UTV Safety Before you Ride - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

UTV safety before you ride

UTV safety: Off-road vehicles are a thrill, but they can be dangerous if you don’t know how to properly ride them. Did you know, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were almost 94,000 off-road vehicle injuries treated in the emergency room in 2017? That’s why it’s important to understand the dangers and take safety precautions before riding.

Off-road vehicles refer to many different machines, including ATVs, dirt bikes, 4-wheel drive trucks, SUVs, and UTVs. In this article, we’ll focus on UTV safety. They’re utility-terrain vehicles, utility task vehicles, or side-by-sides. They look like a cross between an ATV and a Jeep but trust me, they don’t drive like either one. Before you take one for a ride, remember these safety tips:

Don’t Drink and Drive

No matter what, never drink and drive. We’ve all heard this many times, but drinking severely impairs your reaction time and judgment. Drugs can also have this effect on your driving. Stay in control, and avoid putting yourself or anyone else in danger.

Understand the Vehicle

It may sound boring, but read the operator’s manual. It’s best to keep it in the vehicle at all times as a reference tool. Another way to familiarize yourself with the UTV is by reading the warning labels. They’re there to point out potential dangers and how to avoid them.

Do a Pre-Ride Check

Check the tires before you head out. No one wants a flat tire! Also, check your fuel level so you know when you will have to fill up again. Do a quick walk around the vehicle and look for anything that may be wrong. This step can prevent a breakdown – you’ll be thankful you did it.

Wear Safety Gear

Always wear over-the-ankle boots, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves, a certified helmet, and goggles if your helmet doesn’t have any eye protection. Wearing a protective suit is also something you should consider; it’s optional, but an important precaution, especially if you’re riding alone.

Wear Seat Belts

Even if you aren’t driving far, everyone in the UTV needs to wear a seat belt. Many states require this. A lot of UTV accidents are rollovers, and in some incidents, people have been ejected from their seats.

Practice Driving for UTV Safety

Practice, practice, practice! The first time you drive a UTV you will probably want to go fast, but I highly recommend taking it slow. Practice going a safe speed, taking corners, and adjusting to the way it rides on trails. If the driver is a young teen, be sure they have supervision.

Remember Passenger UTV Safety

Never carry more passengers than the UTV is designed for, and make sure they keep their limbs inside the vehicle at all times. There should be handlebars for passengers to hold on to – if a passenger is unable to reach the handles, then they should not be riding. Once all of the passengers are in, make sure the doors are secured and locked shut.

Stay on the Trail

Click here for the rest of the story…


Check out our recent blogs!

Read More
What's lurking below your mobile home - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

What’s lurking below your mobile home?

What’s lurking below your mobile home?

Do you remember when you were young and had to check under your bed for monsters before you could go to sleep? I sure do! Because of my hyperactive imagination and the poor decision to watch one too many cheesy 80s horror movies, I was absolutely terrified of monsters when I was a kid. Every night I would thoroughly inspect all of the best hiding places in my room before I reluctantly switched off the light and frantically dashed for my bed, fully expecting to be ambushed by a mob of gremlins as soon as everything was dark. I certainly didn’t want any mischievous little critters to snack on one of my exposed limbs as I slept, so I wrapped myself in a cocoon of blankets as an extra precaution.

The slightest noise would make my heart race with fear and my mind travel to nightmarish situations. Peace of mind wouldn’t arrive until I had finally drifted off to sleep.

Now that I am an adult who is fairly confident that there are no monsters under my bed, I have a more important question to ask: What’s lurking below your mobile home? The answer probably isn’t monsters, but here are three things that you may find:

Animals

Mice, raccoons, squirrels, skunks, insects, and other critters may invade the space below your mobile home and cause messes, loud noises, bothersome odors, and other damages. Keeping your trash and recycle bins tightly closed and making a point to keep the underside of your home clean of trash and debris are good strategies for keeping otherwise curious animals away. It also helps to keep bird feeders a good distance from your home, as they attract pesky squirrels and raccoons. According to SFGate, sprinkling chili or habanero flakes in the dirt around your home is an effective way to repel many animals. But if you do end up finding an animal under your home, don’t try to remove it yourself. Instead, calling your local animal control service−they can help you find a safe solution.

Water

If there is an abundance of clay in the soil around your mobile home or if your yard is not graded well, any water that collects under your home may not be able to drain properly. Rainfall and even plumbing leaks can lead to excess moisture, and if you don’t act quickly to fix this problem, your home could become musty and moldy. My Mobile Home Makeover suggests addressing the issue of pooling rainwater by stapling plastic sheeting to the bottom frames of skirting so that any water that collects will be absorbed beneath the plastic and will not damage the bottom of your home. You can also install gutters to prevent rainwater from pooling underneath or around your home.

Holes

Click here for the rest of the story…


Have you seen our other blogs articles?

Read More
Shield Insurance Agency Meijer Gift Card Winner

Gift Card Winners Compliments of Shield Insurance Agency!

Friday, October 22, 2021

Every week, Shield Insurance Agency draws a winner of a local gift card from its clients and social media followers.

Be sure to LIKE our Facebook Page to get yourself entered to win and see who the winners are!

Shield Insurance Agency has given away thousands of dollars in local gift cards over the last 20 years serving Michigan.

Shield Insurance Agency Lowes Gift Card Winner!
Shield Insurance Agency Target Gift Card Winner!
Shield Insurance Agency Red Robin Gift Card Winner
Panera Bread Gift Card Winner at Shield Insurance Agency
Subway Gift Card Winner at Shield Insurance Agency
Shield Insurance gives away another local gift card!
Target Shield Insurance Gift Card Give A Way
Red Robin Gift Card Winner at Shield Insurance Agency

Read More
Your Referrals to Shield Insurance Agency Help a Local Family in Need

Shield Referral Program Supports Local Family

Shield Referral Program Supports Local Sparta, Michigan Family

Your Referrals to Shield Insurance Agency Help a Local Family in Need

Your referral can make a difference for Roslyn and Maddox who both have a form of Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenital. Shield Insurance is helping this Sparta, MI family by donating $25 for each non-client who gets a quote from us.

No purchase necessary!

CLICK HERE to get a quote and we’ll donate $25 to them! (Be sure to mention Roslyn and Maddox in the comment section!) You can also call or text the office (616) 896-4600 and one of our agents will take a few minutes of your time to offer up a quote. Don’t forget to mention Ros and Maddox

“The highest compliment we can receive is the referral of your friends, family & business associates. Thank you for your trust!”

Meet Roslyn
Roslyn and Shield Insurance Agency Referral Program

More great stories featuring Roslyn…

Read More
Campfires - Keep Safety Top of Mind- Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Campfires: Keep Safety Top of Mind

A nice evening by the glow and heat of a fire can be one of the most enjoyable parts of camping. Whether you’re gathering with friends, making s’mores, or just basking in the warmth, there are many reasons campfires are a long-standing tradition. That being said, creating a fire comes with a lot of responsibility. In the United States, people start nearly nine out of ten wildfires. 1 So the next time you get ready to light that match, keep these safety tips in mind.

Check fire regulations.

Make sure you know the rules of the campground or area where you’re planning the fire. There may be a temporary ban when the risk of wildfires is higher.

Pick a safe spot.

Use an existing fire circle or pit when available. If you’re in a remote area, dig a pit in an open space and circle it with rocks. Keep at least 15 feet away from tent walls, shrubs, or any other items and debris. Also, stay away from overhanging branches, power lines, or other hazards that could catch on fire.

Building the campfires.

Start your fire with dry grass, leaves, or needles, and then add sticks less than one inch around. Once the fire gets going, add larger pieces of wood. Many people stack these teepee style or crisscross. Make sure you have a source of water and a shovel nearby in case you need to control the fire.

Always watch.

It can be easy to get distracted and walk away, but it’s important someone always has an eye on the fire. Even a small breeze can spread fire quickly. Take extra care if there are children or pets nearby. Teach kids about the danger of fire and demonstrate how to stop, drop and roll in the event their clothes catch on fire.

Extinguishing the campfires.

Click here for the rest of the story…


Check out Shield Agency Latest Blogs!

Read More
ow to Clean an Oven - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

How to Clean an Oven

By: Jeremy Glass  |  Jan 4, 2021

It can be a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it.

It’s finally time to clean your oven. Yay.

Look, we understand the inherent lack of fun in such a laborious activity, but to clean an oven means a cleaner household with fewer harmful fumes infiltrating your kitchen and food. With little more than baking soda and vinegar, you can give your oven the kind of makeover that’ll eviscerate grease, dirt, and burned-on odor. Here’s how it’s done.

