Safer Snow Blower Use

// Katie Rynard on Thursday February 2, 2017

It’s no secret that slips and falls are a common cause of winter injuries – who hasn’t taken a spill on an icy walkway at one point or another? But even snow and ice removal poses its own set of safety concerns. If you missed our recent post on shoveling safety, check it out here.

It’s especially important to practice caution when operating a snow blower. More than 15,000 people were injured using snow blowers in 2015, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Hands and fingers fare the worst injury-wise (it’s never a good idea to try and clear a clog with your hands), but back strain and overexertion are other risks.

Clear snow quickly, easily AND safely by following these snow blower safety tips from Consumer Reports:

  • Never wear loose pants, jackets, or scarves, which can get tangled in a snow blower’s moving parts and pull you in with them.
  • Wear earplugs or other hearing protection, especially with a gas-powered model, which typically runs above the 85 decibels at which hearing damage can occur.
  • Before the snow gets too deep, remove doormats, sleds, boards, wires, newspapers, and anything else from the area you’ll clear to avoid clogs and damage to the machine.
  • Don’t let children operate a snow blower. And keep people and pets far away from the vicinity of where you’re clearing.
  • Protect yourself from carbon-monoxide poisoning by starting and running a gas-powered snow blower outside, never in a garage, shed, or other enclosed area—-even if the door is open.
  • For an electric model, use an outdoor extension cord rated for your model, connected to an outlet with ground-fault-circuit-interrupting (GFCI) protection. Then be sure to keep the cord safely away from the spinning auger while working.
  • Turn off the engine of a gas snow blower or unplug the cord of an electric model before clearing a clog at the auger or discharge chute. And use a clearing tool or a broom handle to clear the clog—never your hands or feet, even if you’re wearing gloves: A stationary auger and impeller are often under enough belt tension to harm hands and feet, even with the engine or electric motor off.
  • Wait until a gas model’s engine is cool before refueling to avoid igniting the gasoline.

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

Katie Rynard

Katie Rynard

Katie Rynard is a Corporate Communications Specialist at GuideOne Insurance.

When she's not at work, she enjoys decorating, traveling, trying new restaurants and spending time with her husband, daughter and dachshund puppy.

Our 5 Most-Read Blog Posts of 2016

// Katie Rynard on Tuesday January 3, 2017

Happy New Year! The GuideOne Connections team enjoyed creating safety- and security-focused content in 2016, and look forward to bringing you even more in 2017. (Stay tuned for Thursday’s post, which will highlight 2017 safety trends.) In the meantime, we wanted to share the most-read posts from last year. Thank you for reading!

1. 5 Building Usage Policies to Implement Now  
Sharing your facility with outside groups is a great way to extend your ministry into your community, but it also extends your risk of safety and liability issues. This article will help you streamline and strengthen your approval process to mitigate risk.

2. Ask Eric: Is Pokémon Go a Liability for our Church? 
Chances are, you saw people playing Pokémon Go last summer – or it came up in conversations. Occasionally, players ended up on private property, which prompted concern about potential liability risk. In this post, Eric Spacek, GuideOne's risk management and loss control director, addressed that concern.

3. The Threat of Terrorism
The June 2016 mass shooting in Orlando, FL, inspired this post, which highlights key actions that church leaders can take to prepare and protect their places of worship against threats of terrorism.

4. 6 Hazards to Look for In Your Church Nursery 
Unsafe toys, tip and trip hazards, and other safety-related red flags to look for when inspecting your church nursery, plus tips for correcting these issues.

5. 3 Social Media Pitfalls Your Church is Making 
Now is a great time to revisit this article and evaluate your church’s current social media presence and ensure that it’s as effective as you intended.

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

Katie Rynard

Katie Rynard

Katie Rynard is a Corporate Communications Specialist at GuideOne Insurance.

When she's not at work, she enjoys decorating, traveling, trying new restaurants and spending time with her husband, daughter and dachshund puppy.

Extinguish Fire Risk in the Kitchen

// Katie Rynard on Tuesday December 13, 2016

Kitchens are hot spots in homes and organizations – literally. They’re a common source of fires in homes and religious properties, according to the National Fire Protection Association, and the risk of fire increases during the holidays.  

Whether you’re making a meal for a holiday get-together or helping to prepare a meal that will be delivered to the less-fortunate in your area, it’s important to make fire safety a priority:

DO equip the kitchen with fully operational smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. Review this checklist for smoke detector and fire extinguisher guidelines.

DON’T let children near cooking appliances. If they’re helping out in the kitchen, require that they stay at least three feet away from the stove. Position cookware handles inward so pots and pans can’t be tipped or bumped.

