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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March 20-26 National Poison Prevention Week

Most poisons occur in the home.
   
     March 20-26 marks National Poison Prevention Week. Have you taken storage precautions for potentially poisonous substances like medicine, cleaners and other household chemicals?

Did you know that the majority of all poison exposures reported to the American Association of Poison Control Centers happen in the caller’s own home?

Three most common substances involved in poison exposures: Painkillers, cosmetics or personal care products, and cleaners.

Household poison prevention: store medicine and household chemicals in locked or secure location, out of reach of children.

Child-resistant packaging does not mean an item is child-proof, so store these items safely out of reach.

Should problems arise, involving household poisons, have your Poison Control Center’s phone number programmed into all family phones.





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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Home Maintenance to Keep Your Insurance Costs Down

Spring maintenance saves money.
         Routine home maintenance can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Here's six important tasks you should tackle each spring to help ensure a relaxing summer season.

Spring Maintenance Task 1: Inspect your roof surface for warping, moss and cracking, making sure shingles, shakes or tiles are sound. Remember the flashing around chimneys, skylights and vents. Seal all cracks and openings, and make repairs as needed.

Spring Maintenance Task 2: Check the condition of your gutters and downspouts. Make sure they are clear of debris and slope in the right direction to keep water flowing away from your foundation.

Spring Maintenance Task 3: Examine siding for evidence of deterioration including cracks, splintering, decay and insect damage. Clean, treat and repair as necessary.

Spring Maintenance Task 4: Try out your air conditioning system. Remember to change furnace filters and be sure there’s no foliage growing up against your outside units.

Spring Maintenance Task 5: Clean up fallen limbs, branches and other debris to discourage infestation by wood-eating insects.

Spring Maintenance Task 6: Repair and seal wooden decks. Refasten loose boards and replace those that are damaged or badly cracked. Then use a deck cleaner, pressure washer or both to remove dirt and grime from the surface. Once dry, apply a sealer.

Follow these tips for a safer, healthier home, while keeping your insurance premiums lower.







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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Reduce Utility Costs During the Cold Season

Save money on your heating bill.
    Horizon Insurance wants to help you save money. Follow these 10 tips to help you reduce utility costs during the cold season.

Home Savings Tip 1: Lower the thermostat on your water heater, use cold settings for laundry and run shorter dishwasher cycles. You'll save 3% to 5% in energy costs for every ten degrees you reduce your water temperature.

Home Savings Tip 2: Keep drafts at bay by placing plastic around all your windows and towels or draft stoppers at the bottom of each outside door. Also check electrical outlets and switch-plates for cold air leaks and cover any with inexpensive foam sealing from your local hardware store.

Home Savings Tip 3: Insulate your hot water heater with a pre-cut jacket or blanket from your local hardware store. You'll reduce heat loss by 25% to 45% and save about 4% to 9% in water heating costs.

Home Savings Tip 4: Install a programmable thermostat in your home and set lower while you are asleep or away. The savings is as much as 1% for each lowered degree if the setback time is eight hours long.

Home Savings Tip 5: Have a professional tune your furnace annually to keep it clean, lubricated and properly adjusted. This will increase furnace life, reduce energy and save up to 5% on heating bills.

Home Savings Tip 6: Check if your ceiling fan comes with a switch that can reverse the direction of the blades. Rotating counterclockwise moves cooler air. Changing the rotation to clockwise will circulate warmer air pooled near the ceiling back down into your living area, cutting your heating costs.

Home Savings Tip 7: Hang insulated drapes to help keep warm air inside and frosty drafts out.

Home Savings Tip 8: Insulate water pipes using a quality wrap, taping strips of fiberglass insulation or pipe sleeves of polyethylene or neoprene foam. This can raise the water temperature 2 to 4 degrees more quickly, helping conserve water.

Home Savings Tip 9: Trim back any bushes or trees that block sunlight from your windows.

Home Savings Tip 10: Create a "warm room" by closing heating vents in unused areas. Just remember to allow enough heat in closed-off rooms to prevent pipes from freezing.

There it is. Follow these 10 steps and you'll be saving not only energy but a chunk of change on your energy bill.

Did you know Horizon Income can save you money on your insurance bill also? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Call 1(866) 479-2777 and we'll save you money today.






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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Identifying and Addressing Ceiling Water Stains

Water seeping into a roof.
                   With melting snow, ice and rain, transitioning from winter to spring is prime time for ceiling water damage to appear. How’s your ceiling looking?

If your ceiling water is stained, it’s likely a roof leak or a condensation problem. Want to know how to tell the difference?  Condensation stains are usually found near exterior walls, often in corners. Look for smaller circles of stains of varying sizes with white centers. Rain leaks can appear anywhere on ceilings: near exterior walls, around ceiling fixtures even in the center of the ceiling.  Rain leaks also tend to stain in concentric rings with the center being the darkest. Each “ring” is a separate leak occurrence.

Explore your options for fixing the leak and subsequent ceiling water damage. Depending on your insurance policy, the fix may be covered.

Horizon Insurance provides homeowners insurance for damage caused by water leaks. You can visit www.horizonincome.com for more information, or call 1(866)479-2777

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