10 Tips To Keep You Safe This Summer!

As we head into summer we want to provide you with some tips to help improve your homes efficiencies and reduce the possibility of having an insurance loss.

1. Check and clean your dryer vent.

This can become clogged with lint over time.  This not only causes the dryer to work less efficiently but it can also be the cause of a fire.  2,900 dryer fires are reported each year resulting in 5 deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in property loss.[1]    It is recommended that this is done annually.  A good video on this is located at


2. Clean and check your gutters.

It is recommended that this is done twice a year in late summer and early fall.  Pine trees near the gutter line will make more frequent inspections and cleaning necessary.  The gutter system when not properly maintained can cause problems with drains and even lead to interior water damage that is most often not covered by insurance.  If the roof and ladder is not your idea of a good time play it safe and hire someone to do the dirty work.

3. Call before you dig

Hitting a gas, water, electric or other utility lines can cause many problems and possibly death.  Call 811 to make sure you can enjoy your summer and all the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

4. Check the trees surrounding your home.

Cut back trees and shrubs from the house walls, roof, and air conditioning system as needed.  We all know the damage trees can do.  Besides falling and destroying things limbs can damage the roof and home systems over time as well.

5. Locate and mark the shut-offs for the plumbing system.

When water starts flowing where it shouldn’t it helps to know where the shut off is located. The faster you can turn the water off the less damage that will be done and the faster things can get back to normal.

6. Check the caulk in the shower and tub areas of the bathroom.

Old caulk can become brittle, crack, and fall out of place.  This presents an opening for water to enter.  This can cause damage over long periods of time which can lead to mold.  To learn how to get out with the old and in with the new visit

7. Test and replace smoke detectors, replace batteries as needed.

Per the U.S. Fire administration (USFA) smoke detectors should be tested monthly and batteries replaced at least once or twice a year.  Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.[2]

8. Check for and repair trip hazards

Winter has just ended and in the Pacific Northwest, our weather can do funny things to items left outside.  Decks can have nails pop or pull out, boards can curl and bow.  Replace those as needed.  You also need to check for changes in the landscape that may cause a trip hazard as the ground may and heaved or shifted.

9. Be safe with your backyard fire pit

Make sure it is level, on the proper surface and at least 10 feet away from your house.  Have something close by, like a fire extinguisher, to put out flames if they get out of control.  When you put out the flames make sure they are completely out.[3]

10. Keep the barbecue safe and fun

Similar to the fire pit, make sure the grill is on a level surface and away from any flammable items.  If the grill is on, don’t walk away.  Kids and pets need to be kept away.  If you have a gas grill, make sure the gas does not build up prior to lighting the flame.  Your eyebrows and lashes will thank you for it.

Have a fun and happy summer season!

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St. Johns Boosters Wellness

Green juice for a healthy summer

The sunshine has finally decided to come out, the St. Johns Farmers Market is back and the warmer weather means the return of spring and summer produce. A good way to make sure you get a good dose is with green juice. The good news is there is no need to wait until you have a juicer! You can make a delicious juice with your trusty old blender and a wire mesh strainer.

I should mention that when I speak of juice here, I am talking about GREEN juice.  This means a concoction of vegetables, mostly greens and a small amount of fruit. Juices are different than smoothies because most or all of the fiber is removed. Green smoothies are a great option too.  However, juices allow you to flood a powerful dose of nutrients into your body, while giving your digestive system a break.

I make my juice with as many veggies as possible, especially greens because we usually do not eat enough. I only add a small amount of fruit and I also take it easy on the carrots and beets. This is because fruits and starchier vegetables are higher in sugar. Without the fiber of the plant, they will cause your blood sugar levels to go through the roof. This will completely negate the healthful qualities of the juice and you might as well head over to the mall for a Jamba Juice !

Feel free to mix it up with the veggies and greens, the sky is the limit here. This is a great way to use all parts of the your veggies, like the not-so-pretty stems and inside parts. Use produce grown without pesticides whenever possible to avoid exposing yourself to harmful chemicals. Check out the farmers market this Saturday for an abundance of options!

Here’s a quick and easy recipe for a summery, delicious green juice:

Huge handful of spinach
Medium handful of kale (this can be bitter, so I use a bit less)
2 stalks of celery, chopped small enough to blend
1/2 medium diced cucumber
1/4- 1/2 cup of chopped watermelon
Handful of basil
Filtered water

Add all your chopped veggies to the blender with 2-3 cups of water.

Blend just enough for it all to form a nice puree. (Avoid over blending to save the nutrient integrity of the veggies!)

Pour it through your strainer into a bowl. You may have to stir/scrape the mixture while it is in the strainer to allow all the liquid to pass through.

You can sub or add in other fruit, veggie or herb that tickles your fancy. Some ideas are romaine, celery, cilantro, mint, parsley, jalapeno, garlic, lemon, and berries. You get the idea! I like to add a spoonful or two of the pulp back into my juice for a little fiber, a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of sea salt. Easy breezy and now you have a delicious green juice. Enjoy!


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