Don’t let frozen pipes shut down your business this winter


fozen pipes with icicles

Frozen and burst pipes cost businesses millions every winter. According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, 25% of businesses do not survive after a major property disaster, such as a freeze-related water incident. Philadelphia Insurance studied 433 business claims for burst pipes to offer prevention advice for businesses and risk managers. They noted that, “Our average loss related to frozen pipes is $27,000, but our most expensive claim was $1.7 million.”

Among their findings:

  • Unheated attics were the most common cause of burst pipes. Many people forget there are pipes in the attic or in concealed spaces between interior and exterior walls and therefore don’t take steps to protect them.
  • Sprinkler systems increase loss potential. Philadelphia’s claims were split 51/49 between sprinkler and domestic water pipe losses, and sprinkler claims were 33% more costly.
  • Building age is a contributing factor to loss. Claims from older buildings tend to be more severe because they often require code updates during any cleanup and repair process.
  • Complications during cleanup can drive up costs. Some environments require specialized remediation. In other cases, clean up might turn up underlying problem that needs addressing, such as asbestos.

Philadelphia recommends a Heat Examine Alleviate Technology approach, or a HEAT system. They offer a HEAT checklist, or watch this short video to prepare for and prevent pipe freeze, breakage and subsequent water damage. They also offer a handy Winter Weather Property Protection tip sheet with more great prevention tips for businesses. And see their recommendations for freeze prevention and control devices.

Veterans Day: The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month


Veterans Day banner

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of hostilities of World War I, which occurred in 1918, and was know as Armistice Day. Today, it honors all veterans, past and present. It’s a time to recognize and pay tribute to those who put their lives on the line for their country. There are a few misconceptions about the holiday. To set the record straight, the Defense Department offers 5 Facts to Know About Veterans Day.

It’s one of 10 federal holidays. Although it falls on a Sunday, federal offices will be observing it on Monday and will be closed. About 20% of all employers observe the holiday, also – so if you have business plans on Monday, double check to be sure that offices are open.

Many communities have Veterans day parades – check local listings for commemorations near you. Also, many commercial enterprises offer special tributes in the form of freebie or discounts to veterans:

Here are a few resources to learn more about the historic anniversary this year.

Looking Back On The 100th Anniversary Of The WWI Armistice
The 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Reflections from the homefront and Europe.

2018: Armistice 100th Anniversary
Remembrances from the National Museum of American History

Handy guide to 2018 voting day in New England


We’re so lucky to live in a country where every voice counts. That is, it counts if you exercise your right to vote! In record numbers, people have been taking advantage of early voting, but for many, going to the local polling place on election day is a cherished tradition. We’ve compiled some last-minute voter information for New England states to help ensure you’re ready for the big day tomorrow.

Not registered? According to the National Council of State Legislators, four New England states offer election-day registration: CT, ME, NH and VT. You must provide proof of residency and that varies by state. For more information, see States with same day/ election day registration

Massachusetts

Polling places must be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m., though towns are allowed to open as early as 5:45 a.m. Voters who are in line when polls are closed at 8 p.m. must be allowed to vote.

Connecticut

For an election or primary, polls in Connecticut are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Any elector standing in line at the polls at 8 p.m. will be allowed to cast a vote.

New Hampshire

Rhode Island

Vermont

All polls in Vermont open between 5 and 10 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

Maine

Polling opening times vary by municipality. Local officials can give you the exact opening time for your municipality. All voting places close at 8:00 pm on Election Day.

General voting tools

National Association of Secretaries of State offers voting tools at Can I vote. These include Find your polling place and Valid forms of ID, among others.

Ballotpedia Sample Ballot Lookup tool – Ballotpedia is the digital encyclopedia of American politics and elections. Our goal is to inform people about politics by providing accurate and objective information about politics at all levels of government.

Rock the Vote – know your voting rights

 

Time change reminder … and some other things to change, too


old time film image of a man setting a clock

This week, Daylight Saving Time is ending, don’t forget to set your clocks back. If the whole business makes you irritable, you are not alone. Check out this amusing clip – you might relate.

An hour may not sound like a lot of time to you, but try explaining that to babies, toddlers and pets who don’t understand why their routines are arbitrarily thrown off. Plus, even if it doesn’t sound like much, it can affect our routines and confuse our biological clocks off until we get into the groove. In a Daylight Savings explainer, Vox talks about some of the ways that the shifts involved in time changes can affect us.

In 1999, researchers at Johns Hopkins and Stanford universities wanted to find out what happens on the road when millions of drivers have their sleep disrupted.

Analyzing 21 years of fatal car crash data from the US National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, they found a very small, but significant, increase in road deaths on the Monday after the clock shift in the spring: The number of deadly accidents jumped to an average of 83.5 on the “spring forward” Monday compared with an average of 78.2 on a typical Monday.

And it seems it’s not just car accidents. Evidence has also mounted of an increase in incidences of workplace injuries and heart attacks in the days after we spring forward.

Despite the growing controversy over whether it’s beneficial or not, as long as it’s here, it’s a good biannual reminder. Here are some of the things you may want to do this weekend:

  • Change smoke alarm and CO2 alarm batteries
  • Check pressure / expiration date on any fire extinguishers
  • Replace furnace filters
  • Clean your dryer filter, hoses and vents
  • Throw away any expired medications
  • Reverse your ceiling fan direction

Don’t let Halloween get *real* scary for your kids


We’re just one sleep away from the scariest, spookiest night of the year – check out our spooky guide for local Halloween happenings. Fake scary is great fun, but you don’t want things to get real scary for your kids. Make sure your activities don’t include a visit the scariest place of all – your local emergency room. On Halloween, for every adult, job #1 is kid safety.

The National Safety Council (NSC) offers this truly frightening statistic:

“Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. In 2017, October ranked No. 2 in motor vehicle deaths by month, with 3,700. July is No. 1, with 3,830 deaths.”

One of the contributing factors may be that so many Halloween activities take place after dark. The NSC shows this pictorial of when accidents occur, created using federal data.

See more on Halloween Safety On and Off the Road, a sheet of tips to protect kids from the NSC.

If your kids are trick or treating at dusk or dark, make sure that their costumes and masks don’t impede vision and don’t have any tripping hazards. Be sure they carry flashlights and it would be a good idea to put reflective tape on dark costumes. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers more Halloween Safety Tips to help you protect children from dangerous costumes and other seasonal hazards.

In addition to traffic safety, pumpkin carving injuries, trips & falls and choking injuries are all among some of the most common Halloween-related injuries that could make for a scary unplanned visit to the emergency room. Check out our roundup of tips on keeping your kids safe from our prior post: Pumpkins, perils & more. And if you have pets, the holiday holds many dangers for them too – check out our Halloween Perils for Pets.

The Children’s Safety Network offers the following Halloween safety infographic: