How You Can Prevent House Fires

Do you know about preventing fires in your home? Check out these fire prevention and safety tips for you and your family.

While you may have heard of “Stop, drop, and roll,” you likely haven’t used it as often as your 8-year-old self would have imagined. If you’ve never experienced a house fire, consider yourself lucky; house fires are the most common disaster in the country, resulting in more than 2,500 deaths and 12,600 injuries each year. The good news is that most house fires are easily preventable! Here are some painlessly simple fixes you can do to significantly reduce your risk of having a house fire.

The Obvious Fire Hazards

  • Smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths, so it’s a good idea to avoid smoking indoors and always use an ashtray.
  • If you have a fireplace, always leave the glass doors open and always use a metal mesh to keep the embers from leaving the fireplace.

Kitchen Hazards

  • Over 60 percent of all fires begin in the stove, so never leave it unattended and always pay attention to what you’re cooking.
  • Clean all kitchen surfaces regularly to avoid dangerous grease buildup.
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and be sure to read the instructions on how to use it.

Electrical Hazards

  • Avoid placing wires under rugs or over nails–anywhere where someone could trip.
  • If an electrical device is releasing a strange or foul odor, unplug it and throw it out immediately or have it repaired by a professional.
  • Give your space heater . . . space! Make sure that it can’t tip over and place all flammable objects away from the heater.

For all of your home insurance coverage needs to keep your home safe from fires and other dangers, contact Stromsoe Insurance Agency. We will work with you to ensure you have the coverage that you deserve, all at the right price to fit your budget.

3 Ways to Protect Your Skin From the Sun

How do you protect your skin from the giant star in the center of our solar system?

Do you think 93 million miles is far away enough from something to have no effect on you? Normally, you’d be correct. But when that thing is 4.4 nonillion pounds (or a four followed by THIRTY zeros) and also induces nuclear fusion at its core, you’re going to feel a little heat. While the sun’s rays may feel good, they’re no friend to your skin. The sun produces ultraviolet rays which are harmful to your cells and give you wrinkles, age spots, and they’re the top cause of skin cancer. Poetic, isn’t it? The thing that we depend on for life can also take it away. Is there a way to stop this? Luckily for us, science has pulled through again and offered a solution to this problem! Here are three ways to protect your skin from the sun.

How to Protect Your Skin From the Sun

  1. Wear sunscreen every day in all weather conditions and every season. We know it may sound like overkill, but ultraviolet (UV) rays penetrate through clouds and penetrate deep into your skin to cause slight mutations in your DNA, which could lead to cancer.
  2. Wear sunglasses with total UV protection. Unless you want searing pain in your eyeballs, you can’t apply sunscreen to them. Quality sunglasses will do the trick and block the harmful UV rays from damaging your eyes.
  3. Check your skin regularly and spot for any weird spots, growths, and freckles; they could be a sign of skin cancer.

Skin cancer is a very serious problem you should not take lightly. It’s important to protect yourself from it as much as possible. Do you have the correct health insurance plan for your current or future needs? Contact Stromsoe Insurance Agency for a tailored policy to suit you in California.

Maintenance Tips in California for Your Summer “Toys”

Your summer toys need to be maintained for them to function properly during the summer.

Summer is in full swing, and if you haven’t already taken out your summer toys for a stroll, you’re likely going to do it soon. RVs, motorcycles, and boats all need routine maintenance before you take them out. Vehicles’ condition in storage changes over time—despite its non-use. Here are some maintenance tips you can use to make sure that your summer toys stay in good shape and stay operational.

Maintenance Tips

RVs

  • If your RV wasn’t maintained indoors, away from the elements, it’s important to do a walk-around and inspect any damage that was done while in storage.
  • Be aware of any air, fuel, coolant, filters, or hydraulics that need to be replaced.
  • Clean your RV from the inside to make sure there was no perishables or mold growing in your RV.

