Monday, November 28, 2011
The holidays are here and our homes have become more hectic as we have friends and family over to visit. With more people means more electrical items being used and this can result in more potential hazards. At Pacific PreferredInsurance, we would like to offer you some helpful hints to keep you clear of these potential holiday hazards.
The addition of extension cords during the holiday is one sure way of adding the potential for a fire if misused. It is best to check each cord to insure they are in good working condition. You want to specifically look for frays or kinks or even small burn marks, which will be an indication that the cord is susceptible to a fire and should not be used. As we mentioned in the opening of this article, the holidays bring an increase in foot traffic in our homes, so be sure to keep extension cords out of those paths, as holiday guests may easily trip over these. It is also wise to never use rugs to conceal cords, because this too can be a fire hazard.
I remember growing up in the Northeast and we had a natural wood burning fire place in our home. My dad always reminded me to use only well seasoned natural wood or man-made wood logs specified for in home use only. My mom always reminded me to never throw Christmas wrapping paper in the fire place. These two lessons have remained with me throughout my life. Also remember to have proper screens in place to stop embers from flying out of the fire place and into your home. Now, for those of you living in Southern California, this might not be applicable, but many Californians go up to the slopes in the winter months and this could be helpful when renting a cabin.
Did you know, each year there are a reported 164,000 ladder related injuries?! Be sure that when using a ladder this year to put up those Christmas lights you use one that is the correct height for the job and that you are using a nonmetal latter, metal ladders of course conduct electricity. Reaching or stretching may cause you to fall. Be sure that the feet of the ladder are positioned evenly from the wall and that the ladder itself is standing on a solid surface.
If not properly managed, bringing in a fresh tree to your home can become a huge fire hazard. Do things right and you will enhance the mood of the holiday while being safe. Some things to remember are to be sure the needles are soft to the touch and secured to the tree. Ensure that your tree stand holds at least one gallon of water and maintain the water level at all times.
While preparing your holiday meal there are additional dangers of being burned due to the large number of family and friends trying to help in the kitchen. Steer children clear of the kitchen, most burn accidents happen to small children. Be aware of your surroundings and keep the traffic around hot foods to a minimum. Taking these preventative steps will keep you and your loved ones safe this holiday season.
Wishing you and your family a safe and joyous holiday season,
Pacific Preferred Insurance Agency
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Hybrid vehicles have better fuel economy, lower emissions, lower fuel costs, increased energy security, and more fueling flexibility. But, I bet you didn’t know they were more hazardous to pedestrians and cyclists. That’s right, that hybrid vehicle that has many benefits does have a safety hazard that you should be aware of.
In fact, The National HighwayTraffic Safety Administration has weighed in on the safety risks of driving hybrid and electric vehicles. Their conclusion was that hybrid and electric vehicles are more hazardous to pedestrians and cyclists. Electric engines are near silent compared to combustion engines and don't give the same audible warning as previous cars, especially when traveling at low speeds. Children and the visually impaired are often cited as being the most at risk, and the low noise engines are reported to be putting many pedestrians at higher risk of an automobile collision.
Although new technologies can usher in new risks, moving vehicles have always posed dangers to pedestrians. In 1899, Henry Bliss was run over by an electric cab, giving him the dubious distinction of being the first US auto fatality. But in the same era, horse drawn carriages were taking quite a toll: In New York in 1900, 200 pedestrians were killed by horse drawn carriages.
Car manufacturers are reacting to the new threat by adding artificial sounds to hybrid vehicles to warn pedestrians. The Nissan Leaf EV now makes "wooshing" sounds despite its near silent engine, and Ford held a Facebook poll for users to vote on which artificial engine noise their new car should make, having posted a series of potential noises on YouTube. The noises ranged from more traditional engine sounds to futuristic spaceship noises. These fake engine noises are still being rolled out so they may not stick around since reactions appear to be mixed.
While the ostensible danger of silent vehicles is to pedestrians, drivers can also be at risk of not hearing a hybrid, increasing the potential for collisions. Plus, responsible drivers need to be hyper vigilant about the safety implications for pedestrians. Striking a pedestrian is a highly traumatic event that can result in injury or death. Depending on fault, it can also result in criminal charges or lawsuits. The liability portion of your auto insurance offers some financial protection should you strike a pedestrian. According to the Insurance Information Institute, liability insurance is compulsory in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Only New Hampshire does not have a compulsory auto insurance liability law. The chart on this page offers a breakdown of minimal liability limits for auto insurance by state.
If you live in California and have questions about your auto insurance coverage, why not with a Pacific PreferredInsurance agent today?