What Can YOU Do To Keep Your Home Safe?

DIY home security

Your home is a safe haven and central location for your family, so it is essential to protect it and the people who live there.

Unfortunately, Reno residents need to take extra precautions because Reno’s crime rate is higher than 86% of the other cities and towns in Nevada.  Property crimes are higher as well, and Reno residents have a 1 in 31 chance of being the victim of vehicle theft, arson, larceny, or burglary. (Source)

So what can you do to protect your home? Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Don’t Make You Home An Easy Or Attractive Target

In most cases, home burglars are looking for easy, lucrative targets, so a few simple things can significantly lower your chances of having your home burglarized.

  • Always lock your doors and windows when you are away and at night. Secure your sliding glass door with a piece of wood, and don’t forget to lock the door that connects the house to the garage.
  • Install a deadbolt or chain lock on your doors to make it even harder for burglars to get in.
  • Don’t leave a spare key outside your house under a rock or in a pot. Give your key to a trusted family member or neighbor instead.
  • Avoid leaving expensive items in plain view from windows. You should also be careful when throwing away boxes for new expensive items such as laptops, televisions, and smartphones. If these boxes are easily visible, burglars will know that there is something new, valuable, and easy to sell in your home.

2. Increase Visibility Around Your Home

Make it easier to spot intruders by keeping the area around your home open and well lit. This will deter burglars in the first place, but it will also make it easy for you and your neighbors to notice suspicious activity. Keep motion detector lights working outside, and trim bushes and trees near your home.

3. Invest In A Security System

Something as simple as a security system sign will discourage many burglars. The security system itself will add extra protection and make it easier to monitor your home when you’re away. In some cases you may receive a discount on your homeowner’s insurance policy if you invest in a security system.

4. Take Extra Precautions When You’re Away From Home

Burglars are much more likely to invade your home when you’re away, especially if you’re gone for an extended period of time. Take the following steps to give your home extra protection when you’re out of town.

  • Don’t advertise your vacation dates on social media. This makes it easy for hundreds of ‘acquaintances’ to know that your home is less protected.
  • Have the post office hold your mail, so an overstuffed mailbox doesn’t announce that you’re gone.
  • Set your lights on a timer so that your house still looks lived in.
  • Tell a trusted neighbor that you’ll be gone and ask them to keep an eye out for suspicious behavior.
  • If you can, it may be best to hire a house sitter to stay in your home and feed your pets, water your plants, and make your home look occupied.

Although there are many precautions you can take, you can only do so much to protect your home—you can’t control the actions of others. This is why it is essential to invest in a homeowners insurance policy that will cover damages if you are the victim of a burglary. Visit Heuer Insurance to learn more about protecting your home and other investments.

 

 

How Can I Manage Stress At Work?

stress

Did you know that more than one third of American workers suffer from chronic work-related stress? Aside from being harmful to both your physical and emotional health, this stress is costing American businesses millions – even billions – of dollars per year in medical bills and hours lost of work.

 

Unfortunately, not all organizations provide sufficient resources to help you effectively manage your stress. Instead, you’re expected to do more with less, further adding to your list of current stressors. Other common factors that add to stress in the work place are:

 

  • Low salaries
  • Excessive workloads
  • Little chance of growth or advancement
  • Unchallenging work or assignments
  • Little social support
  • Little control over job-related decisions
  • Conflicting demands
  • Unclear performance expectations
  • Performance standards
  • More

 

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to deal with your work-related stress in healthy, effective ways. Here are the top five:

 

1. Schedule appropriately

Contrary to common belief, working tirelessly for eight to ten hours a day does not help you get things done. In fact, these only add to stress, lower productivity and steal energy that you could be spending with family or friends after work. Instead, take scheduled breaks throughout the day to clear built up stress, rejuvenate and refocus.

2. Deter Distractions

You’ve probably noticed that throughout the day, you’re bombarded with texts, emails, phone calls, unscheduled meetings, urgent deadlines and more. This adds an immense amount of distraction to our days, which inevitably leads to higher stress. Consider only answering emails or responding to texts during specific times throughout the day. Set up walk-in hours to your office and have “silent” hours during the day.

3. Know What You Can Control

There are some factors in our day that we simply cannot control. On the other hand, there are also several factors you can control. If you begin to feel angry, overwhelmed or stressed, take a moment for a few deep cooling breaths – through your mouth, out your nose – and think about how you’re responding to the current situation.

4. Have Priorities

Create a to-do list that focuses on the projects or deadlines that have the most impact on your current job tasks. It’s important to not over-load this list, however, as you’ll likely feel more stressed if you end the day having only achieved a fraction of your list. Be realistic with yourself and your work load and prioritize appropriately.

