Spring Cleaning Checklist

As the weather warms and spring begins to bloom, you may catch the spring cleaning fever. Spring cleaning can help you feel accomplished and have a clean home. It can also help keep your home safe by taking care of small items that could cause major problems or be hazardous down the road. Consider this checklist while you’re cleaning up around the house this spring, to be sure it’s as safe as it is clean. 

Clean the Dryer Vent

While most people know to clean the lint trap after each load of laundry, the dryer vent often gets neglected. Lint can also build up in the hose from the dryer and dryer vent, which could be a fire hazard. Make sure to check for lint that accumulates in these forgotten areas and clear out any hazards. 

Replace Damaged Extension Cords 

Whether they’re under a rug receiving a lot of foot traffic or being yanked from one place to another, extension cords often get worn and damaged. These damaged cords can be a big fire risk. Consider replacing older cords around the house to reduce the risk of fire. 

Update Online Passwords 

As you deep clean your house this spring, it’s a good reminder to clean up other areas of your life as well, including online passwords. Take a few minutes to set up new, strong passwords for all your accounts. This will help prevent online accounts from being hacked and your identity from being stolen. 

Clean the Stove/Oven 

As food particles build up over time on the stovetop or in the oven, thoroughly cleaning both of these appliances is an important checklist item. Built up particles and/or grease can pose a fire hazard. No matter how frequently you cook, make sure to spend some extra time deep cleaning the stove and oven this spring. 

Change Air Filters

Make sure to clean and/or replace home air filters as the weather warms. The furnace will still be moving air through your home all year, and pollen, dust and other allergens that get built up in the filters can worsen seasonal allergies if you don’t change the filters.

Check Alarm Batteries

Smoke alarms help keep your home safe, but are often forgotten about if the alarms don’t go off frequently. Spring cleaning is a great time to check the status of alarms and put in new batteries. Also, wipe down the alarms to ensure dust isn’t inhibiting them from doing their job. We reward safety precautions and offer a discount for having a fire alarm in the home. Check with your agent to see if you may be eligible. 

Clean Bedding 

Most people wash their sheets and pillowcases often, but the mattress and pillows may be neglected in the process of cleaning the bedding on a regular basis. Take time to vacuum the mattress and rotate it so that it can wear evenly. Also, wash pillows in hot water to help get rid of dust mites. 

No matter how much you clean or prepare, accidents can still happen. Ensure your home and family are protected with a Home Insurance policy. Contact an OKFB agent for a customizable policy that fits your lifestyle.

Friday the 13th – 13 Hidden Risks

Many people are afraid of or superstitious of black cats, broken mirrors and walking under ladders around Friday the 13th, which will take place this December. However, what’s even more cause for caution is all the hidden risks that can be present in daily life. Check out these top 13 risks to be aware of: 

Eating while driving

Next to texting and driving, eating while driving is one of the most common forms of distracted driving. Reaction time drops by nearly 50% while eating. Next time you pick up food, make sure to wait until arrival before eating. 

Car maintenance

Without proper vehicle maintenance, driving a car can pose some risks. Change the oil in the vehicle as recommended, get tires checked regularly and make sure to have roadside assistance as part of your insurance policy. 

Lightning

While not extremely common, lightning can strike your car or home and cause damage that may require repairs. Make sure your insurance plan covers damage caused by lightning and help prevent damage by installing a lightning rod or other protection.

Cyber security

As the internet increasingly becomes part of the daily routine, cyber security is a necessity. Take steps to protect your information online from hackers or data breaches, including using complex passwords and being aware of email phishing scams. 

Texting 

Texting while doing other things is a huge distraction. Whether walking across the street or driving down the road, avoid texting and pay better attention to surroundings. 

Home security

Make sure to lock all doors and windows when leaving and consider installing an alarm system. If you’re an OKFB member, you may be eligible for a discount for installing a home security system. 

Fire 

It’s nice to have the fireplace crackling or a candle burning to provide warmth and comfort, but make sure to take the proper safety precautions. Always extinguish candles and fires before leaving a room, and make sure to keep them out of reach of children.  

Food storage

Improper food storage can result in spoiled foods, and if these foods are consumed they can result in illness. Hold cold foods at 40°F or below, and keep hot foods at 140°F or above. Regularly monitor your refrigerator and freezer to ensure they are at the right temperature. 

Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless flammable gas that can be deadly. CO can accumulate wherever fuel is burned, whether by a kitchen stove or a car in the garage. Help avoid CO poisoning by installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home. 

Appliances

Appliances, especially those in the kitchen can pose some safety risks. Stay nearby appliances when cooking and always check that appliances are off before leaving the kitchen.  

Screens

Staring at a screen all day, whether via a phone or a computer, can pose some health risks. Excessive use can result in a decrease in vision abilities, and it can also lead to back pain, joint pain and headaches. If possible, try reducing daily screen time.

Going to work 

From farming to construction, some jobs require working with dangerous equipment or substances. Make sure to be aware of and follow workplace safety guidelines to help prevent accident and injury.

Showering 

Slippery floors in the shower can lead to injury or even death. Showers can be especially risky for the elderly and children, who often require help to enter and exit the shower safely. Install a support bar, clean up wet floors and be extra vigilant in the bathroom.

Safeguard Against Fire Risks

October is National Fire Prevention Month, and with 350,000 residential fires occurring each year nationwide, it’s important to know how to protect the structure that’s most important to you. Your home serves as a place of refuge for you and your family, and protecting it from a fire can be simple when you take the necessary preventative steps. Check out this list of tips to help keep your family and home safe from fire damage: 

Do’s and Don’ts of smoke alarms

A smoke alarm is your first line of defense, and we want to reward you for having one. With our fire alarm discount, you may be eligible for a policy discount based on the type of alarm you have installed. Contact an OKFB agent to learn more and see if you qualify.  

It’s important to not only have the proper amount of smoke alarms installed, but also to make sure you test them regularly. The National Fire Protection Association recommends installing smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Don’t install smoke alarms near windows, doors or ducts where drafts may have an effect on them operating properly. Never paint, decorate or put stickers on the alarms, as this could interfere with them working. 

Test your smoke alarms at least once a month by using the test button. Make sure you follow care instructions that come with the alarm, including cleaning best practices and how often you should replace the battery. The general recommendation is to replace the battery once a year and replace the smoke alarm every 10 years. 

Keep a fire extinguisher nearby 

Install a fire extinguisher on every level of the home and learn how to use it. If the time comes when you need to extinguish a fire around the house, you’ll be able to act quickly. 

Check appliances and cords

Take the time to regularly check your appliances’ cords to ensure they are not old, worn or damaged. Frayed or damaged cords around the house can spark, easily leading to a fire. Try to avoid running cords through high-traffic areas in your home where they may more quickly get worn out or damaged. Also, make sure you’re not overloading outlets or extension cords. Have an electrician install more outlets if you feel you don’t have enough. 

Make safety plans for the family 

One of the simplest ways to help prevent a house fire is by making sure everyone in the home understands the safety precautions. Talk to your children about fire safety and set rules for the household to keep best practices in place. Keep lighters and matches out of reach of children, teach them the importance of blowing out candles when leaving a room and how to identify the sound of smoke alarms. Lastly, create a fire escape plan so everyone is prepared and knows where to go if a fire occurs.

OKFB understands the importance of your home and the role it plays for your family. Protect your dwelling with Home Insurance. Talk to an agent today!

Good Grade Discount

Getting a driver’s license can be an exciting time, but chances are it may be less so for parents. This newfound freedom for the new, young driver also means a policy update or addition to maintain the necessary auto insurance coverage. 

If a vehicle is being added to the policy for the new driver, it will require adding a new coverage line. If the driver will be sharing a car that is already under the policy, that will require a policy update as well. Adding coverage or adjusting coverage can mean changes in price. Most times, a new, young driver will be more expensive to insure. Luckily, many insurance providers offer a good grades discount for car insurance. Read more about this discount and contact your agent to apply:

To be eligible for this discount with OKFB Insurance, a student must*: 

  • Be a full-time student in high school, college or university
  • Have a scholastic record during the immediately preceding school semester or quarter that shows one of the following: 
    • 3.0 GPA or B average
    • Scholastic rank in the upper 20% of his/her class 
    • Included on the “Dean’s List,” honor roll or other comparable scholastic recognition list 
  • Send the insurance agent a copy of the student’s most recent scholastic record 
  • Apply for the scholastic credit with your agent

Contact your agent to see if your student is eligible to receive this discount. While you’re at it, take a look at our other discounts for Auto Insurance policies. 

*Depending on your carrier, these eligibility requirements may vary.