Do You Feel Like Your Home is Secure when You are Away?

6 Ways to Secure Your Home When You’re Away

Did you know that statistically a burglary occurs in the United States every 14.4 seconds? (At least according to the FBI.)  Are you doing what you can to adequately secure your home while you’re gone?

According to data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, burglaries accounted for an estimated $4.8 billion in lost property in 2011, with an average individual loss of $2,185. The affects go beyond money. As a person who’s been the victim of a burglary, there’s an accompanying feeling of violation that takes some time to shake.

As the Philadelphia Police Blog puts it, security is a mindset, but it doesn’t have to be a burden. Simple things like setting some lights on timers can make a big difference. Take some time to consider your worst-case scenario in a burglary and do something to prevent it. If that leads you to back up your computer or take a quick inventory of your belongings—great.

Whether you’re going away for ten days or two nights, here are some more simple things you do to secure your home:

  • Get to know your neighbors. Let trusted ones know you are leaving and ask them to keep an eye on your home. (Our neighbors were able to stop the people breaking into our garage from getting away with more.) Have them pick up your mail/newspaper, or stop those deliveries for the duration of your trip because a pile of mail is an easy indicator that someone isn’t home.
  • Resist social media! Don’t announce your travel plans on Twitter or Facebook. If you can’t stop making non-vacation related updates, at least turn off the location status on any public forum so people don’t know how far you are from home.
  • Make your place look lived in. Set your outside lights so at least one stays on at night and put timers on your indoor lighting so they go on and off at random intervals. You can even get a product that looks like you’re watching TV when you’re not.
  • Hide obvious temptations. Have an awesome grill? Place it in a locked shed. Can you see in your windows? Don’t leave something valuable near them.
  • Use your locks. A quality deadbolt lock is the first defense from an intruder entering your home, but it only works when it’s used. And don’t hide a spare key outside. Criminals have more experience finding spare keys than you have hiding keys. If you need to leave a key somewhere, leave it with a trusted neighbor.
  • And personally, if you have a car parked outside, do not leave a garage door opener in it. That’s how our garage was broken into. I’ll never make that mistake again.

 

The last thing you want to have to deal with while you’re gone is a broken-into home.

No matter where you travel, do what you can to keep your family and your home safe. And if you’re in the market for insurance, consider giving a Long’s Insurance Agency a call. We are your one stop shop for any insurance needs you may have.  Call us today!

 

Source: Foremost Blog

The Weather Outside is Frightening

icy roadsIt has been snowing, nonstop, for three days. Just when I start to think it will never stop snowing, it stops. At this point, I am finally smiling again and feeling relieved. A day later, it starts raining nonstop. I am now regretting all of my wishes for the snow to go away, because rain and freezing temperatures during the winter season can only mean one thing—icy roads. Even if you happen to be Larry Pegram or a person who has lived in the Midwest your entire life, icy roads are nearly impossible to drive on safely.

The safest way to deal with icy roads is to avoid driving. As nice as it sounds to stay curled up on the couch, we all know that not driving during bad weather is not always an option. If you have to travel when the roads are icy, allow time for snow plows and sanding trucks to work on the roads.

Here are some great tips from The Weather Channel for driving safely this winter, especially on icy roads:

Driving safely on icy roads

  • Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
  • Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
  • Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
  • Keep your lights and windshield clean.
  • Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.
  • Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
  • Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
  • Don’t pass snow plows and sanding trucks. The drivers have limited visibility, and you’re likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.
  • Don’t assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.

Even if you happen to be Larry Pegram or a person who has lived in the Midwest your entire life, icy roads are nearly impossible to drive on safely.

If your rear wheels skid…

  • Take your foot off the accelerator.
  • Steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go. If your rear wheels are sliding left, steer left. If they’re sliding right, steer right.
  • If your rear wheels start sliding the other way as you recover, ease the steering wheel toward that side. You might have to steer left and right a few times to get your vehicle completely under control.
  • If you have standard brakes, pump them gently.
  • If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS), do not pump the brakes. Apply steady pressure to the brakes. You will feel the brakes pulse—this is normal.

If your front wheels skid…

  • Take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral, but don’t try to steer immediately.
  • As the wheels skid sideways, they will slow the vehicle and traction will return. As it does, steer in the direction you want to go. Then put the transmission in “drive” or release the clutch, and accelerate gently.

If you get stuck…

  • Do not spin your wheels. This will only dig you in deeper.
  • Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way.
  • Use a light touch on the gas, to ease your car out.
  • Use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car.
  • Pour sand, non-clumping kitty litter, gravel or salt in the path of the wheels to help get traction.
  • Try rocking the vehicle. (Check your owner’s manual first—it can damage the transmission on some vehicles.) Shift from forward to reverse, and back again. Each time you’re in gear, give a light touch on the gas until the vehicle gets going.

Be safe in your travels this winter season. If you’re in the market for auto insurance consider talking to Long’s Insurance Agency.

 

Source: Foremost Blog