Fire Prevention Week: Do You Have a Fire Escape Plan in Place?

Oct. 8-14 is Fire Prevention Week, which stresses the importance of having a home fire escape plan in place.

When it comes to getting out of your house if there’s a fire, you really do have to make every second count. In fact, if a fire starts in your home, you only have two minutes to escape because under the right conditions a fire can double in size every minute, according to the American Red Cross.

That’s why you should install smoke alarms on every level of your home, at the bottom of every stairwell and outside each bedroom. Test smoke alarms every month and replace the batteries as needed.

It’s also critical to develop an escape plan and practice your plan until everyone can evacuate the home in less than two minutes.

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Apps and Devices to Help Keep College Students Safe

If you’re like most parents, sending your son or daughter off to college can be pretty nerve wracking. You worry about all the things you’ve worried about since they were young – illness, happiness, safety– only now you need to worry from further away.

Besides sending care packages with goodies and reminding them to eat their fruits and vegetables, there’s not much you can do to stop your child from becoming ill or make sure he or she is happy. But there are some devices and apps on the market that can help keep your college student safe.  Read more

How to Safely Keep Snow Off Your Roof

Roof Rake Removing Winter SnowWinter in New England can bring with it frigid temperatures, lots and lots of snow, as well as brilliant, sunny days when the warmth of the sun entices people outside to do some skiing, ice skating or sledding.

Although freshly fallen snow is stunningly beautiful and playing outside on snowy days is fun, homeowners need to be aware that too much of the white stuff could cause the roofs of their homes to collapse.

The typical residential roof should be able to support 20 pounds per square foot of snow before becoming stressed, according to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS).

The IBHS offers some guidelines to help you determine how much the snow on your roof weighs: Read more

Winter Driving Safety Tips

Alaska Remote Winter Highway at SunsetIf you drive in New England in the winter, you face weather-related challenges each time you get behind the wheel.

In fact, every year 24 percent of weather-related vehicle accidents happen on snowy, slushy or icy pavement and 15 percent occur when it’s snowing or sleeting. (according to the Federal Highway Administration)

These winter weather conditions often make it harder for you to see, slow down and stop – factors that increase the chances you’ll have an accident.

However, you’ll fare better driving in treacherous conditions if you’re prepared. So here are some tips to help you get ready for everything a good, old-fashion New England winter can throw at you. Read more

5 Cybersecurity Tips for Online Holiday Shopping

Stealing a credit card through a laptop concept for computer hacker, network security and electronic banking security

As you rush to finish all your online holiday shopping, you could become a victim of cyber crime

In fact, one out of four holiday shoppers has been a victim of an online hack in the past 12 months, according to a recent CNET survey.

Here are five ways to protect yourself while shopping online so you can keep your bank accounts and credit cards safe.

  1. Update your device’s mobile operating system – Be sure you’re running the latest version of the operating system on your phone, tablet and computer because it’s more likely that the older versions are not as secure. You should also confirm that your anti-virus/anti-spyware software is running and being updated automatically.

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Merry and Bright: Holiday Electrical Safety Tips

One of the best things to do around the holidays is to drive around and see all of the beautiful lights. While large scale light displays are impressive, it is important to take precautions and know what you’re doing.

We’ve compiled a list of safety tips to help you keep the lights on:

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Food Safety Tips for a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving

Traditional Holiday Stuffed Turkey DinnerThis year instead of traveling over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house, you’ve invited family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving at your home.

You’re looking forward to enjoying awesome food and drink, great conversation and maybe even a football game or two. You’re hoping that your guests will leave with great memories. The last thing you want is for everyone to remember a holiday filled with tummy aches – or worse.

Thankfully, there are some very steps you can take to prevent a foodborne illness from hitting your Thanksgiving guests. Read more

Home Safety Seasonal Checklist

BlogPostImage-Seasonal Checklist (source - free to use)

Whether springing forward or falling back, Daylight Saving Time is the perfect opportunity for a home safety seasonal checkup. Here’s a quick checklist.

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Fall Fire Safety Tips

Couple by bonfireAs the colder weather approaches and the leaves turn radiant shades of red, yellow, orange and gold, this is the perfect time to refresh your memory about fire safety – inside and outside your home.

Don’t forget, when you turn your clocks back on November 6 to signal the end of daylight savings time, remember to change the batteries in your smoke detectors and your carbon monoxide detectors if they are not hardwired.

You should also replace CO alarms every five years and smoke alarms every 10 years so be sure to check their expiration dates when you change the batteries.

Here are some other fall fire safety tips that you should keep in mind:
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September Is College Campus Fire Safety Month

As college students move in to new apartments this week, now is a good time for them to check and make sure they have working fire alarms.

We all were tragically reminded of the importance of this early Wednesday morning, when a four-alarm fire destroyed an apartment building on Myrick Street in Allston, Mass., a community popular with college students. After it took about five-and-a-half hours to put the blaze out 11 college students and young professionals who lived in the building were displaced .

Fire investigators said it could have been much worse because the two-and-a-half story house had inadequate smoke detectors and sprinkler protection, according to Boston Fire Commissioner Joe Finn. Damage to the building was estimated at around $1 million.

“We’re very fortunate last night that we didn’t have a loss of life,” Finn told WBZ NewsRadio 1030. “I think the fact that the tenants who were on that third floor weren’t home is probably the reason why, because I think if they were home, they never would have made it out.”

Fire inspectors think the fire started in a rear bathroom, but they were still trying determine the cause. The fire commissioner said investigators found several issues with the house.

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