Make Your House a Haven For Trick-or-Treaters

October 31, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Posted in Safety, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Halloween is one of the fall season’s most treasured holidays. Kids love to dress up, get together with friends, and go door-to-door in search of the biggest and best goodies.

If your neighborhood tends to be teeming with little ghosts, goblins, superheroes and princesses, you’ll want to be sure your yard and stoop are safe and welcoming. A little pre-planning can prevent unfortunate accidents that could turn out to be tragic for kids and trying for you.

Here are some pointers for ensuring your house is a safe place for trick-or-treaters on Oct. 31.

  • Pets first. Many dogs, cats, and other furry family companions get scared when oddly dressed strangers approach their door in droves. Make sure your pet is in a safe and comfortable space or take them to a secure, relaxing offsite location for the evening.
  • Clean it up. If your yard gathers stuff – like toys, rakes and other yard tools, hoses, tree branches, you name it – take the time to clean it up. Make sure your yard is free of potential hazards and create a clutter-free walking path well before dusk falls this Halloween.
  • Light it up. Make sure you offer a well-lit path. You can do this using any type of yard lights, from solar, string, LED, existing outdoor lighting or glow-in-the-dark.
  • Turn it off. When you’re done for the night, make it obvious by turning any and all inviting lights off. However, if you’re still offering candy in a bowl outside, do make sure to keep the path well-lit until your sweet treats are tucked away inside the house.

At the NSA Insurance Group, we hope you enjoy a safe Halloween devoid of tricks and full of treats!

Contact Us!

At the NSA Group, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 631.722.3500 or send us a note at info@nsainsure.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Content provided by Safeco Insurance

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Be Aware of Hazards In and Around Your Home

March 14, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Posted in Insurance, Safety | Leave a comment

Most hazards will involve property that will attract children, but are extremely dangerous when handled improperly. They create a special obligation for homeowners to properly secure and protect them. Examples are:

  • swimming pools
  • trampolines
  • empty buildings/sheds
  • appliances kept outside
  • excavations
  • construction materials

All of these can lure children onto property and they all have the potential to cause serious injury.

Children do not have the reasoning ability of adults. A property owner will not escape liability because the child was trespassing.

Here’s how you protect yourself:
Do whatever it takes to prevent a child’s access to the property. You can:
1. Eliminate the property:

  • have old appliances hauled to a junk yard
  • tow old, non-running vehicles away
  • get rid of construction materials immediately after a building project is complete

2. Secure the property

  • take off doors or covers from large appliances awaiting garbage pickup
  • keep sharp tools, especially power tools and equipment, locked away
  • store construction materials in a garage or shed

3. Reduce the chance for injury

  • install a pool cover and have a locked fence to prevent access to pool
  • do not allow younger children to use equipment such as trampolines
  • make sure there’s adult supervision of children using play equipment

If you’re not certain about whether you have an attractive nuisance situation, contact us to discuss the situation.

Additional Information from:

Trusted Choice – Swimming Pool Risks

Mayo Clinic – Trampoline Safety

Protecting Your Church from Arson

February 16, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Posted in Insurance, Religious Institution, Safety | Leave a comment

Did you know that arson is the leading cause of fires in the United States, resulting in more than $1 billion in property loss each year?

Arson is one of the leading causes of fires along with open flames, electrical and lightning. Churches that have been victims of arson, incur on average, in excess of $450,000 in damages.

Why are Churches Targets for Arson?

Churches are often targets for arson because the buildings are frequently unoccupied and church schedules are very predictable. Security systems in many religious buildings also are often insufficient or absent. 

According to research from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), sprinkler systems were not present in 95 percent of churches reporting fires, yet there was a 47 percent reduction in damage per church fire when automatic suppression systems were present.

However, not every Church can afford these systems. Listed below are preventive measures that can be done to protect your congregation without breaking the bank.

  • Always make sure all windows and doors are locked when the building is unoccupied.
  • Limit  the number of keys to the building, and make sure that all keys  are returned if an employee or volunteer leaves the church.  Locks should be changed occasionally.
  • All doors and windows should have adequate locks, jams and/or deadbolts.
  • Keep exterior building, door and parking lot lights on from sunset to sunrise. Remember to change the lighting timers with Daylight Savings Time.
  • Keep an interior light visible from outside lit at night or consider the installation of motion-activated lighting near entryways and windows.
  • Maintain shrubs and trees, ensuring that they are trimmed around doors and windows.
  • Establish a “Church Watch” program, enlist  volunteers & neighbors to check  the property at various times of the week and report any suspicious activity.
  • Reach out to local law-enforcement and ask them to patrol your property at odd hours when the building is not occupied.
  • Keep the grounds of the church free from debris and garbage. Have tools and ladders secured in a locked area.

For additional information please feel free to contact us at 631.403.4107 or on our website at NSAinsure/Churches and Synogues.

