Blog For National Insurance Agency in Newtown, PA

Our blog for our insurance agency in Newtown, PA, provides you with tips for your home, auto insurance, and much more.
We invite you stop back often!

September 11 2019 - How To Drive More Safely In Strong Rain and Wind, PT I, Wind.BlurredRoad

 

While it may no occur to you that wind is a major concern, it still deserves special consideration from drivers. Strong wind can occur anywhere and often without notice.

 

Anticipate Wind Gusts. Take extra care when driving in areas prone to high wind or when weather forecasts expect same.

 

Larger Vehicles. Large motor homes and 18 wheelers are susceptible to wind gusts and may have trouble remaining in their lane.

 

Get a Grip! Keep a firm grip on your steering wheel in case the wind starts to move your vehicle. This is even more important when driving an RV or towing a trailer.

 

September 5 2019 - Work Zone DrivingRoadWorkSign

 

At least here in SE Pennsylvania, there seems to be no shortage of road “work zones” these days.

There’s no doubt that it’s frustrating, but here are a few tips that may help make it more bearable and safer.

Be prepared for the unexpected. Traffic can slow or stop without notice, lanes can merge and workers can enter the roadway at any minute.

Slow down. More than 1/3rd of fatal accidents in work zones are cause by speeding.

Pay attention to flaggers and signs.

Keep a safe distance. Rear end collisions account for 30% of work zone accidents.


August 28, 2019 - Fire Pit Safetyfirepir

Days are getting shorter…temperatures are dropping…it’s almost time for fire pits. Here are a few tips to make sure that your fire pits is used safely.

 

• Place the fire pit in a safe spot away from your home, backyard deck or low-hanging tree branches.

• Always require adult supervision around the fire pit while it is in use and until it has cooled off.

• Never leave the fire unattended.

• Use sand to fully extinguish the fire.

• Let the coals cool completely and dispose of them in a metal container.


August 21, 2019 - Lightning Safety Outdoorslightning

’Tis the season for lightning! The last few weeks here in SE PA have allowed Mother Nature to show her force. Heavy rain…loud thunder…and lots of lightning. Here are some tips that can help you keep safe if you’re caught outside during one of these storms.

If you can, find indoor shelter. A building or vehicle with a hardtop is great, just keep the windows closed. It’s further suggested to wait 30 minutes after the storm passes before venturing out. Avoid tents, pavilions or other outdoor structures.

Since lightning tends to strike high points, so if you cannot get to indoor shelter…a low, unexposed point can help protect from lightning strikes.

Finally, start away from tall objects. Flagpoles, telephone poles, fences, antennas and the like can act as lightning rods.

It’s also a good idea to set up local weather alerts on your smartphone so that you can avoid being outside when a storm like this is nearby.


August 14, 2019 - Stow It!!

We continue the distracted driving theme this time, with a simple idea that could help you avoid being distracted while driving.

As a waitress on a certain TV show used to say.."Stow It"!

First, place your cellphone in your purse or briefcase. If you don’t use either of these, perhaps placing your phone in the console or glove compartment is a good idea.

Or…simply turn it off.

There’s no doubt that everyone is connected these days via their cell phone, but your safety…and everyone else’s safety is more important than a missed call or text.

Any of these ideas can help you from being distracted while driving.


 

August 7, 2019 - Every Second Matters!

Distracted driving is a common and dangerous occurrence on today’s roads. Traveler’s Institute Every Second Matters initiative recognizes that every driver, passenger and pedestrian has a role to play in making a positive change when it comes to distracted driving.

For example, in the state of Georgia, 74% of fatal crashes were directly attributed to one hweelof three things: speed, impaired driving and distracted driving. Some believe that distracted driving contributes more than the other two combined.

We’ve said it before, but it bears saying again. When you’re behind the wheel….driving IS the activity..
 


July 31, 2019 - Text Messages while driving?

We’re heard it all before. “I only look at the text for a second. “Whats the big deal…everyone does it”.

There’s no doubt that lots of folks send or read text messages while behind the wheel. And..it’s still dangerous for you, your passengers and fellow motorists.

Cell phones are involved in 1.6 million crashes per year causing a half million injuries and 6,000 deaths.
 

Just wait until you arrive at your destination. It’s worth waiting for.

 

July 24, 2019 - When is reading dangerous?

When reading...or any other activity...takes your attention to the road. This video helps make the point that driving IS the activity when behind the wheel


July 17, 2019 -
Tips For Handling a Tire Blowout

The summer driving season…windows down, the breeze, some tunes…for some this is a little slice of heaven. How will you react should a tire blow on your vehicle during this time of bliss?

It may be hard to believe, but tire blowouts and flats contribute to nearly 11,000 collisions and 700 fatalities each year.

When a blowout occurs, you may hear a loud bang or a whoosh…followed by the flapping sound of the now deflated tire slapping the road. You’ll also notice your car pulling hard to the side where the blowout occurred.

So…what to do? First, keep a firm grip on the steering wheel. Don’t aggressively apply the brakes. Allow your car to slow down gradually and once you have reached a safe cartirespeed…pull to the side of the road or other safe location. Activate the 4 way flashers.

Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to avoid a blowout. Most blowouts happen during the warmer months, and often are the result of excessively worn tires, under inflated tires or an overladed vehicle. Ensure that your tires are properly inflated to the specifications set by your car’s manufacturer, and remove unnecessary items from the cargo area.


July 9, 2019 - Tips For Safer Grilling, Part II


Last time, we covered some tips about gas grilling. This time, we’ll go over some tips for those of you that still grill “old school”…with charcoal.grill2

Charcoal grills can remain hot long after the flames go out. Keep combustible materials away from the grill at all times.

It’s a good idea to check for rust damage in metal grills, as this may allow charcoal to fall through and cause a fire or burn.

Do not add starting fluid when charcoal is already burning.

If the fire gets too low, ad some more charcoal or kindling.



July 3, 2019 - Tips For Safer Grilling

 

Tis the season…for grilling! If your choice of a backyard grill is gas…we have some helpful tips.Grill1

First, check the gas cylinder hose for leaks before using it the first time each season. Applying a light soap and water moistures can show leaks by releasing bubbles.

If you smell or suspect a gas leak and there’s no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, have this repaired by a qualified technician.

If you smell gas while cooking, get away from the grill and call the fire department.

Never turn on the gas while the grill’s lid is closed. Gas may build up inside causing the lid to blow off causing injuries and burns.

After cooking, make sure the gas is turned off.

Finally always store gas grills and propane tanks outside away from your home...
 


June 26, 2019 - Tornado TipsNIATorn

 

We’ve seen some tornado warnings already this season in our area. While the Greater Philadelphia Area isn’t exactly known for tornados…they still occur. Here are a few tips that may help keep you safe.

First, if you are inside of a building when a tornado is imminent, seek shelter in the basement. If there’s no basement, stay in the center of the structure on a lower level away from windows.

If you’re outside, and there’s no shelter lie flat in a ravine, ditch or culvert. Shield your head with your hands.

 

If posible, get under something sturdy like heavy table or workbench. If you can, cover yourself with a sleeping bag or heavy blanket.

Everyone at National National Insurance Agency sincerely hopes that you’ll never be in a situation where these instructions will be needed..
 



June 20, 2019 - Swimming Pool Tips, Part II

 

Pools are great fun…but with the fun brings some risk. Here’s show to help keep your pool2pool safe.

Chemicals should be stored away from the pool. Follow all manufacturer’s instructions when using pool chemicals.

Electrical devices should be kept away from the pool. If you must use electrical devices in the pool area, be sure to plug them into a GFCI (Ground Fall Circuit Interrupter) outlet.

Inspect the liner, if equipped regularly. Looks for wear in areas that pipes or other items may pierce the liner.

Above ground pools should be regularly inspected for rust or corrosion on metal parts.

The deck and railings should also be checked to ensure that they are strong enough for pool users should they pull or lean on them.

Ensure that your pool has compliant anti-entrapment drain covers and make sure they are not broken or missing.
 




June 12, 2019 - Swimming Pool Tips, Part 1

pool1 

Summer is almost here…and that makes now a great time to talk about swimming pool safety.

First, ensure that your pool is secure. Maintain secure fencing and a locked entrance to ensure security when supervision isn’t available.

One great safety rule is, “no one swims alone”. Less experienced swimmers should always be accompanied by one that has life saving skills.

Diving should be restricted to areas that are cleared marked and of appropriate depth.

Life preservers and a rope with life saving rings should be kept near the pool and readily accessible.
 



June 6, 2019 - Hail Damage Protection

hail 

After the recent storms in our area, it seems like a good time to mention hail damage.

Hail storms can develop quickly and with little notice, so you have very little opportunity to prepare.

