Homeowners Insurance | Boizelle Insurance Partnership

The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and How to Combat It

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning is very real, very dangerous, and is something that should not be taken lightly.

What happens when you develop Carbon Monoxide Poisoning? It’s not pretty. When there is too much carbon monoxide in the air and you breathe it in, that poisonous gas is taking the place of healthy oxygen within your red blood cells. When this happens, oxygen is not able to reach your body’s tissues and organs in order to function properly and effectively. The effect can be devastating and can even lead to death.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning include: dull headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision, and loss of consciousness. Even worse is, because carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas, people who may be asleep or intoxicated may suffer irreversible brain damage before even realizing there is a problem. That’s why it is so important to have your carbon monoxide detector routinely checked to make sure they are functioning properly.

Carbon Monoxide gas is especially dangerous when it is able to be released in enclosed spaces and areas. For instance, one should never use a charcoal grill indoors because carbon monoxide from the fumes has the ability to build to dangerous levels. Additionally, smoke inhalation during a house fire can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Those At Highest Risk for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:

  • Unborn Babies: Because fetal blood cells take up more readily than those of an adult, unborn babies are at higher risk for being harmed from exposure to carbon monoxide.
  • Children: Because the lungs of young children may not be as strong as an adult’s, they may be more likely to take more breaths. This could make them more susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Older adults: Older adults may be more likely to experience irreversible brain damage from carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • People With Chronic Heart Disease: Those who suffer from anemia and/or have difficult breathing are especially at risk.
  • Those Who Become Unconscious Due to Exposure to Carbon Monoxide: If someone loses consciousness, this could indicate a more severe exposure to carbon monoxide. Call 911 immediately.

Potentially Devastating Effects of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Permanent Brain Damage
  • Damage to your heart, potentially leading to life-threatening cardiac complications
  • Fetal death or miscarriage
  • Death

Ways to Combat And/Or Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Because carbon monoxide gas is both odorless and colorless, it is virtually undetectable to humans. Therefore, preventative measure are really the only way to protect yourself and your family. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones:

Install carbon monoxide detectors: Wherever members of your family sleep, a carbon monoxide detector should be placed in or near every room of your house. Regular battery checks are essential to ensure everyone’s overall safety. Conduct these checks at least twice a year. If the alarm does go off, do not take the time to try to discover where the leak is coming from. Instead, remove yourself and your loved ones from the house and move to a safe area immediately. Once you are safe, call 911 or your local fire department for assistance.

Open your garage before starting your car. This really should go without saying. We’ve all see what happened to the character Peter Russo in the show “House of Cards”, right? Now, although that was a fictional show, it correctly and effectively demonstrated the devastating effects of carbon monoxide gas on the human body. Carbon Monoxide gas thrives in small, enclosed areas. It is important to remember that.

Use gas appliances as recommended.

Keep your fuel-burning appliances and engines properly vented.

Space heaters

Furnaces

Charcoal grills

Cooking ranges

Water heaters

Fireplaces

Portable generators

Wood-burning stoves

Car and truck engines

It is of paramount importance that, if you have a gas fireplace, that you keep it in good, healthy condition. This means having to properly inspected for gas leaks every year. Conduct yearly cleaning sessions for your chimney and flue.

Keep your vents and chimneys unblocked during any remodeling. Remove any tarps or debris to ensure airways are clean and clear.

If an incident has occurred in a given area, do not return to that specific area until a thorough investigation of, and/or repairs to, the area is conducted. Your local fire department or utility company can could be of assistance with this. You can also call your own inspector.

Be extremely cautious when working with solvents in an enclosed area. Methylene chloride, which is a solvent commonly found in certain paints and varnish removers, can break down into carbon monoxide when it is inhaled. Exposure to this may cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

 

Read more

Why Should I Have An Umbrella Insurance Policy?

Think of umbrella insurance as extra coverage. If you have certain coverage limits on your auto insurance policy and you’re involved in an at-fault collision, it’s possible that those limits may be exhausted through having to pay the costs for vehicle damages or medical payments for the other party if they’re injured. An umbrella policy kicks in once those initial limits are exhausted and will likely cover the rest of the costs.

No matter where you stand in regards to your career, whether you’re just starting a new one or you’re preparing to retire, having a solid umbrella insurance policy in place has some important benefits. If you don’t have one and you suffer a catastrophic financial hit, such as a lawsuit, you’ll certainly wish you had one in place beforehand. Every decision you make in life comes at a cost.

Imagine this scenario. You’re driving along on the road, going 65 miles and hour in a 40 mph speed limit zone. To add insult to injury, you’re texting while driving, so your eyes aren’t focused on what’s in front of you. You approach an intersection when the traffic light turns red. You’re still not paying attention. You fly through the light, crashing your car into two other cars in the middle of the intersection. This is just one scenario. Accidents can happen at any moment.

That’s a pretty terrible situation to imagine, isn’t it? Unfortunately, this kind of situation happens more often than you’d think. That’s why it’s so important to have that extra coverage in place just in case something unexpected happens.

Umbrella Insurance isn’t just limited to your automobile. It can also help you cover damages related to your home insurance. For example, if you host a part at your house and someone slips and falls, breaking their ankle, although having someone injured in your home is terrible and unfortunate, your umbrella policy can help you cover the costs of their medical care. Your umbrella policy can also help to protect you against being sued.

Every situation is different and it is understood that not everyone is going to have the same needs. However, in terms of protecting yourself and your peace of mind, it’s best to have that extra protect in case you face a catastrophic event. Call our office at 301-948-2010 to speak with one of our experienced insurance professionals to learn how umbrella insurance can benefit you now.

