Some of the most memorable summer moments occur when friends
and family gather in the backyard for a barbecue. These gatherings can make for
a great summer; however, it is important to remember safety when
At Thorp and Trainer, we want to ensure this is your best
and safest summer. Please review the followingsafety tips to help keep everyone and everything safe at your next
- Clean the
grill – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported that 22%
of structure fires were due to the grill not being cleaned. The 10 minutes it
takes to clean the grill before use will not only make the food you’re grilling
taste better, it will also protect you, your family, and your home.
abandon it – One in six backyard grilling fires begin when someone turns
their back on the grill. Fire can spread quickly, but you can avoid this from
happening by keeping your eye on the grill.
- Keep the
grill at a distance – An alarming 17% of grill-based home fires start
because of the grill being placed too close to flammable material. Keep your
grill away from walls, low overhangs, fences, dry grass, or anything else that
cautious of whether it’s a gas or charcoal grill – It is important to
inspect the propane tanks of gas grills before use. A spray bottle of soapy
water can help spot tiny leaks – douse the suspect area with several sprays of soapy water and look for
bubbles forming after the spray settles. Soap increases the surface tension of
the water, making the bubbles formed by escaping propane gas persist for a few
seconds and stack on each other, making it easier to spot leaks.
- Trim excess fat – While fat is needed to keep the
meat juicy and flavorful, if it is too fatty it can cause flare ups and fires.
Keeping a spray bottle near your grill is a good idea to stop flare ups
immediately, while they are still controllable.
- Keep children away from the grill – Children under the age of five
account for 35% of contact-type burns each year. While kids are playing in the backyard, they
can easily forget to be cautious around a hot grill. Make sure your children
are kept at a safe distance and that hot coals are disposed of properly and
away from areas of play.
dedicated to helping you protect what matters most. Contact us at 401.596.0146
to discuss additional ways to safeguard your family and property. At Thorp
& Trainer, “Your Security Is Our Concern.”
Reason #1: It’s not included in a standard homeowners insurance policy.
Not sure if your home insurance policy includes water backup coverage? Then it’s time to give our office a call and speak to your account manager.
Water backup coverage is an optional endorsement that must be added onto a standard homeowners, condo or renters insurance policy. Without the endorsement, you would be stuck paying for the cost of cleanup or damages caused by the failure of sump pump or back-up of sewers or drains.
Reason #2: It’s fairly inexpensive.
The average cost of water backup and sewer coverage is $50 to $250 annually, depending on the limits you select.
Different limits are available to match people’s different needs. For example, think about what’s in your basement—it’s an area that’s more likely to flood during a water backup. Is it partially or fully finished? Is your basement a storage area for expensive or hard-to-replace items? Work with your account manager to choose a limit that matches your unique coverage needs.
Reason #3: Water backups can happen to anyone.
There are a lot of misconceptions about who is more or less likely to experience a water backup situation. And the truth is it doesn’t matter if you live on top of a hill, if you don’t have a basement or if your home has never had a water backup issue before. Everyone has the potential to experience this type of loss.
Reason #4: It qualifies you for Loss of Use coverage if your home is uninhabitable.
In most cases, a sump pump failure or the back-up of sewers or drains would not make your home uninhabitable. But in the rare case that it does make your home uninhabitable, having water backup coverage would qualify you for Loss of Use coverage.
Loss of Use covers additional living expenses. So if a water backup makes your home uninhabitable and requires a hotel stay for a couple of days, your claim adjuster may approve you for Loss of Use coverage.
Tips for avoiding water backups:
- Don’t pour cooking oil or grease down your drains.
- Only flush bathroom tissue in your toilets.
- Consider replacing your line with plastic pipe to prevent tree roots from entering it.
- Consult a sump pump professional, typically a plumber, to check your sump pump regularly and look for any pre-existing drainage system issues.
- Install a backwater prevention valve to prevent sewer backups—in fact, most new homes are built with this already installed.
- Buy a battery backup to keep your sump pump running when the power goes out or buy a water-powered backup sump pump.
Credit: The Grange Guide to Insurance
Knowing the location of your home’s main shut-off valve is extremely important. If a plumbing disaster should occur in your home, being able to get to your main shut-off valve quickly can mean the difference between a little water on the floor and a major homeowner’s insurance claim.
If you’re reading this and you don’t know where your main shut-off valve is, now is the time to change that! Here’s a quick guide on how to easily find your home’s main shut-off valve, as well as the individual fixture shut-off valves throughout your home.
Main Shut-Off Valve Scavenger Hunt
Tip #1: Check Along The Outside Areas Of Your Home – Main shut-off valves are rarely ever within the central confines of a home, so go ahead and start by looking around the outer borders of your house.
Tip #2: Don’t Bother Checking Any Upper Levels – The main shut-off valves will be on either the ground or basement level of your home, so don’t waste your time checking on your upstairs level.
Tip #3: Check The Inspection Report That You Received After Purchasing Your Home – If you still have the inspection report that was provided to you upon the purchase of your home, the location of your main shut-off valve should be listed on the report.
