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Archive for January, 2014

frozenAnother severe cold spell is expected in our area this week, with temperatures expected to dip into the single digits in some areas, along with heavy snowfall.  We receive a lot of good suggestions on preventing home losses from the claims and restoration specialists we work with. The following suggestions were provided to us by Maxons Restorations.  Consider forwarding these often overlooked ideas to those you know, especially those with second homes in our are most vulnerable to cold weather related losses,

  • Look for cold spots in your property near outside walls, roofs or windows. If there are pipes nearby, seek out ways to insulate them. If the pipes get cold enough, the water inside will freeze. When water freezes, it expands, building up pressure and bursting pipes.
  • Think about leaving cabinet or closet doors open during extreme cold, it will help to circulate heat around pipes.
  • Leaving faucets running at a slow trickle will allow water to flow through your system, preventing freezing.
  • Inspect pipes that run to water spigots outside. If you still have a hose connected to it, disconnect it immediately. The water freezing in that hose will send cold and pressure back into the pipes inside.
  • Make sure you know where the water shut-off valves are in case of a pipe break or leak.
  • Avoid turning the thermostat down. It’s normally a great way to save energy when you’re not at home, but it’s probably not worth the risk when it’s this cold out. Set the temperature close to 65 degrees at all times and definitely no lower than 55, experts say.

While most of us know to take steps to avoid frozen pipes and water damage during cold temperatures, we often overlook the increased risk of FIRE when the temperatures drop.

  • Make sure you’re prepared for an alternative heating arrangement in the event of a service interruption, especially if you have electric heat.
  • When using equipment such as space heaters, check to make sure they have been approved for use indoors and are turned on at a safe level and away from furniture, carpet or anything else flammable.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without making the necessary safety precautions.
  • Be careful to not overload power points and power boards.
  • Regularly clean fireplaces.

To access a helpful 1 page guide from Maxons Restorations on preventing pipe breaks, check this link: http://origin.library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1104123010409-778/Maxons+Pipe+Break+Tips.pdf

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ImageA total of 86 current and former members of a fraternity at Yale University are being personally sued in connection with a deadly tailgating crash at the annual Yale-Harvard football game in New Haven in 2011.  How is it that the 86 local fraternity members are being sued personally?

It seems the insurance carrier of the national chapter of the fraternity has disavowed coverage, indicating the national chapter was not responsible for the Yale chapter’s actions, didn’t sanction the tailgating event at the game and its insurance company doesn’t cover non-fraternity events. Yet another reminder why it is extra important for parents of college students to re-examine their personal liability insurance  protection. To learn more:  http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/east/2014/01/17/243069.htm

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This advice provided by PURE to their member policyholders: 

The polar vortex caused record-breaking low temperatures this week throughout much of the U.S. With warmer temperatures this weekend, pipes that had become frozen and/or cracked will begin to thaw and could burst.  Without proper attention, damaged and melted pipes could channel unwanted water into your home.

If you suspect you have a frozen pipe, call a plumber immediately or follow these tips to help thaw the pipe on your own:

  • Pipes that are most likely to freeze are those located in exterior walls or where your water enters your home through its foundation.
  • Turn the faucet(s) on halfway to begin. As you treat the frozen pipe, the ice will begin to melt and you will notice water flowing more freely from the faucet. Once water is flowing, open the faucet all the way. This steady approach will help to prevent water from gushing.
  • Apply heat to the frozen section of the pipe by wrapping it with a heating pad, or using a hair dryer or portable space heater on it. Apply the heat until full water pressure is restored. (Never leave portable heating sources unattended.)
  • If you are unable to locate the frozen area of the pipe, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber immediately.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to identify others that may have frozen. If one pipe freezes, it’s likely others may have as well.

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li-hurricaneHuntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone is asking residents to take an online survey to help local and county officials re-examine their plans for dealing with natural disasters. The intent is to work with other nearby communities and Suffolk County to develop strategies to reduce losses caused by natural disasters.

I’ve taken the 21-question survey, and was generally impressed by how well it was constructed. The survey is designed to gauge how well informed county residents are about the natural hazards we face living on Eastern Long Island. It also asks for input on perceived areas of vulnerability. Petrone says survey results will help officials better determine what measures to take.  Even reviewing the questions asked can be eye-opening.

To take the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/V3RLXZ5

 

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