Information about Ice Dams and Insurance

ice dam diagramic

 

We are having a very active winter this year!  Long periods of extremely cold weather and a lot of snow are the perfect formula for ice dams and that can cause roofs to leak.   Ice dams are formed at the edge of roofs and gutters when we have thawing and refreezing of snow on roofs. The dams continue to grow larger and will back up higher in the roof line as continued melting occurs.  Melted snow gets trapped by the ice dam and that keeps water from draining off the roof, and this is where the damage begins.  This water can get forced under the shingles and cause dripping through the roof, into the attic, the insulation and into the rest of the inside of the home.

 

Make sure you contact your insurance carrier right away to report all damage and get your claim started.  This will help manage the loss quickly and safely.  Your carrier may even pay something towards having the snow removed from the roof if damage is sustained.  Be careful and if you do not have the right equipment it is better to have a professional remove the snow.

This winter has been colder for longer stretches of time and these conditions can cause damages.  Take all precautions that you can and soon it will be spring!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween Health and Safety Tips

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Halloween is coming this week, and the fall colors are all around us.  This is a beautiful time of year, and we should all enjoy a fun holiday such as Halloween.  Times are different than when I was out as a child in my neighborhood collecting my share of candy.  We insurance brokers are always concerned with the “what if this happens” in life situations, and how to protect ourselves from harm.  Halloween has some very interesting safety statistics we need to keep in mind. There are several great websites about Halloween safety, and I am going to quote a few facts here  from www.safekids.org   Here are some scary statistics they have–

1.) Only 1/3 of parents talk to their children annually about Halloween, although 3/4 report having Halloween safety fears.

2.) On average, TWICE an many children pedestrians are killed while walking on Halloween compared to other days of the year.

3.) Only 18% of parents use reflective tape on their children’s Halloween costumes.

4.) 12% of children five years of age or younger are permitted to trick- or- treat alone.

All parents should talk to their goblins of all ages and here are a few simple tips–go to www.safekids.org/halloween for more great help

1.) Children under 12 should trick-or-treat AND cross streets with an adult.

2.) Always walk on sidewalks or paths-if there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic and as far to the side as possible.

3.) Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.  Parents should remind children to watch for cars that are turning or backing up.

4.) Drivers should slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods.  Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.

 

We all want to have fun and lets all be mindful of some simple, common sense rules that may save a life!  May our worst fear be our next dental visit or our waist lines after eating too much candy!

 

We Must Never Forget! This is the 12th Anniversary of 9/11

As time goes on, it is important that we never forget the lessons of that tragic day.  Please take a moment to pause and remember those who we lost that day.  Let us all proudly show our flag and always remember that our Freedom is Not Free!

Labor Day is here!!

When we think if Labor Day, we usually think of the end of summer.  Back to school season!  Perhaps we will take in a parade, enjoy a barbecue or two, fireworks and other fun events.  Or we can just kick back and relax with the extra day off.

It is important to remember how this holiday came to be part of our American culture.  Labor Day is a celebration of workers and their achievements.  We have come a long way from 12 hour work days, 7 days a week schedules, and children working in harsh conditions.  Workers toiled for low wages in very unsafe working conditions.  Workers were compelled to speak up and protest.  These were dismal times and many died during violent protests, such as the Haymarket Riot in Chicago in 1886, where many police officers and workers were killed.  On September 5, 1882 10,000 workers took unpaid time off in New York to march from City Hall to Union Square in the first Labor Day Parade in our history.  This idea caught on in other cities around the country, so a ‘workingmen’s holiday” celebrated on the first Monday in September came to be.

Twelve years later, after a violent strike in Chicago that helped bring workers rights into the public view. the holiday got national status.  The federal government had come in with troops to break up the strike, and the ensuing riots resulted in the deaths of several workers.  As a way of reaching out to the American worker, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and federal territories.

No one has ever been clearly identified as the founder of Labor Day. It was an idea that many people helped in making it finally happen.

We now enjoy the protection of laws that our ancestors had to fight very hard and endure many bad circumstances before they finally came to be.  So as we enjoy our long weekend, let us remember those who didn’t get time off and languished in low paying jobs with unsafe conditions.  They stood up for us and future generations to have a better life.

 

Memorial Day

Once again we get to enjoy a Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer.  Most of us have plans of relaxing and barbecue with family and friends.  But we really need to remember why we have this holiday.

Memorial Day has its roots in the Civil War.  The latest estimates of soldiers killed in this war is 750.000.  This is more than all other American wars combined.  This was just over 2 percent of the population! In terms of today’s population, it would be 6 to 7 million people lost.

Many towns claim to have started this holiday, but what really matters is that people across the country saw the need to reflect and remember–so the nation created it.  I just learned that over half of the Civil War dead were never identified.  There were no dog tags or any way of official notification of family.  So we came to feel a shared sense of loss and the dead now belonged to everyone as so many could not belong to just anyone.

It became important to the nation’s process of mourning to bring dignity to these lost souls.  Death without dignity was not acceptable to our countrymen.  It helped to some way ratify now important the courage and sacrifice had been to now take a moment of reflection so the healing could begin for our country.  Perhaps we all should take a moment to think what it meant to be an American back then, and what so many sacrificed for the good of the nation.

The Civil War has long passed, but wars have not.  We continue to have every generation sacrifice some of its best to preserve our way of life.  We must never forget those who have served and those who serve us now.

Freedom is not free.

 

Daylight Saving Time Is Here Once Again!

Whenever I see the clocks change, I know that the season is changing soon.  After this last storm, I know all of us, except for the skiers in our group, are ready for spring to finally arrive.

I thought it would be fun to pass along a few facts about Daylight Saving Time.  Most of the United States begins DST at 2:00 AM on the second Sunday in March and returns to STD on the first Sunday in November. Notice I said most–DST is not observed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Arizona.  However, the Navajo Nation, due to its large size located in three states, does participate.  You got that?

Another fun fact is that no daylight is saved–it is just shifted effectively moving an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening.  Perhaps we really should be saying Daylight Time Shifting–but it just doesn’t sound right after all these years.

In the United States, 2:00 AM was chosen for minimal impact.  People are mostly at home at this hour, transportation is more limited if not running at all,  and it stays the same day, which could add to our confusion!  How many of us have forgotten at least once to change our clocks?  It is not so easy now with our phones, cable TV, and other devices automatically adjusting for us.  We still have to adjust the clock on our stove and microwave in my home.  What do you have to do yourself?  Your watch perhaps?

The U.S. Congress extended DST to 8 months in 1973.  This was following the oil embargo of that year.  The Dept. of Transporation realized that be observing DST in March and April we were able to save as a nation the equivalent of about 10,000 barrels of oil each day.  Then in 1986 DST moved to the first Sunday in April, rather than the last.  This addition time added even more to our savings, estimated at about 300,000 barrels of oil each year.

Many parents wanted to move DST to include Halloween as a safety concern for children.  So in 2007. DST has been set to start on the second Sunday in March and end on the first Sunday in November.

This is always a great reminder to check all safety devices in our homes.  Make sure your fire extinguisher is charged, your batteries new in your smoke detectors, and check your carbon monoxide detector too!

Safety first is a great motto and I encourage everyone to be smart and safe!

Let’s enjoy the changing in the season!

 

Bursting With Information About Frozen Pipes

My friends Judy and John Rizzo are the owners of Rizzo Plumbing. They have an excellent website to refer to for a lot of useful information. The website is www.rizzoplumbingandheating.com
Here is part of a great article about frozen pipes that I wanted to share here with all of you.

Frozen pipes can be avoided, but if they happen damage can be minimized. Here is a handy checklist:

BEFORE IT GETS COLD:
1-insulate the pipes in the attic and crawlspaces
2-seal leaks that allow cold air inside ( where pipes are located)
3-make sure all household members know where the main shut off is located

WHEN THE MERCURY DROPS

1-open faucets and let water drip
2-don’t attempt to thaw frozen pipes with an open flame(water damage is better than burning your house down)
3-try using a blow dryer to thaw frozen pipes starting at the faucet and working your way back to the coldest section of pipe
4-call a plumber to avoid a burst pipe

IF YOUR PIPES BURST

1-shut water off at main
2-call a plumber

Weymouth Rotary CASH Raffle tickets now on sale!

Weymouth Rotary has an annual Fundraiser and for many years we had an auto raffle.  WELL, last year we offered a cash option and it was very popular.  SO, this year we are simply having a CASH RAFFLE!!  The Grand Prize is $25,000!!!  Just think what you could do with $25,000!!   Only 650 tickets will be sold so get yours early!!  The drawing will be held on May 31, 2013 at the weymouth Elks Lodge starting at 7 PM.  You can contact me for tickets or go on line to www.weymouthrotary.org and purchase online.  I have attached a link above with our brochure and more details.   See you at the drawing!!

 

 

Decorating Safely this Holiday Season

As the holiday season approaches, it is important to keep safety in mind as we decorate.  I have always enjoyed having wreaths outside my window.  I have a pictures taken last year with fresh snow on it that I always enjoy.   Decorating outside with fresh evergreens is very safe.  Inside your home, however, is quite different.  I am going to list out some points from the U.S. Fire Administration website about decorating safely this holiday season.

CHRISTMAS TREES

Everyone loves looking at a beautiful tree Christmas morning.  But remember–KEEP THE TREE WATERED!  These trees account for hundreds of fires annually, mostly from electrical shorts or open flames.  Dry, neglected trees are a hazard.  Carefully select a freshly cut tree when purchasing your tree–if many needles fall off the tree has been cut too long and can be a hazard.  Buy from a reliable dealer.  Maintain your holiday lights –do not use with any frayed wires.  Do not leave lights on unattended.

The holidays are a wonderful time for families to enjoy-make sure you do it safely so a disaster doesn’t  ruin your holidays and risk harm to your loved ones.  For more safety tips, visit their website www.usfa.fema.gov