Posts Tagged ‘Safety’

Homeowner: Your Washer & Dryer Could Lead to Home Insurance ClaimsTuesday, November 1st, 2011

Washers and dryers may seem pretty innocuous. You’d never leave your oven on or leave the house with a fire roaring in the fireplace. But you might throw a load in the washer or dryer just before heading out the door to run errands.

As it turns out, washers and dryers also pose risks to your home. Many homeowners have filed a claim related to a washer or dryer — these appliances caused $194 million in property damage in 2006,
according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). If you end up filing a home insurance claim, you’ll likely pay a deductible and see your premium rise.

The risks

About one-third of dryer-related fires between 2003 and 2006 stemmed from clothing catching fire, according to NFPA. Culprits like dust and lint weren’t far behind — they caused 27 percent of dryer fires. Faulty wiring in washers and dryers as well as faulty casing for the machines also sparked their fair share of fires.

More than 90 percent of fires start with dryers — but washers aren’t innocent. A frayed, cracked or kinked water supply hose can spring a leak that weakens floorboards and damages possessions, according to State Farm.

Washing machine issues are a leading cause of water damage claims, according to the Insurance Institute for Home & Business Safety. After the deductible, these claims cost home insurance companies an average of more than $5,000.

Preventing damage from your washer

Damage prevention for your washer is all about the hose, according to State Farm:

  • Check your washer hoses regularly for bulging, cracking, fraying and leaks around hose ends.
  • If you find a problem, replace the hose immediately. A good rule of thumb is to replace it every three to five years as a precaution.
  • Leave at least 4 inches between the water connection and the back of the washing machine. This helps prevent kinks.

Preventing damage from your dryer

Preventing dryer-related fires — and home insurance claims — requires proper maintenance and regular diligence. According to NFPA, you should:

  • Let a professional install your dryer.
  • Always use a lint filter.
  • Clean the lint filter after every load of laundry.
  • Clean the air exhaust vent pipe at least once a year. If your clothes are taking longer than usual to dry, it may be time to have the lint cleaned out of your vent pipe.
  • For gas dryers, have a professional regularly check the gas line and connection.
  • Make sure you have a proper connection in the outlet.
  • Never overload the dryer.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions.
  • When you leave the house or go to bed, make sure the
    dryer is turned off.

For more information about insurance, homeowner tips or general questions please contact us at Peterson & Grantham at 916-431-0400 or 800-652-0557

Swimming Pools Safety Tips to Consider for HomeownersSaturday, October 29th, 2011

One of the main things about practicing pool safety is to never leave children unattended in or around the pool. In order to keep people from using the pool when you are not around, you should have a high fence around it, so that no unauthorized people can get in and use the pool. You also have to make sure that the gates latch on the inside. Even if someone uses your pool without your permission and an accident happens, you can be held liable because it was not properly secured.

Make sure that a professional installs the pool so that it complies with safety standards. Do not rely too heavily on flotation devices when you have guests that are not swimmers and make sure there are no toys floating on the surface when there are small children around. The toys can attract them to try to reach for them and accidentally fall into the water. When the pool is not in use you should have a cover over it so that no one can accidentally slip and fall into the pool. Always store the chemicals you have for the pool in a safe area, away from children. (content from bluepage.org)

Homeowners Grilling Safely; Gas Grills, Charcoal & MoreThursday, October 27th, 2011

If you like to barbeque, always ensure that you are a safe distance from the home or patio railings. This keeps any open flame from accidentally catching the house n fire. When you have company over, you should always do the grilling yourself, so that you will not have to contact the insurance to pay the medical bills of a guest that gets burned. When you purchase the barbeque, always follow the directions when you put it together and have a certified tank for the propane. Turn off the propane when you are finished the grilling.

Always use gas grills outdoors. Using them indoors increases the possibility of fire or explosion because there is not adequate ventilation if enough gas builds up. (content from bluepage.org)