117 S.Main St
PO Box 320
Mt Airy
MD 21771

(301) 829-1200
(301) 831-5978
(800) 719-4893
Fax: (301) 829-5467

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Keir Knight
Plain English Writing & Design
Mt Airy, Md.



Outdoor Spring Cleaning Safety Tips
When spring is in the air and in your step, it’s time to clear away winter’s last remnants. Before beginning your exterior spring cleaning, consider these safety tips from Erie Insurance Group:
Wear the appropriate protective clothing
• Heavy, non-slip shoes will help you keep your footing.
• Long pants and wraparound goggles will protect you against rocks, wood and other objects thrown from the blades under the mower.
• Wear clothes that fit. Loose clothing can become caught in equipment’s moving parts.
• Earplugs will protect your hearing.
• Gloves will protect your hands.
Keep your feet on the ground
• Use a pressure sprayer to wash windows.
• Clean gutters with an extension rod.
• Inspect the roof from the attic.
• If you must use a ladder, make sure it is sturdy, properly locked and anchored, and tall enough for what you need to reach. Enlist a helper to hold the ladder steady.
Be aware
• Before using any equipment or tools, carefully read all warnings and instructions.
• Before mowing, walk the yard and remove rocks,
sticks and other objects that could become mower launched missiles.
• Never leave power tools unattended.
• Put tools away at the end of the day to deter theft.

Keep pets and others safe
• Keep kids and pets away from the mower. The blades are dangerous, and objects can
be shot out from under the mower.
• Never allow a child on or near a riding mower.
Prevent fire
• Handle flammable fuels with care. Never fill a tank when an engine is running or still hot.
• Clean up spills and store fuel away from the house in a safety-approved container.
• Use only UL–approved extension cords that are rated for outdoor use. Inspect them often to make sure they’re in good condition.
• Prevent electrocution by never using power tools or extension cords when it is wet or damp outdoors.

Grill Safety Tips
When the weather warms, you can practically smell the mouthwatering aroma of grilled hamburgers and hear the tempting sounds of steaks sizzling. But, before you fire up the grill and bring your senses to life, Erie Insurance Group offers the following tips for your gas and charcoal grill safety:
Gas grills
Propane is highly flammable, but can be used safely if proper measures are taken.
• Carefully read all instructions and warnings prior to use.
• Check grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks. Make sure that no sharp bends exist in the hose or tubing.
• Move gas hoses away from hot surfaces and dripping grease.
• Always keep propane cylinders upright.
• Never store a spare propane cylinder under or near the grill, or indoors.
• Never store or use flammable liquids near the grill.
• Do not use a gas grill indoors or in an enclosed environment. Never bring the propane cylinder into the house.
• When you fill or exchange your cylinder, have your supplier check for dents, damage, rust or leaks on the cylinder you will be transporting home.
• Never leave a filled propane cylinder in a hot car or car trunk. Heat will cause the gas pressure to increase, and may open the relief valve allowing gas to escape.

Charcoal grills
Charcoal produces carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless gas, when it is burned.
CO can accumulate in closed environments and reach toxic levels.
• Carefully read all instructions and warnings prior to use.
• Charcoal should never be used indoors. Never burn charcoal inside of homes, vehicles, tents, garages or campers. Every year about 17 people die as a result of CO fumes generated by charcoal being burned inside.
• Do not store charcoal grills indoors with freshly used coals. Charcoal produces CO fumes until it is completely extinguished.
• Only use starter fluid formulated for the purpose. Never use gasoline to start a charcoal fire.

Children's Water Safety Tips
Whether it’s the clear, sparkling water of your backyard pool or the beckoning waves of the beach, water means summertime fun. Yet, it can also mean danger, especially for children. Erie Insurance Group offers the following tips to help keep your children safe:
Never allow a child to be alone in the water Drowning is a leading cause of death for children between one and four years of age. Children should always have an adult supervising their activity in the water.
Keep pools covered
Protective pool covers can keep young children from accidentally entering the water when no adults are around.
Install a childproof gate with an alarm
A childproof gate will prevent most children from entering the pool area. Should the gate be opened, the alarm will sound to alert an adult that someone is in the pool area.
Remove toys from the water
Children may be tempted to go in the water when an adult is not around to retrieve their toys.

