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Halloween Safety Tips In the Age of COVID-19

Halloween is this weekend! Countless trick-or-treaters look forward to this holiday every year. There are always those looking to cause mischief whenever the opportunity arises. Unfortunately, Halloween is one of those times. The good news is that there are several steps that parents and kids can take to keep themselves safe.

Due to the fact that trick-or-treaters tend to walk the neighborhood streets when it’s dark outside, they become more at risk of being hit by a car on Halloween. If you’re behind the wheel at night on October 31st, you should be mindful of the fact that there will be little kids around. Help to keep them safe by paying close attention to the road in front of front of you and your surrounding areas. Put the cell phone down, turn your music down, drive with your lights on, and slow down!

If you’re a parent and you’re taking your little ones around the neighborhood in search of that delicious candy, take a flashlight with you. Because it’ll be dark outside, it’s a good idea to wear bright colors to make sure that you will be visible to drivers on the road. Carry flashlights with you, so that you can see drivers and drivers can see you.

  • Join young children under age 12 for trick-or-treating
  • Remind kids to use street corners and crosswalks when crossing the street.
  • When choosing a costume, make sure you choose the proper size in order to prevent trips and falls.
  • Incorporate a cloth or surgical mask into your costume
  • Wash your hands before eating your candy. Parents should inspect their children’s candy for anything out of the ordinary or simply something like a possible food allergy (peanuts in candy bars).
  • Use an app to track local COVID-19 virus transmission rates and take extra precautions where transmissions are high.
  • Keep festivities outside as much as possible. Of course, if temperatures are low, where the proper layes to keep yourself and your kids warm. Anyone showing signs of illness should rest and recover at home.

What are you planning to dress up as this year? We hope everyone has a safe and fun Halloween!

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How Often Should I Deep Clean My House?

Uncleanliness is a recipe for prolonged disorganization and stress in our daily lives. It is also one of the leading contributors to chronic allergic reactions. In fact, over 50 million people in the United States experience or have experienced allergies.

Some people are born with certain allergies. However, it is also possible to develop allergies throughout your lifetime if you do not take necessary precautions. Let’s face it. Allergies are annoying. And life should be enjoyable. Don’t allow allergies to get in the way of your happiness and peace of mind.

So, the real question is: How often should you deep clean your house? Let’s be honest. Deep cleaning an entire house is extremely time consuming. While we may feel fantastic once we accomplish this, very few have the time necessary to do a thorough job of deep cleaning. What’s the solution you ask? Focus your attention on the areas of your home in which you spend the most time. For example, you probably spend a lot of time in your bedroom, your kitchen, and your bathroom. Both of these areas, if cleaned well, require a substantial amount of time. Make your bed every morning. It feels good to come back to your bedroom with a freshly made bed after a long day at work. It will give you the feeling of peace and calm you desire. Additionally, your cooking and preparation areas in your kitchen require a lot of attention. You don’t want food particles to get stuck in the little crevices of your stove or your countertops to be covered with grimy food. If you leave this for an extended period of time, it becomes more difficult to clean (not to mention, more time-consuming).

Weekends, or any time you spend away from work, give you an opportunity to do your weekly cleaning. These tasks may include: dusting furniture, sanitizing sponges, wiping down kitchen appliances, mopping kitchen and bathroom floors, cleaning living room furniture and mirrors, scrubbing and disinfecting the bathtub, and washing your towels (after 3 uses).

Washing your bedsheets should be a frequent practice, even more so if you have allergies or have particular sensitivities.

Wiping down frequently used areas or places that are frequently touched by people is very important. Be sure to sanitize doorknobs and railings at least once a week.

Having a dirty refrigerator is not only unpleasant; it can lead to serious illness if you aren’t careful. You should always be paying close attention to expiration date labels on your food and drinks. Eggs and meat tend to give off particularly unpleasant smells if left in the refrigerator too long. Always remember, prolonging time away from cleaning areas like refrigerators will only make the task more frustrating and difficult.

