Super Bowl LIII is in the history books and Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow. So that must mean spring is just around the corner … right? Let’s not be too hasty. Midwesterners know better than to think winter is over before it’s over. We might have snow on Easter. Or Mother’s Day. Which means we’ll probably still be giving our fireplaces a workout for the next few months. So, now is a great time to think about fireplace maintenance. Here are our top nine tips for keeping your fireplace in tip-top shape and keeping your family safe and warm throughout fireplace season (however long that might be.) Continue reading “Nine Fireplace Use and Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Family Safe”
Midwestern winters have always been on the unpredictable side, and they grow increasingly more so every year. It’s easy enough to think about winter preparedness like taking steps to ensure your pipes don’t freeze when the thermometer drops below zero. However, you might be tempted to let your winter weather safety guard down when you pop out of bed on a sunny Saturday morning in January and it’s warm enough outside to go for a bike ride.
Cold weather is officially upon us. Whether you’re anticipating building a snowman that rivals Frosty and enjoying toasty nights by the fire, or find yourself dreaming of escaping to the lands where palm trees sway, if you live in the Midwest, you need to prepare your home for winter. (And yes, that includes buying carrots for your snowman’s nose and hot cocoa for sipping fireside!)
Before you get too carried away with planning wintertime fun, make sure your home is safe and secure through the coldest months by attending to these five key winter home preparation tips. You’ll ensure that your fun doesn’t get spoiled by an unexpected event, such as a frozen or burst pipe or roof damage that might result in the need for the services of a restoration company. Continue reading “Five Key Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter”
October 13th is Home Fire Drill Day. According to the National Fire ProtectionAssociation (NFPA,) a home fire that may require the services of a fire restoration company happens every 86 seconds. If the smoke alarms went off in your house, would your kids know what to do? Even if you’ve talked about it in the past, kids need practice to reinforce things they’ve learned. Having fire drills at home (just like they do at school) on a regular basis will ensure that your kids will be calm, rehearsed and ready if that alarm starts to sound.
Ah … the four seasons of the Midwest–spring, summer, winter and football. If football season is your personal favorite, you’re probably already thinking about the most important aspect of the game–tailgating. But before you fumble your food, sack your snacks, or commit any other tailgating party fouls, check out these tailgating safety tips and tricks.
The backpacks are packed, the buses are running, and your mornings have gotten back into the back-to-school groove. As the lazy, carefree days of summer come to an end and everyone gets swept back up into their own routines, it’s a good time to think about emergency readiness. Schedule a family meeting to make sure everyone in the household is on the same page when it comes to family safety and what to do in the case of an unexpected event. Here are some things to keep in mind as your family gets back in the swing of homework and school activities.
Nothing tastes quite as good as food cooked on the grill in the summer months! Some are purists who believe that only food cooked over hot coals qualifies as “barbequed,” but for many of us, the convenience of a gas grill is hard to beat. However, it’s important to remember that the propane tank in your trusty grill needs to be regularly maintained and properly stored in order to ensure a safe grilling season for you and your family. Here are our top tips for making sure that your summer cookout never results in fire damage to your home or other buildings that might result in a loss of personal property requiring the help of a fire restoration company.
Lights and decorations add to the festivity of the holiday season. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a tree trimmed with twinkling lights, stockings hung over the fireplace and maybe even some over-the-top lights on the exterior of your house (ala Clark Griswold.) Continue reading “Top 10 Holiday Safety Tips | Hays + Sons”
Did you know that December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month? No? That’s okay, we didn’t either.
What we do know is this time of year during the holidays is a busy time for everyone. From running around searching for the perfect presents for your loved ones to attending all the holiday parties that you have been invited to, it is hard to make sure you are doing everything you should be doing to keep your house safe during the holidays.
You’re keeping your children safe from toys that may not be appropriate for their age or that have sharp points and edges. But, what are you doing to protect your home and your personal belongings? Lucky for you, we have laid out some important tips for you to keep in mind to ensure your house is out of danger this holiday season.
1. Check your holiday candles
Fires caused by candles are more common than you might think. Holiday candles are cozy and complete your home décor. But if candles are surrounded by flammable objects that could easily mean disaster for you and your family. Check the space that you are placing your candles and make sure there is nothing in reach that is easily flammable. Holiday cards, wrapping paper and dried-out pine needles should be as far away from candles as possible. It’s also a good idea to avoid placing candles on counters or tables that guests can easily bump into and knock a candle off onto the floor.
2. Water your Christmas tree daily
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fires related to Christmas trees have caused $16.2 million in property damage. Christmas tree fires occur when the tree dries out or if the tree is located too closely to homes’ heat sources, such as fireplaces or heating vents. To avoid your Christmas tree from causing a fire, water the tree daily and keep your tree at least three feet away from your home’s heat sources.
3. Keep your pipes warm
Your family isn’t the only thing you need to keep warm during the winter. As it gets colder and colder outside, the chances of your pipes bursting increases. To prevent your pipes from freezing during the bitter cold months, keep your thermostat set at 65 degrees or warmer. Keeping your thermostat at this level will decrease the chances of your pipes from freezing and bursting. You can also wrap any exposed water pipes with heating tape to maintain their warmth. In case of the emergency, make sure you know how to shut off your home’s water in case a pipe does break. If you can turn off the water quickly, you will be able to reduce the amount of damage.
4. Check your insurance policies
This is the time of year when you are adding valuable items and to your household. To ensure that your house and personal items are covered from any possible holiday hazards, double check that your insurance policies are up-to-date. Most homeowners and renters’ insurance policies cover common damages that occur this time of year, but only if your policies are timely updated. You’re making several expensive purchases, so make sure that your favorite items are protected.
You are doing everything you can possible to keep your children safe from unsafe toys and to keep your house safe from potential holiday disasters. Despite your efforts, sadly, accidents can happen to anyone at inconvenient times. We hope you don’t need to, but just in case, Hays + Sons is here for you to get you through times of disaster. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you and your family.