It’s Tax Season — Protect Yourself from IRS Scams

As tax season nears, unfortunately IRS scams become more common. It’s important to note that the IRS does not call taxpayers. If the IRS needs to get in touch with you, they will do so via letter — not the phone, not email and not via social media. One of the more recent IRS scam calls warns a taxpayer about a “time sensitive and urgent matter” related to fraud and/or misconduct on the taxpayer’s fax filing. The callers typically do not … Continued

Safety Around Snow Plows and Snowblowers

It looks like we have a winter storm headed our way — with that in mind, we thought we’d share some safety reminders about safely playing outdoors when plows are on the streets, tips for youth who may be new to driving in winter conditions when plows are on the road and safety reminders for operating snowblowers. Playing Outdoors Most children love playing outdoors during a heavy snowfall — but please caution children to stay at least 10 feet away from … Continued

Is Your Furnace Safe for Winter Use?

If your house has a gas furnace, it’s important you follow safety guidelines to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and limit the potential for fires. Make certain the area around your furnace is clean. Natural gas is highly flammable so be certain to vacuum and/or sweep around the furnace to remove lint, saw dust, dirt and other flammable items from the area surrounding the furnace. Cordon off the furnace from young children. Young children may inadvertently place flammable items, toys, blankets, … Continued

Get Ready for Winter with Chimney and Fireplace Safety

Winter is the perfect season for the family to gather around a fireplace. Before you sit back and enjoy a warm and cozy fire, it’s important you take a few steps to ensure your fireplace and chimney are in tip-top shape. Have your chimney annually inspected by a certified chimney sweep. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the majority of chimney fires go undetected. That means you could have structural damage to your chimney and surrounding areas … Continued

Research Indicates Children More Likely to Wake to their Mother’s Voice than a Fire Alarm

A new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics found that children between the ages of 5 – 12 are three times more likely to wake if they hear their mother’s voice than they are if they hearing a beeping fire alarm. Further, the study found that children wake faster — and would therefore be more likely to escape — upon hearing their mother’s voice. Children typically woke within two seconds of a voice alarm and in 2.5 minutes for a beeping … Continued