As we head into summer we want to provide you with some tips to help improve your homes efficiencies and reduce the possibility of having an insurance loss.

1. Check and clean your dryer vent.

This can become clogged with lint over time.  This not only causes the dryer to work less efficiently but it can also be the cause of a fire.  2,900 dryer fires are reported each year resulting in 5 deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in property loss.[1]    It is recommended that this is done annually.  A good video on this is located at https://youtu.be/G30EMOn1Cq8

2. Clean and check your gutters.

It is recommended that this is done twice a year in late summer and early fall.  Pine trees near the gutter line will make more frequent inspections and cleaning necessary.  The gutter system when not properly maintained can cause problems with drains and even lead to interior water damage that is most often not covered by insurance.  If the roof and ladder is not your idea of a good time play it safe and hire someone to do the dirty work.

3. Call before you dig

Hitting a gas, water, electric or other utility lines can cause many problems and possibly death.  Call 811 to make sure you can enjoy your summer and all the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

4. Check the trees surrounding your home.

Cut back trees and shrubs from the house walls, roof, and air conditioning system as needed.  We all know the damage trees can do.  Besides falling and destroying things limbs can damage the roof and home systems over time as well.

5. Locate and mark the shut-offs for the plumbing system.

When water starts flowing where it shouldn’t it helps to know where the shut off is located. The faster you can turn the water off the less damage that will be done and the faster things can get back to normal.

6. Check the caulk in the shower and tub areas of the bathroom.

Old caulk can become brittle, crack, and fall out of place.  This presents an opening for water to enter.  This can cause damage over long periods of time which can lead to mold.  To learn how to get out with the old and in with the new visit https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/rooms-and-spaces/bathroom/how-to-re-caulk-a-bathtub

7. Test and replace smoke detectors, replace batteries as needed.

Per the U.S. Fire administration (USFA) smoke detectors should be tested monthly and batteries replaced at least once or twice a year.  Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.[2]

8. Check for and repair trip hazards

Winter has just ended and in the Pacific Northwest, our weather can do funny things to items left outside.  Decks can have nails pop or pull out, boards can curl and bow.  Replace those as needed.  You also need to check for changes in the landscape that may cause a trip hazard as the ground may and heaved or shifted.

9. Be safe with your backyard fire pit

Make sure it is level, on the proper surface and at least 10 feet away from your house.  Have something close by, like a fire extinguisher, to put out flames if they get out of control.  When you put out the flames make sure they are completely out.[3]

10. Keep the barbecue safe and fun

Similar to the fire pit, make sure the grill is on a level surface and away from any flammable items.  If the grill is on, don’t walk away.  Kids and pets need to be kept away.  If you have a gas grill, make sure the gas does not build up prior to lighting the flame.  Your eyebrows and lashes will thank you for it.

Have a fun and happy summer season!

You can find us at:

Our website https://www.lucascole.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lucascoleinsurance/
Jose Salgado’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JoseSalgadoInsurance/
Steven Coleman’s Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Steven-Coleman-Lucas-Cole-Insurance-Agency-402838740231703/

[1] https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/clothes_dryers.html
[2] https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Smoke-alarms/Reports-and-statistics-about-smoke-alarms
[3] https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/fire-pit-safety