BCA Insurance Group - Business and Personal Insurance for Ohio and Michigan

Fun Stuff


Football Fan Safety


Make football season not just fun, but also safe

Finally, we’re welcoming fall, that eagerly anticipated season when we get to enjoy cooler temps, colorful leaves, the start of school and, of course, football season in Ohio!

Football season in the Toledo area brings with it a whole host of seasonal activities for football fans, from game-day tailgates and sports bar outings, to friendly bets and bowl parties.  At BCA Insurance Group, we want your football season to be both exciting and safe, so as you cheer your team to victory, consider the following tips.

  • Keep it clean: Tailgating is one of America’s favorite pastimes!  If you’re tailgating, opt for non-breakable, recyclable containers. This will make cleanup easier and help avoid injuries resulting from broken glass.
  • Be smart: Whether you are tailgating, hosting a football-watching party at your house, sitting in the stands at your favorite team’s stadium, or joining your buddies at the local bar, know your limit on alcohol intake and make sure you have a designated driver.
  • Know where you’re going: Pre-plan travel to and from the stadium to avoid getting lost and to make finding parking easier if you drive.
  • Fill those bellies: Whenever alcohol is consumed, make sure food is too!
  • Be weather wise: If you’re heading to the stadium, be sure to prepare for the weather. In colder temps, bring layers and blankets (especially if you’re bringing the little ones along).  Also, avoid umbrellas if you find yourself in a lightning storm.
  • Keep it close: Whether you’re hitting the live game or the local tavern, be sure to keep your valuables, such as wallets, mobile phones and purses, safe.  Also, keep it close to you (better yet, attached) at all times to avoid theft.

Wherever and however you’re watching the game this weekend, we hope you enjoy every last minute.  Go team!

Game day insurance tips
Here are a few pointers for making sure your insurance provides an additional safety net on game day:

  • Make sure you have adequate auto coverage to cover any contents that may be stolen in the unfortunate event of a break-in at the stadium parking lot.
  • Ensure you have sufficient liability coverage on your homeowner’s policy, as well as medical payments coverage and possibly umbrella coverage. These exist to protect you in the event someone becomes injured while at your house.
  • Consider roadside assistance coverage. In the event your vehicle breaks down or you lock your keys in your car, it can save the day.



Securing Fall Trees


 Before the wind blows, secure your trees and shrubs

The seasons are changing, and the colors of autumn abound.

Regrettably, fall’s stunning display is often accompanied by some unwelcome weather hazards in Ohio – namely, wind – that can cause considerable damage to the very trees that produce those beautiful fall leaves.

At BCA Insurance Group, we want your yard and home to stay great throughout the season.  Take a look at the following tips to ensure you keep your trees and shrubs healthy and avoid destruction that can result when the wind blows.

To protect existing trees

  • Bundle ‘em up. Go to a home and garden store and buy enough landscape fabric and plant ties to cover trees and shrubs vulnerable to the changing weather. Wrap them up for the winter and then unwrap them after spring has sprung.
  • Exercise pruning prowess. Proper pruning is essential to ensure trees can withstand winds, so make sure you use correct pruning techniques or hire a professional.
  • Trees and more trees. If you have trees that are especially susceptible to wind, consider planting more trees. Experts say to choose trees, like conifers and evergreens, to create a windbreak. As an added bonus, a windbreak placed in correct proximity to a home can reduce energy costs by up to 30 percent. Keep in mind: conifers should be planted at least 20 feet away from a structure, evergreens at least 30 feet away.


When planting new trees

  • Know which way the wind blows.  Pay attention to the wind patterns in your part of Ohio through the fall and winter seasons and how they affect your particular lot.  Plant trees in areas where structures, such as your home, garage or shed, can serve to shelter them from the wind.
  • Give them some space. Plant trees far enough away from structures and foundations. A smaller tree should have at least a 10-square-foot space to itself, and a larger tree needs at least 30 square feet.

At BCA Insurnace, we hope these tips will ensure that you and your yard hang tough all season long... even when the wind starts howling.


 

Summers mean backyard grilling – safely!
 
