A well-maintained building is ready for winter

snow-plow

Verify that your snow removal contractor has a certificate of insurance.

Buildings protect us from the elements but, like people, are not immune to seasonal change.  Fall is a great time to take action to help protect your commercial building from the effects of transitioning to fall and winter. Your efforts now will keep you and your customers more comfortable later.
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Escape plans critical to surviving a fire

This is the third of five blogs on fire safety topics during our October observance of Fire Prevention Month.

fire-escape-plan

Develop a fire escape plan and practice it
with all family members.

Installing the proper safety equipment and having an emergency escape plan are two critical things that can make a difference in the event of a house fire. Make the necessary preparations now to improve the chances that your family will survive a house fire.

Develop an emergency escape plan

  • Create a plan that includes escape routes from each room of your home
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Fall maintenance protects your home for winter

Clean leaves and debris from gutters to allow water to flow freely.

Clean leaves and debris from gutters to allow water to flow.

Take advantage of fall weather to work on projects around your home and protect it from common winter problems. Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Clean out your gutters. Remove leaves and other debris from your gutters first by hand to get rid of the large particles, and then with a scraping tool and water hose before cold weather arrives. This helps to prevent ice damming. Ice dams are caused when snow melts on a heated part of the roof, then refreezes on a colder portion of the roof.  This creates a dam and allows water to back up under the shingles, causing damage to insulation and interior ceilings or walls. The University of Minnesota Extension Service has more information about preventing ice dams.
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Correctly placed, working smoke alarms save lives

This is the second of five blogs on fire safety topics during our October observance of Fire Prevention Month.

test-smoke-alarm

Test your smoke alarm monthly.

Fifteen of every 16 homes have a smoke alarm, according to the National Fire Protection Association and United States Fire Administration. However, only three-quarters have a working smoke alarm.

Many homes do not have sufficient numbers of alarms or do not have them located in the correct places.
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