Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday today.

We wish you a very safe and wonderful holiday.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

How to Apply Chains

If you're a Seattlite, I thought I'd warn you before you venture out in the snow.

I attempted such a feat on Sunday out of pure desparation for getting some butter and flour to make some Christmas Cookies. My initial thought was to bus it! Well...unfortunately I wasn't aware of it but buses weren't running at a regular schedule or pace. I ended up walking and gave up to take a bus home (right past the store).

My suggestion is to get yourself some good chains if you can find them. This is a VERY helpful video from WSDOT on applying your chains:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How to Remove Ice from your Driveway

First, it's smart to prepare for ice and snow by using markers to mark the perimeter of your driveway to avoid damage to the vegetation.

There's a nifty product you apply about 1 1/2 to 2 hours before the snow hits which acts as an "anti-snow agent". Essentially this reduces snow accumulation and therefore the formation of ice. One gallon of this liquid product protects 1000 square feet and lasts about 2 weeks. The product is called Bare Ground and can be used from 35 degrees to -20. Anything above 35 degrees F will cause a slippery surface.

Other options are to shovel the snow before it becomes ice or laying down heavy plastic over small areas before the storm.

When it comes to chemicals...

Sand does not remove the ice, however it does provide traction. You may even want to use a pick to chop up ice, shovel it, and then spread the sand out evenly over remaining icy spots.

Rock salt aka sodium chloride is probably the most well known product to remove ice. It is inexpensive and usually readily available. Keep it mind it does damage vegetation and can damage metal and concrete.

CMA or Calcium Magnesium Acetate is a low toxicity product that's safe for vegetation, concrete, and metal. However, it is one of the slower working products and more expensive too.

Potassium Chloride is OK for plants and concrete but is not very effective. It also will work only to the lowest temperature of 12 degrees F.

Calcium Chloride is fast acting and effective to -25 degrees F. It will likely cause damage to concrete, vegetation and metal and tends to leave an oily residue.

Magnesium chloride is also one of the best known products. If followed as directed, it will not harm vegetation, metal, or concrete. It will usually leave an oily residue.

With possibly the next few days being a snow storm over in the Seattle area, take care and do as little driving as possible!

Thank you to, Associated Content

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Our November Graduate Results!

We had 44 total grads for the month of December for a total of 533 for the year.

Our top 10 savers:
Trevor G. - Federal Way $1051 SAVED!
Gwendolyn T - Seattle $839
Tracey P - Des Moines $594
Pedro S - Federal Way $519
Jordan K - Renton $464
Donjanique B - Bellevue $431
Charles J - Federal Way $427
Reyes G - Renton $420
Alfonso L - Federal Way $420
Jose A - Kent $403

We saved our Sav-on Graduates an average of $256 -- that's 30% savings off their current policy. Congratulations Graduates!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Safe Holiday Decorating Tips

It seems like there's always one house in the neighborhood that goes all out during the holidays. You might have a neighbor like that in your neighborhood, or maybe it's you! But even decorating for the holidays can be dangerous. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission around 10,000 people are seen in emergency rooms every year as the result of burns, falls, shocks and cuts they received in the midst of holiday decorating.

Evergreen trees are a mainstay in many homes over the holidays. And while they are beautiful, the CPSC says trees can easily become fire traps.
According to a recent survey by the Commission dried out trees start more than 200 fires each year - some of which are fatal. But there are a few things consumers can do to avoid a tragedy during the holiday season.

The freshest trees are the least combustible, so live trees should have green needles that are difficult to pull from branches, don't break when bent and don't fall off if the tree is tapped on the ground. The tree's bottom should be sticky with resin. All trees - live or artificial - should be kept away from fireplaces, radiators and high traffic areas in the home.

Holiday lights, while adding to a festive holiday atmosphere, can also be a source of house fires. Opt for newer lights that have been tested by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as the Underwriters Laboratory (UL). Holiday lights should have thick wiring, and should be devoid of broken or cracked sockets, loose connections and frayed or bared wires. If lights are going to be used outdoors, they should be marked as such. Avoid extension cords unless they are specifically designed for lighting use.
Never use electric lights on a metallic tree, as this can pose an electrocution hazard.

Finally, while Santa likes stockings hung at the chimney, he asks that it be done with care. A screen should be placed around the fireplace to keep sparks from coming into contact with decorations, furniture or other flammable items. It is also not a good idea to burn wrapping paper or plastic materials in a fireplace. And fire salts, which are used to
produce colored flames, must kept away from children. The CPSC says they
contain heavy metals which can cause gastrointestinal problems and vomiting if eaten.

Holiday decorating accidents don't have to ruin anyone's fun this year. By keeping in mind these simple tips, the season can be truly joyous for all.