Generator Safety Tips and Hacks if Power Goes Out

Generator Safety Tips and Hacks if Power Goes Out

California utility companies are taking drastic steps to prevent wildfires by cutting power to up to one million households. Downed power lines or sparks during high winds and red flag fire warnings have been blamed for starting previous fires. The outages could last for days, depending on the fire threat. generator safety tips

While the blackouts may reduce fire danger, losing power can be frustrating and even life-threatening. Utility companies are urging customers to have an emergency supply kit, keep automobiles with a full tank of gas (in case gas stations in the area are without power), and have an emergency plan if someone depends on electricity for medical needs. It’s important to know how to manually open up garage doors and community gates if the power is out.

Here are some hacks that can make weathering a lack of electricity a little easier:

  1. Strap a headlamp facing into to a clear plastic jug filled with water to light an entire room.
  2. Keep a bag of stuffed animals, games and toys that don’t require electricity to occupy and entertain children.
  3. Turn cell phones off or to airplane mode to extend the battery life and have extra power packs or solar chargers.
  4. Fill your washing machine with ice to make a great cooler with a drain.
  5. Have a propane or briquette grill or camp stove with fuel for cooking (never use it indoors and make sure to have extra fuel or bags of briquettes).
  6. Store milk jugs with frozen water in your freezer to be used to keep food cold and for drinking water when the ice melts.
  7. Stock up on candles, or make your own from your kitchen.
  8. Use boxes of baby wipes if showers don’t work.
  9. Consider installing or buying a standby generator.

Portable generators can power heaters, water pumps and refrigerators, but while it can light your home and make life a little more comfortable, using a portable generator can also be dangerous.

Whether you have used it once or a hundred times, it’s good to know these generator safety tips to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and fires:

  • Never use a generator inside your home or enclosed areas like a garage – fatal fumes from the engine can build up inside.
  • Keep it away from open windows, vents and doors to keep dangerous fumes from entering your home.
  • Install battery operated carbon monoxide detectors to warn if the exhaust is seeping into your home or shelter.
  • Avoid fires: gasoline and natural gas generators create a lot of heat and can cause nearby combustibles to burn; they also need to be cooled for a few minutes before adding more fuel.
  • Never plug the generator directly into a home’s outlets – it can cause a dangerous “back-feed” on the power grid that can harm utility workers and others working on or repairing power lines.
  • Avoid using generators that are wet or in puddles because they can cause electrocution.
  • Only use heavy-duty electrical cords with portable generators that are rated for outdoor use, and make sure they are uncoiled.

It’s also a good idea to have flashlights or lanterns (with extra batteries) available when there is a power outage. You should also have and emergency kit that contains enough canned food and water to keep your family fed and hydrated for up to a week. This includes extra blankets and warm clothes, and a battery operated or crank radio to keep you up to date on emergency response and repairs.

California Casualty cares about your safety. We have numerous home safety information links available at www.calcas.com/resources.

 

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This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

Chimney Safety

Chimney Safety

As the weather gets cooler, there is nothing cozier than curling up next to the fireplace with a cup of hot up of coffee and a good book.

Millions of people in the United States have fireplaces that they primarily use during the fall and winter to create a comfortable environment and to warm their homes, but without the proper maintenance, a fireplace can turn from cozy to deadly in a matter of seconds.

On average over 22,000 chimney fires occur in the United States every year; that estimates to about 125 million dollars in damage to homes. Chimney fires are can be caused by stray sparks and high temperatures, however, most are caused dirty, unkept chimneys.

To prevent a chimney house-fire from happening follow these Chimney Safety Tips:    

  1. Get your chimney  cleaned yearly
  2. Cut and trim all overhanging branches
  3. Install a screencap on top of chimney
  4. Monitor the flue temperature
  5. Keep the fire screen closed
  6. Let ashes cool down
  7. Dispose of ashes far away from house
  8. Never burn trash or debris
  9. Only burn dry hardwood
  10. Keep firewood at least 30 ft. away
  11. Never leave chimney unattended

It is also important to make sure your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarms have batteries and are working properly. 2/3rds of fire deaths occur in homes with missing or non-functioning smoke alarms. 

Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in every bedroom near doorways, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of your home near cooking devices and fireplaces.  

Be safe this season, follow our chimney safety tips, and remember to have your chimney professionally cleaned and maintained before it’s first use to avoid a house fire.

For more safety tips click here.

 

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

RV Insurance Coverage

RV Insurance Coverage

The temperatures are slowly dropping and the leaves are getting ready to turn. It’s the perfect time of year to get out and enjoy the foliage by going camping, heading to the mountains, or road tripping to visit family, while enjoying the view.

If you are like the millions of American’s who prefer to travel in a Recreational Vehicle (RV),you must follow these 3 key steps to keep you safe on the road.

 

1. Before You Hit the Road in Your RV:

  • Check the exterior for cracks and missing or damaged seals
  • Inspect and test the battery
  • Examine and pressurize the tires
  • Replace filters and replenish brake, coolant, transmission, hydraulic and washer fluids
  • Clean, inspect and refill LP gas lines and appliances
  • Test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
  • Flush and fill the water system looking for leaks, clarity, and drinkability
  • Check batteries and that all appliances are working
  • Inspect sewer hoses and waste tank valves for cracks or sticking

When you are far from home it is also vital that you have the right equipment on-hand that can get you out of any situation.  

 

2. What To Pack in Your RV:

  • Proper extension cord with the correct amps
  • Surge protector for variable campground electrical systems
  • Drinking water approved hose
  • Matches or a lighter
  • Portable chargers
  • Food, water, and essential groceries
  • Pressure regulator and water filter for variable campsite water pressures and contaminates
  • A set of tools
  • Extra clothing and blankets
  • Laser temperature tester to detect overheated brakes, tires, and axles
  • Emergency first aid kit

The last step in making sure you are all prepared before you travel is making sure you have RV Insurance.

 

3. The Proper Coverage for Your RV

California Casualty has been providing RV Insurance for over 40 years.  Our RV Insurance program is designed to accommodate almost all recreational vehicles from pop-ups to coaches. We cover motor homes up to $120,000 in value and our partner market covers up to $500,000 in value.

 

Coverages Include:

  • Total Loss Replacement
  • Emergency Vacation Expense
  • Disappearing Deductibles
  • Full Timer’s Package
  • Replacement Cost Personal Effects
  • 24-Hour Roadside Assistance
  • Windshield Coverage
  • Free Pet Injury

If you would like to add RV coverage to your policy call our Sales Department at 1-844-854-7265. For more information on RV Insurance Coverage, please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-704-8614 or visit www.calcas.com.

 

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

Car Seats: Safety to Protect Your Precious Cargo

Car Seats: Safety to Protect Your Precious Cargo

Protecting infants while riding in a car isn’t just a responsibility, it’s the law. Every state in the nation requires children less than three years of age to be secured in car seats, and most require booster seats and other appropriate devices even after a child outgrows their car seat.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children in the United States, but having your child strapped in a car seat can save their life. Properly installed seats reduce the risk of injury in a crash 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers. There are numerous articles highlighting how properly restrained children have survived a terrible crash.  

However, many parents are confused as to which type of car seat to use for what age and weight and 60% of install car seats incorrectly.

That means every day, parents, grandparents and other caregivers are accidently risking the safety of their most precious cargo.

 

 

Tips on Which Type of Car Seat to Use:

  • Never buy a used car seat or booster seat, always purchase a new one.
  • All car seats and boosters should only be installed in the back seat
  • Infants should always ride in rear-facing car seats as long as possible
  • Use a forward-facing safety seat when your child outgrows the rear-facing one, and use it until they are at least seven years old, or they get too big for a car seat
  • Children should continue to ride in a booster seat until 12 years of age, or until they are big enough to fit properly into a seat belt

Tips to Install a Car Seat:

  • Always do so in the back seat, using the center most position
  • Make sure to use the correct seat for your child’s age and size
  • Keep infants in rear facing seats
  • Secure the seat so it moves no more than one inch from side to side

Anyone who is just not sure if they have the proper car seat, or if it’s installed correctly, can find a list of child passenger safety technicians and car seat safety check events in their area at the Safe Kids website.

And if you need help finding a car seat that will work best with your children, here are some resources to find the device to fit your needs:

As colder weather approaches, there’s one last important piece of advice about car safety seats. Buckle in children without heavy jackets on, to make sure they are in securely. If you worry your child will be cold, put the coat or a blanket over them after they have been fastened-in.

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

 

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Disaster Preparation for Pets

Disaster Preparation for Pets

Our pets are precious members of the family. We take them on adventures and shower them with treats and love. However, when it comes to disaster situations, our fur babies are often an after-thought, and sadly, many suffer and are left behind when a natural disaster hits.

 

disaster prep for pets

 

September is National Preparedness Month. Each year we are reminded to prepare ourselves for emergency disasters in our home and communities. So, while you get your emergency plans in place, don’t forget to include your animals!

Take these actions and precautions before a calamity strikes to put your mind at ease and save your pet’s life.

  1. Have an evacuation plan that includes your pet and it’s necessities. Include food, leash, medications, a blanket (with your scent), water, and copies of vet records and vaccinations.
  2. Bring your pet inside. If you need to evacuate, have a crate or duffel on hand that you can easily transport them in.
  3. Place a rescue alert sticker on home door or window. This should be visible to rescuers, in case you are unable to get home. Available online, at pet stores, veterinarians, or from the ASPCA.
  4. Microchip your pets and update collar tags. Make sure the microchip is registered and up-to-date with your current information.
  5. Keep in mind many evacuation shelters do not take pets. Research pet-friendly hotels, shelters, and family/friends who will take in you and your pet in a disaster.
  6. Carry recent pictures of your pet. In case you get separated, keep a good photo of them sitting and standing for size/coat reference.

Save My Pet!

Having a disaster preparation plan in place for your pets will play a key role in saving their life in the event of an emergency. If you need help putting a plan in place, contact BringFido’s Canine Concierge. They will contact hotels and shelters across the nation to help you find somewhere for your pet. Plus, they will even give you advice on disaster preparation for pets!

Remember, pets can sense anxiety and become nervous, especially during high stress times like emergencies. It is important to give them TLC and let them know they will be ok.

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. In the event of a disaster know you and your pet are taken care of by adding Pet Insurance by Pets Best to your existing California Casualty policy and save up to 90% on all emergency vet bills. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

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Someone Got Hurt Watching the Game- Now What?

Someone Got Hurt Watching the Game- Now What?

It’s officially the best time of the year. Football season!

Everyone knows that football is not the same without watch parties and tailgates! You’ve got the cold drinks, the savory BBQ, and the big screen ready for friends and family to come over and watch your favorite teams all season long. However, there could be one thing missing. Homeowners or renters insurance.

Let’s face it, accidents happen. Especially when you have a rowdy crowd on your hands and your team is deep in the 4th quarter. Homeowners and renters insurance protects you if one of your guests stumbles into your flat screen and it falls to the floor. Or, if someone trips and crashes through that glass table in the living room. With the proper coverage, you won’t be penalized.

If something in your home gets broken or stolen while you have people over, your policy will cover it. But, if you have high-value items that could get damaged or go missing like jewelry, antiques, collectibles, or furs, you will need to add extra coverage – scheduled personal property. Accidents are inevitable, but the best way to avoid losing or having to replace your collectibles is to put them in a safe place, away from the crowd when you are hosting events. Think locked room or basement.

What if Someone Gets Hurt in My House?

Any time you are a host, especially for a high energy crowd, there’s the risk that someone may accidentally get injured. Whether it’s from a touchdown dance celebration or tripping on a rug, homeowners and renters insurance with personal liability coverage will cover it.

If you are serving alcohol, be aware, the Insurance Information Institute (III) warns that hosts can be liable if others are hurt by anyone driving from your party while intoxicated. It’s called the social host liability law. Personal liability coverage will also help in this situation by covering payments of medical bills and lawsuits from someone who was hurt on or off (leaving) your property. There are limits, so you talk to your insurance advisor about an umbrella policy, which will provide much greater coverage.

What Else Can I Do?

Here are some important hosting safety tips you can use during football season:

  • Talk with your insurance advisor about any policy exclusions or limitations before you throw a party
  • Install proper lighting inside and outside of your home
  • Remove valuable items and objects that could cause tripping or falling
  • Consider holding your getting together at a restaurant or bar instead
  • Have someone sober in charge of monitoring guests
  • Encourage the use of Uber and designated drivers
  • Lock up pets in a separate location or outside
  • Make guests who’ve had too much to drink turn over their keys

Make sure you’re on the winning team if you are hosting a football party. Contact a California Casualty advisor today to make sure your homeowners or renters insurance will protect you in a liability blitz. Call 1.866.704.8614 or visit www.calcas.com.

 

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