Areas of your home that require annual deep cleanings include: windows, fireplace and chimney, gutters, drapes and curtains, dryers and vents, and carpets and upholsteries. Because these tasks tend to present more of a challenge, be sure to dedicate a full day to completing them.

If you keep your home clean and organized, you’ll not only prevent yourself and others from falling ill, but your mental health will improve significantly. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and get started on that deep cleaning!

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How to Prevent House Fires

House fires are among the leading causes of insurance claims, personal injuries, and death in the United States. Let’s talk about how you can prevent fires from breaking out in your home. As the weather gets colder, the need to stay warm becomes more crucial. With the increased use of heating devices in the home, in addition to fires start inside a fireplace, the threat of a house fire also increases. Are you taking every necessary precaution to prevent such a disaster from occurring? Your family depends on you to keep them safe. Your pets are completely dependent upon you being a responsible parent. Would you really put them at risk? Here are ten ways to reduce your risk of house fires:

  1. Test your smoke alarms regularly.

Having properly functioning smoke alarms inside your home is the best way to avoid a house fire. They can instantly alert you to the sign of danger to yourself and others. If they aren’t working, a devastating tragedy could take place in the event of a fire. Make sure you test your alarms at least every 6 months.

  1. Inspect all your heating sources.

Get your heating sources inspected by a licensed professional. Your air filters should be cleaned out. Space heaters are a good way to stay warm during the cold months, but they may also pose a threat to your safety if not used properly. Keep them away from anything flammable and make sure areas around them are cleared of dust and/or debris.

  1. Keep your stove and oven clean.

Apart from the fact that living in a clean space works wonders for your mental health and will help keep you calm, relaxed, and happy overall, a dirty stove or oven can spell potential danger for your home. While it may not be your lack of experience with cooking that causes a fire to break out, food particles that are left behind from previous cooking sessions could cause a fire if they are too close to a burner.

Additionally, hanging curtains—when left too close to a stove—can catch fire. Anything that is kept too close to a flame could catch fire. This is why it is so important to keep your cooking areas clean at all times.

  1. Don’t leave your kitchen while you have your stove or oven on.

Don’t leave your stove or oven on and unattended. The football game wait.

  1. Always check your dryer.

Cleaning lint from your dryer could be one of the most tedious chores you could complete. However. that doesn’t take anything away from how important it is to do and do properly. Lint that is left lingering could potentially start a fire.

  1. Maintain all cords.

If you have a dog, you’ve probably experienced the unfortunate reality of chewed cords or cables. Before plugging in any of your cords, make sure there are no signs of them being chewed or frayed. If they are, you could have a potential disaster on your hands if you’re not paying attention.

Cords should never be placed underneath rugs as they could get extremely hot.

  1. Properly store flammable products.

Many household products, how ever effective in their abilities to keep your surfaces and other areas clean, also that unfortunate ability to cause fires. Be sure to read the warning labels of your cleaning products before using them. If any of your cleaning products are exposed to excess heat, they could potentially combust, causing a fire. Always store them in a cool, dry space.

  1. Practice caution with candles.

Who doesn’t enjoy the scent of a burning candle during those colder months? Not only does it keep you warm, but you get the pleasure of that aromatic scent filling your nostrils. Still, it’s important to always be safe when using candles as they could potentially cause a fire. When you are finished using one, place the lid back on top of it. Keep candles away from any loose clothing or from carpets or rugs. If you have little children, teach them about the dangers of playing around candles.

  1. Be careful with your fireplace.

It may sound obvious, but it still needs to be said. Never leave a room before extinguishing a fire going in a fireplace. Also, ashes from a fire tend to be hot. So, make sure you give them ample time to cool off before disposing of them.

  1. Keep fire extinguishers around.

Fires can break out suddenly with little to no warning. This is why it’s so important to have a good fire extinguisher handy in your home. Train every single member of your family on how to responsibly use a fire extinguisher. You can’t always be around to protect them.