DO move paper bags, pot holders, recipe cards, wooden utensils and other items that can catch fire away from cooking surfaces. One item you do want in easy reach? A pan lid or baking sheet that can quickly extinguish a pan fire.

DON’T wear tops with loose, long sleeves that could brush a burner and catch fire. Roll up your sleeves or wear a top with short sleeves. If you have long hair, pull it back.

DO thoroughly clean cooking surfaces and floors and walls around cooking appliances regularly to prevent grease buildup. At a minimum, a once-weekly wipe-down is recommended.

DON’T get distracted and don’t leave your cooking unattended. If you need to leave the kitchen, turn burners off before leaving. Use a timer to help you keep tabs on food baking in the oven.

DO hire a qualified contractor to service your kitchen’s ventilation hood, grease-removal devices, fans, ducts and other equipment to prevent grease buildup. Aim to do this every six months, or more frequently if there’s heavy grease accumulation.

SOURCES: GuideOne Center for Risk Management, LLC | National Fire Protection Association | U.S. Fire Administration | American Red Cross

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

Katie Rynard

Katie Rynard

Katie Rynard is a Corporate Communications Specialist at GuideOne Insurance.

When she's not at work, she enjoys decorating, traveling, trying new restaurants and spending time with her husband, daughter and dachshund puppy.

4 Ways to Step Up Security at Holiday Events

// Katie Rynard on Tuesday November 15, 2016

As the holiday season approaches, your organization is likely gearing up for Christmas programs and other seasonal activities. These events tend to draw a lot of nonmembers, and while it's important to make guests feel welcome, you don't want to roll out the welcome mat for thieves.

The best way to prevent theft is to include security in your event-planning conversations, says Tom Strong, senior loss control manager at GuideOne Insurance. "Preparation is key," Strong says. "If you have a plan to control the situation, there will be a better outcome." Assemble and train a team of trustworthy volunteers, then put the following security safeguards in place:

1. Establish a presence. Strong recommends that volunteers wear matching T-shirts in an eye-catching color so attendees will know who to ask for help – and so potential thieves will know they're being watched. "Physical presence is a big deterrent," Strong says.

2. Watch the doors. Only unlock entrances you know you'll use. When you're carrying items in and out of the building before and after the event, have a volunteer monitor the door to prevent someone from sneaking in. Make sure the building is locked when you leave.

3. Call attention to approved areas. Close off and lock up areas of the building that are off-limits, and "use signage to point guests in the right direction," Strong says. Assign a volunteer to monitor the building during the event in case someone gets lost or ventures where they shouldn't be.

4. Secure valuables. Collect money in tamper-proof bags, and deposit or lock up cash immediately after the event based on your organization's money-handling procedures.

Taking these precautions will help ensure your holiday events are as joyful as you intended for everyone involved – the event planners, volunteers and attendees.

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

Katie Rynard

Katie Rynard

Katie Rynard is a Corporate Communications Specialist at GuideOne Insurance.

When she's not at work, she enjoys decorating, traveling, trying new restaurants and spending time with her husband, daughter and dachshund puppy.

The Do's and Don'ts of Avoiding Collisions with Deer

// Katie Rynard on Thursday November 3, 2016

October through December is my favorite time of year, hands-down. Sweater weather, fall and holiday festivities, and quality time with my out-of-town family are just a few reasons why. One thing I don’t love about this time of year, however, is the possibility of meeting a deer on the road – nearly half of all vehicle accidents involving deer occur from October to December. I’ve had a few close calls that have left me white-knuckled and shaky, and I know I’m not alone. While there’s no way to prevent encounters with deer on the road, it’s possible to reduce the risk of a collision. Keep these pointers in mind.

DO know your surroundings. Be especially alert and cautious near fields and heavily wooded areas, where deer tend to congregate. Take deer-crossing signs seriously. When possible, avoid driving between dawn and dusk when deer tend to be active – and when most collisions happen. (If you can’t avoid those times, avoid routes near deer-heavy areas.)

DON’T get distracted. You shouldn’t be using your phone, eating or grooming while driving, anyway. Focus your attention on your surroundings. Look far down the road in front of you and scan the roadsides from left to right. Remember: Deer travel in packs, so if you see one, chances are there are more nearby.

DO improve your visibility. Clean windows and windshields can help minimize sun glare and improve night vision. When there’s no oncoming traffic, using your high-beam lights can also help you see better in the dark – the beams will illuminate the eyes of deer on or near a roadway. If you spot a deer, don’t blink or flash your lights. This can frighten the animal and cause sudden movement.

