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Bonfire Safety Tips for Your Next Backyard Blaze
Fall is a great time for campfires and backyard bonfires. Here's how to stay safe (and avoid insurance claims) while you roast your marshmallows.

Contain it. Establish a safe zone for your fire that prevents it from spreading. Create a ring of rocks on the outside of the bonfire area. Clear away any grass and leaves around the bonfire, creating a 10-foot circle of dirt around the fire. To further establish this dirt-only zone, dig a hole two feet across and six inches deep for your bonfire, then pile dirt around this pit.

Extinguish it. Never leave a fire unattended. When the bonfire party is over, make sure the fire is completely out. To ensure it is extinguished, douse the fire with water, then stir the embers to make sure everything gets wet. Scrape any partially burned logs to remove hot embers, then mix the ashes and embers with some dirt. Before you leave the area, everything should be cool to the touch, including the ring of rocks.

Plan it. Before you light a bonfire, consider the environment. Check the National Weather Service for Fire Weather Warnings. If there is a Red Flag Warning, consider postponing your bonfire. Other conditions to watch for are dry air (low humidity, which increases the risk of wildfires) and high winds, which can quickly blow embers and ashes onto flammable objects.

Prevent it. Whether you use a portable pit or build a stone ring in your yard, make sure the bonfire is situated at a safe distance from your home. Keep in mind that embers can travel a significant distance from the source. Before you light the fire, take the necessary precautions so you remain safe and won't have to worry about an insurance issue resulting from your bonfire.

Welcome Fall: It's Time for Leaf Peeping Again!
Even summer lovers mourning the end of their favorite season can admit that fall foliage is something to be admired. But some of us take that admiration one step further. Enter leaf peeping.

Leaf peeping is a niche type of tourism, where fall leaf enthusiasts travel to areas where the foliage is particularly spectacular. Organized leaf viewing tours are often called foliage excursions, while some enthusiasts refer to their own outings as "leaf peepshows."

Observing the reds, oranges, and yellows isn't just a nice seasonal pastime; it's also big business. According to a 2014 Associated Press report, leaf peeping tourists who visit New England spend close to $3 billion. In New Brunswick, tourism officials have also cited increased tourism specifically related to fall leaves.

Interested in doing some leaf peeping of your own? Here are four of the best places to do it.

Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire: This nearly 56-kilometer stretch of backcountry is known as the "Kanc" to locals. Spend one or two days winding your way through gorgeous dense forest land.

Algonquin Park, Ontario: Start planning your visit to this huge northern Ontario provincial park in early September with up-to-the-minute online fall color reports.

Mohawk Trail, Massachusetts: In addition to stunning fall colors, this historic route (it was once a Native American trading trail) also offers views of both the Berkshires and Taconic mountains.

Saint John River, New Brunswick: Follow the river as it snakes through hills, valleys, and mountains and gawk at the canopy of fiery fall trees.

Mother and Daughter Inspire Women to Fly High
Piloting commercial airplanes is a male-dominated business. And while barely 6% of all commercial pilots in the world are women, Captain Wendy Rexon and her daughter, First Officer Kelly Rexon, are a dynamic duo in the Delta cockpit.

With widespread coverage in the news and social media, this mother-and-daughter team are an inspiration to girls and women everywhere. According to Wendy, there's a shortage of women pilots simply because of lack of awareness.

The International Society of Women Airline Pilots reports that of the 130,000 airline pilots around the globe, only 4,000 are women. And of that number, only about 450 are captains. But as the demand for pilots grows, the likelihood of more women entering the field grows too. Indeed, Wendy's other daughter, Kate, is a Delta pilot too.

Wendy has been flying since she was 16, and when her daughters showed an interest, both she and her husband encouraged it. For the entire family, it seems to be a dream come true.

Obviously, there's a lot of flight-school training required to make the grade, but a bachelor's degree in a related field is all that's necessary for acceptance to a top-notch flight school. Once there, a student receives ground training and flight training and can usually acquire the necessary hours of flying to become a real airline pilot in about four years.

Wendy is a vocal and enthusiastic advocate for more women in the cockpit. Her husband is an American Airlines pilot, so the whole family is flying high. Wendy calls it "the family business."

Home Disasters: Do You Need Extended Coverage?
Do you know the limit on your homeowners' insurance policy? Every policy has a limit, which is the maximum amount of payout you can receive for a claim.

Most homeowner policies today are written with Replacement Cost terms. This means the insurance carrier will pay the full replacement cost for damages, even if the item being replaced has depreciated.

For example, if you need to replace your computer, and a new one costs $1,000, your Replacement Cost policy will cover this entire cost. It does not take into consideration the depreciated value of your two-year-old computer, which may now only be worth around $500. Since it costs $1,000 to replace it, the Replacement Cost coverage provides the full amount. When it comes to homes, this Replacement Cost can get tricky.

If your house suffers significant damage and you need to completely rebuild, you might hit the limit of your Replacement Cost policy before you reach the full cost of rebuilding your home. If this happens, you might not be able to afford the repairs, even though you have homeowners insurance coverage.

This is where Extended Replacement Cost policies come into play.

With this coverage in place, the homeowner policy will pay up to a certain percentage over the policy limit if extra funds are needed to fully replace your home.

These policies are commonly written at 125 percent of the stated limit of the basic coverage.

These additional funds are crucial when rebuilding costs are at a seasonal high or suddenly spike due to other economic conditions. The extended coverage makes home replacement possible, even when you encounter such costs that are higher than expected.

Do you need this coverage? This will depend on a variety of factors, including the value of your home, current construction and material costs, and the limit of your policy.

99% of my clients have this included. If your friends or neighbors are not with me Feel free to have them contact me for a quick review of their coverage.

Are Your Home - and Your Family - Really Safe?
Home is truly where the heart is, but that doesn't stop accidents, fires or thefts from happening at home.

Discover how to keep your property and your loved ones out of harm's way by requesting my free guide, "Three Ways to Keep Your Home - And Your Family - Safe."
Just reply to this email and I'll send it right out to you.

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Roasted Apple Fall Salad
Here's a fresh addition to your warm fall meal.
Serves 8
4 medium Fuji or Gala apples, quartered and seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 package baby spinach
4 ounces fresh goat cheese
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place apples, olive oil, nutmeg, pepper, and cinnamon on a baking sheet and toss to coat evenly. Roast 20-30 minutes or until tender. Remove and cool completely. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients until blended. Place spinach in a salad bowl and toss with the dressing, roasted apples, cheese, cranberries, and pecans. Serve immediately.
This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter.
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