Every winter thousands of pipes, fixtures, and appliances freeze and burst because of inadequate heat or insulation. When a frozen pipe bursts, the result is extensive water damage. When water freezes at a temperature of 32ºF or below, it expands up to 10 percent in volume. Inside a pipe, that added internal pressure can cause bursting. Expanding ice can cause a pipe or fitting to crack, but the ice will block the flow of water while it is solid. In this case, the actual water damage will not be apparent until the ice melts and water flows out of the burst section. The best way to protect plumbing from freezing is to provide sufficient insulation and adequate heat during the colder winter months.
Archives for December 2017
Distracted driving is any activity that could divert your attention away from the main task of driving.1It is something that is both dangerous and disturbingly common. In fact, drivers spend more than half of their time focused on things other than driving.2 You may be surprised to learn that cell phones and texting are just part of the problem when it comes to distracted driving. While stowing your phone while you drive is an important safety step, other behaviors behind the wheel, from drinking coffee to using a navigation system, may also be putting you at risk.
“The fact is, everything that occupies your mind or your vision can contribute to distraction behind the wheel,” explains Chris Hayes, Safety Professional from Travelers. “While many distracted driving studies focus on cell phones, any type of multi-tasking activity and driving simply do not mix.”
If you are among the millions unwrapping a slick new smartphone this holiday season, you’ll want to take steps to protect it and your privacy. Almost 80 percent of Americans own smartphones, according to reports from the U.S. General Services Administration, and cyber-criminals are out to exploit them. Even if this is not your first smartphone, you’ll want to follow these safety tips.
Please join us in welcoming Jordan Wheeler to our growing team of Sales Professionals. Jordan will be based in our Frederick office, focusing on commercial business in the Central Maryland, Metro and Northern Virginia areas.
Visit our Claims & Service Page for company information or call us at 800-733-2530.
Keeping your family and home safe with a security system can give you added comfort and confidence. The market for home security has expanded to include DIY systems that are often cheaper and can be customized to fit your needs. With all the options, it can be hard to know what to buy, but with some basic knowledge about different systems, the decision can be made easier.
Deciding if a DIY Security System is Right for You
The biggest decision to make when looking at a home security system is whether you will purchase a DIY system to install yourself or if you will purchase a system through a professional company. Each option has pros and cons that you should consider before deciding.
Let’s admit it, summer is definitely the most cheery season of the year. That warm, sunny weather boosts our mood and allows us to go on adventures wrapped in the warmth of the sun. But hey, winter has its perks too! Think of all those holiday parties, tasty treats and snow forts! Or maybe you prefer a warm, cozy night watching your favorite movie or reading your favorite book.
Wait… your furnace isn’t working? Well that’s no good. If you live in a cold-weather state, it’s important that your furnace is in great shape so it keeps your home warm all season long.
Here are seven tips to help keep your house toasty without burning through cash. Stay warm and save money with these seven tips for getting started: SEE STORY…
Using available plan data from 2015; the IRS has begun enforcement of the Affordable Care Act’s “Employer Mandate”. The Employer Mandate applies to employers with more than 50 Full-Time Equivalent Employees (FTEs); requiring those employers to offer health insurance which provides “minimum essential coverages”, and deemed affordable. Failure to meet one or both of these requirements causes the employer to be subject to fines, known as “Employer Shared Responsibility Payments”.
The link below provides an explanation of the IRS’s enforcement actions and steps to take should you receive such notice. If you receive such a notice, please contact your Keller Stonebraker representative promptly as the IRS provides 30 days to respond, otherwise they will assume the ESRP applies. Some of our clients have received notices in error as they are not subject to the Employer Mandate.
If a massive disaster wiped out power to your region right now, with no hope of recovery for at least several days, would you be ready? Would you have a way to connect with your family? Would you have enough nonperishable food for everyone? In short, do you have the right plan and supplies to get through an emergency?
In the insurance business, we know a little something about helping people recover from disasters. We know that a little preparation goes a long way. So here are some tips from the Red Cross, Centers for Disease Control and others on what you should put in an emergency preparedness kit for you and your family:
They’re trees. And as with so many things in life, proper maintenance is critical. Keeping your trees healthy will allow you to continue to enjoy them and their benefits — one of which is providing enough oxygen for four people every day!
Maintenance also will reduce the risk of a tree falling on your home or your car (or even worse, someone else’s home or car).
Here are some tips from the National Arbor Day Foundation to help keep trees healthy, identify warning signs and address problems. A healthy tree that you care for properly — and regularly — is far less likely to become a hazard. Remember, prevention is key!
Winter road conditions require special attention. Watch our video for safety tips
Planning a party can be a big task, especially when you consider your responsibilities as host extend beyond when your guests walk out the door. The perfect ending to any gathering is a safe trip home for all of your guests.
Remember, too, if your intoxicated guest is injured or injures someone else on the way home, you could be held legally responsible.
But you can take steps to ensure the safety of your guests and, ultimately, the success of your gathering.