July 4th Safety Tips

June 14, 2013

54555Fireworks during the Fourth of July are as American as apple-pie, but did you know that two out of five fires reported on that day are started by fireworks, more than for any other cause? So you think it cannot happen to you? Here are a few facts:

In 2011 over 9,000 people went to the emergency room as a result of fireworks related injuries. There was an estimated 15,500 reported fires started by fireworks. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported deaths, and $36 million in direct property damage.

Injuries by Fireworks Type (US department of Health & Safety)

  • 17%: Sparklers
  • 14%: Reloadable Shells
  • 13%: Firecrackers
  •   7%: Roman Candles
  •   6%: Bottle Rockets
  •   6%: Novelties
  •   2%: Multiple Tubes
  •   1%: Fountains

Fireworks Safety Tips

  • Buy fireworks only from licensed vendors
  • Never combine fireworks
  • Obey all local laws
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting
  • Follow directions
  • Never relight a firework
  • Don’t smoke or drink while lighting fireworks
  • Soak used fireworks in water before placing in trash
  • Make sure there is parental supervision
  • Never experiment with homemade fireworks
  • Use fireworks outdoors, in a safe area away from dry grass and buildings
  • Keep a fire extinguisher, bucket of water, wet towels and a garden hose nearby
  • Light one firework at a time – then move back quickly!
  • Never shoot fireworks from metal or glass containers
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket
  • Never point or throw fireworks at people or animals
  • Clean up all used fireworks including debris

With the Affordable Care Act, most Texans will be required to have health coverage after January 1, 2014. They’ll have a new way to buy health policies through insurance exchanges.

Employees will look to their employers for advice and assistance as they navigate the exchanges, so we’re providing you with information about their new options. Exchanges will provide individuals and small business owners with a place to find, compare, and purchase coverage, as well as get financial assistance to afford it.

Over the next few issues we wanted to provide answers to some of the questions we have been getting from clients and others.

Will I have to give up my current coverage?

No. When your coverage is renewed, it might contain new benefits required under federal law, but if your plan was already in effect on March 23, 2010, you can keep your current coverage as long as it is offered by your employer.

What about pre-existing conditions?

You can no longer be refused coverage for pre-existing conditions. There may be more information coming and we will advise you.

Can I maintain my primary care provider?

Yes, as long as they are part of the plan you select.

My child previously aged out of dependent coverage, but is still under 26 years old. Can I put him back on my plan?

Yes, check with your plan to determine the specific process.

Does every employer need to provide coverage?

No, Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, the law requires only employers with 50 or more full time employees to offer “minimum essential coverage. For small employers please consultant with your CPA to see if you qualify for a tax rebate on premiums paid.

As Texans try to understand and navigate through all this information, it is important to use an independent agent. Here are the benefits of using Essential Insurance Concepts, Inc.

  • We don’t charge fees or service changes
  • You will pay same as if going direct to carrier
  • We will compare all insurance companies and bring you the best offer