5. Change Your Mindset

It’s all too easy to be hard on our selves. In fact, with more than 60,000 thoughts streaming through our brains a day, it’s no wonder we internalize negativity and stress. Instead of being your own worst critic, try to be positive and pump yourself. If necessary, consider making a list at the end of every day of all the things you accomplished – this will motivate you in the days to follow and it will positively influence those around you.

 

If you’re suffering from chronic stress don’t let concerns over proper insurance coverage add to the load. Contact Heuer Insurance Agency today. They can create a personalized plan that will help ease life stressors and get you on the right path to stress-free living.

 

 

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Fall Maintenance For Your Home

fall matienence

With fall now in full swing, it’s time to make sure your home is adequately equipped for the coming winter months. By properly maintaining your home now, you can ward off expensive repairs and harmful damages in the future. These four essential fall maintenance tips help to make preparing your home easier than ever.

1.     Organize and Evaluate Outside

Maintaining the exterior of your home should be one of the first steps you take when preparing your house for fall and winter.

  • Stow your mower with fuel stabilizer and run your mower dry before putting it away for the winter.
  • Deter any drips by removing garden hoses from outdoor faucets and shut off any valves on exterior water faucets. Drain your hoses and store them in the shed or garage.
  • Drain your irrigation and sprinkler system. If you don’t have drain valves, hire a professional to properly shut down your system.
  • Evaluate the exterior siding and use color-matched caulk to seal up any cracks between trim, siding, windows, doorframes, pipes, wires, etc.
  • Unclog gutters by removing leaves, twigs and other debris. Keep an eye out for sagging, damaged gutters and downspouts while you’re at it.
  • Inspect your roof for buckled, cracked or missing shingles, rust spots or any loose or damaged areas that should be fixed immediately.
  • Make sure the soil around your foundation slopes away from your house so that water won’t soak into the soil and damage your foundation with cracks and leaks.
  • Prune plants so that all limbs and branches are at least three feet from your house. This will prevent any dripping or moisture from damaging your exterior.

 

2.     Inspect Your Interior

By going methodically through the interior of your home, you can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs during the winter months.

 

  • Cut down on drafts by applying weather stripping and caulk to air leaks from windows and doors.
  • Hire a licensed heating contractor to have your heating system checked for fuel efficiency and other potential problems.
  • Ensure your woodstove and fireplace are in working order. Be sure your fireplace’s flue opens and closes properly and that it’s free of branches, leaves or other debris. Also be sure the firebox isn’t missing any bricks or mortar and have your chimney professionally swept every other year.
  • Change the direction of your ceiling fans to create an upward draft that distributes warm air from the ceiling.
  • Clean humidifiers frequently during the heating season to avoid the build up of any bacteria in the water tank.

 

3.     Get Your Garden Winter-Ready

Organize your garage, store your summer gardening tools and clean up branches and leaves around your yard. Fall is also a great time to reseed patchy areas of grass and to plant bulbs for the spring. Also, be sure all of your winter equipment (snow blowers, roof rakes, shovels, etc.) are all in working order.

 

4.     Porch and Deck

Ensure your porch and deck will look their finest come spring. Check the supports, stairs and railings on all porches, decks, handrails, etc. Remember many of these surfaces will likely face harsh temperatures and cold elements in the coming months. Also, clean and cover all porch and deck furniture and empty all soil from pots and planters to avoid cracking and breaking of frozen, clay pots.

 

For more information on how to properly maintain your home year round, or to learn more about protecting the investment of your home with reliable homeowners insurance, visit Heuer Insurance Agency, today.

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Water Loss Prevention, Make a Wish and More…

Hello to the friends of Heuer Insurance Agency, and its awesome set of employees!   I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to work with such a dedicated and loyal staff, and I have heard from many of you, that you feel the same way!  Great job Team Heuer.  Ok, enough about us!  Let’s talk about one of most frequent claims we are seeing.   I have written about this same topic in the past, but for whatever reason, these claims are getting more frequent and the cost to repair the damages has risen massively.  Maybe it’s because of the improved construction industry but we have several claims that will exceed $100,000 in cost.  MOST water losses can be preventable, and I have some suggestions.  These are only suggestions, and in many cases, the homeowner has no advance knowledge there is even a problem.  At best, we can prevent a lot of them, and minimize the pain for the times there was nothing we can do….here are a couple of suggestions.

1)  Replace your rubber wash machine with a new stainless steel hose!  You can do it yourself and is very inexpensive.

 

2) If you go out of town, for even a week, have a neighbor or family member check on your house.  You would rather see water damage from a couple of hours, or even days, versus weeks and weeks of unbridled water loss.

 

3) Turn off your wash machine before leaving for even a few days.

 

4) Many hoses today have a separate water turn off for the sprinklers and another one for the house.  Not a bad idea.