Conduct a Home Inventory

Disaster can strike at any moment. And home inventories are one of your best defenses against a disaster such as a fire. Write down the value of everything valuable in your home. For those particularly pricey items such as jewelry or paintings, you may consider getting a professional to appraise them for you. If you have documented evidence of something’s value, it is much more likely you will get that amount back or at least close to it in the event of a loss.

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8 Life Insurance Myths

The topic of life insurance is often met with frowns, discomfort, and reluctance. And we understand why. Thinking about your own death is not an easy think to contemplate. However, obtaining a life insurance policy may be one of the smartest decisions of you life because it can help provide for your loved ones after you’re gone.

Much of the hesitation surrounding life insurance are several misconceptions about how life insurance works. In fact, most of these misconceptions are flat-out myths altogether. To understand life insurance and its importance, read further.

I don’t need life insurance because I’m either single or married with no children.

Just because you aren’t married or have children doesn’t mean a life insurance policy wouldn’t benefit you loved ones greatly. In the event of your untimely death, the money from a life insurance policy can help you loved ones pay off any debts you left behind. A mortgage and paying off a car are serious matters. Your loved ones already have to cope with the heartache of you not being around anymore. Why make matters more difficult with financial burdens?

I can’t afford life insurance.

This is a commonly shared belief. Believe it or not, life insurance is extremely affordable. A policy may be customized to fit your specifics needs and budget. And, in the case of life insurance, a little can go a long way. In fact, policies may be less expensive than that cup of coffee you’re buying every morning on your way to work. Call our office and ask to speak with one of our experienced life insurance professionals. They’ll be happy to answer any and all questions you may have.

I’m a stay-at-home parent that doesn’t earn an income. I have no need for life insurance.

Just because you may not be earning a paycheck doesn’t mean your time isn’t valuable. In fact, if you’re a stay-at-home parent, chances are that the tasks you’re completing on a daily basis could cost thousands and thousands of dollars every year if you were going to pay someone to do them. Hiring professional caregivers or house cleaners doesn’t come cheap. If you were to die, a life insurance policy could help to cover the costs of hiring some help for your loved ones.

I have a life insurance policy through my employer. If I choose to take on another job or get fired from my current job, I can take the policy with me.

When you purchase your own life insurance policy, you afford yourself more options and more overall flexibility. If you have life insurance through your work and you either lose your job or decide to leave it, typically, your life insurance policy stays with your employer. You can’t take it with you. This is another good reason to get your own life insurance policy. When you buy your own policy, you’re also able to customize it to fit your specific needs.

My beneficiaries will have to pay income taxes on the proceeds from my life insurance policy.

Generally speaking, your life insurance policy is income-tax free. This means that, if you were to pass away, your beneficiaries would be required to pay taxes on the benefit issued to them in the policy. However, any interest payments on top of the policy may be subject to a tax.

If I get a term life insurance policy, I can’t convert it to a permanent or whole life insurance policy.

Depending on the type of policy you buy, you may be granted an opportunity to convert your term life insurance policy to a permanent or whole life insurance policy. Call us to speak with one of our life insurance professionals at length. It is important to note that, most of the time, life insurance policies that are in force for a specific period of time must also be converted within a very specific period of time.

I don’t need life insurance once my children are legal adults.

If you die, a life insurance policy can help your loved ones pay for a funeral. If they do not anticipate possible estate taxes, a life insurance policy can help them with those surprise financial burdens. Finally, if you want to leave your children an inheritance, a life insurance policy is one way to make that a reality.

I have a comfortable amount of savings, so I don’t need life insurance.

The average cost of a funeral is over $7,000. It’s great if you have money saved for your children, but do you really want your children to have to use most of that money for your funeral? Saying goodbye is hard enough. Don’t add financial stress on top of what your loved ones are already struggling with.

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