November, 2021 | Boizelle Insurance Partnership

How to Prepare Your Home for the First Freeze of the Season

Inspect the Exterior Walls of Your Home for Holes

Even the tiniest holes where cables and wires enter your home can allow cold and freezing air in. Use insulation to provide a protective covering to patch any holes. Seal off any cracks or wear in your windows and doors with new weather stripping or caulk.

Shut off the water to outside spigots

Plumbing is especially at risk to freeze when temperature drops below freezing. To make sure your home is protected from a potential disaster, disconnect any hoses and insulate your hose bibbs by using towels or rags.

Insulate your pipes

This might be the most important step you take in protecting your home this winter. Frozen pipes can burst, resulting in having your home flooded. This can lead to a catastrophic home insurance claim if you are not prepared. Make sure you take those necessary steps ahead of time, so your home is not at risk.

Allow your faucets to maintain a very light drip

Your water bill is not going to skyrocket if you take this step. It’s a helpful step because you will have that consistent drip of water that can protect against having your pipes freeze. Make sure that both your hot and cold lines are opened slightly. Finally, open your cabinets in your kitchen to allow for more air circulation. By doing this, your home’s heating system will keep the pipes warm.

Shut off your water at the meter

Always know where your crescent wrench is just in case you need to shut off your water at the meter.

Keep your garage door closed

By keeping your garage door closed, you are preventing cold air from entering, thus protecting hot water heater and any other plumbing that may be located inside your garage.

Keep your gutters clean

Clogged gutters may lead to possible ice and ice dams forming on your roof. Make sure they cleaned out throughout the winter season.

Run your ceiling fans in reverse

By doing this, you are allowing warm air to come back into your living space. Not only are you keeping your living space warm when you do this, but you are saving money on your energy bill as well!

Inspect your fireplace before using it

This really depends on how often you use your fireplace. But, a general rule of thumb is to have your fireplace inspected at least once every two years. If you ignore this, you may be leaving your home at risk for a house fire due to creosote build up. Getting a professional to inspect your fireplace will give you the peace of mind you need and deserve.

Are you leaving town?

Ask a family member, friend, or neighbor whom you trust to keep an eye on your home if you plan to be away for any extended period of time. Before you leave, make sure your thermostat is set to an appropriate temperature to prevent any unexpected problems when you return home.

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Candle Safety Tips

If you’ve ever been to the mall, you’ve certain walked into a Bed, Bath & Beyond or a Yankee Candle at least once. As soon as you step foot inside one of these stores, your nose is immediately hit with inviting fragrant candles and other scents. Did you know that burning candles accounts for 7,610 house fires every year? Candle burning is especially common during the colder months as families do everything they can to stay warm. To keep everyone safe inside your home, here’s what you can to prevent a potential disaster from occurring.

Stay close by – If you notice that your candle has a high, flickering flame, it’s time to extinguish it.

Keep an eye on your kids and pets – Don’t let your kids run around and be rambunxious around flames. Also, keep an eye on your furry friends to make sure they don’t tip any candles over. Finally, don’t let your kids or your pets fall asleep next to a lit candle.

Create more space – If you are going to use candles, make sure the areas around where you place them are free of clutter and rest on a stable surface. Do not place candles next to or close to anything that could catch fire.

Move flammable items – Candles should be kept at least a foot away from other items while burning.

Always trim the wicks – Wicks that are uneven are more likely to burn unevenly, drip, or flare up. Wicks should be trimmed to a ¼ inch for best use.

Read the label – Not all candles are the same, so it’s very important to read the label to make sure you know how long it’s safe to burn your specific candle.

Dip that wick – A wick dipper can help you prevent hot wax from splattering and can also keep your wick protected. They can also eliminate the black smoke you see when you decide to blow out your candle.

Know when it’s time to throw it away – Burning a candle down to the end of its life can be a serious fire hazard. Don’t do this! Instead, if it’s a freestanding candle, throw it away once it reaches two inches. If it’s a candle that rests in a container, it’s time to throw it away once it reaches half an inch.

Invest in quality – Cheap candles don’t last and, oftentimes, are less fragrant than more expensive ones. Pay attention to how many wicks a candle has. The diameter of the candle is important, too. If they diameter is too small, the candle can not only burn faster, it can create a bigger flame. Be careful with these kinds of candles.

Go flameless – There are alternatives to flammable candles. Consider flameless candles, pod warmers, or plug-ins.

While candles can certainly put you and your family in the spirit of the holidays, it’s important to always practice smart safety techniques. Additionally, if you haven’t called us about your homeowners insurance coverage lately, we can help you better understand what is covered and what isn’tif and when you need to file an insurance claim.

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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.


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.



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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