How to Clean an Oven

  1. Don a pair of rubber gloves before starting.
  2. Choose the best cleaning agent. Whether you have baking soda and vinegar on hand or want to spring for the professional-grade stuff, the first step in oven maintenance is preparation.
  3. Remove any debris. We’re talking chunks of food, chipped-off pizza crust, lone pepperonis, and generally anything that can be removed by hand. Clear all that stuff out and toss it in the trash.
  4. Take out your oven racks. For those who didn’t know you could actually remove oven racks, surprise! For a deep, deep clean, you can take out your oven racks and stick them in a bathtub or large sink. Soak your racks in dishwasher detergent and boiling water. Let them sit for about two hours. Scrub with a stiff brush before returning to the oven. In lieu of a full bathtub cleanse, you can sprinkle baking soda on your oven racks and then spritz with white vinegar. Scrub with a good, stiff brush.
  5. Make a paste. Spread a thick paste of 2 cups baking soda and 3/4 cup water on the inside of your oven. Allow the paste to sit for six to eight hours before scrubbing it clean. If you’re using a commercial cleaner, spray it all over the oven from a distance of 9-12 inches (22-30 centimeters), close the oven door and leave it for two hours. Then wipe clean with paper towels or a wet cloth.
  6. Don’t forget the oven doors. Spray the outside of the oven doors with some white vinegar or commercial cleaner to make them shine. On the inside you can clean them with that baking soda and water paste. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes before cleaning.

Or try a self-cleaning oven. Most ovens with a self-clean feature require only a couple of hours for a good-as-new look that’ll save your food from taking on any nasty odor. Plus, the clean-up will be minimal. Follow the directions in your oven’s manual for how to use your oven’s self-clean feature, should it have one.

Click here for more awesome cleaning tips in the kitchen…


Check out the most recent blogs from Shield Insurance Agency

Read More
8 Fall Chores You Can't Afford to Ignore - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

8 Fall Chores You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Do these maintenance tasks now and reap the rewards later

By Paul HopePublished October 15, 2016, | Updated September 22, 2021

Early fall is the right time to get your yard and house in order because come winter, small problems can turn into expensive nightmares.

Consumer Reports’ money-saving checklist covers everything from fallen leaves to your furnace. And many of these fall chores cost little more than time and effort. “A little bit of preventive maintenance now will help you avoid big hassles in the future,” says John Galeotafiore, who oversees CR’s testing of outdoor power equipment and other home gear.

Outdoor Fall Chores With Immediate Payoff

Once the winter freeze-thaw cycle kicks in, a tiny leak in your roof can turn into a crevasse—and a $10,000-plus repair job. Clogged gutters and dribbling spigots can also do a lot of damage, so take advantage of the cooler weather to do home and yard repairs and spruce-ups.

Get Some Leaf Relief

Fallen leaves can kill grass when they’re matted down by snow. Leaf piles can also attract rodents. But using leaf bags means work, and waste if they go into a landfill.

What to do: Make use of your lawn mower’s mulching mode. Ground-up leaves nourish the soil, which saves you money down the line. You might need to make a few passes to slice the leaves small enough to decay.

What you save: Along with saving the cost of leaf bags (Americans spend millions of dollars a year on bags alone), you sidestep the back-breaking stooping and bending of raking and bagging. When it’s time to replace your mower, use our ratings to find a model that’s the right fit for your yard.

Check the Roof

Leaks can eventually damage the wood sheathing and rafters below your shingles, leading to thousands of dollars in repairs.

What to do: Use binoculars to spot cracked, curled, or missing shingles safely from the ground. Consider having a roofing pro check flashing around chimneys, skylights, and roof valleys for leaks, and the rubber boots near vents for cracks that can let moisture seep in.

What you save: At roughly $3 per square foot installed, new sheathing would total $6,900 for a 2,300-square-foot house if you had to replace all of it. Figure on an additional $7,000 to $10,000 to install new shingles, plus added costs if the roof rafters need replacing. Worst case, and you need a new roof? See CR’s top-rated shingles across the three categories we test, below.

Clear Gutters

Gutters stuffed with leaves, pine needles, and other debris can let the water spill over the side, pool around your home’s foundation, and seep inside. Water that freezes in gutters can force snow and ice into roof shingles, causing damage and leaks.

What to do: Consider a gutter-guard system to keep debris out. Make sure that gutter drains extend 5 feet from the house and that soil slopes away from the foundation 1 inch per foot for 6 feet or more.

What you save: It costs about $300 per year for a pro to clean gutters in the fall and spring. That might be worth it rather than risking a fall off a ladder if you do the job yourself.

Close Your Hoses

Click here for the rest of the story…


Wanna check out more Shield Insurance Agency Blogs?

