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According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are an average of 385,500 residential fires every year. While taking out a Homeowners insurance policy with fire insurance coverage will help protect you from the costs incurred from a house fire, following these fire safety tips can help prevent a fire from starting in your home. 

Fire Safety Tip #1: Don’t Smoke Indoors

Smoking indoors can cause more damage than you may realize. Over 18,000 fires are started by smoking materials annually, causing $476 million of property damage. While it’s best not to smoke indoors or on exterior balconies or porches, if you do, be sure to completely extinguish any cigarettes and never smoke when there’s a chance you might fall asleep. 

Fire Safety Tip #2: Keep Your Dryer Clean

It may surprise you but completing common household chores like cleaning the lint trap in your dryer can help prevent fires. In 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to almost 16,000 home structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines each year. In addition to keeping your washer and dryer clean, it’s best to only run them when you will be home to supervise, that way if a fire starts, you can take immediate action. 

Fire Safety Tip #3: Practice Summer Grill Safety

Over 10,000 house fires a year are attributed to grills and fire pits. Whether it’s because people use their grill too close to their home or they use the wrong fire starter to ignite the charcoal grill or fire pit, practicing summer grill safety can help prevent fires from starting. This includes everything from grill placement, making sure your grill is clean, safely disposing of charcoal briquettes, and never leaving your grill on while unattended. 

Fire Safety Tip #4: Don’t Leave Candles Unattended

Candles can create a relaxing ambiance for your home, but unattended candles can be incredibly dangerous. In fact, from 2011-2015, over 8,500 fires a year were started by candles, with $295 million in property damage. Never leave candles in a room unattended, especially if you have children or pets, and always make sure to clear the area around a candle of anything that could possibly ignite, including decorations, curtains, papers, etc. 

Fire Safety Tip # 5: Practice Firework Safety 

Fireworks and sparklers account for roughly 15,000 fires per year, including house fires, vehicle fires, and outdoor fires. To avoid injury and potential fires, it’s important to practice firework safety, including only using legal fireworks, having a designated area for setting off fireworks, only lighting off one firework at a time, only letting responsible adults use sparklers and fireworks, and properly disposing of firework remnants after they’ve been used. 

Fire Safety Tip # 6: Create a Wildfire Defensible Space

While wildfires are powerful and unpredictable, there are safety tips you can try if you live in an area threatened by wildfires to help create a wildfire defensible space, which could prevent the spread of wildfires. To do so, you might consider actions like keeping your lawn and plants watered, clearing away brush and debris, using fire-resistant shrubs and plants, storing firewood away from your home, and keeping your roof and gutters clear of leaves, needles, and debris. You’ll also want to practice additional fire safety if your area is experiencing a drought like nearly half of Washington state.

Smart technology and devices continue to revolutionize how we live. Most people want to stay up to date on the latest trends and technologies. It is estimated that there will be over 73 million smart homes by 2021. So if you want to be one of these trend setters, you will want to read this list of how you can start to make your home a smart home!

  1. The first, and most important, step to making your home a smart home is to get a smart home digital assistant. The two most popular home assistants are Amazon Echo (with Alexa) and Google Home. You can purchase either one of these at www.bestbuy.com 
  2. Adding smart light bulbs is another great way to make your home smarter. Using your smart home digital assistant you can control all the smart lights in your home via voice control or by the push of a button. You can also have different settings for the lighting in each room, and turn lights on and off when you’re not home!
  3. Installing a smart thermostat is a great way to automate the temperature throughout your home and can even save you money on your electric bill! Some smart thermostats can learn your favorite temperatures and even sense when people aren’t home to regulate the temperature.
  4. Replacing your regular doorbell with a smart doorbell is another step to making your home smarter and safer. Smart doorbells come with HD cameras so you can see who is at your door via your mobile device. You can also communicate through your smart doorbell if you need to.
  5. If you hate running the vacuum, you will definitely want a smart vacuum. High quality smart vacuums come with great sensors that allow them to navigate throughout your home and clean autonomously! Some also come with Wi-Fi connectivity so it allows you to control it via your smartphone.