Keep life vests on and life preservers within reach
If a young child falls into the pool while playing, a life preserver could save his or her life. And, life vests must be worn on boats and near any pool or other body of water. Swim only in public areas that are staffed with a lifeguard.
Learn and live
Insist that family, friends and babysitters learn CPR. Enroll children in a professional swimming instruction course.


What To Do
After A Fire

• Evacuate the burning structure.
• Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number.
• Give first aid where needed. Cool and cover burns; it will reduce the chance of further injury or infection. Severely burned or injured victims should be transported to professional medical assistance immediately.
As soon as possible
• Contact your Erie Insurance Group Agent.
• If you are a renter, contact your landlord.
• Check with the fire department to see if utilities (water, electricity and natural gas) are shut off and if the structure is safe to re-enter.
When you’re able to return to your home…
• Look for structural damage. Fire authorities may allow you to re-enter, but may not have completed a thorough inspection.
• Make a detailed list of damaged or destroyed property. Use pictures and inventory lists to help your ERIE Agent and ERIE adjuster assess the damages.
• Don’t discard damaged goods until after The ERIE has conducted an inspection.
• Secure your home from further damage by weather, theft or vandalism. Save receipts for materials purchased to make temporary repairs.
• Discard food that has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot. The high temperatures of fire and its by-products can make food unsafe.

• If power was shut off, keep the refrigerator and freezer closed to maintain temperature.
• Do not attempt to reconnect utilities yourself. Only the utility company should restore gas service. A professional should inspect all wet appliances before re-use. If damaged, improper grounding or shortcircuiting may result in further property damage and safety hazards.
• Don’t be rushed into signing repair contracts. Deal with reputable contractors. If you are uncertain about a contractor’s credentials, contact the Better Business Bureau or your local Chamber of Commerce for referrals.
If your home is uninhabitable…
• Remember to take the following:
– Identification
– Medicines, eyeglasses, hearing aids or other personal aids
– Valuables – credit cards, checkbooks, insurance policies, money, jewelry, firearms, etc.
• Notify:
– Your ERIE Agent
– Your mortgage company
– Your employer
– The telephone company

Replacing Your Valuable Documents
Item Damaged, Lost or Stolen & Who to Contact for Replacement

Financial Records
Bank Books
........... Your bank as soon as possible
Credit Cards
........... The issuing companies as soon as possible
Income Tax Records
........... The Internal Revenue Service Center where you filed or notify your accountant
........... The issuing company or your broker
........... Your local bank or the Bureau of Public Debt

Identification and Licenses
Driver’s License
........... Your local office of the Department of Motor Vehicles
Social Security Card
........... Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 or complete the SS-5 form online
 ........... Local Passport Agency or U.S. Department of State, call 202-955-0430 or visit
online http://travel.state.gov
Check Cashing Cards
........... The issuing companies
Medical ID Cards
........... The issuing doctors

Legal Documents
Birth and Death Certificates
 ........... State Bureau of Records in the state of birth, death or marriage
Marriage Certificates
........... County courthouse in which the license was issued
Citizenship Papers
 ........... The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, complete an Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document (Form N-565) online or call 800-870-3676
Divorce Papers
 ................................................. Circuit court where the decree was issued
Military Discharge Papers
........... Local office of the Veterans Administration, complete Standard Form 180 (SF-180), requests accepted online
Social Security or Medicare Cards
........... Local Social Security Office at 800-772-1213 or online
........... Your lawyer

Auto Registration Title
........... Your local office of the Department of Motor Vehicles http://www.onlinedmv.com/
Titles and Deeds
........... Records department of city of county in which the property is located
Prepaid Burial Contracts
........... The issuing company
It’s a good idea to keep valuable documents in a safe place, such as a safe deposit box. Yet, in the event of a loss, you may need to replace lost, stolen or damaged records. The following contact list will guide you in registering for replacements:

Protection and Service Erie Insurance Group…Protecting You From Loss
This information is presented as a public service of Erie Insurance Group and your local ERIE Agent.