Tips for Power Tool Safety

power drill

What would you do without power tools? Well, you’d probably take on fewer home-improvement projects — and probably have a lot more calluses on your hands.

Thankfully, you don’t have to do without. But you do have to use tools safely, if you want to do good work and keep all of your fingers and appendages intact, anyway.

How do you do that? These recommendations from the University of California Cooperative Extension and the Power Tool Institute will help.

Start with some heavy … reading. We know, you just want to start using that new circular saw/nail gun/belt sander — but take the time to read the instructions. They’ll help you get the most out of your tool, both in terms of safety and performance.

Then, do a little journaling. OK, not really. But you should write down the details of your new tool (and your others as well). Include a description, serial number and a copy of the receipt if you have it, because it all will come in handy if your tools are ever stolen, or damaged in a fire or other disaster. Not big on writing? Photos or videos are great, too.

Is it finally time to work? Yes — as long as you’ve got the right safety gear, including eye and ear protection, a mask or respirator if the project will kick up a lot of dust or other fine debris, and protective clothing that isn’t loose.

But don’t rush things. Working too quickly can lead to injuries. Always stay in control by making sure your work area is stable and clean, using both hands to operate your power tools and avoiding distractions while you work. Don’t ever use these tools if you’re tired, sick or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Not only will you jeopardize your safety, you probably won’t be happy with your work.

And don’t forget maintenance, either. Keep your tools clean and stored in a safe, secure area. Replace parts, such as blades, as soon as they become bent or warped; don’t ever use tools that have been damaged. When you follow the manufacturer’s instructions, use a little common sense and treat your tools well, they should serve you faithfully for years. Let’s hope that deck you’re building will, too.

Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance®.

Top image by Flickr user jseliger1 used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 2.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Earthquake Insurance Agent Seattle, WA

Is Earthquake Insurance Required? Learn About The Coverage.

Earthquake Insurance Agent Seattle, WAWe have all heard of earthquake insurance, but is it required to purchase if you own a home, condo or investment property? The answer is no. However, it is important to keep in mind that your standard home, condo or investment property insurance policy would not be cover you in the event your home was damaged from an earthquake. You would need a specialized insurance policy for earthquake coverage.

Well, what does my home insurance cover then?

Your home insurance policy covers you for many things! In the event your home is damaged from a fire, your policy provides coverage to fix the damage and can replace your personal belongings that were damaged.

If your home is damaged from wind, hail or lightning, you also have coverage.

Your home insurance policy also provides personal liability protection. This gives you coverage for scenarios like someone getting injured on your property or if your dog bites a neighbor. Your home insurance can cover the medical payments for the individual injured too.

Lastly, your home insurance can pay for expenses related to your home not being livable due to the damage. Therefore, the cost of a hotel, food and other living expenses you collect while your home is being repaired can be covered.

How much is earthquake insurance?

Like any insurance policy, it depends on many factors such as where you live, how old your home is, what type of home you own, etc. Talk to one of our agents about getting a free earthquake insurance quote. We can go over your options based on different coverages, then you can decide what policy may suit you best. This is always the best way to determine what earthquake insurance will cost since it is specific to the property being insured.

Know Your Disaster Plan

If an earthquake hits, do you know the safest spots in your home? For an earthquake specifically, where can you drop and cover in each room? Does everyone in your household also know where this is?

Other things that are important to know is how to shut off your utilities such as your gas, water or electricity. It may be important for every household member to know this information. Lastly, it’s important to always have a few emergency staples. Simple items like a fire extinguisher, flashlight, canned food, gloves, a blanket and water can all come in handy in the event a disaster hits.

While you can’t predict when an earthquake will strike, you can be prepared with an earthquake insurance policy as well as a home disaster plan. For an earthquake insurance quote, contact one of our agents.

What is water backup coverage and why is it important?

flooded wooden house

Water damage can be disastrous to your home. Imagine discovering that your entire basement is filled with brown water and sewage from a backed-up water main or other pipe. It’s not only disgusting and potentially dangerous, it’s also expensive. On average, most water backup claims cost $5,000-$10,000 to repair.

Water backup coverage is optional coverage that can be added to your existing homeowners policy for this type of situation. But since many homeowners policies either don’t cover water backups, or only offer limited protection, it’s worth learning more about this valuable and affordable option. Because you don’t want to find out you’re underinsured after you experience a water backup issue.

The amount of coverage you’ll need depends on several factors including:

  • Whether you have a finished or unfinished basement.
  • The size of your basement.
  • The type of flooring in your basement (carpet, vinyl, hardwood, etc.).
  • The type of wall material in your basement (drywall, paneling, etc.).
  • Whether your basement has a bathroom.
  • Whether you have a washer, dryer, or heating and cooling system in your basement.

Once we have this information, we can offer a quote for either adding the option or increasing your amount of water backup coverage. And the good news it this coverage is inexpensive. You can get quality coverage for less than $25 per month.
To discuss your current homeowners policy with an expert, contact us today.

Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance®.

Top image by Flickr user .waldec used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 2.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.