Source: https://thesmarthomer.com/how-to-make-your-home-a-smart-home/

If you own a vehicle, you should own an auto insurance policy. Have you ever wondered how the cost of your policy is determined? There are a number of different factors that impact the cost of your auto insurance. While not all companies use the same parameters, we will help you understand what commonly determines the bottom line of your auto policy. 

First, your driving record – The better your record, the lower your premiums. If you have been in accidents or had serious traffic violations, it is likely you will pay higher premiums. How much you use your car is also considered while determining the cost of your premium. The more miles you drive, the more chance for an accident. Even where you park is taken into consideration. Do you park in a secure garage? Or do you park on a street?

Other factors taken into consideration while determining your auto insurance costs are: your age, your gender, the car you drive, and the amount of auto insurance you wish to carry. Mature drivers generally have fewer accidents than beginners. Statistics show that women are involved in fewer accidents, and when women are involved in an accident they tend to be less severe than men. The cost of your car and the amount of insurance coverage you want to carry are major factors in the cost of your policy as well.

Source: https://www.iii.org/article/what-determines-price-my-auto-insurance-policy

🌷Spring is here!  🌸  After a long dark and cold winter, the bright sun and warm winds of the spring are a breath of fresh air! The only downside? All that sunlight helps you see your leaf-filled gutters, cracked sidewalks, and dead plants in the flower beds. Get your home in shape for spring with this checklist!

1. Examine Roof Shingles: Examine the roof to see if any shingles were lost or damaged under the winter snow and ice.

2. Check the Gutters: Loose or leaky gutters can cause improper drainage, which can lead to water in your basement or crawlspace during the spring rain.

3. Inspect the Concrete: Inspect concrete slabs for signs of cracks or movement. Fill cracks with concrete crack filler or silicone caulk, power-wash, and then seal the concrete.

4. Remove Firewood: Firewood stored near the home for winter should be moved at least 18 inches off the ground and at least 2 feet from the structure.

5. Check Outside Faucets: Check outside faucets for freeze damage. While you’re at it, check your garden hose for dry rot.

6. Repair Window Screens: You will want to open the windows to let the fresh air in. Ensure small holes and tears are repaired so bugs don’t get in.

This is just a short list of items you can do to prepare your home for the spring. Winter was nice and cozy but, we are ready for the spring sunshine! While you are preparing your home for the spring, it is a great time to review your homeowners insurance! 

Source: https://www.hgtv.com/lifestyle/clean-and-organize/10-home-maintenance-tips-for-spring-pictures

A.C. Marmo & Sons, Fairfield, Fairfield NJ, NJ, New Jersey, Insurance, Auto Insurance, Jumpstart A Car, How To Jumpstart A Car, Dead Car Battery,

Trouble happens. You left your lights on and now you’re stuck with a dead car battery. While learning how to jump start a car can be easy, there are risks in it if done so incorrectly. As your insurance agent, we care about your safety so we put together the following guide on how to properly get you and your car charged and back on the road.

What do you need to jump start a car?

Before you can recharge and get going, you need a few basics: jumper cables and a power source – either a portable jump battery (a jump box) or another vehicle.

Jumper cables are long, thickly insulated cables with toothy clips on one or both ends. These clips are called alligator clips. The clips are distinguished by color, usually red and black, to indicate positive and negative polarity. The red clip is positive. The black clip is negative.

Jump boxes are portable batteries used to jump start a vehicle without connecting to another vehicle and come with special jump cables. These cables connect the jump battery directly to the dead car battery. Road side assistance usually uses a jump box when helping stalled vehicles.

What do you need to know about car batteries to jump start a car?

