December 22, 2009
BDI News
Our newsletters are intended to keep you up to date on pertinent industry news and offer more in-depth insight into various types of coverage and endorsements.  We publish our newsletters at least once each quarter.  We hope you enjoy it.
 Thank you for your patronage! 
In This Email
Christmas Fire Reminder
New Indiana Law
IL Fire Supression
Prevent Metal Theft
Christmas Fire Reminder - Keeping Real Trees Hydrated
Anyone who's seen National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation probably remembers the scene where the Griswold Family's "perfect" Christmas tree goes up in a puff of smoke when their Uncle Lewis accidentally ignites it while trying to light a cigar.  It was a funny scene in a funny movie, but one that can offer an often overlooked lesson.  Failing to keep a real tree sufficiently watered can make them much more flammable than one that's had some care taken of it.
The National Fire Protection Association had a recent post on their blog devoted to reminding folks of the added danger of letting your tree dry out.  The dramatic video features a side-by-side comparison of a dried out tree catching fire versus a tree that's been kept watered.  Watch it here.
The holiday season historically represents a large uptick in home fire statistics, starting around Thanksgiving, where cooking tends to get left unattended more often, and concluding with Christmas, where we unwittingly pack our homes with trees that can dry out and flammable gifts wrapped in flammable paper.  Not to mention the occasional overloading of electrical sockets with Christmas lights.
The lesson, as always, is simple: be careful.  You've got a lot going on around the holidays, it's easy to overlook something as simple as keeping your tree watered.
New Indiana Legislation Effective January 1st
To our valued clients and friends in Indiana, there's an important new law going into effect January 1st, 2010 that you should be aware of.  It requires all alcoholic beverage servers to complete a state-approved server training no later than May 1st, 2010.  For new servers, they will be required to complete the training course within 120 days of their start date. 
The Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission has a brief overview of it on the front page of their website, here.  Official press release here
If you or your employees are among those needing training a complete list of licensed providers is available here.  We recommend the following training providers:
Indiana Licensed Beverage Association
contact Lewis Coulter
Phone: 317-634-4384
Illinois Casualty Company
contact Amanda Newman
Phone:  309-283-3241
REMINDER: 2010 Illinois Fire Suppression Mandate 
The Illinois Fire Marshal implemented code changes for establishments with cooking equipment last year.  We've done mailers and promoted the change in several newsletters now.  The change goes into effect January 1st, 2010. 
If you haven't already, check out the details of the change on our website to see if you're ready.
Preventing Metal Theft
Theft of metals such as Copper, Brass and Aluminum have risen dramatically over the past few years as thieves take advantage of rising scrap metal prices.  This includes air conditioner coils, copper flashing, gutters and downspouts, wiring and copper plumbing.
If thieves have been operating in your areas or have stolen outdoor equipment, take preventative action because thieves may return again and again.  Here are some tips to help prevent theft:
--Deny thieves access to roof-mounted HVAC equipment by removing exterior fixed ladders and cutting back trees and shrubs.
--Enclose ground HVAC equipment in secured, I.E., locked, metal cages.  Anchor outdoor units to concrete pads.
--Improve exterior lighting, especially in high risk areas.  Use motion sensors to turn the lights on and inspect them regularly to make sure they work.
--If possible, fence your property and secure all gates when the facility is closed.  Post "No Trespassing" signs.  This will help local law enforcement determine if any suspicious activity is taking place and keep thieves' vehicles away from your equipment.
--Secure equipment, materials, scrap bins, and vehicles inside your facilities.
--If you have an existing security system, try to make sure all outdoor areas are covered if possible.  Ask your security firm for an updated review of your system.  It may be possible to install a pressure switch in the coolant line in your HVAC system and tie it into your existing system.  When thieves cut the lines, the pressure switch is activated, setting off the alarm.
--Consult with local law enforcement and ask their advice in securing your property.

Be sure to add our email address to your contact book to ensure that you continue receiving industry updates, informative articles and tasty tidbits.

Bret Dixon Insurance
Holiday Schedule 

A quick reminder of our modified hours due to the Holidays. 
Thursday, 12-24
noon close
Friday, 12-25
closed for Christmas
Thursday, 12-31
noon close
Friday, 1-1-2010
closed for New Year's
All times are Central
If you anticipate having a need to contact us, please keep these days in mind, so that we can give you the most prompt service possible.
Everyone have a safe and happy holiday season, as well as a prosperous 2010!
Regular Office Hours 

Monday - Thursday
8:30am - 5pm
8:30am - 2pm
All times are Central
Don't Forget Our Personal Lines in 2010! 
We offer a full-line of personal lines coverages for your home, auto, boats, motorcycles, RVs, and more.  Give us a shot at your next renewal to see how we compete. 
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Bret Dixon Insurance | P.O. Box 205 | Bethalto | IL | 62010