Motorcycles

  • Even though the weather may be warm, it’s important that you always wear the appropriate gear to keep you as safe as possible.
  • Before refilling your gas tank, make sure to look for any rust or condensation that may have built up over the winter months. The sooner you catch these issues, the easier you can get them fixed.
  • Make sure that all your lights (tail, blinkers, instrument panel, and headlights) are functioning properly. Your visibility decreases—, especially at night.

Boats

  • Wipe down the hull, deck, topsides, and windows.
  • De-winterize your engine and check the oil and filters to see if they need to be replaced.
  • Test all onboard electronics like your radio, compass, GPS, and depth finder to ensure they work properly.

You need to make sure that your summer toys function properly to avoid any disasters that could be quite costly. For all of your motor vehicle insurance needs in California, be sure to contact Stromsoe Insurance Agency. We are more than happy to help you get the coverage you deserve!

Will My Auto Insurance Cover a Cracked Windshield?

What should you do when a rock hits and cracks your windshield?

It’ll happen to everyone at least once in their driving life. You’re driving behind a construction truck and a pebble will fall and hit your windshield like it knew exactly where you were going to be. Or, perhaps, you are parked under a tree and a branch falls off and it leaves a sizable crack on your windshield. What are you to do, and who’s going to pay for the damages?  Know if your insurance will cover you, and what you should do when a pebble or other rogue object hits your windshield.

What to Do, What to Do?

Rather than ignore it, you should inspect the crack to determine the severity of it. Will you need to get it repaired or go the whole 9 yards and get it replaced? If it’s a small crack, it usually just needs to get repaired and you can move on. If it’s too big, it may become life-threatening and you may need to get the entire window replaced.

The dollar bill comparison is a good way to tell what you’ll need: if a dollar bill is bigger than the crack, then a repair is the likely option. Anything bigger, and you should expect to get the replacement.

Does My Auto Insurance Cover the Crack?

If you have comprehensive coverage, then you are more than likely going to be covered. You’re probably going to have to pay a deductible for the following procedure. Meaning if your repair costs $499, and your deductible is $500, you’re going to have to pay for the repair out of pocket.

Your windshield is a crucial part of your car which protects you from the dangerous elements that lurk just beyond. For all of your auto insurance needs in California, including coverage for your windshield, contact Stromsoe Insurance Agency.

What Kind of Insurance Do I Need If I’m Going to Install a Pool?

If you plan to purchase a pool, it’s a good idea to know what kind of insurance you’ll need.

From Kiddy pools to extravagant in-ground aquatic wonderlands, all pose threats to lives and property and must be insured to ensure you’re not caught off guard. According to the CDC, over 3,200 people drown each year. And among children aged 1-4, most drowned in residential areas and had been out of sight for less than 5 minutes and were in the care of both parents at the time. When it comes to your pool—no matter the size—you should know what kind of insurance you need to protect yourself and your property.

Call Your Insurance Agent

Let your insurance company know that you have a pool, since it will increase your liability risk. Pools are known as an “attractive nuisance” because they’re things that are attractive for nearly everyone and everyone wants one, but can be and are extremely dangerous. Pool owners may want to bump their average homeowners insurance liability from $100,000 to $300,000-$500,000.

Umbrella insurance policies are also an extra option that you may want to consider. It covers you for those things that aren’t covered by your homeowners insurance, and are only about $200-$300 more a year. You’ll get $1 million in liability protection—which could come in handy if a you’re dealt a major lawsuit.

If this pool is expensive, or an in-ground extravaganza, you should have enough coverage to replace it in the event it is destroyed  by a storm or some other natural disaster.

For all of your insurance coverage needs to keep your pool safe this summer, contact Stromsoe Insurance Agency. We will work with you to ensure you have the coverage that you deserve, all at the right price to fit your budget.

May: National Stroke Awareness Month

Strokes can affect people of all ages, classes, and backgrounds. Learn how to best safeguard yourself against stroke.

Every forty seconds, someone in the US suffers from a stroke. In 2008, more than 133,000 Americans died from a stroke—that’s one person every four minutes—making it the fourth leading cause of death in the US.

