Posted on 10/31/2013 8:00 AM By First Pioneer Insurance
Halloween is just around the corner and many consumers may not realize how frightening this spooky night could really be for their personal safety, their property or their bank accounts. Here are some ways to prepare for Halloween hazards:
Don’t be a Scary Driver: As always do not drink and drive. Be sure to take extra time when out in neighborhoods as children may be running or in a costume that prevents you from easily seeing them.
Stay Accident-free: Remove or move lawn furniture, or any other obstacles, to avoid accidents or damage. Ensure your home’s entry is in good condition, free of loose or broken pieces on stairwells and walkways to avoid trick-or-treaters’ injuries on your property.
Prevent Fire Dangers: Prevent fires by making sure pumpkins containing candles are placed at a distance where a child’s costume cannot be ignited or a curious guest may tip it over. Extinguish all candles before going to bed. Consider using battery operated lights wherever poss ...
Posted on 8/2/2013 12:13 PM By First Pioneer Insurance
Due to the recent excess of rain and substantial flooding we felt it was important to share safety tips regarding flooding and how it can create fire hazards. As you probably know if you are experiencing flooding in your home there is a high chance of water-damaged electrical equipment that can create hazards. Here are some questions you may have to ask yourself:
Will I be able to use the appliances after they dry out?
Are the circuit breakers and fuses going to be safe to use as well?
How I know if I need to replace my electrical wiring?
Floodwater within or around a home can create some serious fire hazards if the electrical wiring and equipment have been submerged or partially submerged in water. Often times even after professional cleaning and drying the residual flood effects can linger. What everyone needs to know is that when you begin to clean up after a flood there are numerous hidden electrical hazards.
Do not consider this a DIY or look up on Pinterest project ...
Posted on 7/23/2013 7:52 AM By First Pioneer Insurance
If you are familiar with the Sci-Fi Channel or seen #sharknado on Twitter recently you may already know a little bit about this interesting phenomenon. Essentially sharknado is a giant tornado from the coast/ocean that dumps thousands of sharks inland. The fear is that these man-eating sharks will attack whole neighborhoods.
(Comic written by Larry Lambert; illustrated by Jerry King.)
As you can imagine a sharknado is not a specifically named peril that is on a homeowner’s insurance policy. So if a great white came flying down at you and bit off your shoulder would you be covered? According to the Insurance Information Institute which is an industry group the answer is mostly yes. Mike Berry, their vice president of media relations says, "A tornado is a wind event." To get specific wind events including hurricanes, tornadoes, and cyclones are covered under a standard policy. The falling shark? It would be a covered peril as a falling object.
What about your car? If you had comprehen ...
Posted on 5/3/2013 1:16 PM By First Pioneer Insurance
Looking for a ways to prepare your home and family for spring? A great activity to add to your spring cleaning list is to make a home inventory. Having a home inventory is a great asset to have while filing an insurance claim. When disaster strikes your home whether it is a natural disaster, burglary, or your personal items are simply destroyed or stolen having a list of the items in your home will help the claims adjuster settle on a fair amount for what your belongings were worth and help get items replaced more quickly.
Not to worry, though creating a home inventory sounds like an impossibly daunting task, it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips and what we recommend before you get started:
Small details are important! A home inventory includes a comprehensive list of all your belongings, along with receipts (if you have them), photos, and descriptions. For items such as electronics be sure to record the serial number of the item.
Divide and conquer. Instead of making one long list of your item ...
Posted on 2/21/2013 11:21 AM By First Pioneer Insurance
Good news for North Carolina businesses and residents who were affected by the flooding and storms that occurred January 30. SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills announced that those who suffered damage can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The loans have been made available in response to a letter that Gov. Pat McCrory sent Administrator Mills on February 12. The letter requested that the SBA declare a disaster covering Watauga County and the adjacent counties of Ashe, Avery, Caldwell and Wilkes in North Carolina and Johnson County in Tennessee.
"The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of North Carolina with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist homeowners, renters, and businesses of all sizes with federal disaster loans," said Administrator Mills. "Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA."
"Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners ...
Posted on 2/8/2013 12:59 PM By First Pioneer Insurance
What is an ice dam?
