Melting Snow and Water Damage

Melting Snow and Water Damage

The snow storms that recently hit New York State has left us with snow, sleet, ice and slush! As the snow begins to melt, it is important to protect your home from potential flooding and water damage. A few small actions taken now, will help ensure a dry house!
  • Move snow on the ground away from your home. The farther away from the structure of your house, the better.
  • If you have a sump pump, be sure to examine, test, and clean it! Test your sump pump by pouring water into the pit. Make sure the discharge hose carries the water several feet away from the house to a well-drained area.
  • Remove snow from your gutters and be sure to check your gutters regularly to make sure they are clean.
  • Most importantly, consider where your surrounding snow is going to melt! Using this strategy will help you locate where the best spots are for all that left over snow.

A flood can happen at any moment, to anybody! Call our office today and speak with one of our Flood specialists in regards to a flood policy for your home. It is better to be safe than sorry. Protect your home today.

(516) 249-5200

Are Your Smoke Alarms Working Properly?

Are Your Smoke Alarms Working Properly?

Having a smoke alarm in your home is more important than you think. House fires kill on average 4,380 individuals every year. Ensuring that your detectors are working properly are vital when it comes to saving you and your family’s lives in the event of a disaster.
The answer to these three questions could save your life:
  1. Do you have a working smoke alarm with functioning batteries in your home?
    If you answered yes, that’s a great start. If you answered no, head to your local home improvement store and pick one up immediately. Sooner is better than never.
  2. Are they in the right room?
    Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be placed in hallways, kitchens and living rooms.
  3. How old are they?
    You should change your alarms out every 10 years. If your current alarms are older than 10 years, its time!
If you want to avoid forgetting to change the batteries, you can purchase lithium batteries for $5-$10 dollars and they work for 10 years.
What will be your first step towards a safer home?
Safety Tips for Winter Walking

Safety Tips for Winter Walking

Winter walking means icy sidewalks, snowy paths, bulky clothes, bulky shoes, and more. There are several steps that you can take to enjoy a safe winter season.

  • Avoid distractions from your phone and other hand held devices. Be sure that you aware of your surroundings.
  • Avoid shortcuts and snow covered paths. Always aim for cleared sidewalks and walkways.
  • Use caution when stepping from one level to another. Especially on stairs!
  • Wear non-slip boots or footwear.
  • Take small steps and take your time. Rushing will only put you in danger for a possible accident.
  • Use handrails and guiderails when available.
  • Maintain three points of contact whenever possible.
  • Distribute weight of bags evenly for balance and keep hands out of pockets in case you need to catch yourself.

The winter season on Long Island can bring many different types of weather. Make sure you know how to stay safe when commuting in them. Taking these small steps now could save you a trip to the doctor in the future.

How do you plan to stay safe this winter season?


Keeping Our Water Ways Clean

Keeping Our Water Ways Clean

72% of the Earth is made up of water. This is one of the many reasons as to why it is so important to keep our water ways clean and safe!

Everyday activities such as driving and landscaping can affect our water quality significantly.

Here are some tips to follow when keeping our water ways clean:

  • Never drain your pool into a storm water system, roadway or body of water. Water should be dechlorinated and discharged to a grassy area.
  • Clean up after your pets at home and in your community. Pet waste can spread disease and pollute our waterways.
  • Always check your vehicles for leaks and make necessary repairs.
  • Used oils, antifreeze, fluids and batteries should be recycled at collection centers or participating auto part stores.
  • Do not dump fats, oils, and grease down your drain. When poured down the drain, these substances known as FOG will harden and over time will create clogs.
  • Make sure to have your septic systems pumped every 3-5 years.

What steps will you take to keeping our water ways clean?


Candle Safety

Candle Safety

Calling all candle lovers! The holidays have passed and most likely you’ve received an abundance of your favorite candles. Before lighting a candle, be sure to follow these 4 important safety tips:

Don’t touch your candle while hot! Never touch or move while lit; wait until the wax has hardened.

Keep an eye on your candles. Always burn candles where you can see them (no longer than 3-4 hours at a time) and never near anything that can catch fire. Candles will burn slower and more evenly when kept in draft-free areas. Extinguish the flames before you leave a room. Never extinguish the flame with water.

Keep your candles clean. Trim wicks to ¼ inch before you light them (every time).

Keep candles out of reach. If you have pets, or young children, be sure to keep your candles in an area where they cannot reach them.

Enjoy your candles safely!


Breaking Bad Habits in the New Year

Breaking Bad Habits in the New Year

With the New Year right around the corner, many people will be setting their New Year Resolutions. Is kicking bad habits to the curb on your list for 2017? If so, here are some helpful tips and strategies to help you stay on track of your goals.

Make the commitment – making a commitment to your goal is number one. Whether your goal is to lose weight, start eating heathy or quit smoking; make sure you are 100% committed.

