Try to run any errands earlier in the day to avoid unnecessary trips out in the car after dusk. With lots of children on the streets it’s a good idea to limit the number of vehicles to avoid accidents.

5-Lastly, avoid having any type of open flame near the entry to your home. Most Halloween costumes are extremely flammable and candles, jack-o-lanterns, etc. pose a high risk of fire.

How to keep wildlife from making your home, their home

As the weather cools down rodents are looking for warm places to set up camp for the winter which often leads to burrowing into attics and basements. Thousands of homeowners each year are startled to find birds, squirrels, raccoons and even bats that have made their way into the walls and eaves of their home.

Not only do rodents carry diseases and pose danger to your family’s safety, but they can also do quite a bit of damage to your home’s structure and insulation. Unfortunately, wildlife damage is not typically covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy. So you may want to take extra precaution to prevent such intrusions.

Here are a few tips for preventing wildlife from taking over your home this winter:

1- Do a thorough inspection of the outside of your home particularly around the roof line. If you find any cracks or holes be sure to seal them immediately. If you are unable or unsure of how to perform an inspection such as this hire a professional to do so for you. Not only will you seal out wildlife but you will also protect your home from water damage and make it more energy efficient.

2- Keep trees that lie close to your roof line trimmed and cut back anything that hangs over. Tree limbs make for an easy route onto your roof for squirrels and other small rodents.

3- Everyday items such as trash cans and compost piles can be magnets for wildlife looking for scraps to eat. Keep garbage cans well sealed and out of sight from raccoons who will likely be drawn to your home if they smell a trashy treat they might enjoy.

4- Most importantly, if you think there may be a squirel or other wild animal residing in your home, be sure to contact a wildlife removal specialist immediately. Rodents can reproduce quickly and you could have a much larger problem on your hands if you wait too long.


Is YOUR Home ready for the cool weather?

If you wait until the temperatures really drop, you may be too late. Get a kick start on winterizing your home so you don’t get stuck with a big problem on your hands!

Heating: One thing you don’t want to find out on the first chilly night? How about that the furnace isn’t working! Do a thorough check of your heating system and consider having it cleaned if it’s been awhile. Also, check your thermostat to make sure it’s operable and replace those air filters while you are at it.

Roof: A soft spot in your roof combined with the weight of winter snow can mean a disaster that no one wants to have to deal with. Have a professional inspect your roof to make sure it is in tip top shape. Also, if you have trees hanging over or near your roof make sure you trim them back to avoid any damage in the event they fall.

Fireplace: A fireplace can be a great aspect of a home but it can also be extremely dangerous. Get your chimney cleaned regularly to avoid fires. Also, make sure you have a screen in front of your fireplace and no flammable materials nearby that can catch fire.

Gutters: Ice damming is the dangerous scenario when snow backs onto your roof usually caused by a clogged gutter. Ice damming can cause water and ice to seep into your home’s insulation, framework and eventually into the interior. Avoid this at all costs by cleaning your gutters thoroughly or hiring a professional to do this for you. You might want to wait until after the leaves are done falling so you don’t have to do the job twice.