Tip #4: Follow Your Main Water Line – In most cases, your main water line will lead to your shut-off valve with no additional piping or deviations. That being said, if you know where your water main is, figuring out where the shortest path into your house would be a good way of finding the main shut-off valve, too.
Following these steps should easily help you locate your main shut-off valve and help you be prepared to halt a plumbing disaster in its tracks. If you went through all of these steps but still couldn’t locate your main shut-off valve, it’s possible that it is outside, underground, along your water main line, so check there as well.
Individual Plumbing Fixture Shut-Off Valves:
- Sinks: Underneath the sink (usually in a cabinet), you’ll find a small valve that you can turn clockwise to turn off the water if there’s a sink emergency.
- Toilets: Much like with your home’s sinks, you should find a small valve behind the toilet, connected to the wall. Turning the valve clockwise will stop the water in the case of a major leak or overflow.
- Washing Machine: In the case of washing machines, you’ll find two valves behind the machine that will both need to be turned off in the event of a plumbing emergency. Some houses may have a lever in place of or in addition to the valves. You might have to maneuver your washing machine out of its nook in order to access these valves or the lever.
Whether or not you ever have a plumbing emergency it’s good to know where your shut-off valves are so that you’re ready to act quickly. Knowing your home is the first step in protecting it from unnecessary damages!
Before the storm:
- Charge all phone and communications
- Move computers and other electronic
devices to countertops or tables to avoid water damage from flooding.
- Turn off circuit breakers to avoid
- If you plan to use a portable
generator during the storm, ensure that a qualified electrician has installed
it and make sure to use a listed and approved transfer switch and GFCI (Ground
Fault Circuit Interrupter) protection.
During the storm:
- Stay indoors during hurricanes and
away from windows and glass.
- Never operate a portable generator
inside your home or garage.
- Do not connect generators directly to
the household wiring unless an appropriate transfer switch has been installed
by a licensed, qualified electrician.
- Always use GFCIs in areas where water
and electricity may come in contact. The National Electrical Code (NEC)
currently requires the GFCIs be installed in all kitchens, bathrooms, garages,
outdoors, and within six feet of any sink.
After the storm:
- Have a qualified electrician inspect
any water-damaged electrical equipment and electronics. Electrical items, such
as circuit breakers, fuses, GFCIs, receptacles, plugs and switches, can
malfunction when water and silt get inside. Discard them if they have been
- If flooding has occurred, have a
qualified electrician inspect your electrical system.
- Do not touch a circuit breaker or
replace a fuse with wet hands or while standing on a wet surface.
- Report and stay away from downed
power lines and always assume they are energized. Never touch a person or
object that is in direct or indirect contact with a downed power line, such as
a fence, tree limb or water. Instead, call 911 immediately.
- Avoid flooded areas as they may be
electrified. Even nonconductive materials like wood or cloth that are slightly
wet can conduct electricity.
- If you smell gas, notify emergency
authorities immediately. Do not turn on lights, light matches or engage in any
activity that could create a spark.
Credit: Property Casualty 360°
When searching for boat insurance, you might be overwhelmed when you find that there are many different types of policies available. In general, insurance companies offer a watercraft liability coverage policy along with additional coverages that you can purchase. If you have financed your dreamboat, the lender probably requires you to also obtain property coverage for damage to your boat.
Watercraft liability insurance coverage is required by law in most states. This insurance provides coverage in the event that damage occurs to a person or to property of others as a result of actions taken on your boat. This is true whether or not it occurs during transportation or actually on the water. The law requires you to have this type of liability coverage and each state will have its own requirement as to how much you will need. It is wise to consult with an insurance agent to find out what is necessary to meet the requirements of the law.
In addition to liability insurance,
you should cover the boat, motor and trailer used to transport your boat. Make
sure that you protect your boat with optional coverage that includes theft,
vandalism, losses caused by storms, fire, sinking, capsizing, stranding and
It is possible that medical payment coverage may be required in your state. This type of coverage pays for the medical expenses, up to a specified amount, for you and any passenger on your boat that result from an accident covered by the policy. As a suggestion, regardless whether or not this insurance is required, you would be wise to consider it. Medical expenses as a result of an accident can become extremely high.
Another additional type of insurance
coverage to the standard boat liability policy is the wreck removal and
pollution coverage. This should also be strongly considered. If your boat sinks
or is involved in an accident for any reason, you are required to remove it at
once in accordance with the law. If oil or gasoline leaks into the water as a
result of an accident, you will be fined. The wreck removal and pollution
coverage provides coverage for this type of incident, and without this coverage
you will be required to pay for the pollution and/or removal plus fines out of
your own pocket.
Just like in automobile coverage, you
should definitely cover yourself against uninsured boats as well. If another
boater who does not have any type of boat insurance or does not have enough
coverage, collides with your boat on the water, this coverage will pay for the
replacement of, or any needed repairs to your boat.
Call Thorp & Trainer to find out
what type of insurance is required, and we will provide a no obligation quote
for this and any other additional insurance you might require for your boat.
HAPPY BOATING THIS SUMMER.