First, consider signing up for local weather alerts. These can give you some time to hopefully minimize hail damage.

Large hail can break your home’s windows, so close the drapes, curtains or shades to help prevent the wind from blowing broken glass inside.

If possible, park your vehicles under a carport or in the garage.

Lawn furniture can also be damaged by hail. More your outdoor furniture inside or into a covered area. Lighter weight outside furniture can also be blown by the wind, potentially causing damage.

When it’s time to replace your roof, you may consider looking into impact-resistant materials..
 




May 30, 2019 - Tips for First Time Home Buyers, Part II

 

So, you’re one step closer to your first home. Congrats! There are tips that can help you not only save money, but also can help you later if an appliance requires repair or match a broken tile.

First, you can negotiate your closing costs. Perhaps you have a motivated seller than will help with those.

Credits. When making your offer, you may want to consider getting a credit to repair or replace items found during the home inspection, like the heating systems, water guysmoveheater or roof.

Make sure you get the paperwork, manuals and receipts if possible for the mechanical items in the home. This way, you’ll know if they are still covered by warranty or who to call to make a repair. Paint colors and tile models are also useful to have in order to match them for a repair.

A final walk-though. Before you sign all the paperwork and officially take ownership of your new home, it’s important that you do a final walk-through. Has the seller removed everything as promised? Was there hidden damage to a floor or wall? This is important to make sure you don’t have a mess before you move in.

Finally…and leave it to an insurance company to bring this to your attention…bundle your auto and homeowner’s policies with the same firm. This can give you some substantial discounts. As an independent agency, the National Insurance Agency can compare rates with many insurance companies to ensure that you are getting the very best value.
 



May 22, 2019-Tips for First Time Home Buyers, Part IHouseBills

Your home is the largest investment you will make during your lifetime. as a first time buyer, it’s both exciting and a bit scary! Gee are a few tips that can ensure you are doing your due diligence when selecting a home.

Get a home inspection. Whether it’s an older home or new construction, you need a trained, certified, home inspector to check it out from top to bottom.

See what else may be for sale in the area to get an idea of value. Realtors call these “comps”, and it’s so that you are better informed about asking prices, and perhaps recent selling prices for similar homes in the same area.

How long has it been on the market? If it was recently listed, and your area has lots of demand, you’ll need to make an offer sooner than later. If the property has been on the market for a long time, check the price history. You agent can provide a pricing analysis if you’re considering an offer.

Is the price negotiable? If you can get an idea as to how flexible the seller is, you can hopefully avoid making an offer than offends the seller.
 



May 16, 2019-Extension Cord Safetycord

Electrical extension cords are handy. With this helpful tips, you can make sure that you are using extensions cords safely.

First, it’s important to remember that extension cords are for temporary use only. You may want to have a qualified electrician install outlets in areas where you may often use extension cords.

Repair or replace damaged or worn extension cords as these greatly increase the risk of shock or fire.

Never use extension cords to power an appliance.

Don’t place extension cords under rugs or carpets.

Make sure that you are using an extension cord heavy enough for the load you are powering. Amperage, gauge and cord length all play a role in how power the cord can carry.

Finally, it’s important to know that there are inside and outside extension cords.
 


May 8, 2019-Call 811 Before You DigDig

Call 811!

In the spring, a homeowner’s attention often turns to outside tasks like new fences and other projects that require digging. It’s always a good idea…and required…to call 811 before you dig.

You could damage power lines that might disrupt service to the whole neighborhood, not to mention incurring potential fines and repair costs.


811 is the national “Call Before You Dig” number, designated by the FCC. By calling 811, you can be made aware of any potential underground hazards.

It may be hard to believe that despite all the potential danger and damage that could be caused, 45% of American homeowners surveyed said they would not call 811 before digging.
 




May 1, 2019-Check Your Air-Condtioning

We get it…it’s Spring! You’re not even thinking about the upcoming summer heat…are you? Well, now’s a great time to make sure your home’s air-conditioning system checked out and ensure that you’re ready for summer.

ac 

First, check around the outside A/C unit. Make sure it’s clear of leaves, branches and other debris. 

Inside, check and/or change the filter. If you don’t remember that last time you did it…it’s time. You may also choose to call your HVAC technician to give the system an examination.

 

Remember, now is the right time to check your air-conditioning system. There’s no fun in the A/C not working on the first hot day of the season. (Your technician will also be busy on that first hot day with all those folks that waited until the last minute.)
 

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