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    Personal Insurance Blog

    Halloween (the movie) & Minimizing Risk

    Posted by Geoffrey Gordon

    Thu, Oct 25, 2018 @ 05:09 PM

    Halloween Pumpkin Pic

    The latest remake of the 1978 original “Halloween” horror flick surprised a few people with its opening weekend sales of $77 million! This was more than double the formerly highest grossing “Halloween” movie ($26 million its opening weekend in 2007). Looking at these large dollar figures, it seems that people like to get scared more in a group (such as in a theatre) than at home. What’s the appeal? When things go wrong…when things get scary…there is comfort in numbers.

    Numbers provide a measure of predictability and certainty to a situation. On the other hand, unpredictability and uncertainty are at the core of risk, which causes us stress. With theatres under tremendous competition from streaming providers such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, the horror theme seems to be well positioned to scare a bunch of people together.

    In our homes, we can minimize uncertainty of seasonal changes by preparing our homes for cold weather beginning in the fall, and prompted by setting our clocks back. Here's a short list for a Saturday after Halloween:

    • Clean gutters (or hire a handyman for this)
    • close all sill cocks (outside water faucets) from inside (to prevent freezing)
    • inspect the chimney liner if you burn wood - let a chimney company do this)
    • change air filters for air based heat,
    • check around windows for any caulking needs

    Also, review the checkups we should do twice a year (when we put our clocks forward or back):

    • Check tags and location of fire extinguishers (can you locate a fire extinguisher right now?)
    • Change out the batteries on smoke and CO2 detectors
    • Has your family makeup changed such that a review of your family's disaster exit plan should be updated?

    There's also value in numbers, including the number of people at Gordon Atlantic standing behind your insurance, and who have experience with risk reduction, claims mitigation, and claims handling. Always let us know how we can reduce the cost of risk (uncertainty and unpredictability) in your world.

    Call to speak to a Gordon Atlantic Insurance professional by calling 1-800-649-3252. Prefer to type versus talk? Click below.

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    Tags: Halloween, risk, safety, seasonal, safety tips, minimizing risk, scary movie, uncertainty

    Halloween Safety

    Posted by Julia Kirslis

    Fri, Oct 18, 2013 @ 11:09 AM

     

    HalloweenSafety_Large.jpg

    The Halloween spirit has spread from the inside to the outside of the home, with homeowners setting up elaborate displays that range from haunted houses in the basement to graveyards on the lawn, as well as high-tech LED lighting outdoors. When planning and setting up your Halloween decorations, it is a good idea to consider any potential risks involved.


    Be Aware of Dangers that Might Not be Visible During the Night

    • Walk your property before Halloween to identify and minimize potential dangers, especially those difficult to see after dark. For example, check to make sure temporary extension cords are secured to avoid becoming a tripping hazard.
    • Make sure walking surfaces are even and clear of debris, and that any obstacles are clearly marked, such as stakes, exposed roots or holes.
    • Ensure that your front yard, walkway and entry way are well-lit so that those unfamiliar with your home can safely navigate. If using a fog machine, be careful that the fog does not make it difficult to see tripping hazards.

    Remember that Welcoming the Neighborhood Inside Also Invites Risk

    • When hosting a haunted house, make sure to allow adequate floor and exit lighting. Keep exits clear to help prevent tripping.
    • Avoid advertising the event in your neighborhood or on social media.
      • If charging for admission for a haunted house or other forms of entertainment, be aware that this could be considered a business activity and you should consult with your agent or insurance company representative to ensure you have the proper coverage.

    Be Smart about Where You Place Decorations

    • Set up decorations with traffic flow in mind. Place them to prevent tipping over, blowing away or becoming a tripping hazard.
    • When plugging in your scary indoor decorations, do not overload electrical outlets.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to help avoid damage to your home or injury to your guests. For example, make sure inflatable decorations are secured properly and kept away from sources of ignition.

    Set Up Spooky Lighting with Caution

    • Avoid any kind of open flame.
    • Consider using battery-operated candles or LED lighting as a safe alternative to candles.
    • Do not drape costumes or other fabrics over light bulbs, which generate heat and can start a fire.

