November, 2021 | Boizelle Insurance Partnership

Kitchen Safety Tips

Life can get pretty crazy around the holidays. From coordinating schedules with family members to buying gifts, you may feel a little overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done to have a fun and memorable holiday with family. But, what about cooking? What about being safe in the kitchen? If you have little ones, you may be familiar with the scenario of having them run around the house making lots of noise while you’re trying to cook. Kitchen safety is always important. And around the holidays, it can be a challenge with all of the outside distractions. Here’s what you can do to ensure that you and your family remain safe.

  • Keep your kitchen counter tops free of clutter. Staying organized may help you in preventing injuries.
  • Unplug appliances when not actively using them. Not only does this keep your counter tops free of potential clutter, your electrical bill will be lower.
  • Be sure that you have, and test, GFCI receptacles in the kitchen to prevent shock and electrocution.
  • Once you are finished cooking, do one last check to see that everything is turned off.
  • Remove grease and dust from your oven and stovetop to prevent fires.
  • Do not leave the kitchen while you’re in the process of cooking. Distractions are your enemy.
  • Do not cook under the influence of drugs or alcohol or while you’re feeling sleepy.
  • Do not disable a smoke alarm while you’re cooking.
  • Do not use a stove with the intention of heating your home.
  • If you have children, consider designating another room in the house as their “play area”. Make sure that this room is a safe distance away from the kitchen where you will be cooking.

The holidays are meant to be a joyous time when many have the opportunity to spend time with those they love most. By following these tips, we’re confident that you will be able to enjoy your holiday with your loved ones while keeping everyone safe.

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How to Winterize Your Home

be proactive and take the necessary preventative steps to ensure your home is protected when it gets frigidly cold outside.

Not only can winterizing your home keep your energy costs down; it can prevent astronomical, ruinous costs later.

Indoors:

Windows & Doors: Having cold air seep into your home through cracks can be annoying. To prevent this, inspect your windows and doors and replace any weather stripping that appears to be worn. Caulking cracks can help keep that cold air from entering your home. In addition to caulking, drapes, curtains, shades, blinds can help you prevent heat from escaping your home.

Fireplace: Inspect your fireplace closely and remove any soot or ashes. Cracks could potentially become a fire hazard if not addressed sooner rather than later. Some maintenance steps for your fireplace may be better suited for a professional to take a look at. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Furnace: Hire an HVAC inspector to look over your furnace. Your furnace should be thoroughly cleaned and your filter should be changed every 90 days.

Thermostat: No one likes to live in a cold home during the winter time. However, it may serve you well to know that you can save up to 1% on your energy bill for every degree you lower your thermostat during the winter. Have you considered replacing your thermostat with a smart model? They can help you save on heating costs as well.

Other home heating: Space heaters—however comforting—can be dangerous if not used properly and carefully. It is estimated that 44% of house fires are caused by space heaters, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: In preparing your home for the winter, one of the most important steps you should take is checking to see that your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly. Additionally, gather your family members and review your emergency plan just in case you need to get out of your house quickly. Knowing what to do in the event of an emergency can help save your life.

 

Outdoors:

Gutters: Clogged gutters can cause a variety of problems for your home if not attended to: problems with your foundation, wall and ceiling damage, and even insect infestation.

Roof: Have your roof inspected by a professional before winter arrives. Repair any damages to shingles.

Trees and Landscaping: It’s important to know how to spot a diseased tree. When a tree is not strong and has weak branches, both heavy snow and strong winds can potentially know the tree down, thus causing an even more serious problem.

Lawn equipment: Be sure to drain the oil and gas from your lawn mower before storing it away for the period of time you won’t be using it. It only takes a few weeks for gasoline to separate and potentially cause damage to your engine.

Snow removal supplies: Inspect your snow removal equipment to make sure they are no signs of wear. It’s important to have a solid, heavy duty snow shovel. If heavy snow on top of your roof is not removed quickly, once it melts, it could possibly seep through cracks and enter your home, causing water damage to your interior. This can be a costly fix.

 

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