The Heat Is On! – Protecting Your Home against Wildfire with Defensible and Survivable Space

Many parts of the southwestern United States have already experienced record-breaking heat, and indications point to more of the same in the months ahead. As a result, all of that green, lush vegetation that sprouted this spring is now curing and rapidly drying out. The result is a light flashy fuel that is easily ignited and can quickly spread fire to other vegetation, trees, and unfortunately for too many, their homes. Continue reading

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Big, Bold, Beautiful: Takeaways from the JCK Las Vegas Jewelry Show

Most people go to Las Vegas to try their luck at the slot machines and take in a show. When my colleague and I make our annual pilgrimage to Sin City, it’s to surround ourselves with the most gorgeous jewelry in the world. From June 5th to June 8th, JCK hosts its annual jeweler’s wholesale show, where jewelry store owners and major department store buyers converge to see and buy the latest jewelry trends. Over 2,000 vendors showcase loose gemstones, watches, finished pieces of jewelry, and everything the jewelry trade needs to create and sell their merchandise. Continue reading

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You Have Arrived: How to Stay Safe During Summer Vacation

Once your summer vacation is planned, itinerary set and bags packed, the fun has only just begun. But, in addition to taking the proper precautionary measures prior to take-off to reduce your travel exposure, there are a number of potential risks to keep in mind once you have arrived at your destination.

Whether traveling within the U.S. or flying overseas, consider the following best practices to help ensure your vacation is as stress-free and safe as possible:
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Preemptive Strikes – Protecting Smart Homes from Lightning

What better time than National Lightning Safety Awareness Week (June 18 – 24, 2017) to highlight some key statistics about lightning and how to protect homes, especially those with complex technology, against lightning’s harmful effects.

• Lightning strikes 25 million times per year in the U.S.1
• The temperature of lightning is hotter than the sun!2
• Lightning causes approximately 22,600 fires resulting in $451,000 million in property damage per year – of those 19% were residential fires3
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What to Know Before You Go: Three Things to Consider Before Traveling This Summer

Americans will spend close to $100 billion on summer travel in 2017. But as millions of travelers plan their vacations to destinations both home and abroad, many are overlooking significant risks.

Fortunately, there are a number of measures you can take to help protect your family. Yes—it will add a few extra steps to your pre-departure preparations, but taking the time to prepare for the unexpected will give you peace of mind and ensure a stress-free summer vacation. In the event of an emergency while traveling, you’ll have the tools and resources you need to remain safe.
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Protecting Personal Information

A growing privacy and cybersecurity risk is that cyber criminals are actively seeking Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and payment card data. This is accomplished by either stealing PII from personal and home devices, or hacking into data stored by large organizations.

Using a computer and visiting a website are not the only way to potentially expose your information to criminals. Emerging threats, such as voice over internet (VoIP) and wireless devices and applications, have added a host of new avenues for security breaches. For example, if your phone is connected via the internet, it may not be protected by firewalls that are configured for VoIP security. Think about this when it comes to privacy: How often are you disclosing personal or financial information over the phone, such as when ordering an item, making a payment on a credit card, or accessing any organization using an account number? You can quickly see that all of these conveniences are leaving you vulnerable.
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Is Your Home Ready for Summer Travel Season?

Summertime is just around the corner, and many Americans are packing their suitcases and finalizing itineraries for a much-desired vacation. But with a burglary taking place every 10.5 seconds, 60 percent of which occur in residential properties, it is vital … Continue reading

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Secondary Homes – Choosing Relaxation over Vexation

For many, a secondary home is a dream come true. The home may serve as a place to spend vacations, relax, build traditions, and establish a family legacy. It may also be a residence to invest in for the future. Unlike rental or income properties, a secondary home is not rented to others and therefore is usually occupied only periodically throughout the year.

However, with a home that is unoccupied for long periods of time, problems can occur such as water leaks, theft, vandalism, and other maintenance concerns. To prevent your dream home from becoming a nightmare residence, consider the following suggestions to help protect your home-away-from-home while it is unoccupied.
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The World’s Most Valuable Earrings

The most expensive earrings in the world sold at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels & Noble Jewels auction last month for $57 million – and they don’t even match!

A stunning pink pear-shaped diamond matched with a flawless blue pear-shaped diamond, both suspended by two beautiful white diamonds, were known as Apollo (blue) and Artemis (pink)—after the twin brother and sister who are among the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Continue reading

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Summer Nights: Have Fun But Don’t Have a Blast!

Year round in some parts of the country, and as temperatures start to rise in the rest, people extend their living spaces to the outdoors. As new products and technologies come on the market, extending indoor living rooms and kitchens outside is becoming easier and easier.

All-weather appliances, cabinets, furniture, outdoor fireplaces and fire pits make it easy to create an outdoor living room. Due to the ease and fun of creating these spaces, safety may be overlooked. Outdoor safety practices should be similar to indoor safety.
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