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Wednesday, 15 January 2014 00:00

Did you know THIS about heating fires?

Colder temperatures are here which means many of us will begin using our fireplaces. There’s nothing more relaxing than settling in front of a warm fire with a good book on a chilly fall night. Before you light your first fire for the season, however, you should have your fireplace inspected. A proper inspection will identify potential defects, as well creosote buildup.

Creosote is a black residue that travels up the chimney and builds up on the flue every time you light a fire. Many consider a creosote fire in the chimney one of the most dangerous because it can spread quickly, severely damaging or destroying your entire home within minutes.


33% of Americans use fireplaces, wood stoves and other fuel-fired appliances as the primary heat sources in their homes.

Heating fires account for 36% of all residential fires every year.

On average, 4,000 of the residential fires every year are caused by wood burning stoves.

Fireplaces and chimneys cause an average of 25,000 residential fires every year.

5pm - 9pm is the time when 30% of residential heating fires happen. Only 3% happen between 3am - 5am.

Here are tips to prevent residential fires:

1. Never use flammable liquids to start a fire

2. Cover the chimney with a mesh screen spark arrestor

3. Have your chimney inspected every year

4. Never leave fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house.

5. Keep the roof clear of leaves, pine needles and other debris.

6. Build small fires that burn completely and produce less smoke

7. Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in your fireplace or wood stove.

8. Install smoke alarms on every level of the home and inside and outside of sleeping areas. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.


Published in Blog

Slippery sidewalks and snow covered cars bad enough for you?

Well, during this time of year you face another potential headache. Ruined carpets and water damage to ceilings and walls from leaks caused by ice dams or bursting pipes. There are several steps you can take to avoid that kind of headache.


An ice dam is the accumulation of ice at the lower edge of a sloped roof, usually at the gutter. When interior heat melts the snow on the roof the water will run down and refreeze at the roof's edge. Ice builds up and blocks water from draining off the roof. That causes the water under the roof covering and into your attic or down the inside walls of your house. This can cause serious damage. Here is what you can do:

 - Keep the attic well ventilated. The colder the attic, the less melting and refreezing on the roof

 - Keep the attic floor well insulated to minimize the amount of heat rising through the attic from within the house

Freezing Pipes

Frozen water in pipes can cause water pressure buildup between ice blockage and the closed faucet at the end of a pipe, which can lead to pipes bursting at their weakest point. Pipes is attics, crawl spaces and outside walls are particularly vulnerable to freezing, especially when holes in your outside walls for TV, cable or phone allow cold air to reach in. Here is what you can do:

To keep water in pipes from freezing:

 - Fit exposed pipes with insulation sleeves or wrapping

 - Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundation with caulking

 - Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells to allow warm air to circulate around pipes (particularly in the kitchen and bathrooms)

 - Drain pipes that lead to the outside and are not being used during the winter



Published in Blog
Thursday, 31 October 2013 19:57

New Western National Mobile App

Western National released a free, mobile app available in iTunes and Google Play under Western National Insurance. It gives Western National policyholders the ability to access up to date auto ID cards, has helpful roadside assistance tools and auto accident help, including phone numbers for glass and other auto claims. The app also has the ability to report claims by email.

Published in Blog
Thursday, 18 April 2013 01:26

2013 Summer Drought Risks

There is a high risk for droughts this summer. Farmers and homeowners should take a second look at their coverage to make sure what they have is adequate. Click here for a more in depth look.

Published in Blog