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carThe Herbert M Sheaner Jr Insurance Agency of Dallas, Texas, offers car, home, flood and business insurance. Serving the Dallas metroplex since 1952 August 24, 1952 (reprint).

We are an independent insurance agent specializing in property and casualty insurance and financial services. We can help you find the best combination of price, coverage, and service for auto, home, and commercial insurance through one of the companies we represent.

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The next time you see or hear a thunderstorm, you might want to take a moment to review what you know about lightning safety. Strikes are most common during the summer thunderstorm season, but they can happen at any time of the year. And, a lot of less-than-accurate ideas about lightning have found a place in the popular imagination over the years. Here’s a look at current knowledge.

Indoor Safety

  • The safest place to be during a storm is typically indoors, but it is important to avoid anything that conducts electricity – metal, landline phones, appliances, wires, TV cables and plumbing.
  • Automobiles can be safe havens thanks to the metal frame that diverts the electrical charge. Don’t lean on the doors during a storm, though.

Outdoor Safety

  • Don’t look for shelter under a tree. If lightning hits its branches, a “ground charge” could spread out in all directions.
  • Don’t lie flat on the ground. This makes you even more vulnerable to a ground charge.
  • Don’t crouch down. Once recommended, the “lightning crouch” has been discredited – it’s not likely any safer than standing if you’re outside during a storm. Instead, get inside or into a car.

Where Strikes Will Happen

  • Contrary to folk wisdom, lightning does indeed strike twice in the same place. The best example is New York City’s Empire State Building. It was once a lightning laboratory due to being struck scores of times every year.
  • Lightning doesn’t only strike the tallest objects. Although tall, pointy, isolated objects are often hit, lightning has been known to hit the ground instead of buildings and parking lots instead of telephone poles.
  • The presence of metal doesn’t affect where and if lightning will strike. Neither mountains nor trees contain metal, and both get struck. However, metal is a conductor of electricity, so avoid it during any storm.
  • Strikes don’t just happen in areas where rain is falling. Even if you’re miles away from a thunderstorm, lightning can still occur.

Finally, it’s important to remember that you won’t be electrocuted if you touch someone who has been struck – the human body doesn’t store electricity. So, by all means, give a lightning strike victim first aid. You might just save a life.

Consider our agency when renewing your personal home, auto, boat, motorcycle, umbrella or business insurance.  With more than 62 years in business we are able to provide great service, pricing and convenience with the many fine insurance carriers we represent.

Contact one of our agents at the Sheaner Insurance agency for a quote or to help with your risk management plan.

June 30th, 2016

Posted In: Articles

3 Important Things to Know About Fire Extinguishers

Whether your Texas home is a three-story Tudor, a skyline-grazing apartment or an RV on wheels, you need at least one fire extinguisher for it. But if you don’t have the right one, or you haven’t checked it recently, you may have a false sense of security rather than a fire-fighting device. There are a few important things to know about fire extinguishers, but they aren’t complicated. Here are three things to help you get up to speed:

  1. There are extinguishers for each type of fire. Class A: ordinary combustibles, such as wood; Class B: flammable liquids or gasses, such as gasoline or propane; Class C: energized electrical equipment like appliances; Class D: combustible metals; and Class K: cooking oils and greases. An extinguisher that isn’t rated for the fire you’re trying to fight likely won’t help.
  2. Multipurpose extinguishers are widely available. Typically rated for Class A, B and C fires, they are good for most living areas and also work on small grease fires. You need at least one for each level of your home, and one in the garage is a good idea, too. Store them in an accessible area and inspect them regularly for rust and other damage. Also follow any maintenance instructions included with the device. Some need to be shaken regularly, for example.
  3. Remember “P.A.S.S.” when you use your extinguisher. Pull the pin. Aim the nozzle at the fire’s base. Squeeze the lever. Sweep the nozzle back and forth. And always keep your back to an exit when fighting a fire. You need to be able to escape quickly if necessary.

Even more important than knowing how to use your fire extinguisher is knowing when not to use it. If you’d be putting yourself at risk trying to fight a fire, leave the area immediately. You should already have a family fire escape plan in place, so don’t hesitate to use it if there’s any question about your safety.

After all, your life is irreplaceable. Your insurance, however, can help you rebuild your home and replace your belongings. If you’d like to check up on your coverage, give us a call today.

June 14th, 2016

Posted In: Articles

Sure, fragrant candles smell nice and create ambiance, but an unattended candle can be a disaster waiting to happen. Mike Rugh, a Pennsylvania state police fire marshal, said the top three causes of house fires are – in no paiiicular order

– candles, careless smoking and electrical issues.

In most cases, house fires caused by candles are the result of carelessness.

Sometimes, Rugh said, fires are caused by the fact that many people believe candles are safe.

In paiiicular , jar candles, which are set in a glass container resembling a jar , give a “false sense of security,” Rugh said. “People think they’re foolproof because they’re in glass,” he said.

However, as the wax bums off, the wick can get close to the glass, heating it up. That can then cause the glass to fail and explode, allowing the flaming wick to set off a much larger blaze.