DON’T swerve. If you encounter a deer on the road, slow down. If a collision can’t be avoided, you may be better off brushing the animal at an angle while maintaining control of your vehicle. Swerving and oversteering can cause you to drift into oncoming traffic, roll into a ditch, or hit a tree or other object.

DO use common sense. Wear your seat belt and make your passengers buckle up, too. Drive at a safe speed.

Hitting a deer is one of the last things anyone wants to experience this time of year. Using caution and common sense and staying calm (as calm as possible, that is) can help you avoid this. Remember, every second matters when you meet a deer on or near the road.

SOURCE: “Avoiding Vehicle Accidents with Deer,” GuideOne Center for Risk Management, LLC.

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

Katie Rynard

Katie Rynard

Katie Rynard is a Corporate Communications Specialist at GuideOne Insurance.

When she's not at work, she enjoys decorating, traveling, trying new restaurants and spending time with her husband, daughter and dachshund puppy.

Would You Know How to Respond in an Emergency Medical Situation?

// Lindsay Taylor on Thursday September 29, 2016

A child trips as a result of untied shoes and cuts her knee. A college student gets a chemical burn while conducting an experiment in chemistry lab. An elderly man collapses during a church service. If someone you were with experienced any one of these medical situations, would you know how to handle it?

While some situations may be minor and others more serious, they should still be treated with proper techniques and procedures. Knowing what to do – and when – in the event of a medical emergency could prevent further damage or even save someone’s life. If someone around you needs medical attention, it is advised that you follow these techniques and procedures in order to help the individual get the medical attention they need.

Bleeding

  • Apply direct pressure to the wound with gauze or a clean cloth. Hold the dressing down securely.
  • If blood soaks through the material, simply place another layer on top. Do not remove the soaked layer.
  • Elevate the wound above the victim’s heart.
  • Use pressure points to help stop bleeding.
  • If you cannot get the bleeding to stop, call 911.
  • DO NOT apply a tourniquet. Using one may result in the victim losing a limb.

Burns

  • Run cool water over the burn for several minutes. DO NOT use ice to cool the burn, this could result in frostbite.
  • If the burn is severe and is charring or blistering, call 911.
  • Apply a topical burn ointment or spray to the burn to reduce pain. DO NOT apply butter or oil to the burn because the oils will trap the heat and make the burn worse.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to help decrease the pain associated with the burn.

Choking

  • If the victim is coughing and can talk, allow him or her to continue coughing in attempt to get the object out.
  • If the victim cannot get the object out, give him or her five blows with the heel of your hand to the back between the shoulder blades. Then perform the Heimlich maneuver
  • If the victim cannot speak or breathe, call 911 and immediately begin performing the Heimlich maneuver.

Collapse

  • Grab the victim’s shoulders and shake the person to see if you can wake him or her.
  • If the victim does not wake from shaking, call 911 and begin to perform CPR if he or she is not breathing.

Fractures

  • Assess the situation so you don’t get injured the same way the victim did.
  • If the affected limb is cold or blue, call 911 immediately.
  • DO NOT straighten the limb; keep it in the position it was found in.
  • Stabilize the limb with padding to keep it immobile.
  • Put ice on the injury, but use a cloth to separate the ice from the bare skin.
  • Elevate the limb above the heart if possible to reduce swelling.
  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories may also be used to reduce swelling and help with pain relief.
  • If 911 was not called originally, take the individual to a doctor or hospital to seek further necessary medical attention to treat the injury.

Sprains

  • Assess the situation so you don’t get injured the same way the victim did.
  • Use the RICE method to treat the injury:
                 Rest. Use a cane or crutch to keep pressure off of the joint.
                 Ice. Place ice on the sprain to reduce swelling.
                 Compress. Use an elastic bandage to secure the sprain.
                 Elevate. Raise the sprain above the heart as much as possible.

As a leader of your organization, it is important that all of your employees and volunteers are properly trained on basic first-aid techniques and procedures. Numerous CPR and first-aid training courses are available to train your employees on what to do in the event of an emergency medical situation. Additionally, make sure you have a properly stocked first-aid kit on hand at all times.

Sources: Mayo Clinic | VeryWell | Grainger

 

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

Lindsay Taylor

Lindsay Taylor

Lindsay Taylor is a Marketing Coordinator for GuideOne Insurance, focusing on marketing communications and the co-op program.

In her free time, she enjoys dancing, running and spending time with friends and family.