    Choose Decorations Wisely

    • Avoid dried flowers, cornstalks and crêpe paper because they are highly combustible. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
    • Use lights and other electrical decorations that have been tested for safety – look for a certification mark from UL, CSA, ETL or another nationally-recognized laboratory.
    • When plugging in decorations, avoid daisy chaining extension cords, which may cause overheating.
    • Never staple, nail through or fasten electrical wires or extension cords in any way that might damage the wire or insulation. This could cause electrical shock or fire.
    • Plug all outdoor lights and decorations into ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to help reduce the risk of electric shock. Portable GFCIs for outdoor use can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold.

    Do Not be Frightened by the Risks

    • Give yourself peace of mind and speak with your insurance agent to make sure you are properly covered.
    • Consider an umbrella policy that could provide extra protection in case of an accident.   

     

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    Tags: Halloween, safety, cell phones, costumes, decorations, october, light safety, trick or treating, trick, ghost, witch, ghoul, skeleton, princess, pretend, make believe, all hallows eve, sweets, spooky, treat, candy, monster

    Jack-O-Lantern Tips and Tricks

    Posted by Marge Libby

    Wed, Sep 25, 2013 @ 08:00 AM

    As October 31st draws ever nearer, nothing helps get a home or workplace into the autumnal spirit quite like a well-carved pumpkin.

    Keep it Fresh!

    pumpkin

    Like all other fruits and vegetables, pumpkins will rot as time passes. Rotting organic matter, especially in such a large form as a pumpkin, can produce noxious odors and attract unwanted pests to your porch or lawn. Luckily, a few simple tricks using common kitchen materials may help to extend the life of your jack-o-lantern and keep the fall spirit strong even after Halloween has ended. When you have finished hollowing and carving your pumpkin, submerge it completely in a large container of water with one teaspoon of bleach per gallon. The bleach can help to kill bacteria inside and on the surface of the pumpkin and help to keep it fresh longer. After about 8 hours have passed, flip the pumpkin over to let the bleach drain out. Once completely dry, add 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to a quart of water. Brushing this solution onto your pumpkin at regular intervals can help maintain the color and strength of the pumpkin skin for weeks!

    Safe Carving

    According to Consumer Reports, the best way to enjoy pumpkin carving is to be safe and follow a few simple rules: 

    • Use the right tools. Consumer Reports tested pumpkin-carving kits a few years ago and observed that one advantage of the specialty tools—readily found online and in convenience stores—was that they can saw through rinds, poke holes, and scoop out innards without being razor-sharp. The instruments were also generally small, which made them easier to control than knives and easier to use when making intricate cuts. 
    • Carve before taking off the top of the pumpkin. If you carve first, you won't be tempted to put your hand inside the pumpkin, which is when many accidents occur.
    • Take precautions. That means carving in a clean, dry, and well-lit area, keeping your hands and tools clean and dry, and taking your time.
    • Don’t let kids carve. The Pediatrics study found that most Halloween accidents happen to kids ages 10 to 14. So don’t let children 14 and younger do the actual carving. Instead, have them draw the pattern with a marker and clean out the pulp and seeds with their hands or a spoon—but make sure an adult does the actual cutting. It’s important to supervise older teens, too.

    Did you know?

    Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of "All Hallows' Evening") is also known as All Hallows' Eve.  It is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31.

    The difficulties associated with maintaining the quality of a jack-o-lantern are examples of manageable risks, which by careful planning can be avoided to some degree. Likewise, the risks involved with pumpkin carving safety are also manageable, by taking certain precautions at all times. To learn more about managing the risks in your life, give us a call, or contact us online. Learn about personal insurance here.

    Read another blog on Pumpkin Carving Safety.

