Who Knew? Curious Uses for WD-40

Posted on Sun, Oct 19, 2014

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Welcome to a new addition to the Dean & Draper blog topics – Who Knew?  We always want to provide you with ideas you can use and really enjoy the sending you on occasion some unusual and slightly strange information. 

Right after the required duct tape, just about every household has a can of WD-40 stashed on a shelf.  Reader’s Digest recently published over 50 ways to use WD-40.  We selected our top 10 favorites to send to you. 

1.    Use WD-40 to protect a bird feeder.  To keep squirrels from taking over a bird feeder, spray a generous amount of WD-40 on top of the feeder. The pesky squirrels will slide right off.

2.    Remove chewing gum from hair.  It’s one of an adult’s worst nightmares: chewing gum tangled in a child’s hair. You don’t have to panic or run for the scissors. Simply spray the gummed-up hair with WD-40, and the gum will comb out with ease. Make sure you are in a well-ventilated area when you spray and take care to avoid contact with the child’s eyes.

    3.    Keep wasps from building nests.  Don’t let yellow jackets and other wasps ruin your spring and summer fun. Their favorite place to build nests is under eaves. So next spring mist some WD-40 under all the eaves of your house. It will block the wasps from building their nests there.

      4.    Remove doggie-doo.  Uh-oh, now you’ve stepped in it! Few things in life are more unpleasant than cleaning doggie-doo from the bottom of a sneaker, but the task will be a lot easier if you have a can of WD-40 handy. Spray some on the affected sole and use an old toothbrush to clean the crevices. Rinse with cold water and the sneakers will be ready to hit the pavement again.

        5.    Remove strong glue.  You didn’t wear protective gloves when using that super-strong glue and now some of it is super-stuck to your fingers! Don’t panic. Just reach for the WD-40, spray some directly on the sticky fingers, and rub your hands together until your fingers are no longer sticky. Use WD-40 to remove the glue from other unwanted surfaces as well.

          6.    Loosen zippers.  Stubborn zippers on jackets, pants, backpacks, and sleeping bags will become compliant again after you spray them with WD-40. Just spray it on and pull the zipper up and down a few times to distribute the lubricant evenly over all the teeth. If you want to avoid getting the WD-40 on the fabric, spray it on a plastic lid; then pick it up and apply it with an artist’s brush.

            7.    Remove decals.  You don’t need a chisel or even a razor blade to remove old decals, bumper stickers, or cellophane tape. Just spray them with WD-40, wait about 30 seconds, and wipe them away.

              8.    Remove marker and crayon marks.  Did the kids use your wall as if it was a big coloring book? Not to worry! Simply spray some WD-40 onto the marks and wipe with a clean rag. WD-40 will not damage the paint or most wallpaper (test fabric or other fancy wall coverings first). It will also remove marker and crayon marks from furniture and appliances.

                9.    Untangle fishing lines.  To loosen a tangled fishing line, spray it with WD-40 and use a pin to undo any small knots. Also use WD-40 to extend the life of curled (but not too old) fishing lines. Just take out the first 10 to 20 feet of line and spray it with WD-40 the night before each trip.

                  10. Keep dead bugs off car grille.  It’s bad enough that your car grille and hood have to get splattered with bugs every time you drive down the interstate, but do they have to be so darn tough to scrape off? The answer is no. Just spray some WD-40 on the grille and hood before going for a drive and most of the critters will slide right off. The few bugs that are left will be easy to wipe off later without damaging your car’s finish.

                  You’ve just seen our top 10 favorites for using WD-40.  If you would like to see the Reader’s Digest complete list of ideas, click here.  We hope that you’ve found some new ideas for your trusty can of WD-40.

                  Dean & Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 34 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  Contact Us.

                  Topics: Product Information, Dean and Draper, Home Safety, Who Knew?

                  Nanotechnology in Every Part of Our Daily Lives

                  Posted on Mon, Aug 04, 2014

                  © bonninturina - Fotolia.comWe all thought this “nano” thing was interesting and at the same time we couldn’t imagine how to monetize the theory. 