Strokes usually occur when the flow of blood to the brain is blocked, or a blood vessel in or around the brain bursts. And many people believe that those at risk from getting a stroke are older folks, but this simply is not true. Strokes can occur to people of all ages. In fact, nearly one-quarter of strokes occur in people aged sixty-five or younger.

Each year, nearly 800,000 strokes occur and often lead to serious, life-changing complications that include things like:

  • Depression.
  • Problems understanding or forming speech.
  • Difficulty controlling or expressing emotions.
  • Paralysis or weakness on one side of the body.
  • Numbness or strange sensations.
  • Pain in the hands and feet.
  • Problems with thinking, awareness, attention, learning, judgment, and memory.

Know how to protect yourself and others by acting FAST. By calling 911 as soon as possible, you can make the difference between life and death, or between full recovery or permanent disability.

  • F – Face drooping
  • A – Arm weakness
  • S – Speech difficulty, confusion
  • T – Time to call 911

Raising awareness for strokes is important so further research can be conducted and figure out a way to end strokes. Do you have the correct health insurance plan for your needs? Contact Stromsoe Insurance Agency for a tailored policy to suit you in California.

Learn How to Get the Best Deals on Your Summer Vacation

Planning for your summer vacation doesn’t have to be financially stressful.

Summer vacations mean school is out, and your family vacation has finally come! If you were smart, this trip means you can splurge because you looked for the best deals that were available to you when you booked your trip. If not, it sounds like you’re going to have to dig deep into your pockets for any change that may be lying in there somewhere. Planning a summer vacation doesn’t mean you have to have monetary anxiety. On the contrary. Planning a summer vacation can be easy with the proper, planning, and research. Here are 3 things you can do to get the best deals on your summer vacation.

  1. Time it Right – Hotel rates fluctuate with supply and demand, so it pays to go against the flow of other vacationers. High-peak vacationing happens between the 4th of July to mid-August. So planning on early June or late-August can mean better savings.
  1. Don’t leave empty handed – Before you depart, order the Entertainment Book or such other coupon books. These editions are packed full of discounts and attractions. You’ll likely recoup your investment within the first few days.
  1. Meals don’t have to break the bank – Dining at restaurants for every meal can add up real fast, so make restaurants a singular daily thing. Keep a cooler in your car and plan picnics at least once a day. Make sure to stay at hotels that offer free breakfasts to cut down on costs. And, when you treat yourselves to a restaurant make sure to go during lunch when costs are lower, and to make sure your restaurant offers a lunch special.

If you want to save money, contact Stromsoe Insurance Agency for that perfect summer vacation. As California insurance experts, we can help tailor your coverage to meet your exact needs – including your budget. For the best coverage at the best price, call us today!

What You Can Do to Be More Eco-Friendly for Earth Day

April 22nd is Earth Day: Learn how you can reduce your carbon footprint.

Earth is a lovely place. It sits at comfy in its orbit at 93 million miles from the sun, water can be liquid, our atmosphere has enough oxygen, and plenty of other things that make Earth great and habitable. Nature, for the most part, is always in perfect balance. So when there’s an external force acting upon nature, disruptions are bound to happen which can have an effect on species as small as plankton all the way up to the food chain to us humans.

For over 100 years, humans have been pumping greenhouse gases into our atmosphere without a care, and for over 30 of those years, scientists have been warning these corporations about the very real effect it’s having on the planet. Only recently have we seen strong efforts to reduce our emissions, and some have hope that if we keep our efforts the point of no return will be kept at bay. Here is what you can do to help our planet remain sustainable for human this Earth Day (and every day).

  1. Walk or Bike

If you’re going to be travelling to the grocery store or somewhere that’s within 5 to 10 miles, ride your bike to that place. Not only will it get your heart-rate going, but it will also keep CO2 emissions down. You won’t be the only one to ride your bike this day, so this effect will be multiplied world wide.

