10 Spring Safety Tips

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It’s Spring Cleaning Time!
(We hope)

1. Wear protective clothing when you handle pesticides and fertilizers
2. More than 60,000 people are treated in emergency rooms each year for lawn-mower injuries
3. Use proper eye protection
4. Inspect the ladder before using it to make sure there are no loose or broken rungs.
5. When pruning trees, be careful not to let metal ladders or trimmers contact overhead wires
6. Unplug all tools when not in use
7. Before you do any “hands on” weed removal, be sure you know how to identify poison ivy, sumac, oak and similar toxic plants
8. Store gasoline-powered equipment away from anything that uses a pilot light
9. Rake before you mow to prevent any stones and loose debris from launching into the air
10. Clean up work areas. Put dangerous tools, adhesives, matches or other work items away from children’s reach

5 Ways To Protect Your Cell Phone

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  1. PASSWORDS – Use a device pass-code or pattern. The passcode protects your phone from unauthorized access. Many phones only support device-level encryption if a pass-code is set.
  2. AUTO-LOCK – Use Auto-Lock. Auto lock automatically locks your phone after a prescribed time period you determine, forcing a pass-code or pattern to access the phone.
  3. LOCK-HTTPS– Look for the LOCK or web address using HTTPS. When browsing on your phone, especially to financial, email or shopping pages that require you to submit sensitive data, such as passwords or credit card numbers, look for the lock in the URL, which indicates the connection to the site is secure.
  4. WI-FI – Leave your Wi-Fi OFF to avoid public fake Wi-Fi connections. These fake Wi-Fi access points are designed to fool you into connecting so that it can inspect your browsing sessions, including email traffic.
  5. PHONE LOCATOR APP – Use a phone locator app. If you lose your smartphone, a locator application can help you find it and even lock or erase it remotely.

10 Ways To Winterize Your Home

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10 Ways To Winterize Your Home

  1. Change dirty furnace filters
  2. Run ceiling fans in reverse – circulating air back into the living space can cut your heating costs by as much as 10%
  3. Caulk and weatherstrip – simple leaks can really zap your home’s efficiency.
  4. Winterize water lines
  5. Disconnect outdoor hoses
  6. Turn down water heater temperature – Lowering the temperature to 120 degrees F (or lower) would reduce your water heating costs by 6% to 10%.
  7. Get a heating system tune-up by HVAC professional
  8. Consider a window insulation kit for your windows – you may qualify for federal tax credit covering 30% of the cost up to $1,500 (check with your tax professional for details).
  9. Insulate your pipes – you may qualify for federal tax credit covering 30% of the cost up to $1,500 (check with your tax professional for details).
  10. Seal the ductwork – Properly sealing ducts can save the average home up to $140 annually, according to the American Solar Energy Society.

If you would like a no-obligation, Home Insurance Cost and Coverage Comparison, please contact any of our agents at https://meramecvalley.com/for-an-agent-near-you/

Protect Yourself Online

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cloud storage privacy file folders showing privacy locksPROTECT YOURSELF ONLINE

1.) LOOK FOR THE PADLOCK – If there is NO padlock in the browser window or ‘https://’ at the beginning of the web address signifying that it is using a secure link, do NOT enter personal information on the site.

2.) TRUST YOUR GUT – If you are suspicious of a website, carry out a web search to see if you can find out whether or not it is fraudulent.

3.) ALWAYS VERIFY THE ADDRESS – Roll your mouse pointer over a link to reveal its true destination, displayed in the bottom left corner of your browser. Beware if this is different from what is displayed in the text of the link from either another website or an email.

4.) COOKIESSet your browser to warn you when a cookie is installed. Some sites will not work if you block cookies completely.

5.) PHISHY WEBSITES – Be suspicious of websites which ask for more personal information than you would normally expect to give, such as user name, password or other security details. They are probably malicious.

For A Meramec Valley Agent Near You

8 Ways to Protect Yourself Online

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Eye Looking Through A Keyhole8 Ways to Protect Yourself Online

  1. Do not use your social security number as a username or password
  2. Always log off your online sessions when finished
  3. Change your usernames and/or passwords regularly
  4. Avoid storing your passwords on your Smartphone where it could be discovered if stolen
  5. Keep personal information private even (or especially!) on Social Media
  6. Never open unsolicited emails or emails from friends if they look suspicious. Call first.
  7. Only use SECURE websites for purchases. Address should read https and not just http
  8. Use the phone lock function in the event your phone is lost or stolen.


Detectors Save Lives! Check Yours TODAY.

