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5 New Year’s Eve Celebration Safety Tips

Everyone celebrates New Year’s Eve, regardless of religion. With a boisterous national celebration occurring, it’s only right that you cut loose and have fun with friends. New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate a year gone by and another year to come. The festivities should be enjoyed to their fullest, with a few precautions of course to protect you and your loved ones. Let’s take a look at 5 important safety tips to keep in mind at the end of the year.

Drink Responsibly this Holiday
1. Never leave your drink unattended. 
Remember this particularly i
f you go out to a bar, club or party with company you don’t know well. In public venues, you should always keep your drink with you or within your site at all times. If you need to excuse yourself from the table you should finish a drink, or leave it with a trusted friend, before getting up and leaving it unattended. You’d be surprised how many people consider spiking drinks to be a good time.

2. Never drink and drive. 
This one goes without saying, but we would be remiss if we didn’t remind everyone to drink responsibly.
This is dangerous every day of the year, but it becomes increasingly more common on New Year’s Eve. Always appoint a designated driver, call a cab, Uber or Lyft, or use the AAA Holiday Safe Ride Program if it is available in your area. And even if you yourself are being responsible, be wary of those around you who may be less responsible. With so many intoxicated drivers on the roads, you may choose to avoid driving all together and opt for a small get together at home instead. If you do go out, try to avoid driving during peak hours such as right after midnight and around 2 a.m., when the bars shut down.

3. Never attend parties alone.
If you happen to be celebrating out on the town, 
remember the simple phrase “safety in numbers.” A group of friends can keep you safe from a variety of dangerous situations. Make sure everyone in the group has a charged cell phone in case you get separated from each other.

4. Be aware of your surroundings

It’s safer to be in well-lit areas with your friends than it is to be in dim, sparsely populated areas. If you notice something potentially dangerous occurring, do your best to prevent it and alert a security guard or police officer if needed.

5. Remember your pets! 
If you’re hosting a party at home, don’t forget about the well-being of your furry friends. Even though fireworks are illeg
al in residential areas, some people set them off regardless. The loud noise from the fireworks, or even the ambient noise of the party itself, could be frightening for some pets. Your pet may feel safer tucked away in its kennel or in your bedroom, where it’s quieter.

With safety in mind, enjoy this fun, exciting night of celebrations.
Happy New Year!

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Annual Christmas Turkey Giveaway – 2015

Alliance employees joining together on Christmas morning.

As part of our Alliance Cares program, every year, Alliance Insurance partners with Harrison Park Elementary to spread Christmas joy during the holiday season with our Christmas Turkey Giveaway. On Christmas Eve, the whole office gathers together, bringing our family and friends, and assembles 100 turkey dinners, which we then provide to 100 families who would otherwise have no Christmas dinner for their children. 

Part of the turley dinner, and a note of well wishesThis tradition began after Ryan Kyes, the president of Alliance, adopted his young children, who grew up in the low income Harrison Park area. Ryan wanted to help his children give back to the community that helped raise them, making sure that gratitude and charity were central to their outlook. He also wanted to make sure he raised his young children with an understanding of what Christmas is really about. So, he combined these two goals and began what would become a beautiful tradition. Every year, the Kyes children “adopted” a family in need from their old neighborhood, sharing half of their presents with this family and helping them experience the joy of Christmas.

The turkey dinner assembly line

After starting Alliance Insurance, Ryan wanted to expand this opportunity to give. Beginning with that first family, the turkey giveaway has grown each year, now reaching 100 families from the community where his daughters spent their elementary years.

But this program does not just benefit the families receiving. It has grown into a wonderful annual experience for our whole office. We have the opportunity to begin our Christmas Eve remembering what the holiday is truly about – Christ’s birth. By beginning our Christmas celebration with acts of generosity and compassion, we are able to experience the joy of giving and see the joy of receiving in the happy faces of those we help. 

With a small sacrifice of our time, we receive something much greater: a beautiful reminder of the reason for the season. What a priceless moment, providing 100 families with the opportunity to give thanks to Him as they enjoy a meal that is offered in celebration of His birth. 


Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year! 

Some verses given to the family with their meal:

Hebrews 13:16 “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

1 John 3:17 “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”

Fire Safety During the Holidays

‘Tis the season for turkey, stockings and family. The month between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is a favorite for many. The changing weather calls for cozy sweaters and warming up by the fireplace in the company of loved ones you may not get to see year-round. However, the holidays also bring an increased risk of home fires.

In fact, the US Fire Administration has reported an average of 156,000 house fires per winter holiday season, resulting in over 600 deaths, 2,600 injuries and $900 million in property damage. Thanksgiving is reported to be the number one day for home cooking fires across America. But don’t panic yet! Though the danger is very real, there are simple steps you can take to significantly reduce your risk of fire.

Cooking In the KitchenChristmas Baking
The leading cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking. Always stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. You don’t need to stand like a watchdog while simmering, roasting, baking or boiling; however, stay inside of your home at all times and monitor occasionally.

Use the back burners on your stove whenever possible and turn pan handles away from you to prevent accidental tipping. Prevent even more accidents by wearing snug clothing with sleeves that do not dangle dangerously close to your stovetop. Keep towels, oven mitts, potholders, paper products, wooden utensils, food packaging and other flammable objects away from any hot appliances.

