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Tips for Safe Thanksgiving Turkey - Deep Frying Can Cause House FireIf you have been thinking that overeating is the worst thing that could happen on Thanksgiving Day, you would be wrong. Cooking that feast can also be fraught with peril. Did you know that, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving Day is the most dangerous day of the year for home cooking fires? In fact, the number of house fires that occur on Thanksgiving Day is double to triple those on any other day of the year.

Deep Frying the Turkey Could Ruin Your Day

The thought of serving that golden brown, juicy and delicious turkey to your guests is appealing. In fact, if done with extreme caution, deep frying can also greatly shorten the cooking time. But ignoring the safety warnings and taking dangerous shortcuts has been known to result in home fires that cause serious injury, property damage and even death from the home fires that occur.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns that most turkey frying accidents happen at the time when the oil is being heated – even before the turkey is added. If the oil overheats, it can ignite. So paying strict attention when heating the oil and turning off the fryer immediately if any smoke appears makes all the difference.

This video shows what can happen when turkey deep-frying goes bad.

Is Deep Fried Turkey on Your Menu This Year?

If so, you’ll want to do your homework to learn the best technique and what to avoid well in advance. To help you, we’ve included a Recipe for Deep-Fried Turkey to help with the preparation. It also includes a video with step by step instructions to keep you safe,

Homeowners Insurance Tip

No one believes a home fire – especially on one of the biggest holidays of the year when loved ones are gathered. Nevertheless, you must be prepared. Part of that preparation is being sure, in advance, that your Homeowners Insurance will cover such fire-related accidents. So if you have not reviewed your homeowners insurance policy recently, why not do it now. Just contact your insurance agent to be sure of your coverage.

Here in Laurel, MD, at Community Insurance Services of Maryland, our experienced agents would be glad to help you explore your current coverage with an insurance policy review to let you know if you anything in your policy needs your attention. It is important to do this long before you ever need to file a claim.


Friday, 14 October 2016 15:35

Road rage can affect your auto insurance policy, coverage and optionsI’m sure you’d agree that traffic roadway gridlock, back-ups and other car travel issues will try the patience of even the calmest driver. But most drivers take it in stride. Then there are the drivers that tend to become aggressive; but even those drivers don’t take it to the next level and act out with road rage.

If you find it difficult to stay cool on the road, consider this: depending upon the circumstances, if you become aggressive while driving and end up in an auto accident, your car insurance may no longer protect you.

In “Keep Your Cool When Road Rage Hits”, Erie Insurance offers that It’s important to keep control when dealing with an aggressive driver and not retaliate in order to prevent further problems. It offers "six tips to help you keep your cool when dealing with aggressive drivers so you don’t become one yourself.”  Read the article to learn more about road rage and how to best protect yourself.

Auto Insurance Tip

You might be surprised to learn that road rage is characterized as an exemption in many Auto Insurance policies because damage stemming from aggressive driving is not actually an accident but instead is the result of risky behavior. Your insurance agent should be able to tell you more about how to remain in control and avoid road rage.

In Laurel MD, at Community Insurance Services of Maryland is a full service agency offering homeowners insurance, auto/car insurance, business/commercial insurance and life insurance throughout Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. Our experienced insurance agents welcome your inquiries and are glad to discuss your coverage needs at any time.

Friday, 16 September 2016 14:59

college bound how does that affect insuranceWill you soon have teens who will attend college away from home? If so, then you are likely already in the midst of handling that seemingly never-ending list of things to do before they’re ready for campus life. One item that is often overlooked is how this change in your family’s life will affect your insurance coverage. Will they be taking a car to school? What living arrangements will they have – in the dorm or off-campus? These are two of the many questions you’ll need to resolve that will likely affect your auto and homeowners insurance.

In their article titled “Back to College Q & A”, Erie Insurance offers “answers to a few of the most common questions that parents of college students have” and provides tips to keep your students’ property protected.  Read the entire article to learn what you need to know about auto insurance and homeowners insurance protection for your college students.

Insurance Discount Tip

If your college student is young, unmarried, attending college full-time away from home with no use of a vehicle, then you might be eligible for a discount on your Auto Insurance policy. Why not discuss this with your insurance agent; and while you’re at it, ask about other other multi-policy discounts that might also apply. Then you can cross this item off your college planner, assured that you have the right coverage in place before you send your teen off to school.

Here in Laurel, MD, at Community Insurance Services of Maryland, we offer auto/car insurance, homeowners insurance, business/commercial insurance and life insurance to residents of Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. . We welcome the opportunity to discuss your coverage needs and questions at any time.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016 16:09

fall back smoke alarm clock picOnce again, as we “fall back” – to end Daylight Savings Time and return to standard time, it's a perfect time to remember to change our smoke alarm batteries.  Adopting the habit of changing smoke alarm batteries either at the end or the beginning of Daylight Savings Time will keep your family safe, protect your home from fire and smoke damage and help you to avoid homeowners insurance claims.

We all know the value of a reliable smoke alarm in our home. However, having a smoke alarm isn't enough. A good fire safety plan requires that the smoke alarms actually work.  Getting into the habit of doing a quick check of your smoke alarm devices each month will ensure that they are working properly, and changing the batteries at least once a year will ensure that their batteries are fresh and strong. 

If Neglected, Smoke Alarms Might Stop Working

Smoke alarms can stop working because they outlive their usefulness, especially if they are more than 10 years old. However, more commonly, these alarms don't work because their battery is dead or because the smoke alarm has been disconnected or is missing its batteries.  In fact, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) warns that almost two-thirds of home fire deaths in 2005-2009 resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or non-working smoke alarms.

The Smoke Alarm Remind Might Not Remind You

You might wonder why you would not just wait until the smoke alarm beeping alerts you that your smoke alarm batteries need to be replaced.  That's a bad idea for many reasons such as…

  • If you are not at home during time when the beeping alert begins until your smoke alarm batteries go totally dead, you might not be aware that they are not working. This leaves your family and your home unprotected against fire.
  • When the beeping alert occurs, if you don't have replacement smoke alarm batteries ready, you might be tempted to stop the beeping by removing the batteries or disconnecting your smoke alarm. Of course, this decreases your protection from a fire until you get your smoke alarm working again.
Sunday, 06 November 2011 13:02

floodingRecently, here on the east coast of the United States, we have been faced with some severe weather.  We survived Hurricane Irene, and the rainy season continues.  What do you do when a severe storm is forecast? Although the full force of a hurricane or serious tornado might not be our usual weather parttern, severe thunderstorms are a frequent threat, here in Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC and surrounding areas. These storms often produce flooding; and with the stormy season now upon us, we must take precautions.

When severe storms occur, your first obligation is to protect yourself and your family. But then, as a homeowner, you must protect your home if flooding threatens.  So it’s more critical than ever for you to have the right insurance coverage.  Since flooding is typically not covered by your homeowners policy, you will need a separate flood insurance policy. Remember: Waiting until the water starts to rise before seeking flood insurance means that your largest investment – your home – will not be protected. Flood insurance requires a waiting period before it becomes active. 

There are several steps to take before flooding strikes to help you avoid costly mistakes and protect your loved ones.

Wednesday, 07 September 2011 21:10
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