Just like hamburgers and hot dogs, a sizzling grill is a symbol of summer and grilling isn’t just about great food. Backyard barbecues often create treasured memories with friends and family.
 
Keep in mind, however, that when you grill, you’re literally playing with fire. Thousands of residents each year learn this the hard way, suffering damage to their homes or even serious injuries in grilling accidents.
 
There’s good news, though: You can prevent grilling accidents by taking some simple precautions. The tips below can help ensure you cook only your burgers — and not your house — the next time you fire up the grill.
 
TIPS FOR ALL GRILLS
Your grill, whether gas or charcoal, should be on a level surface outdoors, away from anything that could be ignited by flames (bushes, fences, etc.).
NEVER use a grill indoors. Odorless carbon monoxide fumes could kill you.
Keep your grill clean and well-maintained. Check parts regularly to determine if replacements are needed.
Never leave a hot grill unattended or let children play near it.
 
CHARCOAL GRILL TIPS
From Kingsford.com
Do not add lighter fluid directly to hot coals. The flame could travel up the stream of fluid and burn you.
Never use gasoline or kerosene to light a charcoal fire.
Use flame-retardant mitts and long-handled barbecue tongs, as coals can reach up to 1,000 degrees.
To dispose of coals, allow the ashes to cool for at least 48 hours before disposal in a non-combustible container. If you cannot wait 48 hours, carefully place coals individually in a can of sand or bucket of water.
 
GAS GRILL TIPS
From the National Fire Protection Association
Check your grill’s hoses for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If you have a leak, and it will not stop after the grill and gas is turned off, call the fire department. If the leak stops when the grill and gas are turned off, have your grill serviced by a professional.
If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
Do not keep a filled propane tank in a hot car or trunk. When getting containers refilled, make that your last stop before going home.
Store propane tanks in an upright position, and never indoors.
 
From all of us at BCA Insurance Group, happy grilling, and stay safe this summer!
 

 


Motorcycle safety
 
A different season means different dangers for motorcyclists
 
Fall is a wonderful time to be outside on your bike, thanks to the crisp, cool weather and changing colors of the landscape. Staying safe on the road in autumn requires some special precautions, however. Because we at BCA Insurance Group want you to be around to enjoy the beauty of the open road, even in the fall, we’ve put together some great tips for you.
 
Be vigilant about visibility
When fall rolls around, the days are getting shorter, which means your late-afternoon ride can turn into an evening ride very quickly. Make sure you carry proper reflective gear, along with replacement bulbs, and any other basic equipment that can help ensure your visibility. And keep in mind that the sun is lower in the sky, so the glare may make it harder for you to see the road - and for other drivers to see you. (Those drivers may well be distracted by the scenery, too, so look out!)
 
Keep cool, but not too cool
In Northwest, Ohio you know that conditions can change quickly. Even on a warm day, a cold night might be just an hour or two away. So pack your cold-weather gear when you head out, and beware of frost and ice on roadways if you’re in an area susceptible to freezing.
 
Consider the conditions
Roads in the fall can present a number of dangers. Rain can make roads slick, and standing water can cause you to hydroplane or lose control. Lower temperatures can bring frost, ice and even snow. In the latter two instances, it might be best to just leave the bike in the garage. But if you’re already on the road when it starts getting cold, remember that certain parts of roadways, such as bridges and overpasses, will frost over more quickly. And even those beautiful autumn leaves can be a hazard when they start to fall off the trees and onto the road.
 
Beware of deer
Fall also brings an increase in deer activity, so be extra vigilant, particularly in rural areas. Deer tend to be most active around dawn and dusk when visibility can be limited. Pay attention to deer crossing signs and always be alert to your surroundings.
 
Fall can be one of the best times to ride, but also one of the most dangerous. So take a little extra care and maybe a little extra time. Doing so will help you stay safe while you take in the scenery.
 
Other safety resources
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (http://www.msf-usa.org) is a great resource to learn more about safety gear and motorcycling in general, as is the American Motorcyclist Association (www.americanmotorcyclist.com). Remember, we’re here to help too! If you have questions about insurance coverage for your bike, or want more safety resources, give us a call at 419-931-0742

 

Winterization Tips Outside Your Home