Read More
Fire Prevention 52 RV Fire Safety 101 - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Fire Prevention 52: RV Fire Safety 101

20,000 RV Fires Occur Annually

RV fire safety is of premium importance to the conscientious RVer. Unfortunately, fire is one of the leading causes of RV loss in the U.S. today. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that 20,000 RV fires occur annually. Don’t let yours be one of them!

RV fires can start when your RV is moving or when it is parked. The following tips can help you recognize the most common fire hazards. 

Before you go:

  • Make a pre-trip checklist and inspect your RV every time you hit the road.
  • Have three fire extinguishers for your RV–one in the kitchen, one in the bedroom, and one outside in an unlocked compartment or in your tow vehicle. Make sure every traveler knows where they are located and how to use them.
  • Test your smoke detector.
  • Have at least two escape routes and an escape plan. Practice it with your travelers.
  • Make sure all travelers can open the front door, hatches, and emergency exits.
  • Ensure that your RV’s carbon monoxide and propane detectors are properly located and functioning.
  • Spontaneous combustion can occur in damp charcoal. Before you travel, buy fresh charcoal, keep it dry, and store it in a covered metal container.
  • Ensure that the power cord for connecting your RV to a campground’s electricity supply is in good condition and of suitable gauge wire to handle the electrical load. Replace damaged cords immediately.

RV Maintenance is important:

  • Have your RV’s brakes checked. A dragging brake can create enough friction to ignite a tire or brake fluid.
  • Bouncing down the road can loosen electrical connections, which can produce heat, and in turn, fire. Tighten them before your trip.
  • Check all 12-volt connections before every trip. Many RV fires are caused by a 12-volt short.
  • Leaking fluids in the engine compartment can ignite. During your pre-trip inspection, check all hoses for firmness, clamp tightness, and signs of leaking. Have repairs made before you travel.
  • Mechanical or electrical failures cause roughly three-quarters of the highway vehicle fires. Proper maintenance will help reduce your chances of having malfunctions on the road.

Safety while driving:

  • At each rest stop, give your tires at least an eyeball check. Remember, a pressure gauge reading on hot tires is NOT accurate.
  • Shut off the propane at the tank and turn off all propane-powered appliances while driving. If you have an accident or tire blowout while the propane is on, your injury and the damage to your vehicle can be significantly worse. If you elect to travel with the refrigerator operating on propane, you must turn it–and all appliances–off prior to entering a fuel stop. (FYI – Most refrigerators will keep food cold or frozen for eight hours without running while you travel.)
  • Be cautious of where you pull over and park. A hot exhaust pipe or catalytic converter can easily ignite dry grass underneath your RV.

RV Fire Safety while you are camping (or parked):

  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Never leave appliances that are plugged in and on unattended.
  • Turn off overhead exhaust fans when you leave the RV.
  • Don’t leave 12-volt lights on. Keep clothing and other burnable things away from them (like in storage spaces). They get very hot.
  • If the flame on your galley stove goes out while in use, unless you have run out of fuel, the gas will continue to flow and could result in an explosion. Turn off the stove and air out the RV before trying to relight.
  • Keep all combustibles–from paper towels to curtains–far enough away from your stove that they cannot catch fire.
  • Gasoline and propane can pose an immediate, explosive danger. Deal at once with any leaks or spills, and use all fuels in adequately vented areas. Operate your generator in an area where gasoline fumes cannot reach an ignition source.
  • Keep your campsite fire sources, such as fire rings, tiki torches, and lanterns, away from all vehicles.
  • RVs often have a very limited number of electrical outlets, and sometimes RVers use powerstrips to plug in more things. Don’t overload the electrical outlets! Circuit breakers don’t always prevent overloads from starting fires!
  • It’s best never to use an extension cord in an RV. If you must, make sure you use a HEAVY DUTY extension cord, and make sure the load you put on it is well within its safe load capacity. DON’T run any electrical cord under a carpet or floor mat.

If there is a fire:

Click here for the rest of the story…

Check out our other Blog Articles

Read More
Shield Insurance Agency - Types of insurance and the insurance companies Shield is proud to represent

Shield Insurance Agency Product List

Types of Insurance Shield Agency Provides

Shield Insurance Agency has been in business for so many years, we can shop a lot of different companies for a lot of different types of insurance to be sure you get what you need for the price you can afford. Check out the list!