                  Today nanoparticles are a huge boon to the food industry.  When placed in packaging, nanotechnology extends the shelf life of food.  Detecting e coli and other food born bacteria is the domain of another nanotech particle.  And yes, adding nanoparticles to packaging can make them biodegradable.  And this is on the beginning.

                  In her article Nano What?: Yes, Nanoparticles Were Probably in Your Breakfast This Morning, Patricia L. Harman with PropertyCasualty360 explores the nanotechnology explosion and the areas where we’re all touched – most of the time without even knowing it – by the infamous nanoparticles. 

                  Nanotechnology involves every area of daily life, and while there are many benefits to its use, there are unknown dangers as well. Best described as “engineering on a very small scale,” nanotechnology has allowed manufacturers to create products like cell phones, cameras, CDs and DVD players.

                  The number of industries utilizing nanotechnology has grown exponentially. The food industry is a large user of the technology. Placed in packaging, it extends the shelf life of many foods. It can add more flavor, be used to detect e coli and other bacteria in food, and even enhance nutrients. A nano-enhanced barrier protects oxygen-sensitive foods and keeps them from spoiling longer. When incorporated into “green” packaging made of lobster shells and corn, nanotechnology makes it biodegradable. And nanobarcodes can be used in products to trace foodborne outbreaks.

                  To read Patricia’s complete article, click here. 

                  Dean & Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 34 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  Contact Us.  

                  Topics: Business Insurance, Tech Alert, Nanotechnology, nano particles, Dean and Draper

                  Houston Tops Road Rage Survey

                  Posted on Sun, Jun 29, 2014

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                  Houston has the dubious honor of having the least courteous drivers in the country followed by Atlanta; Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; and Boston.  In their 2014 In the Driver’s Seat Road Rage Survey, AutoVantage – a roadside assistance provider - measured behavior, observation, and attitudes related to road rage in America’s largest cities.  Houston moved up from 8th discourteous city in the 2009 AutoVantage survey to the top position in 2014.   

                  Who is the most courteous?  For the second time, Portland tops the list.  The friendly driver list continues with Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Francisco, and Charlotte.  Which cities became more courteous compared to the 2009 survey?  Minneapolis – up 15 spots, Dallas – up 11 spots, Detroit – up 9 spots, and New York City – up 9 spots. 

                  Survey respondents also observed safer driving habits in their fellow commuters with reductions in speeding, running red lights, tailgating, changing lanes without signaling, and slamming on the brakes.  Giving up distractions was also observed with one notable exception – observations of texting while driving increased 9% since 2009. 

                  While drivers are giving up distractions and being less aggressive, respondents were more likely to lose their cool in reaction to other drivers.  In comparison to the 2009 survey, horn honking increased 12%, cursing another driver increased 8%, obscene gestures are up 3%, and arm or fist waving went up 4%.

                  To view the AutoVantage survey click here.

                  Defusing Your Own Road Rage

                  We all have felt some irritation if not rage while on the road.  In fact, every one of us has a pet peeve about other driver’s habits.  Here are some tips to make your next drive more pleasant and calm.

                  Don’t do unto others.  Having a hand gesturing, pantomiming altercation at 60 miles an hour on a crowded freeway is never a good idea.  Hum a few bars of Let It Go and move on. 

                  Stay out of the way.  Give aggressive drivers plenty of room to get around you.  Let them do what they want at all times.  You don’t know the offending driver’s circumstances – an emergency, they’re lost, have a medical issue, or are managing depression. 

                  Yield.  Most drivers in Texas consider a Yield sign a suggestion.  Remember your real objective is to get to your destination safely and yield anyway – even if the right of way is yours by law, custom, or common sense. 

                  Be aware of your surroundings. Drivers do a whole lot more than driving.  We’ve all seen our fellow drivers texting, talking on the phone, applying lipstick, and even reading while rolling down the road.  And yes, multitasking is distracted driving.  Distracted drivers cause more accidents than drunk drivers.  Be aware and anticipate the actions of the drivers around you.  For more information on Distracted Driving,click here to see the Dean and Draper blog Distracted Driving - More Dangerous Than Drunk Driving.     