If a small grease fire ignites inside of a pan, don an oven mitt and carefully slide a lid over the pan to smother the fire. Immediately turn off the burner and leave the lid in place until the pan is completely cool to prevent restarting the fire. Never pour water onto a grease fire! Any splashing can spread burning oil around your kitchen.

Winter Fire Safety for Children
Teaching your children about fire safety has never been more important than when you have a house full of people and a huge meal to cook. You may not have as much time to keep a watchful eye on your young children every second of every day during this hectic season. Relying on family and friends to help supervise children is a good start, but directly teaching children about fire safety can save lives.

Explain to children that cooking over a hot stove can be dangerous. Wave their hands a safe distance over the burner so they can feel the heat. Each family should set rules that work for their household. One rule you may consider is that children are not allowed within three feet of a heated stove or oven, along with space heaters, blazing fireplaces or any other type of heating device. This will protect them from burns and prevent them from accidentally setting an uncontrolled fire.

Protecting the Rest of Your Home
Fires, though most common in the kitchen, can happen anywhere in your home. Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors around your house. For added protection, position a fire extinguisher on every floor. Ensure that all flammable objects are kept away from fireplaces and heating 

Christmas Tree

If a fire does start in your home, call 911 immediately. While you wait for the fire department to arrive, you may choose to try to contain and/or extinguish a small fire that is burning in a single area. Keep a safe distance as you spray a fire extinguisher or use any other means of firefighting. If you have any doubt at all in your ability to perform such a task, vacate your home as soon as possible. Close any doors behind you to prevent the fire from spreading. Ensure that every person and pet is out of the house, and grab a phone on your way out in case you need to reach out to loved ones or local authorities.devices, such as space heaters or radiators. Turn off portable heaters when you go to sleep or leave the room/house.

Staying alert to the potential dangers of fires during the holiday season is the first step to protect your home and loved ones. Taking extra precaution during such busy times goes a long way toward keeping everyone safe. With these fire safety measures in mind, enjoy your holiday celebrations with delicious meals and delightful company!

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Overcrowded House During the Holidays?

Shopping, baking, gift wrapping… the holidays are a busy time! And if you are like many, the holidays can also be a crowded one. This time of year often means hosting friends and family for the holiday festivities, and if your home typically welcomes holiday visitors, things can get a little crowded. An influx of people can lead to a higher risk for danger and injury, particularly for young children and pets.

The US Fire Administration has reported an average of 156,000 house fires per winter holiday season, resulting in over 600 deaths, 2,600 injuries and $900 million in property damage. As if that wasn’t enough, more than 2,400 children under age ten are admitted to hospitals across the country for electric shocks and burns caused by tampering with wall outlets.

Safety precautions should not be overlooked during the holidays. Ensure that small children, cooking food, and open flames are always under supervision. You may want to make a list of emergency contacts and medical information for everyone staying in your home in case a trip to the doctor or hospital is necessary. Let’s review some simple things you can do to keep your home safe for visitors.

Prepare for Children
Christmas Decorating

If you have very young children visiting your home, you may want to do a bit a childproofing. Purchasing safety covers for electrical outlets is a simple solution to a potentially big risk. Electrical cords should be neatly coiled and stored safely against walls to prevent tripping. Make sure risky items, such as medicines, chemicals, small choking hazards, candles, matches or breakables, are out of reach or locked away.

Children should be supervised as often as possible, particularly in the kitchen or near space heaters. Make a rule that kids must stay at least 3 feet from stovetops, cooking appliances and heating devices. This will protect them from burns and reduce the risk of fire.

Decorations can also be a source of danger, especially sharp and breakable décor (unless it is out of reach). Christmas tree lights and ornaments should be kept off the ground and lowest tree branches to avoid kids from yanking on the tree. Explain to children that decorations are not toys and should not be played with. Providing a supply of toys may help entertain children and distract them from enticing decorations.

Prepare for Pets
Your pets are beloved members of your family, and you naturally want to ensure their comfort and care. However, with so many visitors disrupting their daily routine, the holidays may be an overwhelming time for your pets. To keep them relaxed, try to maintain as many pieces of your pets’ routine as possible, such as regular meal times and walks. You may also find that your pet takes comfort in the privacy of a crate or your bedroom.

Keep in mind, an over-stimulated, nerve-rattled dog may not take well to kids pulling tails and fur. Even the best behaved family dogs have a limit. Adults should always supervise children around pets to monitor the safety of both the pet and the child. If a dog appears to be annoyed, call it into an empty room for a break from the holiday excitement.

Tinsel, garland, ribbon, string and other wrapping materials can also be very alluring to pets, especially cats. But these fun strands can cause choking, strangulation or serious digestive tract issues if swallowed. Pets should be shooed away from munching on Christmas tree branches or sipping the water at the base of the tree. If stubborn pets continue to come back, you may try encircling the tree with a pet gate. Apart from your tree, many holiday plants (such as Poinsettias) are poisonous to pets. Ensure that these are out of reach, particularly away from curious cats.

The holidays are a fun and joyous time of year. Simple safety precautions can prevent risks from ruining your merriment. Ask your guests to help safeguard the house, children and pets to ensure a happy, healthy holiday season for everyone!

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