fire safety tips

7 Fire Safety Tips to Keep You Safe During the Cold Months

As the cold weather creeps upon us, many homeowners and renters will begin turning on their furnaces or fireplaces to keep warm. Before the winter arrives, however, we need to take a step back and think about fire safety. Each year, approximately 3,400 people’s lives are taken in home fires or by burn injuries. Unfortunately, 8 out of 10 fire-related deaths occur at home.

Fires can be largely preventable, and Madison Mutual is here to help keep you safe. Here are 7 of our best tips to help you prevent fires in your home:

Watch What You’re Cooking – Did you know that cooking, especially stove-top cooking, is the leading cause of home fires across the nation? These accidents are preventable and mostly occur because someone is distracted. When you’re cooking, give the task your undivided attention! If you do happen to leave the kitchen for some reason, don’t leave the stove on. Turn off the burner before you leave the room instead!

Give Heaters Some Space – Space heaters are a leading concern in the winter months since sheets and window curtains can come in contact with a unit in use and ignite. Give your space heater some, well, space! Make sure that the unit has 3 feet of clear space all around it in all directions, and keep it away from draperies, bedspreads, furniture, other people, and pets.

Get Your Furnace and Fireplace Inspected – Before the winter arrives, be sure to get your furnace inspected and serviced by a professional. This will not only help prevent fires but will also keep you warm throughout the cold months. Have a fireplace? Make sure to get it serviced and cleaned annually as well.

Check Your Electrical Cords – Cords that are frayed or cracked can pose as a danger to your home. They can easily create sparks, and if those sparks reach flammable surfaces, you could have a fire on your hands. Remember to check all of your electrical cords periodically and replace those that are in good shape.

Install Working Smoke Detectors – This is one of the best defensive moves you can make in protecting yourself and your home from a fire. Put a smoke detector on every level of your home and outside of each bedroom. Remember to test and clean them every year and replace the batteries twice a year.

Be Careful With Candles – Candles are a mainstay in many households across the nation, but they can also be a common source of home fires. If you light a candle, be sure to remain in the room with it and extinguish it whenever you leave the room. You can also consider using battery-operated candles that look and function like a real candle.

Create a Solid Escape Plan – It’s always a smart idea to create, review, and practice an escape plan! Teach the members of your family to stay low to the ground and practice escaping from each room frequently. Additionally, keep a fire extinguisher nearby in an easily accessible location, and teach everyone in the family how to use it.

Be sure to protect your home as well. Home insurance can help protect you, your family, and your valuables in the event of a fire. If you’re in need of more information or a home insurance policy, call the best – Madison Mutual. You can reach us at 1-800-766-MMIC or learn more online at www.madisonmutual.com.

homemade Halloween treats

5 Easy Homemade Halloween Treats Trick-Or-Treaters Will Love!

Do you ever wonder what strangers toss into your children’s trick-or-treat bags? What ingredients are really in the candy you and your neighbors are handing out year after year? Here are some startling facts about the popular candies bought and given out at Halloween.

• M&M’s are filled with petroleum-based dyes – enough dye that multiple countries have already banned them. There is also a petition which over 100,00 people have signed to change the dye.
• The palm oil used in most of the popular Halloween candies, such as Snickers and Starbursts, is causing deforestation and endangering orangutans. Palm oil is extremely unhealthy anyway.
• Kit Kats, Milk Way, Nerds, Whoppers, Skittles, Butterfingers, and Twizzlers all contain more than fifteen types of artificial dyes and sugars!

So now that you are now informed about the ingredients in Halloween candies, we are going to take a wild guess and say that you might not want to hand out these harmful candies at Halloween this year. You may wonder what the alternative to these candies is. It’s simple – homemade Halloween treats. Trust us!

Here are some of the best homemade Halloween sweet treats to give out to trick-or-treaters coming to your door. You can thank us later when you are the talk of your neighborhood this Halloween!

Halloween Puffcorn Party Mix

This Halloween popcorn is packed with both sweet and salty goodness! It is the perfect snack to put into a plastic bag and hand out to trick-or-treaters. It’s also a snack to enjoy at the end of the night while watching Halloween movies with your family!
http://creativemeinspiredyou.com/halloween-puffcorn-party-mix/

Homemade Candy Corn

The nutritious and better tasting value of your own homemade candy corn would even knock a witch off her broom! That is how you know it is worth it!
http://www.thekitchenismyplayground.com/2015/10/homemade-candy-corn.html

Witch’s Cauldron Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange “Scream” Filling

This is a project to have your little ones participate in! These chocolate cupcakes filled with orange cream filling are something to be excited about. The toppings look like something made in a witch’s cauldron itself!

Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Hand Pie

Pumpkin Hand Pie? That might sound scary for those of you that just can’t cook any of their pies correctly. Don’t worry, even if you can pull off a homemade pumpkin pie, you can master the adorable hand pies.
http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a43939/mini-jack-o-lantern-pies-recipe/

Spider Chocolate Chip Cookies

We know what you are thinking – how do I make chocolate chips that look like spiders and put them in cookies? Simply put legs on them! Click on the link and see how simple these spider cookies really are!

Believe it or not, there are many more homemade Halloween recipes out there; these are just a few of our favorites at Madison Mutual. Be a little different this Halloween and create cute treats with nutritious value for the kids!
The employees at Madison Mutual can’t wait to hear from you! Call us today at 1- 800-766-MMIC (6642) or visit us at www.madisonmutual.com to find an agent that fits your insurance needs!