Car batteries have two larger nubs, called terminals. There is a positive terminal and a negative terminal. Each should be clearly marked. Connecting cables to the right terminal is important to completing the circuit and gives power to the dead battery.

  • Positive terminal – The positive terminal is usually the bigger of the two terminals. It is marked with “POS” or “+”. It will connect to the positive clip on the jumper cable, which is usually red.
  • Negative terminal – The negative terminal on the battery is usually marked with “NEG” or “-”. This will attach to the other clip, which is usually black.

CAUTIONS WHEN JUMP STARTING A CAR: 

  • READ THE OWNER’S MANUAL. Some cars are not recommended for jump starting because they have sensitive circuitry
  • DO NOT JUMP corroded, cracked, leaking, or visibly damaged batteries
  • DO NOT JUMP frozen batteries
  • DO NOT JUMP dry batteries
  • DO NOT TOUCH CLIPS together. This is true when connected, but get in the habit by never touching the clips together.

Protect the donor battery

A quick test that there is enough voltage for the donor, be sure that the car giving the jump start headlights are steady and bright when the car is started. If the headlights dim, that can signal that the battery is low.

How do you use jumper cables to jump start a car from another vehicle?

  1. CHECK BATTERIES: Make sure that the battery giving the jump has enough voltage and is a matching voltage system type (12V, 6V, etc.)
  2. READY CARS: Put both cars in park or neutral, turn the ignitions off, and put on the parking brake.
  3. OPEN THE HOOD of each car.
  4. ATTACH ALLIGATOR CLIPS to the terminals in the following order:
    • Red to Dead – Connect red, or positive, clip to the positive terminal on the battery of the dead car.
    • Red to Donor – Connect the red, positive, clip to the positive terminal on the donor battery on the other car.
    • Black to Donor – Connect the black clip to the negative terminal of the donor car.
    • Black to Metal – Connect the black clip to an unpainted metal part of the dead car that is not directly next to the battery. One of the metal struts that hold the hood open is a good place to clip the second black, or negative, clip.
  5. START THE DONOR CAR so that the battery can supply power to the dead battery.
  6. IDLE the donor car, allowing it to run for a few minutes.
  7. TEST the interior light of the car being jump started. If it goes on, there may be enough power.
  8. START the dead car.

After the car is jump started: 

Unclip the clips in the reverse order you connected them:

    • The black clip on the unpainted metal
    • The black clip from the negative terminal
    • Red clip from the donor car
    • Red clip from the dead car’s battery

If the jump works and your car starts, don’t shut off your engine! Drive around for at least 15 minutes to recharge your battery. If the car won’t start the next time you use it, the battery isn’t holding a charge and needs to be replaced.

Watch these steps for jump starting a car from Safe2Drive.

At A.C. Marmo & Sons, Inc., your road safety is very important to us. Call us at 973-340-9100 or visit our website at https://www.acmarmo.com/ to discuss your auto insurance needs. We can provide coverage from many insurance carriers so you receive the insurance for your budget and needs!

Source: https://www.idrivesafely.com/defensive-driving/trending/how-jump-car-simple-steps-bring-your-car-battery-back-life and https://www.dummies.com/home-garden/car-repair/how-to-jump-start-a-car/

Here are some recent raves from our customers:

“Been with Bob and crew for 22 years. Always professional and a pleasure to deal with. Recommend them HIGHLY!” -Bill B.

“Contacted Ray Viola to help me get better insurance for my home and car. He took the time to explain what everything meant and provide me with better insurance for better coverage at almost the same price.” -Catty

“Bob Marmo has provided outstanding service to our family business since we relocated in New Jersey in 1990. We take great comfort knowing Bob always has our company’s best interests in mind.”-Tim Mac

“All of the people at AC Marmo & Sons are very knowledgeable, make the very best effort to find the cheapest and best insurance to cover all of one’s needs, and go beyond and outside the box.” -Theresa Z.

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