                  Look at your own driving behavior.  Most of us think we’re great drivers and all of the other people out there are dangerous.  Maybe it’s time for all of us to slow down, obey the traffic laws, and wear our seat belts – always.

                  Get your beauty sleep.  More than 56,000 crashes annually are caused by drowsy drivers according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration.  Young people ages 16 to 29, especially males, are most at risk.  So are shift workers whose sleep is disrupted face the same risks.  Stay alert, it could save your life.

                  Find your Zen place.  Be a supportive driver as opposed to an aggressive driver.  Facilitate what that aggressive driver wants to do instead of thwarting them.  Their need could actually be much greater than yours at that moment.

                  We hope that you find the information in this blog interesting and the tips useful.  As always, we want to contribute to your health, wellbeing, and safety.  If you have questions about your auto insurance, we welcome your call, 713.527.0444 or toll free 888.266.2680.

                  Dean & Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 34 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  Contact Us. 

                  Topics: Distracted Driving, Safety, Road Rage, auto insurance, Dean and Draper

                  Boost Your Brain Power

                  Posted on Mon, Jun 23, 2014

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                  We’ve all done it – walked into a room only to forget the purpose of the trip.  Or someone asks you for information and your answer is “How soon do you have to know?”  We’ve all wished for increased brain power – no matter what our age. 

                  Sid Kirchheimer’s recent article in AARP Magazine offers some tips on affordable ways to power up your brain. Be sure to click on the links to quizzes and additional information throughout the article. 

                  1. Lift weights

                  Any exerecise is good for mind and body , but weight lifting and resistance training may offer special benefits, according to at least a couple of studies on women.

                  In one study of 65- to 75-year olds with normal cognitive function, women who exercised for an hour once or twice a week, using dumbbells, weight machines and other calisthenic exercises significantly improved their long-term mental focus and decision-making. The control group — which did not see the same brain benefits — did "balance and toning exercises" including stretching, range-of-motion.

                  Another study, of 70- to 80-year olds with mild cognitive impairment, showed cognitive improvement among women who did either resistance training or aerobic exercises. Men weren't included in that study, but other research involving both genders finds that strength training helps preserve or improve memory.

                  2. Laugh

                  No joke: Humor is healthy. A hearty laugh provides short but similar benefits of aerobic exercise for improved heart (and brain) health and immunity. Other benefits: Laughter elevates the production of neurotransmitters linked to improved memory and alertness while decreasing stress hormones that can cloud thinking. And when listening to jokes, as you wrestle to understand the punch line, areas of the brain that are vital to learning, creativity and decision-making activate, much as they do when working out "brainteaser" crossword puzzles and Sudoku.

                  3. Take a nap

                  In addition to improved daytime alertness, good sleep — night after night — helps keep memory and learning well-tuned. But even with Rip Van Winkle-like nocturnal habits (and certainly without), consider a regular afternoon nap for about 90 minutes. It costs nothing but time — and the payback, according to studies, could be significant. Compared to non-nappers, those who partake in daytime zzz's display measurable improvements in tests gauging decision-making, problem-solving, creativity and even tasks like recalling directions.

                  4. Meditate

                  Studies find that daily meditation can strengthen connections between brain cells, increase growth in the part of the brain that controls memory and language, and may even bolster the ability to process information and make decisions more quickly. There are various forms of meditation, but most involve spending 15–60 minutes — best if done at least once a day — of focused attention on a word, object, sound or even your own breathing. Classes help, but for cost (and other) consciousness, consider free "how-to" videos and help available online.

                  5. Rate your plate

                  Brain-boosting foods don't have to be expensive. Grains like oatmeal, brown rice, barley and quinoa supply energy to the brain, which may boost learning. Nuts and seeds — including low-cost peanuts, sunflower seeds and flax — are loaded with vitamin E, which helps combat cognitive decline as you age.

                  Blueberries, cherries, raspberries and red grapes contain antioxidants to feed brain areas responsible for memory and learning (apples, bananas and oranges are also good). Spinach, tomatoes, onions and asparagus are vegetable standouts. And while salmon remains supreme, less expensive fish — also rich in omega-3 fatty acids — include tuna, sardines, anchovies and mullet.

