Monday, June 26, 2017

Celebrate Independence Day with Safety in Mind!

With Fourth of July approaching, many of us are looking forward to celebrating the holiday. Often times, these celebrations mean family gatherings, cookouts, being out on the Lake, and watching fireworks. While these are all activities that we love to engage in year after year, those of us in the insurance industry know that carelessness during these celebrations can lead to major loss. This week, Insure the Lake would like to share with you some tips on handling fireworks, preventing fire damage, and promoting safe celebration practices.

Practice Firework Safety

Every year, nearly 20,000 fires are blamed on fireworks. Hospitals see about 10,500 fireworks-related injuries a year. About one in four fireworks-related fires are on Independence Day, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. The best way to avoid these types of problems is to focus on safety by using proper pyrotechnic practices. Keep fireworks away from children; they can lose fingers, toes and eyes to fireworks accidents, and many are burned by even playing with sparklers - which burns at up to 2,000 degrees. Never point fireworks at others and use fireworks outdoors on a flat, hard surface in an open area away from people and buildings. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of a fire. 

Get Your Grill On

It wouldn’t be the Fourth of July without grilled hot dogs, brats and burgers. However, according to the US Fire Administration, about 5700 grill fires take place on residential properties each year. Before breaking out the grill, clean your grill before you fire it up to remove any grease or fat buildup to avoid a fire hazard. Make sure you're prepared with a fire extinguisher or water hose nearby in case a fire starts. Keep your grill away from your home and deck railings, and avoid placing it under low hanging branches or vegetation. Keep children and pets away from the grilling area and never leave your grill unattended.

Plan Before Boating

Boating accidents are a typical claim for Independence Day. Before taking the family out on the Lake to watch the fireworks by water, make sure you inspect your boat to ensure proper functionality. Check your navigation lights, battery, and engine. Be sure you've got plenty of life vests on board for all of your passengers, and that they're not water logged or rotted. Besides inspecting your boat, you should also designate a sober driver if you and your guests intend to drink. One of the most common boating incident factors is drunk driving. And look out for other boaters on the Lake, as they may not be paying attention to their surroundings. 

Check Your Coverage

The most important thing to consider when preparing for your Fourth of July celebration is your insurance coverage. The last thing you want is for an incident to occur on your property and to find out afterword that you didn't have proper coverage to protect you financially or legally. It's best to contact your insurance agent at the Lake of the Ozarks before your celebration to go over your coverage and make sure you're protected in the event of any potential incidents. Insure the Lake knows that understanding your insurance policy may be the last thing on your mind. That's why we're here to help guide you through selecting the right coverage for your needs, or making changes to your current policy when needed. Give us a call today to discuss your home, auto, boating, and business insurance needs at the Lake of the Ozarks, and have a safe and fun Independence Day!

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About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.

Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral