How Safe is Your Airbag?

Own a previously owned vehicle? Or been in an accident where the airbag deployed? Your airbag system could be at risk.

When purchasing a used car, use available resources to verify the car’s history including if the airbag has ever been deployed.

Less-than-reputable repair shops have scammed unsuspecting car owners by installing non-functioning or inappropriate airbags rather than properly repairing or replacing the system.

Two out of five vehicles “totaled” or given salvage titles are rebuilt and resold. This literally opens cars up for airbag fraud.

Avoid airbag fraud: get a vehicle history report on any used car and only use reputable mechanics and body shops when you need to.

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Practice Fire Safety

National Fire Prevention Week is October 9–15. Watch for ways you can practice fire safety to keep your family safe.

Run at least two fire drills per year so everyone is aware of what to do if a real fire occurs. Set up multiple scenarios during different times of day and designate a meeting place outside your home. Remember to include family pets.

Make sure every window and door is fully functional before each fire drill. Teach your family how to unlock and open all possible exits. Instruct them to break their window with a heavy object if it does not open.

Store a multi-purpose fire extinguisher in the kitchen and on every level of your home. Keep them recharged and ready to use and teach all family members how to operate them. If the fire is not out after using the extinguisher, get out and call the fire department.

Install at least one smoke detector on every level of your home and make sure there is a battery back-up for hard-wired alarms. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once per year.

If a fire does occur, crawl to the nearest safe exit with your head 12 to 24 inches above the floor. Carefully touch the bottom of all doors to check for heat before opening them, and if your clothes catch on fire, remember the stop, drop and roll rule.

Find out what you can do to help keep your family safe from fire with these tips from the U.S. Fire Administration.

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Collectibe Auto Resources

If you’re considering the sale or purchase of a collectible auto, check out where you can place classified ads, browse categorized listings, find sale tips, and obtain information on financing and insurance.

Visit for resources to purchase, trade, restore or maintain your dream car. Loads of information for every classic car enthusiast.

Looking to join a car club? The Antique Automobile Club of America is an international organization with members in all 50 states and more than 50 countries around the world. Visit to find a chapter in your area.

In need of an appraisal for your classic auto? Visit for inspection and evaluation of any vehicle over 10 years old that is of special interest due to modifications or customization.

Check out for high-quality, “how-to” videos showing step-by-step instructions on how to restore your classic automobile.

For more information on how to insure your collectible auto visit our website at


The Dangers of Celebrity Cyberspace

The Dangers Of Celebrity Cyberspace

Friday, September 16, 2011

Posted by Claire under Emerging Risks, Technology

As fans of “Project Runway” know, one day you’re in, the next day you’re out.

This year Heidi Klum’s in and Cameron Diaz is out – at least if you’re looking at the list of the most dangerous celebrities in cyberspace, just-released by Internet security firm McAfee.

Klum, the former Victoria’s Secret model and current producer of “Project Runway” moved up from No. 10 on last year’s list to No. 1 today, replacing Diaz as the most dangerous celebrity in cyberspace. Searching for Klum results in a nearly one in 10 chance of landing on a risky site, McAfee said.

Fans searching for Klum screensavers, pictures and downloads are at risk of running into online threats such as viruses and malware designed to steal their personal information.

Cameron Diaz fell to second place this year, followed by Piers Morgan – a new addition to the top 10 list and the most dangerous male celebrity in cyberspace.

While slightly safer than last year, searching for top celebrities continues to generate risky results, as Paula Greve, director of Web security research at McAfee says:

Consumers should be particularly aware of malicious content hiding in ‘tiny’ places like shortened URLs that can spread virally in social networking sites, or through e-mails and text messages from friends.”

Movie stars and models top the most dangerous list this year, while singers and sports stars are among the safest.

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How to Use Your Backyard Compost

How to Use Compost: Here are five tips on how and where to best use your backyard compost

Spread finished compost on a tarp and expose to air. This will dry it out and make it easier to spread.

Apply compost as a spot fertilizer by lightly placing into top few inches of soil around your plant and water thoroughly

Stir one part compost into three parts water and use it to water plants.

Use as mulch and spread around base of trees, shrubs, vegetables and flowers.

Mix in potting soil for house plants, window boxes and hanging baskets. Use alone to grow vegetables in containers and to start plants from seed.

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How to Start Composting

Here are 5 tips on how to start composting to improve your lawn and garden and save on landfill space.

Start with yard waste then add kitchen scraps to the compost pile like egg shells, coffee grounds, and fruit and vegetable peels. These help speed up the composting process.

The bigger the compost pile, the better, but don’t get much bigger than three feet wide by three feet tall.

Let your compost breathe. Mix up the contents often so the pile gets oxygen and can break down effectively.

Keep the compost pile moist so the composting process stays active. But don’t let it get soggy either, because it will start to smell.

Maintain a balance of different materials in the pile. An overload of one material will slow down the compost process.

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Back to School Driving

School is back in session. Here are some helpful safe driving reminders now that buses and school children are back on the road.

Heed school bus flashing lights and stop when the bus is stopped and has its stop signs extended.

Beware: with reduced school zone speeds, the fine for speeding may be more than a non-school zone.

School zones often have reduced speed limits during school hours. Pay extra attention to posted speeds on your commute.

Whether you have children in school or not, allow extra travel time during the school year when there’s more school-related traffic.

Stay alert and be watching for children waiting for the bus, walking across streets or riding bikes on their way to or from school.

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