                  6. Step lively

                  Elliptical, schmilliptical. Just walking briskly — no equipment necessary — cuts your lifetime risk of Alzheimer's disease by half. So does most anything else (including money-saving DIY gardening and housecleaning) that gets your heart pumping for at least 150 minutes per week, ideally for 30 minutes or longer per session. Why? Boosting heart rate improves blood flow to areas of the brain involved with memory, learning and decision-making. Hint: Studies find a walk in the park boosts energy, focus and well-being more than indoor exercise.

                  7. Socialize

                  Take a free class at the local library. Volunteer. Make use of Facebook. Or just hang out with friends. Any of these no-cost activities reduces the risk of dementia and slows or prevents cognitive decline. Theory: Social engagement means mental engagement — talking or just being around others requires focus and attention to details (while combating loneliness, itself a risk for dementia), and some research suggests even brief but regular social engagement bolsters memory, self-awareness and the ability to not be easily distracted.

                  8. Brush and floss

                  For just pennies a day, good oral hygiene can help prevent gingivitis and gum disease. Most people know that inflammation in your mouth has been linked to heart disease; what's less well-known is that gingivitis has also been linked to several cognitive problems, including declines in memory and verbal and math skills. More serious gum disease boosts the risk of memory problems as much as threefold (plus factors into stroke, diabetes and heart disease).

                  Sid Kirchheimer is the author of Scam-Proof Your Life, published by AARP Books/Sterling.

                  Dean & Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 34 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  Contact Us. 

                   

                   

                  Topics: Tips to Save Money, retirement planning, Boost Brain Power, health insurance, Wellness, Health Tips, Aging Well, Dean and Draper

                  Snack Your Way to a Better Night’s Sleep

                  Posted on Mon, Jun 09, 2014

                  © Bacho Foto - Fotolia.com

                  More than 50 million Americans don’t get enough sleep.  When you find yourself frequently staring at the clock, tossing and turning, or can’t seem to shut your mind down here are a few foods that can make falling asleep easier. 

                  Here are some sleep inducing food choices from Jacob Teiltelbaum, author of From Fatigued to Fabulous and Neurologist Alon Avidan, director of the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center.  Eat these snacks about 30 minutes before bed and keep them light – more is definitely not better.

                  Nuts & Seeds

                  Almonds

                  Almonds contain magnesium, a muscle-relaxing mineral that plays a key role in regulating sleep. A handful of almonds or a tablespoon of almond butter before bed may help you fall asleep — and stay asleep.

                  Walnuts

                  Walnuts are a natural source of melatonin, a hormone that produces sleepiness.  Walnuts help your body respond better to stress, too. For extra flavor, toast them briefly on top of the stove in a dry skillet until they're golden brown or bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

                  Pumpkin Seeds

                  Pumpkin seeds are loaded with a variety of essential nutrients, including substantial amounts of tryptophan. Pair a small piece of carb-rich fruit with your pumpkin seed snack to help the sleep-inducing nutrients reach your brain.

                  Peanut Butter

                  Peanut butter is rich in tryptophan, which the body uses to build hormones essential for sleep.  spread some peanut butter ona few whole-grain crackers, which provide carbs to help the tryptophan reach the brain more easily.

                  Fruit

                  Bananas

                  Bananas contain tryptophan, an amino acid which morphs into serotonin and melatonin in the brain. They also offer abundant amounts of magnesium and potassium, notes UCLA's Avidan. "Both minerals help to relax muscles and may ease a painful charley horse that can wake you during the night," he says.  It takes about an hour for tryptophan to reach the brain, so plan your snack accordingly.

                  Cherries

                  Cherries, especially the tart varieties, are one of the few natural sources of melatonin according to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Botany.  Recent studies have found that volunteers who drank tart cherry juice daily fell asleep sooner and slept better and longer.  Have a handful an hour before bedtime; if fresh ones aren’t in season, go for cherry juice or the dried variety.