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    Marge Libby

    Tags: Halloween, Halloween, halloween safety, halloween safety, pumpkin carving, pumpkin carving safety, pumpkin safety, Halloween pumpkin safety, jack-o-lantern safety, jack-o-lantern, jack-o-lantern, jackolantern, pumpkin

    Pumpkin Carving Safety

    Posted by Julia Kirslis

    Sat, Oct 20, 2012 @ 12:23 PM

    It's that time of year again- the decorations are out, costumes and candy are being purchased, and the nights grow colder and spookier. What more could you want?

    A jack-o-lantern, obviously.Stay safe this halloween while carving pumpkins andrew gordon inc insurance norwell ma

    Carving pumpkins is an annual Halloween tradition celebrated and enjoyed by kids and adults alike. However, using sharp blades to punch out holes in pumpkins isn’t necessarily the safest activity. In fact, hand and finger injuries are extremely common when it comes to pumpkin carving activities. Here are a couple of safety tips:

    -Make sure you can see. Although this might sound ridiculous, you should not carve your pumpkin in the dark. You must have full visibility of everything and everyone around you. You wouldn’t want to accidentally cut someone else’s finger.

    -Don’t slip up. Pumpkins are filled with pulp, pumpkin juices, seeds, and all that jazz, so a slippery surface comes with the job. Dry off everything as much as you can in order to avoid a slippery knife.

    -Know your tools. Obviously, you will be using knives to carve out the pumpkin. Do not let young children use knives. Make sure that the knives are sharp enough to cut Carve your pumpkins with knife safety and personal from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell ma this halloweenthe pumpkin, but not dull enough to not work. If the knives don't work, there is a chance that a.) the knife will break or b.) you will break.

    -Kids and knives do not mix. You should never leave children unsupervised when it comes to carving. Even with the older crowd, make sure someone responsible is there. We recommend that younger children trace the design of their pumpkin and allow the adult to carve. That way, they get the fun of designing a pumpkin, but avoid the risk of injury.

    -Where should you carve? Not on your lap. You should always carve on a smooth, horizontal surface. Carve the top of the pumpkin off only after you have carved the face- this way, you avoid the temptation of holding the pumpkin on the other side and slicing your fingers.

    -Light the way. Use battery-powered candles. These candles give off the same illusion without the risk of starting a fire. Plus, you can use them for years!

    We hope you keep these tips in mind as you enjoy the pumpkin carving/Halloween season!

    If you have any questions about insurance, don’t be afraid to contact us. (We aren't as scary as half the Halloween costumes out there!) Learn more about personal insurance here

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    Julia Kirslis

    Tags: Halloween, safety, insurance, jack-o-lantern, jackolantern, pumpkin, knife, knives, carving

    Halloween! Spiders & Witches & Goblins, Oh My!

    Posted by Sandra Cornell

    Thu, Oct 20, 2011 @ 06:31 PM

    Prepare yourself and loved ones for Halloween and other holidays with these safety tips and home auto life from Gordon InsuranceHalloween can be a fun time for kids and adults alike. Trick or Treating, Costume Parties,  Bobbing for Apples… the fun never seems to end.

    But along with all this fun, there is the potential for danger. Here are some things to consider while celebrating All Hallows Eve:

    1) Check the labels on your kids’ costumes to be sure they are fire proof or at lease fire retardant.

    2) Always have an adult or older sibling accompany young children when they go trick or treating.

    3) Consider applying reflective tape to your child's costume.

    4) Equip your child with a flashlight or other light device.

    And of course, there’s all that candy! While most people enjoy providing treats for the tricksters, there are those devious individuals who do intentional harm. We’ve all heard the stories of razor blades in apples, alcohol or drugs injected into apples or oranges and of course the poisons added to candy. Your best bet is to advise your child not to eat any of their treats until you have a chance to check them out (good luck with that!). Better yet, why not host a Halloween party in your home where you have control of what is eaten. Giving prizes for the best, worst or scariest costumes, bobbing for apples, etc. are all sure to keep the kids happy AND SAFE!

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    And for scarily helpful resources and insurance information, visit our website or get a quote. Happy Halloween from A G Gordon, Inc!

       

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    Sandi Cornell

    Tags: Halloween, safety, holiday, Parties, Trick or Treat, trick or treating safety

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