How to Recognize and Treat a Food Allergy Reaction

// Sarah Arnold on Tuesday September 20, 2016

Food allergies affect a lot of people – especially children – and reactions can occur when you least expect them. Knowing problem foods, warning signs and appropriate responses can help you take control of a serious situation.

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

Sarah Arnold

Sarah Arnold

Sarah Arnold is a Web Marketing Intern for GuideOne Insurance.

When she is not at work, Sarah enjoys horseback riding, painting, reading and spending time with her husband, ponies, cats and hound.

How Safe Are the Toys in Your Church Nursery?

// Katie Rynard on Tuesday September 13, 2016

Donations of new or gently used toys make play time in the church nursery even more enjoyable for the youngest members of your congregation. To ensure the toys in your nursery remain fun and not scary, take time to inspect donations before accepting them. Toy-related injuries were responsible for approximately 251,800 emergency department visits in 2014, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

If you receive donated toys, decide whether or not to keep them based on these factors:

CHOOSE TOYS THAT HAVE:

  • ASTM labels – this indicates that the toy has been tested and certified by the American Society for Testing and Materials
  • Age-recommendation labels – typically printed on toy packaging, this label helps you ensure that toys are age-appropriate for the children you’re responsible for
  • Nontoxic labeling (crayons, markers and other art supplies)
  • Flame-resistant, flame-retardant or nonflammable labels (cloth toys)
  • Washable materials (cloth toys)
  • Sturdy and durable construction that will stand up to frequent use

STEER CLEAR OF TOYS THAT HAVE:

  • Sharp edges or points
  • Loud noises that could cause hearing damage
  • Small or moving parts that aren’t securely fastened
  • Splinters on wooden toys
  • Small parts, like marbles and beads, that could be put into a child’s nose, mouth, or ears
  • Visible damage, like tears, cracks or broken seams
  • Slots or holes that could pinch a child’s fingers
  • Easy access to magnets and button batteries, which are choking hazards and harmful if ingested
  • Potentially harmful filling, like small pellets
  • Been recalled by the CPSC

It’s also smart to periodically screen toys that have been in your nursery for a while. Carefully fix broken toys or ditch them if they’re beyond repair, and regularly clean toys so they’re sanitary.

SOURCES: Child Safety for Churches,” a free downloadable book from GuideOne Insurance | Safe Kids Worldwide  | KidsHealth

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

Katie Rynard

Katie Rynard

Katie Rynard is a Corporate Communications Specialist at GuideOne Insurance.

When she's not at work, she enjoys decorating, traveling, trying new restaurants and spending time with her husband, daughter and dachshund puppy.

First-Aid Kit Must-Haves

// Katie Rynard on Thursday September 1, 2016

When a child in your care trips on the playground and scrapes his knee, the last thing you want to do is hunt for an elusive bandage. If a church member cuts herself while chopping veggies for a charitable fundraiser dinner, you’ll want gauze, a cleanser and ointment at the ready. And if a bee stings someone, you should ideally be able to locate tweezers and a compress.

That’s why it’s essential to have a complete and accessible first-aid kit. Your organization likely has one – or a few – already, but it’s a good idea to periodically check your kit to make sure it’s fully stocked and that medications have not expired. Here’s what you should have on hand:

  • Two or more pairs of sterile, non-latex gloves
  • Absorbent, sterile dressings, like gauze pads and compresses, to stop bleeding
  • Cleansers: soap, antiseptic wipes or solution, and alcohol wipes
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Burn ointment
  • Petroleum jelly or another lubricant
  • Adhesive bandages in several sizes
  • Elastic bandages
  • Adhesive cloth tape
  • Instant cold compresses
  • Eyewash solution
  • Oral non-mercury/non-glass thermometer
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Aspirin and non-aspirin pain reliever
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antacid
  • Aluminum finger splint
  • Breathing barrier for administering CPR
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Safety pins
  • Turkey baster or another bulb suction device to flush wounds
  • Blanket
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First-aid manual
  • List of emergency phone numbers

If you want to cover your bases, assemble a few kits and store them in active areas like the nursery, office and gym. If your organization has a bus or van, put one in there, too. Store supplies in roomy, durable containers, and keep kits out of children’s reach.

You may also consider adding an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to your first-aid supplies. If someone experiences cardiac arrest, this small machine steps up by first determining if an electric shock is necessary, then administering the shock when needed. Learn more about the highlights and important considerations surrounding AEDs here

And lastly, employees and volunteers trained in appropriate first-aid responses and techniques are just as important as the supplies themselves. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on first-aid procedures.

