Is Your Commercial Property Ready for Old Man Winter?

Fall is upon us, and winter is right around the corner. Some of us don’t like to think about that, and others of us are excited about the prospect of a wintery wonderland. If you are a business owner, now is the time to get your commercial property ready for the winter season ahead. The results will be money saved and pleased customers!

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These great tips will help you decide what needs to be done to ensure the best winterization of your business for the changeover from fall to winter.

1. Make sure you have snow shovels and plenty of ice melt on hand in plenty of time before the first storm hits. Keeping walks and parking lots free from snow and ice hazards will help to prevent slips and falls.

2. Check property for trees with branches that could be an issue and make sure they are cut back from rooftops. Also, check rooftops for any loose or missing shingles, and make sure to repair or replace them before harsh weather sets in.

3. Clean out all gutters, and keep them free from debris. This will prevent drainage backup and possible damage to soffits and fascia.

4. Properly winterizing pipes is very important. Be sure to check recommended procedures for this and have it completed before frigid temperatures arrive. For more information on how to winterize and prevent frozen pipes go to the Cincinnati Insurance blog page.

5. Furnaces and all heating equipment should be serviced and prepared for regular usage before the start of the season.

6. One last tip, Cincinnati Insurance states that you should “Verify that your snow removal contractor has a certificate of insurance.”

Even though frosty weather isn’t here yet, it’s coming. So, prepare your business and it will be smooth sledding! For additional information on preparing your business to fight old man winter, go to the Small Business Administration’s blog page.

We here at the Barker, Beck, Collins and Kronauge Agency want you to have a warm and safe winter this year!


Carbon Monoxide, A Silent Killer – 5 Tips to Protect Your Family

When you think of someone getting carbon monoxide (abbreviated CO) poisoning, you don’t usually think of it coming from your home.  Our homes are a place of security and protection.  However, this odorless, colorless, invisible gas strikes residences every year.  According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 150 people die each year from this unseen killer.  It is given off when heating with a gas furnace, or even using a gas dryer for clothes.    It also comes from other consumer products such as generators, fireplaces, and even water heaters.   The symptoms can mimic the flu without fever.  You can provide some added protection for your family by following these 5 tips:

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  1. Purchase a reliable CO alarm.
    There are a number of things to look at when purchasing one.  They come with a selection of features such as visual indicators, silence and test buttons.  Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions for installation and placement and make sure you look into local codes for requirements of unit placement.

  2. Never leave an automobile running in an attached garage, even if the garage door is open.  The carbon monoxide gas can still travel indoors and be a hazard to people and pets.

  3. Make sure you have annual inspection of your furnace or heating system by a professional inspector.  If you have a chimney, make sure to have it and the flue checked for blockages, corrosion, or disconnections.  Also make sure your appliances are installed and used properly.

  4. Know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning – such as dizziness, headache, lethargy, breathing difficulties, tightness of chest, and confusion.   CO poisoning often causes an individual’s blood pressure to rise, which can cause the skin to look pink or red.

  5. Portable generators or gasoline engine powered tools should never be operated in or near enclosed spaces, even if doors or windows are open.  CO levels can become trapped and quickly build up to lethal levels.

These helpful tips are just a small part of what you can do to protect your loved ones from CO poisoning.  For more questions and answers regarding carbon monoxide poisoning, check out the CPSC website.


As always, we here at Barker, Beck, Collins and Kronauge Agency have your family’s health and safety at heart.

Enjoy the Fall Festivities at These Fun Local Events

Our Go Weekend Picks are back!  So whether you enjoy getting out in the fall weather (possibly winter this weekend), or enjoy the warmth of indoors there is plenty to do in the Dayton and Cincinnati area over the next few days and weeks!  There is something for everyone in the family, from spooky to spectacular!  Check out this terrific list

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Family Friendly
Try out Spooktacular Aerospace fun at the National Museum of The Air Force this weekend.  This historic museum originated in 1923, and is the world’s oldest and largest military aviation museum. There is a wealth of education and exciting things to explore here.  This weekend in particular, kids can wear a costume, have a sit for a scary story, get their face painted or go on a scavenger hunt.  There is a ton of fun awaiting and much more to do at this entertaining family event!  

The Air Force Museum is located on Springfield Street at Wright Field (Gate 28B), Wright-Patterson Air-Force Base, 6 miles northeast of Dayton, Ohio.  

Their address is:
1100 Spaatz Street
Wright-Patterson AFB, OH  45433

For more information on this family friendly event, click here.

If a spookingly good time is what you want, then visit Waynesville, Ohio this weekend for more great family activities.  Take in a
Quaker Hill Ghost Tour  at the Museum at the Friends Home.  This intriguing museum offers a unique experience.  It is housed in The 1905 Friends Boarding Home at the top of Quaker Hill, was home to retired Quakers and single school teachers in its early days. Click here for Waynesville’s complete calendar of events for additional fall fun things to do.

Young’s Dairy in Yellow Springs, Ohio is known for its homemade ice cream, and my family and I took many a late night trips there for that delectable taste!  This farm was built in 1869 starting with one red barn and has grown ever since.  Not only can you get your favorite ice cream, but you can pet the animals, putt putt golf, and have dinner if you like.  There are also some fun filled scares going on there this fall.  Take in the haunted wagon ride, or spooky story telling.  For more information, such as times, and directions,
click here.

If you love animals, then the Cincinnati Zoo’s Hallzooween event is the perfect place to teleport your little ghouls and boys this weekend, as it’s the final weekend of this affair.  Be sure not to miss out!
Click here for more information on this hairy, but not scary event!

Wherever you are heading this weekend, all of us at Barker, Beck, Collins and Kronauge Agency hope you have a fun filled time with laughter and joy!


Is Your Home Fireproofed? October is National Fire Prevention Month

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The fall season is in full swing now with football games and trick or treat to get us prepared for the holidays to come. Many people will have their homes full of visitors, and the pleasant aroma of pumpkin pie and great company will be just the thing for our holiday cheer.  Nothing can put a damper on that more than an unexpected home fire. According to the NFPA, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 336,600 home structure fires per year during 2007-2011.  Since October is National Fire Prevention Month, be prepared early and get your home fireproof ready with these 10 great tips:  

  1. Be sure to check smoke detectors and replace the batteries.  If you don’t have smoke detectors, get them.
  2. Plan and implement a primary and alternate escape route out of your home. Print and post this for your family to be familiar with.  Hold periodic fire drills and have rope ladders for escape on upper floors. Establish a safe meeting place in front of your home away from fire where everyone can gather.
  3. Have a professional inspect and clean all chimneys.
  4. Check all electrical cords for knots or frays.
  5. Do not overload electrical outlets.  They can draw a heavy amount of electricity and electrical short circuits are a major cause of fire in the home.
  6. Keep a fire extinguisher readily available.  Especially in close proximity to the kitchen.
  7. Be sure to clean your dryer lint trap after each use.
  8. Make sure you change your furnace filter regularly, and do not store any flammable material near your furnace.
  9. Do not leave lit candles unattended, and make sure you extinguish any fire in your fireplace before leaving home.
  10. Clean up any clutter around the home.  Clean out your closets and toss any old clothing, newspapers and boxes that may be accumulating.

Now that you have these fireproof tips for your home, cheer on your favorite football team, go trick or treating, and pre-game for Thanksgiving by enjoying as much pumpkin pie as you can!!   

As always, we here at the Barker, Beck, Collins, and Kronauge Agency wish you a great start to the holiday season.

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