An Ice dam is something that happens as a result when heat from the interior of a house with a sloped roof escapes into the attic space, it warms the underside of the roof. Meanwhile, the roof eave outside the heated space remains a colder temperature.
When snow accumulates on the rooftop, it melts over the warmer portion of the attic and the melt water runs down the roof. When it encounters the cold edge of the roof it refreezes. The refrozen water along the roof edge creates an “ice dam” and consequently, the melted snow running down the roof begins to back up underneath the roof covering. This water will soak the roof sheathing and leak into the attic unless there is a barrier above the sheathing. Sealing the roof deck is an effective way to prevent the water from entering your home and causing damage.
How to prevent ice-dams
To help prevent ice damming, remove or relocate heat sources that are installed in open attic areas directly under the roof, such as an attic.
Posted on 1/21/2013 12:26 PM By First Pioneer Insurance
Learn About Risk From Radon
You can’t see, smell, or taste radon, but it could be present at a dangerous level in your home. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in America and claims the lives of about 20,000 Americans each year. In fact, the EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General urge all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes, schools, and other buildings for radon. Exposure to radon is a preventable health risk, and testing radon levels in your home can help prevent unnecessary exposure. If a high radon level is detected in your home, you can take steps to fix the problem to protect yourself and your family.
Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas released in rock, soil, and water from the natural decay of uranium. While levels in outdoor air pose a relatively low threat to human health, radon can accumulate to dangerous levels inside buildings. You can’t see, smell, or taste ...
Posted on 12/18/2012 7:12 AM By First Pioneer Insurance
Peak farmland is here, the amount of land needed to grow crops worldwide is at a peak and an area more than twice the size of France can return to nature by 2060 due to rising yields and slower population growth.
Rising yields, slowing population means farmland peaks
Food crop area could shrink by 10 pct in half a century
Cropland 2.5 times France can return to nature by 2060
Article by Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent
OSLO, Dec 17 (Reuters) - The report, conflicting with U.N. studies that say more cropland will be needed in coming decades to avert hunger and price spikes as the world population rises beyond 7 billion, said humanity had reached what it called "Peak Farmland".
More crops for use as biofuels and a shift towards more meat consumption in emerging economies such as China or India - demanding more cropland to feed livestock - would not offset a fall from the peak driven by improved yields, it calculated.
If correct, the land freed up from crop farming would be ...
Posted on 12/5/2012 12:57 PM By First Pioneer Insurance
Christmas lights are beautiful and much safer than candles, but all that electricity can cause problems if not used properly. Christmas lights can get hot enough to burn or ignite other decorations. The cords can fray, leading to a short. Decorating with lights often requires the use of a ladder, and improper use could lead to an injury. Practice ladder safety when you are putting up Christmas lights.
When you put up Christmas lights this season - or holiday lights during any season - be sure to follow these Christmas light safety tips.
Choose Christmas lights that have been tested and deemed safe by a reputable testing laboratory, the best are UL or ETL. Christmas lights listed as safe by these laboratories will note that on the packaging.
Try to use the cooler-burning "mini" Christmas lights as opposed to the traditional larger bulbs. The older style burns much hotter.
Only use Christmas lights that have fuses in the plugs.
Inspect each ...
Posted on 11/20/2012 12:40 PM By First Pioneer Insurance
1. Plan a designated meetup time and place. Not
all stores will have good cell phone reception, so set a specific time to meet
back up after shopping. Also, make sure to choose a very specific place to
meet, as the “electronics section” can be a big enough place on its own to lose
2. If you’re driving between multiple stores, put
purchases in the trunk. A bag full of video games or digital cameras makes an
enticing target. Clear out that trunk and make as much space as possible before
you head out shopping.
3. Carry a small bag with your wallet in it, and
make sure it is closely against your body to avoid losing it or having anything
stolen. If you need to bring drinks or snacks, bring a backpack. If at all
possible, only carry credit cards, and make photocopies of them before you
leave the house so that you’ll have the account number and customer service
phone number if your wallet is lost or stolen.
4. Make sure cell phones are powered on, fully
charged, and ...