“You’re subjecting an open flame to glass. It’s not going to work,” Rugh said.

Candles set in a tin container can also be dangerous, he added. As the candle bums down, it heats up the tin. That can cause whatever it’s sitting on to catch fire.


Always place candle on a heat resistant holder. When the candle bums down to the bottom of the container there could be enough heat to damage the furniture on which the candle is sitting. Keep the flame from getting too close to the container. The heat from the flame could cause the container to crack. Handle burning container candles with care. The melted wax and flame can cause the containers to be too hot to handle. To be additionally safe, when the wax level is from 1/4 to 1/2 from the bottom of container, you should discontinue use and avoid the possibility of the container cracking.

Glass containers are particularly fragile and heat concentrated in one area could cause the glass to break. Special care should be taken to protect surface and surrounding areas from hot broken glass and melted wax.

Peak month

On Sunday, a house fire in Shippensburg was blamed on a jar candle that failed.

The candle, which was in a second-floor bathroom , said Chief Clyde Tinner of the Vigilant Hose Co., burned down to nearly the bottom . Heat from the flame affected the glass, causing it break. That in tum sent the flaming wick into nearby items, catching them on fire.

The fire eventually spread to a bedroom and to the attic, Tinner said. No one was injured in the blaze, he added, but a family of four was displaced.

It was the second fire in the borough caused by a candle in two years, Tinner said.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, between 2003 and 2007, an estimated average of 15,260 house fires were staiied by candles each year.

Those fires caused an annual average of 166 civilian deaths, 1,289 civilian fire injmies and $450 million in property damage.

December is the peak month for candle fires, the NFPA says. The top five days for house fires caused by candles were Christmas, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Day, Halloween and Dec. 23.

Rugh encourages people to install working smoke alarms in their homes just in case a fire does break out. Many fire depaiiments, including Union Fire Co. in Carlisle, offer free detectors.

Shawn Brickner, chief of the Nmih Middleton Township Fire Co., advises those who bum jar candles to put them in a ceramic container so that if the glass does explode, the wick and wax will be contained.

When placing a candle somewhere to be burned, Rugh said, make sure it’s away from drafts that could fan the flame or cause a cmiain to blow over top of it. Also, he added, make sure children or pets can’t knock the candle over.

“The A-number one thing is never bum a candle unless you’re in the room with it,” Rugh said.


This article was submitted by our account manager at Servpro of Northeast Dallas, Mike Davis.  Servpro provides Fire & Water cleanup and restoration services.  Contact Mike at (214) 343-3973 or visit their website at www.servpronortheastdallas.com

November 10th, 2015

Posted In: Articles

Every year when it comes time to renew insurance I think of the old adage made famous by Benjamin Franklin, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Paying insurance premiums can certainly be added to that list.

Although paying insurance premium is a necessary cost of business, the amount of premium you pay is by no means certain. In this and following articles, we will explore ways to keep insurance cost manageable while maintaining the critical coverage needed to protect the business.

Risk Management:  Maintaining a clean and safe work environment can be one of the most effective ways in the long run of keeping insurance cost at a minimum. Underwriters give a great deal of weight to proactive risk management techniques such as written safety controls and procedures.

Regularly scheduled safety training and continued employee education are also key components to a good risk management plan. Weekly safety meetings are an efficient way to inform employees of your strategy and expectation for a clean and safe environment for your employees and customers.  

In the end, your loss history can be the difference between affordable coverage and premiums that seem to go through the roof. Longevity in business combined with a good record goes a long way in getting the best price.

Shop your coverage:  While maintaining loyalty to your agent is important, it may be beneficial to compare coverage from time to time with other companies. New carriers have come into the market in the past twelve months that offer comprehensive coverage at very competitive rates. If your agent has access to other markets ask them to shop for you. If not, seek quotes from another agent or ask others in the industry if they have someone who is doing a good job for them. It never hurts to ask!

Contact one of our agents at the Sheaner Insurance agency for a quote or to help with your risk management plan.

October 2nd, 2015

Posted In: Articles


A fellow board member on our local nonprofit organization told board members and other volunteers that they don’t need to buy any special liability insurance, because their homeowners policies will cover them. Is this correct?

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August 14th, 2015

Posted In: Articles



Our nonprofit organization depends heavily on the services provided by volunteers. Do any of our insurance policies cover medical expenses if a volunteer is injured on the job? Will our liability policies defend us if a volunteer sues the organization because of the injury? Is the organization covered if we get sued for an accident caused by the volunteer?



These are excellent questions. Board members and staff of nonprofit organizations are right to be concerned about taking care of their volunteers and protecting the organization from liability that might arise out of the services provided by the volunteers. We are privileged to serve several organizations such as yours and this question comes up frequently.

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August 11th, 2015

Posted In: Articles

An umbrella liability policy is a relatively inexpensive way to purchase higher liability limits for you and your family, above and beyond the limits provided in homeowners and auto liability policies. In addition, most umbrella policies provide coverage for liability claims not covered by other policies, subject to a small self-insured retention. Umbrella policies got their name because they provide excess limits in increments of $1 million above more than one underlying policy. