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Safety for your Second HomeBecauseyou can't keep an eye on it all the time, you want your second home or rural property to stay well-maintained and protected. There are many things you can do to keep your land and buildings safe and prevent problems that can arise when a property is unattended.
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Social Distancing Fix-UpsWith COVID-19 fresh on the mind and social distancing a new way of life, this summer may not be like any in recent history. But having more time at home means you can't tackle some of those projects you've been putting on the back burner for months, or even years. Here are some ideas for projects to embark on this summer.
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Fire Safety: Keeping Appliances in CheckMost people rely on dozens of appliances to support their daily tasks and activities, including small but significant tools like alarm clocks or hairdryers; toasters and stand mixers; and heavy hitters like the dishwasher or washing machine. So, how do you keep your appliances running their best, and getting a good return for your investment by having them work for as many years as possible? Here are a few tips to improve the performance and longevity of appliances.
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Insurance for Seasonal HomesHaving a seasonal home in your favorite vacation spot is part of the American dream for many families. But a seasonal home requires maintenance and protection, which is difficult to do when you're not there most of the time. Since second homes and vacation homes often sit unoccupied for months, they can be a target for theft and vandalism. Plus, if a problem occurs, you might not be around to catch it before the damage becomes serious. For these reasons, second homes often carry more risk from the perspective of an insurance company. But that doesn't mean a second home can't still be a great investment. Here's what you should consider when purchasing and insuring your seasonal home.
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Tips for Creating Great Outdoor Living SpacesIt's summertime, and many of us long to spend more time outside. Creating an outdoor living space can make it easier to take advantage of wonderful weather, and bring some simple joy and serenity to daily living. Here are some things to consider when planning an outdoor living space, and how to begin the process.
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Tips for a Safe and Sensational BarbecueOutdoor grilling season in West Virginia is here, a time to relax on the deck and enjoy some ribs or a juicy burger cooked to perfection on the grill. But even the most experienced grillmaster should take safety precautions before firing up the grill. Make sure your outdoor entertaining goes according to plan by following these grilling safety tips.
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Insurance for PoolsSo you're thinking of buying a pool and imagining those lazy, hot summer days when you'll get to slip into the cool water, sunbathe, play with the kids, and invite friends and neighbors to share in your good fortune. But there's more to owning a pool than just the fun stuff. Make sure that it's truly something you want and are willing to put in the work to maintain. Here are a few things to consider before you "dive in" -no pun intended.
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Preventing Falls Inside and Outside of the HomeAccording to the World Health Organization, falls are the second leading cause of accidental injury deaths worldwide. Falling disproportionately impacts adults age 65 and older, and can lead to serious injury, further health problems, decreased quality of life, and a loss of independence.
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When Hurricane Katrina touched down in 2005, humans were not the only species affected by its destruction. And because emergency relief agencies were not in the business of saving pets, nearly half a million animals were left behind, devastating many owners and causing public outrage on their behalf. Passed in 2006 as a direct result of Hurricane Katrina, the Pet Evacuation and Transportation Act now requires state and local agencies to consider pets and service animals in their emergency preparedness plans. While most of us won't experience a disaster like Hurricane Katrina in our lifetimes, it's still up to us to consider our beloved companion animals when planning for emergencies, big and small. Here are a few things you can do:
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We all want to be the one to find a gift that makes the holidays unforgettable for that special child in our lives.Whether you're a parent, aunt, neighbor or godparent, don't let your quest for holiday magic steer you towards a purchase that might be unsafe or inappropriate.
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After your home is damaged by wind, hail, or other natural elements, the storm isn't necessarily over; in fact, it might be just the beginning. Here's what you need to know about the storm-induced insurance process from diagnosing the damage to filing a claim and making repairs so that weathering your home's recovery is as painless as possible.
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For most American families, summer is outdoor celebration time, fireworks time, barbecue time, and fun-in-the-sun-by-the-pool time. If you're the one who happens to be hosting, however, it's important to recognize that these quintessential summer activities present unique risks, as well as potential liability issues.
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Summer in West Virginia is coming and with it is the opportunity to experience all kinds of warm-weather mishaps. Here are some common summer dangers and how to avoid them.
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April showers eventually bring May flowers, but in the meantime, wetter and warmer temperatures can cause a variety of hazards along the way. Here are some common spring safety issues, and ways you can prevent their potentially harmful consequences:
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A Christmas tree is a non-negotiable tradition for many families during the holidays. But even those who look forward to those twinkling lights and strings of popcorn may have a small child or mischievous cat that makes having a tree difficult and sometimes even dangerous.
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Enormous inflatable bouncy castles also known as bounce houses are often seen at kids' birthday parties and the like. They're colorful, bulbous enclosures where cake and ice cream filled youngsters can jump to their hearts' content, burn off some of the manic sugar buzz, and one would presume stay out of harm's way. In recent months, however, what once seemed to be a benign source of entertainment for the young and young and heart has come to be regarded as a menacing, potentially injurious if not deadly choice for party-day entertainment.
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Between personal motor vehicles, factories, trains, and other sources of toxic fumes, the outside air would seem to be significantly more toxic than the air within our seemingly pristine indoor environments. Unfortunately, this is an illusion. The air you breathe at home or work can be seriously harmful. In fact, according to a study by the World Health Organization, indoor air pollution kills approximately four million people worldwide every year.
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Asbestos is a hidden health hazard that can lurk right in the place where you should feel the safest: home. While those who work in the construction industry are considered the most vulnerable to asbestos exposure, especially repeated exposure, it's important to keep in mind that even very limited exposure-such as what you might experience during a simple renovation project-can have long-term negative effects. Make it a priority to prevent you and your family members from coming into contact with this dangerous material.
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What would we do without our handy power strips? Those convenient blocks of electrical sockets, which enable us to convert one outlet into several, make it possible to plug in all the gear that we can't live without these days. A typical location for a power strip is the home office, where it helps computers, speakers, printer, monitors, and all sorts of other necessities come to life. But many households have power strips in multiple rooms, if not every room, since there are so many items that require plugging in these days. Hairstyling tools, cooking equipment, and phone chargers come to mind!
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It's the place where we seek rest and respite from the demands of the workday and the outside world. It's where we spend quality time with friends and family. It's where we cook, eat, sleep, shower, and sit by the fire. It's home, and it really is sweet.
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Before winter strikes in West Virginia, most of us tuck away our summer clothes and bring out the sweaters, coats, and scarves that will keep our bodies cozy when there's a chill in the air. But how many of us take similar steps to prepare our homes for winter weather? Readying your home for winter, also known as "winterizing," will not only help you and your family to stay snug and warm while saving money on energy bills, but it may also protect your home from damage that can lead to costly repairs.
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As winter starts to set in most of us will be spending more time indoors.Now is a good time to review this checklist for safety, comfort, and savings.Around your home...
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Defective electrical wiring systems cause approximately 40,000 residential fires annually, according to a United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) study. In addition, electric cords and plugs are involved in about 7,000 fires annually. The National Electrical Safety Foundation offers numerous tips to safeguard the home against electrical fire and related losses, including the following.
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According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 200 people in the United States die annually from carbon monoxide poisoning, usually due to faulty gas appliances. Other organizations, such as the American Medical Association (AMA), estimate much higher rates of death. The AMA has reported that carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States.
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Daylight Saving Time comes early and stays with us longer in 2007. At first blush, moving the groggy transition from standard time to saving time doesn't seem like much of an event. That is, until you stop to consider that computers are programmed to keep track of changes in time keeping. Y2K7 refers to computer errors that could be caused by the time change.
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Clogged dryer vents contribute to over 15,000 fires every year so making sure your dryer vent is clear is a simple but important way to keep your home and family safer. Even in the absence of fire, clogged vents cause your dryer to be less effective resulting in greater use of electricity and more breakdowns. If you find your dryer is taking longer and longer to fully dry a load of laundry, chances are your vent has become blocked with lint.
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Flooding causes more property damage than any other weather related event and occurs in all 50 states. You should understand potential flood vulnerabilities you may have at home. The Red Cross or the local planning and zoning department can help you if you are unsure. Once or twice a year, it's a good idea to review some flood safety precautions with your family.

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Swimming pools are wonderful complements to summer weather. Few things are better than stepping outside your home for a cool dip, hosting poolside parties or watching your kids play themselves to exhaustion in the water. Most of us understand that pools also pose a danger but it is important to understand the extent of that danger, the components and preventative measures we can take to keep our pools safe.
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Be prepared for storm season by knowing where to tune for weather updates, what to do before, during and after a storm hits.  Go over your Hurricane Property Preparation Checklist to make sure you have time to complete all necessary preparations. Even in high hurricane winds, preparation can mean the difference between minor damage and devastation.

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While the vast majority of products and toys produced for infants and children are safe, that is not always the case. In March of 2005, for instance, Graco agreed to a record 4 million dollar fine for failing to report deaths and injuries related to recalled goods or products about to be recalled. Each year, about one-third of the 350 or so products recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission are intended for infants and small children. Small children are particularly susceptible to inherently unsafe products so it is a good idea to review recall information periodically.
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Exactly what is a tornado and what is a near tornado?  When it comes to personal safety, it hardly matters.  Even relatively wean tornadoes can be devastating, causing tremendous property damage.  Learn a few facts about tornadoes and what you can do to keep you and your family safe before, during, and after a tornado.

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Maintenance for your vacation or second home is pretty much the same as for your primary residence. There are a few reasons why you may need to take a few extra measures with your second home. You are most likely away from your vacation home for periods of time and, if you have nearby neighbors, they may be away from their homes during the same intervals. Many vacation homes are situated 'away from it all' so, if something were to happen to your home, it's possible no one would notice until too late.
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