Create a roadmap – create reasonable monthly goals. Not only will these goals help you stay motivated and on track, but you will feel accomplished after reaching them.

Identify your triggers – we are all humans. We all have urges and weaknesses. Be sure to identify them before the start on your goals. Avoiding temptations will help you stay on track.

Evaluate When You Fall off Track – we all make mistakes. Maybe you just had to have that double bacon cheeseburger or just one cigarette while you were out with some friends. Evaluate when you come off track and be sure to get back on track.

Use these four strategies when achieving your goals this New Year. We wish you the best of luck for a prosperous new year.


Winterizing Your Vehicle

Winterizing Your Vehicle

Winter is almost here, and it’s time to endure the cold, snowy weather that New York brings. Before we know it, we will be digging our cars out of the snow. That’s why it is important to get a head start today on winterizing your car.

Taking these steps to prepare your car will ensure a safe winter for all.

  1. Get an oil change. If you are approaching the time for an oil change, do not procrastinate. Get it done now. Make sure your oil’s viscosity is right. Oil tends to thicken as it gets colder. If it is too thick it won’t do the best job of keeping your engine lubricated.
  2. Make sure you can see. Be sure to replace your old wiper blades with fresh new ones. Along with changing your blades, be sure to refill your windshield washer fluid and make sure that the defrost setting in your car is working properly.
  3. Give your battery a little TLC. Check your battery and make sure there is no corrosion and that it can hold a charge. You don’t want to be stuck on the side of the road with a dead battery in the dead of winter.
  4. Check your tire pressure. Make sure your tires are properly inflated to ensure you will have the best traction.
  5. If you have a four wheel drive, be sure to check that your system is working properly. Especially if you do not use your four wheel drive during the summer months.
  6. Last but not least, be sure to prepare an emergency kit. Store supplies in your trunk in case you are ever stuck. Emergency items such as:
    1. Blankets
    2. Extra boots and gloves
    3. Ice scraper
    4. Small shovel
    5. Flashlight
    6. Flares
    7. Tool kit
    8. First aid kit
    9. Paper towels
    10. Canned food
    11. Bottled water

Travel safely this winter and don’t get caught in the cold!


October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness month. We live in a world that is more connected than ever before. The Internet touches almost all aspects of everybody’s lives. In fact, most of us depend on it for everyday living.

Whether it is online shopping, paying bills, or even just browsing the web, your personal information is out there. That’s why every year NCSAM strives to educate the public and raise awareness about cybersecurity.

Here are some helpful tips to follow when it comes to protecting yourself online:

• Don’t ever say “It won’t happen to me”. Every time you log into the internet you are an attractive target for hackers.

• When setting up passwords, make sure to use a strong mix of characters, numbers and symbols.

• Never share your passwords with others.

• Never leave your devices unattended. If you need to leave your computer, phone or tablet, be sure to set up a lock for the device until you return.

• Be careful when clicking on attachments or links in email. These links can be spam.

• Sensitive browsing, such as banking or shopping, should only be done on a device that belongs to you, on a network that you trust. If you are doing any of these on a friend’s computer, public computer or a restaurants free WiFi, your data could be copied and stolen.

• Be sure that your devices are protected with anti-virus software.

• Watch what you share on social networks. Criminals can befriend you and easily gain access to a shocking amount of personal information.

• Always monitor your accounts for any suspicious activity. As soon as you see something strange, it could be a sign that you may have been hacked.

Stay safe while surfing the web. You never know when you could be the next target for a hacker.


Hurricane Season Preparedness

Hurricane Season Preparedness

Although hurricane season officially began on June 1st, we are now entering the peak for this year’s season. From mid-August through mid-October, the Atlantic coast is at a higher risk for hurricanes and tropical storms.

With that said, here are some hurricane safety tips to help you prepare for this year’s peak season.

1. Know if you are in a high risk area. Find out if you live in an area where you are exposed to flood risks and high winds. Speak to your local emergency management agency.

2. Make an emergency plan. Sit down with the members of your household and come up with an evacuation and safety procedure in the event of a severe storm.

3. Put together a basic survival kit. Fill a water safe bin with items such as water, non-perishable foods, a first aid kit, flashlights, cash, chargers, and batteries. Store this bin in an easy to reach, safe place in case of an emergency.

4. Be sure to stay tuned with local emergency alerts, TV, radio, and weather updates. Knowing if there is a storm headed your way will help you to prepare properly.

5. Consider buying flood insurance. Flood can happen anywhere at any time. Even if you do not live in a flood area! Keep in mind that Flood insurance must be in force a minimum of 30 days before a claim can be made.  Flood is NOT covered on a typical homeowners policy.

Don’t get caught unprepared this flood season. For more information on flood insurance and whether it is right for you, please give our office a call at (516) 249-5200 or visit our website at  Act now.  Don’t wait for a disaster to strike!

by Denise Visco