 

Read more

How Can I Keep My Home Secure While I’m On Vacation?

If you’re planning a vacation on any extended period of time while you’ll be away from home, it’s important to take necessary steps to ensure that your home is properly secure.

Give the Appearance That You’re Actually Home

In this day and age, thankfully, we do have ways to make it look like someone is home even if they actually aren’t. Taking steps like setting times on lights, radios, and televisions so they have turn off and on automatically may be an affective way to deter criminals from breaking into your home. Now, we’re not saying you need go all out “Kevin-McAllister-style”, but making your home look occupied is definitely smart. Additionally, you should cut your grass before you head out on your vacation and, if you have more than one car, park it in your driveway. Another option is having one of your friends or neighbors park their car their while you’re gone. Window blinds and curtains should positioned normally. Do you best to keep expensive furniture or home appliances out of plain sight.

Lock Your Doors

As is the case whenever you leave your home, you should always lock up. Don’t forget to also close your garage.

Be Mindful of What You Share on Social Media

We live in a day and age where sharing photos and videos online is the norm. Everything from Facebook, to Instagram, to Twitter, we’ve become very comfortable with posting what we do in our daily lives on the internet. Though this can be fun to do with close friends and family members, you’re taking a risk every time you do this because it’s a way for criminals to become incentivized to break into your home while you’re away.

In order to prevent burglars from knowing you’re away, be sure to change your privacy settings on your social media platforms to private or share them with your friends only.

Get Help From Your Neighbors

Telling a trusted friend or neighbor about your plans to be on vacation may be another option you’d want to consider. It’s good to have an extra set of eyes of someone whom you trust to be on the lookout for anything unusual surrounding your home. Providing them with a spare key is also something you can do.

Install Security Cameras or Alarms

Having security cameras in or around your home is an effective way to deter criminals from breaking into your home. After all, if they do, it’ll be much easier to track them down if they attempt to flee the scene because you’ll have a detailed image of them on camera. You may also be eligible for certain discounts on your home insurance if you do have either security alarms or cameras. Talk to you one of our experienced agents for details on this.

Remove Your Spare Key

We’ve all tried to think of clever places to hide our spare keys. It may just be easier to remove that worry from your mind altogether by removing your spare key or entrusting it to a friend or neighbor while you’re gone.

Unplug All Appliances

To prevent fires or possible power surges, consider unplugging all of your electronics and/or appliances while you’re away from home. Be sure to test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms and make sure they are functioning properly before you go on vacation. Although accidental fire is covered under your home insurance policy, it’s best to avoid that headache in the first place by having a fire extinguisher easily accessible.

 

Read more

Steps You Can Take to Increase the Resale Value of Your Home

Have you ever been curious about what it would take to increase the value of your home? There are several steps you can take to make your home more valuable. Not everyone will have the same reasons for doing this and that’s okay. Whether you are planning to add little ones to your family, having a family member move in with you, or just want to simply do something that will add some extra value to your home for resale purposes, there are several steps you can take to do just that.

Make It More Attractive

One of the best ways to have your house get more attention from potential buyers is by making it catch the eyes of people who drive by. Whether it’s beautiful landscaping with blossoming flower bushes, or a freshly painted front door, your house will get more attention if you take the time to improve its exterior.

Two of the most used rooms in a house are the kitchen and the bathroom. Therefore, it would be wise to put in the necessary time to make these two places look as attractive as possible. You don’t have to break the bank for a remodel either. On average, basic kitchen remodels recover 81% of its cost in added value while more elaborate ones that have stone countertops, state-of-art appliances, and custom cabinets recuperate 53%.

It’s a similar story when it comes to remodeling bathrooms. If you’re putting in new flooring and updating some fixtures, as opposed to mustering up cash for a more upscale remodel, if you’re more concerned about getting a better return on your investment, it’s best to take the conservative approach with the remodel. Heated floors, custom cabinets, and designer fixtures have a 56% return on investment as opposed to 70% for a midrange remodel.

Make It Low Maintenance

If you want potential buyers to be excited about the prospect of owning your home, consider making repairs to the property to take that burden off of them. By doing this, you may be justifying that potentially higher listing price.

In addition to replacing old water heaters or air conditioning systems, consider replacing the carpet floors with hardwood flooring. If you don’t want to replace the floors with hardwood, a composite material is easier to maintain and clean than carpet. It’s also cheaper.

Make It More Efficient

Depending on the area in which you live, updating your home to make it more energy-efficient may prove to be a wise choice if you’re looking to sell.

Consider double-paned windows, enhanced attic insulation, LED lighting and energy-efficient appliances in order to increase your home’s value. This could also prove as an effective way to make your home more attractive to energy-conscious buyers.

Solar Panels tend to prove effective in the long run when it comes to increasing the value of a home. However, if you’re looking for a quick boost in sale price, you may want to choose not to proceed with installing solar panels since they tend to be more costly. Additionally, installing them can be challenging.

Make It Bigger

Increase your square footage. It tends to have an enormous positive impact on a home’s value. Converting a room you’re not using into an additional bedroom or finishing a basement or building a deck are all good ways toad value to your home.

Make It Smarter

Everyone wants to feel safe inside their homes, especially those who have small children. Devices such as thermostats, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, security cameras, door locks, and enhanced lighting all help to make homeowners feel safer.

Although having these devices inside your home may not add value in terms of cash, it does make your home more attractive to potential buyers. Installing these devices is also a lot cheaper than replacing a roof or renovating a bathroom.

 

 

 

 

Read more