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With the Labor Day holiday behind us and the kids settled back into school, it’s time to begin to think about preparing your home for the change in seasons. Whether you are located in an area with dramatic seasonal changes or more moderate ones, the beginning of fall is the perfect time to make sure your house is ready for the upcoming winter weather.

At BenefitSource, we not only want to protect you with great insurance; we want to make sure you have the tools you need to never require the use of your coverage. Here are some important tips for making your home Autumn-ready.

Mind the gutters. Autumn and winter often bring wet weather with them. Make sure your home is ready for the rain by cleaning and inspecting the gutters, as clogged gutters can lead to damage on the exterior surfaces. As the leaves fall, it’s important to clean the gutters regularly.

Look for air leaks. Weather you’re keeping hot air in during cool weather or cold air in during the hot summer, air leaks around the windows and doors will cost you money.

Inspect the roof. A visual inspection of your roof can go a long way in preventing disasters during a wet fall. Look for missing, loose, curled, or cracked shingles. Check the gutters for large amounts of granules, which could be a sign that the roof is losing its coating and needs professional help. Identifying and fixing a potential issue before it becomes a major problem is always the best solution.

Get a furnace check-up. Before the first bout of cold hits, schedule a professional inspection of your furnace or wall unit to be sure it is properly working and not putting your family at risk. You can either contact your utility provider to see if they provide free inspections or schedule an appointment with your normal repair provider.

Schedule a fireplace inspection. If you have a fireplace in your home, it is essential to have it inspected annually and cleaned, if necessary. Creosote is a highly flammable by-product of burning wood, and if it accumulates in your chimney, it can be quite dangerous. Having a professional check for a myriad of potential fire hazards that are associated with improperly working fireplaces can be instrumental in your family’s continued safety.

Replace the batteries. The batteries on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be changed at least annually. While you change the batteries, also test the detectors to make sure they are working properly.

Check the fire extinguishers. Each home should have at least one fire extinguisher that is easily accessible; for multi-level homes, it is advised to have at least one fire extinguisher on each floor. Each year, check the indicator on the pressure gauge to make sure the extinguisher is working at full capacity. Check it for dents or corrosion, and replace it if there is any sign of damage.

Practice the fire escape plan. Especially for households with small children, now is the perfect time to practice the family’s fire escape plan. Each bedroom should have two emergency exits that aren’t blocked by furniture or other obstructions. Review what to do in the event of a fire, and make sure everyone knows where to meet once they are safely out of the house.

Perform a general safety cleanup. While you are on a roll with preparations, take the time to walk the house and property to look for potential hazards. Clear the area around heaters and furnaces; properly discard unused hazardous household chemicals and cleaners; inspect any childproofing precautions such as electrical outlet covers; and store loose yard furniture, so it doesn’t blow around in the event of a storm.

Autumn Preparations For Your Insurance Policies

It is common to purchase a homeowner’s insurance policy, and then never think about it again. However, as your lifestyle changes, your insurance policy should, too. Let your BenefitSource insurance professional help you with a little autumn cleaning on your policies. We specialize in evaluating your individual needs and any changes that may have happened over the past year to ensure you have the right amount of coverage at the best price. Call us directly at (877) 215-5431 or email us to set up your appointment.

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