                  Pineapple

                  Certain fruits can significantly boost natural levels of melatonin, which tend to decline as we age. Researchers found that levels of a melatonin marker were raised by more than 266 percent after eating pineapples, 180 percent after eating bananas and 47 percent after eating oranges.

                  Carbs

                  Cereal and Milk

                  Milk also contains the sleep-promoting tryptophan.  The carbohydrates in cereal make tryptophan more available to the brain, according to the National Sleep Foundation. For the best nutritional bang, choose a small bowl of whole-grain, low-sugar cereal.

                  Crackers and Cheese

                  The protein in cheese provides sleep-inducing tryptophan, while the carbs in crackers may help you fall asleep faster. Gram for gram, cheddar cheese contains more tryptophan than turkey.

                  Hummus

                  Chickpeas (garbanzo beans), the main ingredient in hummus, are not only rich in tryptophan, but also in folate and vitamin B-6. Folate helps to regulate sleep patterns, especially in older people, and vitamin B-6 helps to regulate your body clock. So spread some hummus on a small slice of bread for your before-bed snack.

                  Jasmine Rice

                  Having a bowl of rice 4 hours before going to bed could help you fall asleep faster, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers theorize that high glycemic-index foods like jasmine rice may boost tryptophan and serotonin, thus encouraging sleep. In the AJCN study, men fell asleep after an average of 9 minutes. Make sure to stick with jasmine rice rather than opting for the lower glycemic-index long-grain rice.

                   

                  Beverages

                  Milk

                  Downing a warm glass will encourage sweet dreams, says Donald Hensrud, a preventive medicine specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Milk is full of tryptophan, so it will have a sedative effect. Plus, it’s a good source of calcium, which helps regulate the production of melatonin. “If you can’t sleep or if you’re waking up in the middle of the night, get out of bed and have some milk,” Hensrud says. Make it even sweeter with a teaspoon of honey.

                  Green Tea

                  Green tea contains theanine, an amino acid that helps to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Just make sure that the green tea you enjoy at night is decaffeinated, because the caffeine in regular green tea might keep you awake.

                   

                  We hope that these tips will lead you to a restful night’s sleep.  At Dean and Draper we’re always looking for ideas to make your life better and easier.

                  Dean & Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 34 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  Contact Us

                  Topics: insurance tips, Safety, Sleeping Disorders, health insurance, Health Tips, Employee Safety, Dean and Draper

                  And It’s Hurricane Season Again!

                  Posted on Mon, Jun 02, 2014

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                     Forecasters are predicting a quieter 2014 hurricane season than usual.   The current projections are for 11 named storms, including 5 hurricanes, 2 of which are predicted to attain major hurricane status - Category 3 or stronger.  Even with the “quiet” season, we all need to be prepared for the storm. 

                  "The early dynamical model runs suggest another relatively slow season," said Dr. Todd Crawford, chief meteorologist for Weather Services International (WSI), a part of the The Weather Company. "Three independent statistical techniques all suggest 11 named storms this year."

                   Getting Ready

                  Long before a storm is even in the area, it’s a great idea to get some of the important prep handled.  Reviewing your homeowner’s and flood insurance should be at the top of this list.  If you want a professional opinion of your coverage, please contact Dean & Draper.  To get helpful information about flood insurance, click here. 

                  Make Plans

                  The website http://www.ready.gov, offers free downloads of templates and brochures for Emergency Plans both for Families and Businesses.  The Family Plan includes a communications plan, building an emergency kit, pet owner information, gathering important papers, protecting your property, evacuation, and so much more.  Families may also need to plan for Seniors or family members with disabilities.  Templates and brochures for making those plans are on the website as well.

                  The Business Plan includes information on planning business continuity, a business impact analysis worksheet, continuity resource worksheet, and a template for a business emergency response plan. 

                  Evaluate the Risks

                  Keeping track of the storm is easier than ever with the amazing technology available to forecasters.  The most popular and watched sources include NOAA/National Hurricane Center , The Weather Channel, and local television stations.  For evacuation routes and road conditions, check the Texas Department of Public Safety. 

