As the colder months approach, many of us will be using our fireplaces. It’s important to follow some precautionary measures to burn fires safely and prevent home fires in general. Here are a few safety tips:  

1. Have your chimney professionally cleaned and inspected at least once a year. Only use hardwoods and dry, seasoned wood. Keep ashes in a metal container a safe distance from your fireplace. Always use a screen and keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Never leave a fire unattended.  

2. Keep outdoor grills and barbecues away from anything that can catch fire, including deck railings or pergolas. Always keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

3. Clothing dryers are a frequent source of house fires. Clean the dryer vent regularly and the lint filter after each load.

4. Place space heaters away from curtains or other objects that can catch fire. Avoid using older space heaters which lack safety features. 

5. Always keep your stove and oven clean to avoid build-up that can ignite. Don’t leave pots and pans unattended, while cooking. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

6. Protect your valuable electronics, such as appliances, TV’s and computers with a surge protector – not to be confused with a power strip.

7. Make sure your electrical cords are not frayed, pinched or covered up by furniture or rugs. You can prevent electrical fires by using a “Ting” device, which alerts you to hazardous situations that need to be addressed. 

For more information contact: 
Christopher F. McDonald | Amaden Gay Agencies
P.O. Box 5004 | 11 Gay Road | East Hampton, NY 11937 | P 631.324.0041 ext. 341 | F 631.324.0671 |



Water damage to a home is one of the most common types of insurance claims. Your home is vulnerable to water damage all year round. While it’s impossible to completely prevent water-related losses, these tips will help minimize your risk:

1. Have your roof inspected periodically and clean your gutters and drains regularly. 

2. Perform regular maintenance on appliances including water heaters, dishwashers, ice makers, refrigerators and air conditioners.

3. Install metal braided hoses to your washing machine with an overflow pan beneath it. Rubber washing machine hoses are one of the leading causes of water damage in homes, as rubber hoses can dry, crack and eventually break. 

4. Install a condensate pump and float switch on your air conditioning unit.

5. Drain the water from your faucets, and manually shut off the main water supply before leaving for vacation.

6. Have someone regularly check on your home while you are away, especially during cold weather.

7. Install a water leak detection system that automatically shuts-off the main water supply and activates a central station alarm or sends an alert to your smartphone.

8. Install a low temperature monitoring system that activates a central station alarm.

9. Speak with your insurance advisor about the water damage-related coverages that your policy provides, such as “Water Back-up and Sump Discharge or Overflow” and “Mold Remediation.”

10. Consider buying flood insurance even if your home is not near a body of water or in a hazardous flood zone. It’s important to protect your home against flooding from heavy rain.

For more information contact: 
Christopher F. McDonald | Amaden Gay Agencies
P.O. Box 5004 | 11 Gay Road | East Hampton, NY 11937 | P 631.324.0041 ext. 341 | F 631.324.0671 |