Black Friday Auto Safety

The clock is ticking down to the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday!<.h1>

While many shoppers are writing out lists and planning their shopping strategy others are scheming on how to steal your newly purchased gifts. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance offers some auto safety tips during this holiday season:
• Park in well-lit areas
• Lock all of your doors and windows
• Place your newly purchased items in the trunk. If an item needs to go on a seat then make sure it is covered
• Don’t overload yourself with bags
• Be aware of your surroundings. Have your keys ready to open the door and don’t linger in your car after loading it.
• If you are dropping items in your car and then going back shopping, consider moving your car to a new location. Many thieves watch and simply break the windows on your car to retrieve the loot once you are back shopping.

Of course, there are also dangers while driving during Black Friday. Quite a few shoppers have been up for an extended period of time and are operating on minimal sleep. Tiredness and sleep deprivation can cause people to drive erratically. Don’t let the stress and exhaustion of the holiday get to you.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) found that 89 million people shopped on Black Friday. That is a lot of cars on the road and in the parking lots! Accidents happen because people are in a rush to get to the next bargain. Slow down and follow the speed limit. Eliminate distractions such as texting and talking on the phone while you are driving. Be on the lookout for pedestrians. People are rushing out of their cars to buy their gifts and often don’t use walkways. Shoppers have been known to dart in between cars and in front of traffic in order to get the deals. You don’t want to spend your shopping time involved in an accident.

When you are leaving the store be careful backing up. Many accidents occur when people back into another car. Make sure that you double check so that no one backs into your car. Your car could also be hit by another car while it is parked in the parking lot.

Gulf Coast Educators Insurance wants you to be safe during Black Friday and during all of your holiday shopping. Follow the tips above. If you do end up having an accident, then report it to the police and your insurance company. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance clients can call 239-591-0963 for the Naples office, 941-391-5423 for the Port Charlotte office, and 239-997-0420 for the Fort Myers office. Wishing you the best this holiday season!

Fire Safety For Home Insurance

Don’t Let Your Turkey Cause Your Home To Go Up In Flames

According to the National Fire Protection Association (USFA), the number of cooking fires on Thanksgiving is three times higher than any other day. Gulf Coast Educators Insurance wants you to stay safe this holiday season. Here are some cooking safety tips for you:

• Always stay in the kitchen while cooking
• Do not let children near the stove or burner while cooking
• Use back burners when possible and keep handles turned towards the back of the stove
• Keep the counters clear of clutter
• Use timers to keep track of the cooking food
• Keep the floor clean so you don’t trip over anything
• Don’t become distracted by your guests. Keep your eye on that food!
• Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them prior to the big day

If you choose to make your turkey in a turkey fryer then make sure to follow these safety tips:
• Before starting, make sure to read the directions on how to use the fryer. Be sure to follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions
• Make sure the turkey is completely thawed before frying
• Do not overfill the fryer with oil
• Never leave the fryer unattended
• Allow at least two feet between the liquid propane tank and the fryer burner
• Keep children and pets away from the fryer
• Keep a fire extinguisher close at hand

If a fire does occur then make sure to have an escape plan ready. If the fire is contained, then you can try and extinguish it with a fire extinguisher or by smothering it with a towel. If a fire gets out of hand, evacuate your home and call 911 from a safe distance.

Gulf Coast Educators Insurance urges you to use caution while cooking this holiday season. A Florida homeowner’s insurance policy may cover destruction if your home has a fire. If a fire does damage your home, please call our Naples office at 239-591-0963, our Port Charlotte branch at 941-391-5423, or our Fort Myers location at 239-997-0420. Keep safe and have an enjoyable holiday season!