SOURCES: American Red Cross  | U.S. Department of Homeland Security | Mayo Clinic | KidsHealth

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

Katie Rynard

Katie Rynard

Katie Rynard is a Corporate Communications Specialist at GuideOne Insurance.

When she's not at work, she enjoys decorating, traveling, trying new restaurants and spending time with her husband, daughter and dachshund puppy.

Electrical Safety 101: Overloading Circuits

// Eric Spacek, JD, ARM on Thursday March 24, 2016

An overloaded electrical outlet is more common than you might think. While it’s easy and inexpensive to find quick electrical solutions when your facility is in a pinch, oftentimes, these practices put your organization at risk and tend to become tong-term solutions.

An electrical circuit overload occurs when more electrical demand is placed on a circuit than it can handle.  This can happen for a number of reasons, but is primarily related to not having enough electrical outlets available for use. For example during potlucks, the use of slow cookers, coffee makers and roasters are all plugged into outlets in the kitchen, and are most likely all on the same branch circuit.  This overloads the circuit and causes nuisance tripping of the breakers or blowing of fuses.  Frequent tripping of breakers or blown fuses may be an indicator of other more serious electrical issues, including loose or corroded wires and connections, short circuit or a ground fault, which are all issues that can lead to a serious fire.  To help avoid a serious situation at your organization, follow the safety guidelines outlined below.

Electrical Inspection

If the breakers are continually tripping or the fuses are blowing, hire a certified electrician to inspect the electrical system. This inspection will identify the electrical demands needed and any necessary corrections.

Fuses

The presence of fuses in the electrical system indicates older wiring, and every attempt should be made to replace fuses with circuit breakers. Where fuses still exist, an all too common practice to stop a fuse from continually blowing is to install a higher-rated fuse in the circuit (i.e., installing a 15-amp fuse with a 20-amp fuse). This is a recipe for disaster, as this allows for more current into the circuit than it was designed for, which can lead to overheating of the wire and probable fire.

To prevent mismatching or over fusing of the circuit, install type “S” tamper-proof fuses in all screw-in fuse panels. These come in different amperage sizes, and each tamper-proof fuse will only screw into the correct tamper-proof base.

Loose Connections or Corroded Wires

Circuit overloads also can be caused by loose or corroded wires and connections. This could be at the service panel circuit connections or a splice in a junction box from moisture or a missing wire nut.  Again, if you are experiencing tripping breakers or blown fuses, contact a certified electrician.

Circuit Breakers

  • Equip all electrical breaker panels with an appropriate cover and keep it closed. Missing covers expose the circuits to dust and physical damage, which could lead to an arc or short circuit.
  • There should not be any missing breakers or other openings between breakers. These openings allow for the potential of electrocution, physical damage, and dust and dirt to accumulate in the circuits.
  • Install spare clips in any openings in the breaker panel.
  • Never tape or physically secure breakers to the “ON” positions. If the breaker is not allowed to trip, or cannot be manually tripped, the wiring could overheat, increasing the chances of a fire.

Temporary Wiring

Temporary wiring, including the use of extension cords and power strips, indicates that additional electrical services are needed. They are not designed to be installed in a permanent manner, and if this becomes the case, a licensed electrician should be hired to install additional electrical platforms. The following safety precautions should be followed if temporary wiring will be used:

  • Never try to repair damaged cord insulation with electrical tape. Instead, remove the cord from service.
  • Never plug multiple cords into each other.
  • Discard and replace the cord if it feels hot or if there is a softening of the plastic. This indicates the cord is drawing too much power and the plug wires or connections are failing, which could present a fire or shock hazard.
  • Do not nail down, staple, or run cords through walls, under rugs or across doorways.
  • Only use power strips that have a built-in circuit breaker that will trip if overloaded or shorted.

Multi-tap Electrical Adapters

Multi-tap electrical adapters allow for plugging in several appliances at once into the outlet. This can cause overloading and overheating of the circuit. Multiple adapters are not recommended for use.

To help identify hidden electrical hazards and reduce your chances of an electrical fire, have a certified electrician conduct a preventative maintenance inspection every three years. For further information on the items listed above and other electrical safety resources, please visit SafeChurch.com and click on the Facility Safety/Electrical Resources tab or GuideOne.com.

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

Eric Spacek, JD, ARM

Eric Spacek, JD, ARM

Eric Space, JD, ARM is the Director of Risk Management and Loss Control at GuideOne Insurance in West Des Moines, Iowa.  Before joining GuideOne, he served as Minister of Operations for a large Methodist church in Raleigh, N.C., and was a liability litigation trial attorney in Washington, D.C.

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