  1. Meatless in the Heat

Believe it or not, cows are actually among the leading contributors to greenhouse gas emissions as a direct result to our obsession with eating meat; their methane byproduct actually retains more heat than CO2. On Earth Day, make dinner that includes no meat products, and maybe make a permanent switch in your diet to go from eating meat 7 times a week, to only 6 times a week.

  1. Don’t Go With the Flow

If you absolutely need to take a shower in the morning, make sure it’s a short one! Play a song on your phone and try to finish before the song finishes—14 minute LCD Soundsystem songs are not encouraged. Water running uses a lot of precious water and even more fossil fuels to keep it running and to keep it hot.

No matter if you are looking to make your home, vehicle, or business more environmentally friendly, working with the right insurance professionals will help to ensure that you are receiving any discounts you qualify for. To learn more about the different ways your insurance policies are protecting you, contact Stromsoe Insurance Agency in California.

4 Gardening Tips to Beautify Your Garden

Love to garden, or going to do it for the first time? These tips will help you be faster, cleaner, and more efficient.

Gardening can be fun if you know the proper techniques to see your garden blossom from tiny green leaves sticking out of the ground to full flowers, herbs, fruits, and vegetables ready to impress everyone on the block. Here are four great gardening tips that are sure to help your garden be the best garden on the block.

Create a non-stick shovel

Picking dirt off shovels is something no wants to do. Spray your shovel with a silicone or Teflon lubricant to make shoveling way easier. A good coating will make any kind of soil slip right off without a hassle.

Heavy pots don’t have to be heavy

Filling half of the pot with packing peanuts will significantly reduce the weight of your big pots. Just remember to put some landscape fabric to keep the soil from sinking to the bottom.

Blemish-free roses

When you plant roses, pruning is a must to keep the roses as open and as beautiful as possible. Pruning increases the amount of light that reaches the roses which will inhibit proper growth. Careful pruning will keep the moisture out, and will prevent black spots and other blemishes from ruining the petals of the flower.

Assist root-bound plants

The problem with potted plants is that the roots will eventually run out of room to grow, so they will begin to form tight circles in the pot. This can prevent water and essential nutrients from reach all parts of the plant—especially the leaves. To fix this, gently guide roots outward using your fingers. If they are especially tough, make cautious vertical cuts in the roots with a knife.

Contact Stromsoe Insurance Agency for all of your California insurance needs. Whether you are looking to insure garden or other parts of your landscape, we will be your one stop shop for everything insurance related! Allow us to provide you with summer insurance in California that allows you to enjoy your fun in the sun without a worry in the world.

Safety Tips for Holiday Shopping

With the holiday season just around the corner, you must think about how you will remain safe while completing your holiday shopping to-do-list. While you may be inclined to assume that everyone is in the holiday spirit, there are an overwhelming number of criminals that take advantage of joyous people during this time. We want you to remain safe all year long, which is why we have gathered these important safety tips for holiday shopping:

  • Make sure to always be aware of your surroundings so that you can report suspicious activity immediately. If you see someone lingering around the parking lot, contact the authorities right away. It is always better to be safe than sorry!
  • If possible, try to purchase all of your holiday gifts with the same credit card. This will not only make it easier to track your spending, but it will also make it so that you can respond to fraudulent activity faster and with more ease.
  • It is imperative that you never leave any of your valuables in plain sight. This means putting all recent purchases in your trunk and out of sight. A criminal will find it hard to pass up the temptation if you have a load of Nordstrom’s shopping bags in your back seat.
  • If possible, do not pass over your credit card to the store clerk. Many of these employees are seasonal hires so they cannot be trusted as easily. Therefore, sliding your own card whenever you can is the best way to keep your personal information secure.
  • Where you park is extremely important. If possible, park in the front of the structure in a well-lit area so that criminals cannot hide in dark corners and approach you when you are least expecting it. Also, if you will be leaving the mall or boutique after the sun has already set, make sure to have a security guard walk you out to ensure safety.

Happy Holidays! We hope these important safety tips for holiday shopping allow you to enjoy the holiday season worry-free! Contact Stromsoe Insurance Agency in Murrieta for all of your California insurance needs.