Here’s Why You Should Always Sleep with the Door Closed

by Marie Turko on October 2, 2019

According to firefighters, every second counts during a fire. In fact, house fires can double in size every minute that goes by. About half of home fire deaths happen between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are sleeping.

But here’s the good news: There’s a simple step you can add to your nighttime routine to keep you safe.

Research from UL’s Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FRSI) shows that closing your bedroom door helps prevent a fire from spreading, lessens smoke damage and could even save lives.

Here’s why it works: Fires spread more quickly the more oxygen they have. Keeping your bedroom door closed can slow the spread of a house fire, as well as reduce toxic smoke levels.

Having the right kind of fire extinguisher nearby can help. But when it comes to fire-related deaths, it’s usually not the flames that are to blame. Smoke is actually more likely to cause suffocation and death. Continue reading “Here’s Why You Should Always Sleep with the Door Closed”

Is an Animal Living Under Your Porch? Here’s What to Do Next

by Justin Metz on

As a homeowner, you’ve probably entertained guests who overstayed their welcome. But unlike your in-laws or a former college roommate… an animal that’s made itself at home on your property has no intention of leaving.

Some of the usual suspects include raccoons, opossums, woodchucks, skunks or the occasional stray cat. And while they’re just looking for a safe place to call home, you’d probably prefer it wasn’t under your porch or shed.

How can I tell if an animal is living under my porch?

Wondering if an animal has decided to move in? Here are some things you should look for:

  • Animal sightings: This one’s obvious. But if you see an animal entering and exiting the space below your porch multiple times, there’s a high likelihood it’s not just visiting. Of course, many nuisance animals are nocturnal. So if you want to catch them in the act, think about investing in a motion-sensor trail camera – many models can be found for less than $50 online.
  • Damage: One of the reasons animals are worth evicting from around your home is the damage they can do to your home and property. Look for burrow holes, gnawed wood and eaten vegetation around the area.
  • Paw prints: Spread a light dusting of sand or flour around your porch at night, then check for prints in the morning.
  • Droppings: We know – ewww. But animal droppings, or scat, can help you confirm the identity of your newest neighbor.
  • Continue reading “Is an Animal Living Under Your Porch? Here’s What to Do Next”

What’s Cheaper: Insuring Old Cars or New Cars?

by Alex Buczynski on November 14, 2019

If you believe insuring an old car costs less than insuring a new car, you’re not alone. However, that’s not always the case when it comes to auto insurance.

Newer vehicles with safety features like back-up cameras and automatic braking do a better job of preventing accidents. However, it typically costs more to repair and replace a car with the latest technology. (See also: Can You Guess The Real Cost of a Fender Bender?)

If your car was made overseas and parts will have to be shipped to you if they need replaced, that can also drive up the cost of your insurance.

We spoke with Dave Freeman, vice president and regional underwriting officer at Erie Insurance, to find out how insuring old cars and new cars works. Continue reading “What’s Cheaper: Insuring Old Cars or New Cars?”