 

5) If and when you ever have to pull out the refrigerator, double check and maybe even replace the plastic or copper hose you are using for your ice machine.  HUGE amount of losses.

 

6) If you have an instant hot water system, turn it off…no use heating water you rant going to use.

Recently Adam Heuer and Mike Powell participated with the Make a Wish Foundation, Nevada Young Agents and Trusted Choice to present Priscilla with a fully loaded RV to stay in while her and her family travel to and from California for her treatments. What a great experience this was for all and we were fortunate to be a part of it.

 

trusted choice

 

 

Lastly, our very own Rhonda Hendrickson has a little something to share. We all hit bumps in the road and dwell on the negative but Rhonda shows us that people are capable of making a positive difference in our lives.

Ever have one of those days when you feel like everything has gone wrong?   In today’s world there are disasters and sadness every day and as the saying goes, bad things happen to good people.  But let’s not lose sight of the GOOD, KIND people in our world making a difference in the lives of others.  The kind acts of others continue to impact my life and the lives around me.  My son had been very ill in April and hospitalized for three weeks. His recovery was slow, but he recovered with a new lease on life and a new appreciation for HIS life.  He set out to get a job and needed a bicycle to make it to an interview.  My landlord happened to stop by my house and when he heard about my son’s interview, he left our house and an hour later came back with a bike. My son got the job!  I went grocery shopping last week and when I arrived home, realized I left items underneath the cart. I called the store and was told a passerby brought my items in.  My co-workers husband lost his wallet on an airplane and thought it was gone for good.  A week later he received a call that his wallet was found.  Kindness surrounds us.  Kindness brings hope in difficult times.  Kindness brings joy.  The best things in life are free, including kindness.  Being kind to others feels good.   Remember it’s the simplest acts that make a difference, a kind word, a smile … or returning someone’s belongings…

That’s it for this month everyone, THANKS for reading, and we sure appreciate your loyalty and business! We’d love to hear about your last experience with our office, we are always looking for testimonials. We have recently teamed up with AngiesList and could use the feedback. If you are an AngiesList consumer, please visit the following link to leave us a review.

www.angieslist.com/review/6260529

God Bless America and its fighting forces!

Managing Stress at Work in 5 Easy Steps

work stress

Did you know that more than one third of American workers suffer from chronic work-related stress? Aside from being harmful to both your physical and emotional health, this stress is costing American businesses millions – even billions – of dollars per year in medical bills and hours lost of work.

 

Unfortunately, not all organizations provide sufficient resources to help you effectively manage your stress. Instead, you’re expected to do more with less, further adding to your list of current stressors. Other common factors that add to stress in the work place are:

 

  • Low salaries
  • Excessive workloads
  • Little chance of growth or advancement
  • Unchallenging work or assignments
  • Little social support
  • Little control over job-related decisions
  • Conflicting demands
  • Unclear performance expectations
  • Performance standards
  • More

 

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to deal with your work-related stress in healthy, effective ways. Here are the top five:

 

1. Schedule appropriately

Contrary to common belief, working tirelessly for eight to ten hours a day does not help you get things done. In fact, these only add to stress, lower productivity and steal energy that you could be spending with family or friends after work. Instead, take scheduled breaks throughout the day to clear built up stress, rejuvenate and refocus.

2. Deter Distractions

You’ve probably noticed that throughout the day, you’re bombarded with texts, emails, phone calls, unscheduled meetings, urgent deadlines and more. This adds an immense amount of distraction to our days, which inevitably leads to higher stress. Consider only answering emails or responding to texts during specific times throughout the day. Set up walk-in hours to your office and have “silent” hours during the day.

3. Know What You Can Control

There are some factors in our day that we simply cannot control. On the other hand, there are also several factors you can control. If you begin to feel angry, overwhelmed or stressed, take a moment for a few deep cooling breaths – through your mouth, out your nose – and think about how you’re responding to the current situation.

4. Have Priorities

Create a to-do list that focuses on the projects or deadlines that have the most impact on your current job tasks. It’s important to not over-load this list, however, as you’ll likely feel more stressed if you end the day having only achieved a fraction of your list. Be realistic with yourself and your work load and prioritize appropriately.

5. Change Your Mindset

It’s all too easy to be hard on our selves. In fact, with more than 60,000 thoughts streaming through our brains a day, it’s no wonder we internalize negativity and stress. Instead of being your own worst critic, try to be positive and pump yourself. If necessary, consider making a list at the end of every day of all the things you accomplished – this will motivate you in the days to follow and it will positively influence those around you.

 

If you’re suffering from chronic stress don’t let concerns over proper insurance coverage add to the load. Contact Heuer Insurance Agency today. They can create a personalized plan that will help ease life stressors and get you on the right path to stress-free living.