Category Archives: Topics

Topics discussed on First Protector Insurance.

Benefits of a Programmable Thermostat

Without the benefits of a programmable thermostat, your energy bill might rise with the mercury

programmable thermostatHave you ever left your home in the morning forgetting to adjust your thermostat up or down, and worried 1) what will my electric/gas bill look like this month, or 2) how uncomfortable will the temperature be in my home when I return?  Or, have you either woken up in the middle of the night uncomfortably warm, or felt too cold in the morning and resisted getting up to adjust the thermostat?  All of these scenarios could soon be a thing of the past with a programmable thermostat.  In recent years, these thermostats have become quite popular, and the more sophisticated models have many features you may not even be aware of.  These are a few of the benefits of a programmable thermostat:

Cost Savings

Probably the best benefit of a programmable thermostat is that when it is used properly it will save you money – even as much as 10% a year off your heating or cooling bill!  These savings will likely pay for the thermostat itself within the first year of installing it.  Programmable thermostats work by allowing you to program it with a heating and cooling schedule, so it can follow this unique scheduling rather than adjusting toward only one temperature.  When you are not at home or sleeping, you turn the thermostat back from its normal setting so the system does not operate as much.

Increased Comfort

Another wonderful benefit of a programmable thermostat is that it stores multiple daily settings.  You can keep these settings the same every day, or change the temperature settings each day to better maximize your comfort.  Imagine sleeping in a nice cool temperature, but having the system preset to be just slightly warmer before you are ready to wake up, much nicer right?  Coming home in the evening your home will be at the perfect temperature for you based on your setting preferences, without the high bill worries.

Programmable Thermostat Features

When shopping for a programmable thermostat, you may want to review exactly what features are important to you.  All of them will include the multiple setting features, but some include advanced features such as: vacation settings, humidity sensors, and multiple cooling and heating stages.  Some also have features where you can remotely access the system and override the program from a phone or computer, say if you are working later than usual and you want to postpone the heat or AC from turning on.  There are even models that analyze the current weather conditions along with the size of and activity levels in your home, and then recommend the best energy efficient settings for you.

Overall, the benefits of a programmable thermostat are pretty astounding.  They do not contain mercury, and they are more accurate and convenient than manual thermostats.  Think about installing one in your home to help cut back expenses and increase comfort.

First Protector Insurance provides valuable tips to keep your home, and pockets, safe from unnecessary expenses.

Gun Storage Safety Tips

Set your sights on these gun storage safety tips from First Protector

Gun Storage SafetyMany people enjoy owning and operating firearms. But, with gun ownership comes the responsibility of safely securing these possessions, especially when there are children in the home. Besides keeping the kids safe, you don’t want your guns to be accessible to any unauthorized persons. Burglars look for unsecured firearms in the home because they can easily sell them on the street, or worse, use them in other crimes. Below are some gun storage safety tips for consideration:

Safe and Secure Storage
You have multiple options for safe gun storage in the home. Whether you choose a lockable drawer or cabinet, a lockbox, or invest in a gun cabinet or safe, the key is to ensure your firearms are in a location that is not accessible by children, and cannot be retrieved by anyone without your expressed permission. If you keep guns for home security, your own accessibility should be a factor in deciding the location of your storage configuration, with the type of locking mechanism you are most comfortable using. Nowadays your alarm company can even install wireless sensors to your gun safe door, and offer interactive monitoring through your smart phone any time the door is opened, even if the house alarm system is not armed.

Store Guns and Ammo Separately
Another gun storage safety tip is to store your ammo in a separate locked area from your firearms. This separation adds an additional level of safety if in fact an unauthorized adult or a child is able to access your gun, they may not be able to access the ammo and pose a threat to themselves or your family. An additional important safety practice is to always ensure your cleaned firearms are put away immediately after you return home, and emptied of any ammo.

Use Gun Locking Devices
When not in use, gun locking devices attach to the firearm and prevent their firing by either locking the chamber (preventing the ammo from being loaded properly or blocking its ejection), or halting any motion of the trigger. Because gun locks can potentially be used incorrectly or malfunction, it is always safest to use these devices in conjunction with secure storage.

These are just a few gun storage safety tips from First Protector Insurance helping to ensure your family’s safety. “Proper storage of your firearms is the number one way to help prevent accidents” according to Steve Sanetti, National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSFF) President and CEO. “Anyone who is going to own a firearm should respect it and secure it when not in use to help prevent firearm accidents and misuse.”

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon Monoxide PoisoningCarbon monoxide gas has no odor, taste, or color.  What it does have is the ability to cause you and your family grave illness, or even death. According to the CDC, each year more than 400 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning that is not linked to fires, and more than 20,000 people visit the emergency room each year suffering from its effects.  Carbon monoxide comes from the burning exhaust of fuels such as oil, wood, coal, and natural or propane gas and a leak occurs or there is poor ventilation.  Portable generators, your vehicles, gas appliances, furnaces, and your fireplace are all common culprits of carbon monoxide buildup in the home.  Because many people rely on portable generators for heat after a winter storm power outage, it is not surprising that most portable generator-related carbon monoxide deaths occur in homes during colder months.

Follow these tips for carbon monoxide poisoning prevention:

  • Never cook indoors with gas or charcoal grills.
  • Do not leave your vehicle running in your garage. Also, have your car’s exhaust system checked every year.  A small leak in the exhaust system or a blocked tail pipe can both lead to a build-up of carbon monoxide inside the vehicle itself.
  • When you buy gas equipment or appliances, check that it carries the approval seal of a national testing agency. It is always safest to have any new gas, coal, or oil burning appliance installed by a service professional, someone who knows exactly how to properly connect and vent the item.
  • Portable generators should never be used in attached garages or basements, and should always be placed outdoors where exhaust fumes cannot enter through any openings to the home.
  • Your fireplace should be cleaned of debris every year as carbon monoxide can build up when the chimney is blocked.

Carbon monoxide poisoning prevention should be taken very seriously.  Common carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, or an upset stomach are not overly obvious, and young infants or people with chronic health issues are more likely to be strongly affected or killed by the fumes. You can be harmed by being exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide over a short time, or to lower levels over a longer period of time. You should make sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home.  If your detector alarm goes off do not ignore it, get everyone out of the house and then call 911 immediately.

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