                  Evacuate or Stay

                  Despite the risks involved and the advancements made in emergency warnings, some people continue to ignore calls to evacuate and attempt to ride out approaching storms in their own homes.  According weather and emergency professionals, it’s never a good idea to “ride the storm out” if you have the means to leave.  When officials declare an evacuation for your area, do yourself and your family a favor and leave.    

                  Information on preparing for a hurricane is available from local authorities, booklets prepared by local television stations, and through the Internet – just Google “Hurricane Preparedness” and you’ll get 165,000 hits.  Be informed, make a plan, heed the warnings, and stay safe.

                  Trivia Question: What is the difference between a hurricane, cyclone, and typhoon?

                  Hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons are all the same weather phenomenon.  We just use different names for these storms in different places. In the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, the term “hurricane” is used. The same type of disturbance in the Northwest Pacific is called a “typhoon” and “cyclones” occur in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean.

                  Naming Protocol 

                  Hurricanes names are selected by the World Meteorological Organization. Every six years, the list of names begins again! However, the names of especially destructive hurricanes are usually retired.

                  Dean & Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 34 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  Contact Us.

                  Topics: homeowners insurance, flood insurance, property insurance, Hurricane Preparedness, Dean and Draper

                  4 Ways Insurance Might Respond if Godzilla Attacks

                  Posted on Tue, May 27, 2014

                  © Mirko Raatz - Fotolia.comLast week an article written by Laura Mazzuca Toops in PropertyCasulaty.com’s newsletter posed an interesting question.  How would your insurance company react to the mayhem created by a huge lizard?  What would be covered and by which policy? 

                  Just a few notes.  The Golden Gate Bridge – a casualty to Godzilla’s rampage - is currently not insured and replacement cost is estimated at $1.55 Billion.  Insurance coverage for your home would depend on whether it was stomped and smashed or caught fire and exploded.  What about your car?  Would the comp or collision coverage take care of a big foot squashing it?  And then there’s the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA).  Is Godzilla a terrorist?  Laura’s article begins below.  Enjoy!

                  Ever think about policy wording, exclusions and ISO forms when watching a summer blockbuster? You’re not alone.

                  Although classic movie monster Godzilla has been crushing cities (specifically, Tokyo and Manhattan) since 1954, his latest incarnation in this spring’s hit movie has shed new light on the damage wreaked by the old lizard—this time on San Francisco.

                  The new “Godzilla” movie earned $93.2 million on its opening weekend, according to Box Office Mojo. But the dollar amount of insurance claims and collateral damage that would result if a 335-foot prehistoric lizard really did hit San Francisco could make that amount pale in comparison.

                  We asked long-time insurance educators (and Godzilla fans) Chris Amrhein and Bill Wilson (director of IIABA's Virtual University) to discuss how Godzilla’s return would impact the insurance industry. Read on to see their predictions. 

                  Read more... 

                  Dean & Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 34 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients. Contact Us

                  Topics: personal insurance, Commercial Insurance, homeowners insurance, Business Insurance, auto insurance, Dean and Draper, casualty insurance

                  National Dog Bite Prevention Week

                  Posted on Mon, May 19, 2014

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                   Over 70 million dogs live in U.S. households.  While the Fido in your home may be as gentle as a lamb, not all dogs are as easy going as your best friend.  In fact, more than 1/3 of homeowner insurance liability claims in 2013 were for dog bites and totaled more than $483 million according to the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm.  Children are by far the most likely dog bite victims of the 4.5 million dog bites in the U.S. annually.  To see more information about the Insurance Information Institute analysis of homeowners insurance claims, Click Here

                  Sunday, May 18 – Saturday, May 24 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week.  For more information and great tips, visit the American Veterinary Medical Association website.  Click Here

                  “All dogs have the potential to bite, but for most, biting is a last resort,” said Victoria Stilwell, star of Animal Planet's hit TV series It's Me or the Dog. “If time is taken to raise, teach and socialize a dog correctly, the likelihood of a bite incident occurring is extremely low, explained Stilwell, a passionate advocate for positive reinforcement training methods. “Confident dogs have less need to use aggressive behavior.”  

