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Home Fire Escape Plans

March 1st, 2019 | No Comments | Posted in inSIGHTS

Many people wrongly assume that they’ll have plenty of time to escape from their home if they notice fire. The reality is that the modern, synthetic materials that are commonly found in most homes mean that fires burn faster than ever. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, a small flame can turn into an uncontrollable fire in less than 30 seconds.

fire escape

Planning ahead for a fire can be the difference between being trapped in your home and escaping safely. Make sure to incorporate these elements into your escape plan:

  • Go over how to escape each room in your home. Ideally, every room will have at least two ways to get out through a door or window.
     
  • Don’t waste time trying to save your personal belongings. Take any important medications if they’re within arm’s reach, then immediately take the closest exit.
     
  • Before opening a door, use the back of your hand to feel its temperature at the top, the doorknob and the crack between the frame and the door. If any of those areas feel hot, take a different route. If the door is cool, brace yourself against it and open it slowly.
     
  • If you can’t avoid moving through smoke, crawl as low to the ground as you can and cover your mouth.
     
  • Set a meeting place outside of your home that your family knows to gather around when they’re safe. Then, have one person go to the nearest neighbor’s house to call 911.
     
  • Never go back into a burning building for any reason.
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American Heart Month

February 4th, 2019 | No Comments | Posted in inSIGHTS, Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

Every February is designated as American Heart Month, which makes it a great time to review your health and reduce your chances of developing a cardiovascular disease. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease accounts for 1 in 3 deaths in the United States.

Many factors contribute to your heart’s health, including your diet, blood pressure and cholesterol. Here are some tips you can use during American Heart Month to lower your risks of cardiovascular disease:

 
  • Get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, four or more times a week. Even if your first workouts are slow, you can increase the time and intensity as you progress.
     
  • Get frequent medical checkups that include blood pressure and cholesterol tests. You can also talk to your primary care physician about medications that can improve your heart’s health.
     
  • Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Also, try to avoid pre-prepared foods, saturated fats and trans fats.
  • Avoid drinking excess amounts of caffeine and alcohol.
     
  • Keep your stress levels low by practicing relaxation techniques and maintaining a healthy sleep schedule.
     
  • Limit your sodium intake to 1,500 to 2,400 milligrams per day.
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Managing Holiday Budgets

December 7th, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Family Health & Safety, inSIGHTS

Often, a leading cause of stress during the holiday season stems from money problems. If you are like most consumers, you have not planned ahead and may find yourself struggling for cash come January. Proper budgeting and smart shopping techniques will help you stay within budget while finding something special for everyone on your list.

Consider the following tips:

  • Write down a maximum dollar amount that you want to spend for your entire list, and then track how much you are actually spending.
     
  • Set aside money throughout the year to use for holiday spending.
     
  • Take advantage of online ordering to save money and time by comparison shopping. Make sure to take advantage of Cyber Monday sales and free shipping codes.
     
  • Buy gifts using cash. This will help you avoid putting too many expenses on your credit card.
     
  • Give personalized gifts instead of expensive gifts. A less expensive, thoughtful gift can be worth more than a costly gift that the recipient may never use.

Keeping in mind the above tips will ensure that you can enjoy the holiday season without worrying about money.

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Protect Your Car from the Sun

July 10th, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in inSIGHTS, Insurance Discount Strategies

If you don’t take the proper precautions, the sun can severely damage key components of your vehicle. In fact, it’s not uncommon for the exterior of cars to reach 194? F when exposed to direct sunlight in the summer. This amount of heat can not only wreak havoc on your car’s finish, but its interior as well.

To protect your vehicle, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Park in the shade. This is the best way to avoid direct sunlight, which will keep your interior and exterior from drying and cracking.
     
  • Use a windshield sun protector. These affordable products keep the inside of your car cool and help prevent sun damage.
     
  • Install seat covers. Seat covers are a great way to protect leather and fabric seats. Better still, these covers can help keep your seats cool.
     
  • Wash and dry your exterior often. Sun and heat can fade and crack the paint of your car. Frequent washing and hand drying helps remove dirt and dust particles that can cause issues to a vehicle’s finish.
     
  • Wax your car. Waxing your car adds an extra layer of protection from ultraviolet rays. How often a car needs a wax job varies, but it is best to do it on a regular basis.
     
  • Check your tire pressure. Hot pavement and underinflated tires can easily lead to blowouts, which can be expensive to fix. Even good tires can lose about one pound of air pressure a month, so it’s important to check them often. Be sure to follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure.

Rising Auto Insurance Prices

June 1st, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Family Health & Safety, inSIGHTS

Although gas prices are low and job rates are rising, these factors are pushing auto insurance rates up. That’s because as people begin to drive more, car insurance claims and insurance payouts rise accordingly.

The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that auto fatalities rose an estimated 8 percent last year, which is the largest increase in over 50 years. Additionally, the Insurance Research Council has found that the average cost per auto insurance payout is over $15,500—an increase of over 30 percent. As a result, many insurance providers have raised premiums, and you may see higher prices regardless of your driving record.

To save money on your auto insurance, consider raising your deductible and driving a vehicle with extra safety features. Also, be sure to contact Hodge, Hart & Schleifer today. We can work with you to find an insurance policy that best fits your unique needs.