Holiday Safe Travel Tips

November 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Posted in Insurance, Safety | Leave a comment

The holiday travel season is fast approaching and many people will be on the roads. Last year more than 35 million people traveled during the Thanksgiving holiday, with almost as many traveling during the Christmas week. With more people choosing to drive instead of fly, you’ll need to be extra careful on the roads.

 Here are some quick tips to make your journey safe and sound.

Check Road Conditions and Weather Reports. Even if the forecast is good, winter weather can change quickly. Check weather conditions not only in your home town, but log onto weather.com to check the forecast for the town you’re traveling to. Check the Federal Highway Administration’s Web site for up-to-the-minute traffic information, detours and road construction. Planning for delays or looking for alternative routes can save you time and a lot of hassle.

Emergency Snow Kit. Even the best planning may not allow you to avoid wintry driving conditions. Pack an emergency snow kit,  and keep it in your car. Include a snow scraper and brush, a flashlight, blankets, booster cables, a shovel, kitty litter, flares, emergency triangles and a first aid kit. While you may never have to use these items, you’ll be glad you have them in the event of an emergency.

Winter Check Up. The last thing you want to do is break down, whether it’s on a deserted back road or on a busy interstate highway.  So make sure to have a certified mechanic check your oil level, tire pressure, windshield wipers, heater, defroster, antifreeze and brakes before you head out on icy and snowy roads.

Buckle up. Sounds like a no-brainer, but  many motorists fail to use this basic safety essential.  Thanksgiving weekend is one of the most dangerous and deadliest times of the year to travel, don’t let yourself or your loved ones become a “Thanksgiving statistic.”

Do Not Over Eat. Over indulging in holiday treats can make you feel uncomfortable and groggy for the ride home. If you have a long journey ahead, consider cutting back on the goodies and have a cup of coffee or a caffeinated soda to help perk you up for the trip home.

Do Not Drink and Drive. Another no-brainer.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more people are killed in drinking and driving accidents during Thanksgiving weekend than during New Year’s Day weekend.

Review Your Auto Insurance Policy. Make sure you know what is and is not covered in your plan.  Please feel free to contact us with questions.

You can find additional safety information on the NSAinsure links page.

Hurricane and Flood Preparedness

August 24, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Posted in Insurance, Safety | Leave a comment

With a threat of a hurricane hitting our area within the next few days, you may also experience flooding in your community. Here are some tips on preparing for the coming storm and the best ways to safeguard lives and property.

Have a Family Plan
Keeping your family safe is your first priority, so develop a Family Disaster Plan.
• First, determine the safest place for your family to be if a hurricane strikes. It might be your home, but it might be with friends or a local shelter. Make sure everyone knows where to meet if you get separated.
• Find out about the established escape routes for your neighborhood. Many communities will block off streets, or change them into one-way avenues, so make sure you know what will happen to make evacuating faster and less stressful.
• Contact an out-of-state friend and ask them to be a point of contact. Many times cell phones won’t work, or will not be properly charged. An out-of-state friend can relay messages to loved ones faster and easier than you may be able to.
• Make plans for your pets. If you are keeping them with you, make sure they have a collar on with identifying information. Keep a photo of them with you so you can show it to others if you lose them. Be sure you have adequate food and water for them and a pet carrier in case you all must evacuate. If you are going to board the animal, make sure it is up to date on all vaccinations and leave important contact information with the facility.
• Be sure to keep a battery powered NOAA weather radio in your home, with extra batteries. This radio will keep you up to date on storm news and data.
• Keep a stocked first aid kit with you, along with a supply kit. Your supply kit should include enough supplies to last you 3-7 days:
        Water
        Food (nonperishable)
        Blankets
        Clothing (sturdy shoes and rain gear included)
        Flashlight and batteries
        Cash

Secure Your Home
After you’re sure you’ve done everything to keep your family safe, take measures to secure your home. Wind damage can be substantial if the wind is allowed to enter the house so take these precautions:
• If you have shutters, make sure that all are closed and securely locked. If you don’t have shutters, you may want to consider boarding up your windows.
• Close and lock all your doors, including your garage doors. You may want to consider installing head and foot bolts on the inactive door or double-entry doors. Make sure your doors have at least three hinges and a dead bolt security lock which has a minimum one inch bolt throw length.
• If you are evacuating, be sure to shut off all water, gas and electricity in the home to prevent damage from broken pipes, wires, etc.
• Park your cars in the garage, not in the driveway or on the street. They’ll be safer from flying debris or falling trees.

Make Sure You Have the Proper Insurance
Many homeowners policies contain exclusions for wind damage and flooding. Contact your agent to review your policy and ensure you’re properly protected!

Visit our catastrophe page for additional information. http://www.nsainsure.com/index.cfm?pageid=346

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