                  Dog Bite Prevention Tips

                  Since children are by far the largest group of dog bite victims, here are a few tips for keeping kids safe – adults, too.

                  • When you see a yellow ribbon on a dog’s leash, keep your distance.  The yellow ribbon means that the dog doesn’t like to be approached or petted by strangers.
                  • Avoid unknown dogs especially if they are loose and wandering the neighborhood. 
                  • Always ask an owner for permission to pet their dog.  Owners will let you know if the dog isn’t friendly. 
                  • The best exit strategy is confidently, quietly, walk away when confronted by an aggressive dog.  Children should stand still if a dog goes after them – “be a tree.”
                  • Dogs can be startled or frightened by people yelling, running, hitting, or making sudden movements toward them.  Approach the dog quietly and keep your movements slow.
                  • Educate children at a level they can understand.  Focus on gentle behavior and that, just like people, dogs have likes and dislikes. 
                  • Teasing dogs by taking their toys, food or treats, or by pretending to hit or kick can provoke exactly the behavior you don’t want.  Bullying isn’t good for dogs either. 
                  • Avoid aggravating a dog by pulling ears or tail, climbing on, or try to ride them.
                  • When the dog is asleep or eating leave him alone.  We all enjoy peace and quiet during a meal or when we’re asleep. 

                  Top 10 Dog Bite States 

                  In the race to become the top state for dog bites, California came in first with 1,919 claims at an average cost of $33,709.  New York had the highest cost per claim, $42,122 and came in second in number of claims, 965.

                  10.       Wisconson – 449 claims, cost per claim $31,629

                  9.         Arizona – 488 claims, cost per claim $27,503

                  8.         Indiana – 503 claims, cost per claim $25,502

                  7.         Texas – 775 claims, cost per claim $19,339

                  6.         Michigan – 866 claims, cost per claim $24,700

                  5.         Pennsylvania – 909 claims, cost per claim $29,078

                  4.         Illinois – 914 claims, cost per claim $28, 941

                  3.         Ohio – 948 claims, cost per claim $18,852

                  2.         New York – 965 claims, cost per claim $43,122

                  1.         California – 1,919 claims, cost per claim $33,709

                  Over half of the houses in this country are home to a dog, too.  We hope you have found the information in this article interesting and useful. 

                  Dean & Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 34 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  Contact Us

                   

                  Topics: homeowners insurance, Safety, dog bite prevention, Dean and Draper

                  Tech Alert - Cyber Risks for Business

                  Posted on Tue, May 06, 2014

                  binarycodebluetunnel366Cyber Risk - The New Normal

                  In the new normal world of cyber risk, a recently released study by Zurich Insurance Group and the Atlantic Council looks at the cyber risks faced by businesses both large and small.  The information below is an excerpt from an article by Hannah Bender published in PropertyCasualty360.  To read the entire contents, click on the link at the end of the article. 

                   Beyond Data Breaches: 7 Aggregations of Cyber Risk

                  The Internet continues to be a driving source of connectivity, permeating all facets of society, and although we can benefit from it in so many ways, there is no denying the risks and shocks on a global level that risk managers, corporate executives, board directors and government officials may be not be prepared for. Though technological advancements and dedicated technicians have made the internet more resilient to attack, the potential for future attacks could be catastrophic, affecting globally interconnected systems.

                  Zurich Insurance Group and the Atlantic Council’s latest report, “Risk Nexus: Beyond Data Breaches: Global Interconnections of Cyber Risk” explores new risk management insights on cyber risk, shocks and resilience.  For the full report click here

                  The report details system-wide and local-risk recommendations based on an analysis of the impact of possible shocks. But cyber risks are not self-contained within individual enterprises, so to understand the risks, managers must expand their horizons, and recognize the “cyberization” of risks, as organizations are unknowingly exposed to risks outside their own organizations, having outsourced, interconnected or otherwise exposed themselves to a complex, unknowable “network of networks.”

                  View the entire article from PropertyCasualty360.

                   A Word from Dean & Draper

                  Cyber threats are a huge new challenge to business owners and don’t show any signs of slowing down.  If you have questions about your risk factors or cyber insurance, please give us a call.