Personal

  • Auto Insurance
  • Boat Insurance
  • Condo Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Event Insurance
  • Farm Insurance
  • Flood Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Homeowners Insurance
  • Mobile Homeowners Insurance
  • Motorcycle Insurance
  • Motorhome Insurance
  • Recreational Vehicle Insurance
  • Renter Insurance
  • Term Life Insurance

Business

  • Auto Facilities
  • Bond Insurance
  • Business Interruption
  • Cannabusiness
  • Church Insurance
  • Commercial Auto
  • Commercial Property Insurance
  • Contractor Insurance
  • Cyber Liability Insurance
  • General Liability Insurance
  • Group Health Insurance
  • Group Life Insurance
  • Liability Insurance
  • Professional Liability Insurance
  • Security Bond Insurance
  • Workers Compensation

Insurance Companies Shield Agency is Proud to Represent

AAA
Accident Fund
Aegis
Ambetter
American Modern
ASI
Assurity
Berkshire Hathaway GUARD
Berkshire Hathaway Homestate
Blue Cross Blue Shield/BCN
Bristol West
Companion Life
Conifer
Delta Dental

Foremost
Freemont
Genworth
Golden Rule
Grange
Hanover
HAP
Hiscox
Humana
ING
Liberty Mutual
Liberty Union
Medishare
Molina Healthcare
National General
Nationwide

North American Company
Philadelphia
Principal Financial Group
Priority Health
Progressive
Reinsurepro
RLI
Safeco
State Auto
Superior Flood
The Hartford
Transamerica
Travelers
United Healthcare
Unum
Wolverine


Check out Shield Agency Recent Blogs…

Read More
How to Survive a Prolonged Power Outage - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

How to Survive a Prolonged Power Outage

Approach appliances with caution, use gas to cook, and more tips on how to safely get through a power outage.

1. Write Important Information on Paper

During a power outage, your cell phone is your lifeline and you’re likely to want to keep it charged in case of an emergency.

Because you can’t depend on your phone indefinitely, write down phone numbers and addresses you might need, such as a nearby hospital, a school that’s providing supplies, the local library or storm shelter, or other public places that might have power—places where you’ll be able to go to recharge your electronics and contact loved ones.

Then conserve your phone’s battery life by switching the phone to a power-saving setting, such as airplane mode on an iPhone or economy mode on an Android device.

When you make your way to a local shelter or library, it’s a smart idea to take a power strip, says Maria Rerecich, senior director and head of product testing for CR.

This way, when you do find power, you can charge multiple devices at once—or share the makeshift charging station with others.

2. Use Gas to Cook Food That Will Spoil

In homes that have lost power but suffered little other damage, you can safely cook on a gas stove. But you’ll probably need to light the burner with a match or lighter because the electronic ignition on a stove won’t work if the power is out. And if you have a gas grill, cooking with it is another option. If you were able to properly store your grill before the storm, in a dry space such as a garage, and notice no water damage to the grill or gas tank, it should be safe to use it to grill food.

Food in your refrigerator can maintain a safe temperature—below 40° F—for about 4 hours on average. Cook any perishables (raw meat and soft cheese, especially) within this time period; otherwise, toss these items. Even after that 4-hour window, food can spend an additional 2 hours above 40° F before it becomes unsafe to cook. A full freezer should stay cold for about 48 hours after the power is lost; a half-full freezer should stay cold for about 24 hours.

Anything that you cook but don’t eat, you’ll need to throw out after 2 hours because you’ll have no way to keep it cool enough to prevent it from spoiling. (You can always share with the neighbors.) Good to know: Lots of homeowners insurance policies will cover the replacement cost of spoiled food, so it’s really not worth taking the risk of consuming it.

3. If You Have a Generator, Use It Safely

Running a generator improperly can kill you in as little as 5 minutes if the concentration of carbon monoxide is high enough. And it happens: An average of 60 to 70 people a year die a year from generator-associated carbon monoxide poisoning, according to data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

“Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas, so you won’t even know you’re inhaling it,” says Don Huber, CR’s director of product safety. “No matter what, resist the urge to move a portable generator inside the house or the garage.”

Operate a generator as far from the house as possible—CR recommends at least 20 feet—and direct the exhaust away from doors or windows. If you don’t have a transfer switch installed, you can run an outdoor-rated extension cord of the appropriate gauge from the generator’s outlets to individual appliances, provided the cords are properly rated and you follow certain precautions. The gauge of extension cord your generator requires will be specified in the user manual.

4. No Generator? Unplug Your Appliances.

Click here for the rest of the story…


Check out additional blogs by Shield Insurance Agency

Read More