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The importance of working smoke alarms

  • Fire deaths have been cut in half since smoke alarms were introduced in the late 1970s.
  • An estimated 95 percent of U.S. homes have at least one smoke alarm.
  • Two-thirds of reported residential fire deaths occurred in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
  • Fire deaths in homes with working smoke alarms are 51 percent less than the death rate for homes without this protection.
  • An estimated 20 percent of U.S. homes do not have working smoke alarms, primarily because of missing or dead batteries.
  • Nuisance activations are the leading cause of disabled smoke alarms. In other words, “nuisance activations” occur when a smoke alarm detects steam from a shower or stove, thus falsely alerting residents of a fire. When this happens, most people take out the batteries, or disable the alarm.
  • Tip: If your alarm sounds when it detects steam from a shower or food burning on the stove, consider moving it into an area adjacent to the bathroom or kitchen to prevent nuisance activations.
  • Almost 900 lives could be saved each year if all homes had working smoke alarms.



Home Safety and Alzheimer’s

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Home safety tips

  • Assess your home.
    Look at your home through the eyes of a person with dementia. What objects could injure the person? Identify possible areas of danger. Is it easy to get outside or to other dangerous areas like the kitchen, garage or basement?
  • Lock or disguise hazardous areas.
    Cover doors and locks with a painted mural or cloth. Use “Dutch” (half) doors, swinging doors or folding doors to hide entrances to the kitchen, stairwell, workroom and storage areas.

Home Safety Checklist

  • Be prepared for emergencies.
    Keep a list of emergency phone numbers and addresses for local police and fire departments, hospitals and poison control helplines.
  • Make sure safety devices are in working order.
    Have working fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Install locks out of sight.
    Place deadbolts either high or low on exterior doors to make it difficult for the person to wander out of the house. Keep an extra set of keys hidden near the door for easy access. Remove locks in bathrooms or bedrooms so the person cannot get locked inside.
  • Keep walkways well-lit.
    Add extra lights to entries, doorways, stairways, areas between rooms, and bathrooms.
    Use night lights in hallways, bedrooms and bathrooms to prevent accidents and reduce disorientation.
  • Remove and disable guns or other weapons.
    The presence of a weapon in the home of a person with dementia may lead to unexpected danger. Dementia can cause a person to mistakenly believe that a familiar caregiver is an intruder.
  • Place medications in a locked drawer or cabinet.
    To help ensure that medications are taken safely, use a pill box organizer or keep a daily list and check off each medication as it is taken.
  • Remove tripping hazards.
    Keep floors and other surfaces clutter-free. Remove objects such as magazine racks, coffee tables and floor lamps.
  • Watch the temperature of water and food.
    It may be difficult for the person with dementia to tell the difference between hot and cold. Set water temperature at 120 degrees or less to prevent scalding.
  • Support the person’s needs.
    Try not to create a home that feels too restrictive. The home should encourage independence and social interaction. Clear areas for activities.

Read more: http://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-home-safety.asp#safetytips#ixzz3CM6QbMJ4

Safety Checklist

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  • Sound the Alarm: Install smoke detectors on every floor of your home and carbon monoxide detectors near sleeping areas. If already installed, test them! Tip: Replace the batteries every daylight-saving time change.
  • Avoid Overload: Check for overloaded extension cords – usage should not exceed the recommended wattage.
  • Paint Safe: Check walls for loose paint. If re-painting, do so in a well-ventilated area and consider VOC-free paint.
  • Childproof, Childproof, Childproof: Check your local library or look online for complete lists of childproofing suggestions. Areas of particular danger include outlets, appliances, electronics, stairs and windows.
  • Cover Outlets: Cover all unused outlets to prevent children from sticking a finger in the socket.
  • Watch Cord Placement: Extension cords should not be placed under rugs or heavy furniture, tacked up or coiled while in use.
  • Get Grounded: All major appliances should be grounded. Be sure to check your ground fault circuit interrupters regularly.
  • Plan Your Escape: Practice a fire escape plan with your family where you identify two exits for every room and what to do with young children.
  • Give Your Air Heater Some Space: All air heaters should be placed at least three feet from beds, curtains or anything flammable.
  • Keep Extinguishers Handy: Place all-purpose fire extinguishers in key locations in your home – the kitchen, bedroom and basement. Be sure to check expiration dates regularly and know how to use them safely.
  • Create a Safe Exit: In addition to alarms and extinguishers, consider an escape ladder if your home has two floors. Keep emergency numbers and contacts readily available by the phone.
  • Unplug Appliances: Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use and store them out of reach.
  • Go New in the Nursery: Check that all painted cribs, bassinettes and high chairs were made after 1978 to avoid potential lead paint poisoning.
  • Cool Your Jets: Set your water heater below 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid potential burns and to save energy.
  • Put Away Medications: Take medications and medical supplies out of your purse, pockets and drawers, and put them in a cabinet with a child safety lock.
  • Look for UL: The UL Mark appears on products that have been tested, verified and inspected for safety. Make sure to look for it to keep your holidays safe and bright.