                  Dean & Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 34 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs

                   

                  Topics: Business Insurance, Cyber Liability Inaurance, Dean and Draper

                  Keeping Your Employees Safe

                  Posted on Mon, Apr 21, 2014

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                  If you are a small business owner, you have a host of things to worry about.  In a recent survey of 502 businesses with 100 employees by insurance specialist Employers®, small business owners listed workplace safety as their biggest worry (35%) followed by professional liability (26%) and cyber security risks (25%).

                  “Small business owners realize they have to protect their most valuable assets – their employees,” said EMPLOYERS Chief Operating Officer Stephen V. Festa. “Employee injuries can carry a significant cost, not only in terms of medical and workers’ compensation expenses, but also in terms of lost productivity and potentially lower workplace morale.”

                  The U.S. Bureau of Labor the Statistics reports that falls – including slips and trips – account for almost 25% of the nonfatal workplace injuries and 15% of the fatalities. 

                  “We wanted to see how prepared small business owners believe they are for the types of injuries that are most common in the workplace, or if they were placing too much emphasis on events that are unlikely to occur,” Festa said. “We were relieved to find that the most common type of injuries—slips, trips and falls—was cited most often. However, we were surprised that almost four out of five small business owners did not claim to be most prepared for them.”

                  To make your life a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of resources for safety compliance, evaluations, and training. 

                  The OSHA Small Business Handbook was created to help small business employers understand and follow the requirements established by the OSH Act of 1970. The guide was recently revised to incorporate feedback from small businesses and small business trade organizations. It now includes self-inspection checklists and enables employers to easily meet and maintain all Act regulations.

                  Safety and Work: The Keys to Success in Small Enterprises 
                  Test your company with this self-evaluation resource. This online resource is maintained by non-commercial organizations from different countries, promoting workplace safety and health in small and medium-sized businesses. It is founded on 10 keys to success for a small business in the area of prevention.

                  Safety Plans
                  University of South FloridaResources for preparing the written core safety plan for Small Business management system.Elements include high-hazard industries, construction, small business resources, indoor air quality, work zone safety, pandemic flu, nursing care ergonomic safety, landscaping safety, safety plans, process safety management, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) and electrical.These resources include self-inspection checklists, safety training, Hispanic safety, teen worker safety, imported drywall worker safety, hurricane prep and cleanup and free safety consultation.

                  Accident Prevention Program Guide  
                  A downloadable resource for small businesses, which includes checklists and covers eight main topics:

                  • Management
                  • Record keeping
                  • Safety analysis
                  • Accident prevention
                  • Accident reporting and investigating
                  • Training
                  • Safety inspection
                  • Program review

                  Provided by the Texas Department of Insurance. Most information is applicable in other states.

                  How to Develop a Simple, Cost-Effective Safety & Health Program 
                  Information on how to develop a simple, cost effective safety and health program for small businesses. Includes 7 simple steps to effective safety and health programs and additional links.

                  Provided by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists Small Business Committee.

                  Small Business Safety Training Guide 
                  A downloadable guide that provides information for small businesses in many industries. Guide sections are:

                  • National Small Business Safety Training Guide 
                  • Effective Workplace Safety and Health Management Systems 
                  • Safety Orientation Checklist 
                  • Safety Pays! Factsheet
                  • Controlling Hazards Factsheet
                  • Basics of OSHA Factsheet
                  • Facts for Employers: Safer Jobs for Teens Factsheet
                  • Preventing Injuries from Ergonomic Hazards Tip Sheet
                  • Preventing Injuries from Robberies and Assaults Tip Sheet
                  • Planning for Emergencies on the Job Tip Sheet

                  Provided by the California Department of Industrial Relations, Worker Occupational Safety and Health Training Program.

                  The safety of your employees is important to us.  We want to partner with you to make your business a safe place.  For more information about insurance for your business employees please call us.

                  Dean & Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 34 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  Contact Us 

                   

                   

                  Topics: Commercial Insurance, insurance agency, small business, Business Safety, Safety, insurance, risk management, Employee Safety, Dean and Draper