There’s a ticking time bomb in your Tulsa, Oklahoma house right now, waiting to strike when you least expect it. In fact, there might even be more than one. And each can cause thousands and thousands of dollars in damage.
Consider your humble washing machine: According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), washing-machine failures cost an average of more than $5,000, and faulty hoses are responsible for more than half of those failures.
You can take steps to defuse these ticking time bombs — or at least make them less likely to go off. Here are the common hoses and tubes you should be checking:
Most washing machines come with rubber hoses that connect to your water supply — hoses that can wear out and eventually burst. The IBHS says to check frequently for blisters, worn tubing, stress cracks and loose connections. Even if there is no obvious wear, replace hoses every five years. Use a reinforced steel-braided hose, as they are less likely to fail.
Although you should clean the lint trap in your dryer with every load, danger lurks behind the dryer as well. Flexible plastic or foil ducting can easily trap lint and increase the risk of fire, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The agency recommends the use of a rigid or semi-rigid metal duct instead. Whichever you use, be sure to disconnect and clean the ducting annually.
If your refrigerator has an ice maker or water dispenser, it also has a hose connecting it to the water supply. Replace the standard hose with a steel-braided line for added security.
Dishwasher leaks can easily go undetected, so it’s important to check these connections regularly as well. Make sure that hoses and lines have no kinks, and periodically remove and clean the filter in the dishwasher, which is designed to stop food pieces from making it into the drain hose.
At least once a year (typically when you fire up the grill for the first time after winter), check the hose connecting the fuel source to the burners. Simply brush it with some soapy water, turn the gas on (do not light the grill) and check the hose for air bubbles. If you see any, replace the hose and fitting.
In addition to checking your hoses regularly and replacing them when needed, there are monitoring systems available now that can automatically shut off your water supply in the event of a failure. Some detect leaks with moisture indicators, while at least one new system actually checks your water meter for unusual activity.
To further protect you, your homeowners insurance may cover certain damage that results from appliance hose failures. But, it all depends on the circumstances of your situation and on your specific policy. You may find that an appliance hose failure is not covered by your insurance, so it’s best to maintain your appliances to avoid damage in the first place.
Even a small leak can become a major problem, so knowing what you’re covered for and how to prevent water damage are equally important. The below tips should help uncover any potential water problems down the road and keep your property dry this summer.
This summer, several Edmond homeowners will see some pricing relief on their home insurance rates due to the diligent efforts of the City of Edmond and particularly the Edmond Fire Department. The lower rates will result from revised Protection Class changes that start this summer. The Protection Classification is a measure of the overall ability of a department to respond to a fire. Home insurance companies in Edmond and all of Oklahoma use the Fire Protection Rating System (FPRS) to assist them in establishing homeowners insurance rates. A link to the article in the Edmond Sun is below.
Thank You City of Edmond/Edmond Fire Department!
Take part in an Earth Day event — or celebrate in your own way
People are thinking more and more about the environment — whether it’s something that affects quality of life here in Oklahoma or global issues such as climate change and extreme weather. But more importantly, people aren’t content with simply thinking about these things any more. They’re focused on taking action. Earth Day, which is celebrated April 22, is the perfect time to take action, whether you are looking to take part in a community event or organize your own. Here are some tips to help you get involved — and think about our planet Earth all through the year.
It’s easy to find Earth Day events, whether you live in Edmond, Oklahoma or the OKC Metro. City and town Facebook pages are a great place to start, along with the websites of local environmental organizations. Newspapers, radio and TV often publicize events as well.
The Environmental Protection Agency website lists major Earth Day activities at http://www.epa.gov/earthday/index.html.
There are all kinds of Earth Day activities, even some you can easily complete by yourself or with your family. Examples include:
What if I want to organize an event?
Hosting an event doesn’t have to be a Herculean task, particularly if you keep it small. Any of the ideas above could be turned into your own event — just get the word out via social media, friends and family or even local print and broadcast media. But if you do want to organize a full-scale event, go for it!
Of course, one of the best ways to have an impact is to make every day your own Earth Day. You can take part in earth-friendly activities at any time! So in addition to celebrating once a year, make this April 22 just the beginning of something special.
And whether you find an event or create your own, the important thing is getting involved!
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Considering the winter we’ve just been through (and some would say it’s not quite over), nearly everyone is breathing a sigh of relief now that Spring is here! Warmer months DO bring less severe road and driving conditions. However, there are stillvehicle maintenance, insurance, and driving tips that can save time, money, and even lives.
For starters, don’t jump the gun at the first sign of warm weather. Water on roadways can freeze at night long after the last snowfall—especially at high altitudes and in far northern climes. If you drive on winter tires, a good piece of advice, according to reliable sources, is to wait till temperatures stay above 45-degrees (F) before shedding snow tires for good.
But you shouldn’t wait on ALL things. For example, check your tires and windshield wiper blades before spring rains start to fall to be sure that they’re up to their respective tasks. For tires, the penny test should tell you whether you’ve got enough tread depth to clear away water. And to ensure good visibility in a wide range of conditions, be sure to check windshield wiper blades and replace them if they’re worn, or leave streaks.
And as weather turns from temperate to downright hot, perform routine checks and maintenance on the stuff that keeps the “hot side hot and the cool side cool,” such as radiators and cooling systems; batteries and electrical systems; and air conditioning.
Did You Know: In Oklahoma, if you are hit by an uninsured or under-insured motorist, the damage to your car is not covered under this coverage….you’ll need Collision Coverage to pay for the damage to your vehicle! Learn what Von has to say about this important coverage.
Activities that take drivers’ attention off the road, including talking or texting on mobile devices, eating, conversing with passengers and other distractions, are a major safety threat.
In 2014, 3,179 people died in distraction-affected crashes, based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) criteria.
The number of state legislatures passing measures that address the problem of driver distractions continues to rise. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia ban the use of hand-held cellphones while driving; 46 states and the District of Columbia have banned the practice of texting while driving.
A 2012 Consumer Reports survey found that 71 percent of respondents cut back on texting, talking on a handheld phone or using a smartphone while driving in the previous year. Over 50 percent of them said they were influenced to change their behavior because of state laws, up from 44 percent in a survey conducted in 2011.
(1) Percent of drivers using hand-held cellphones.
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION: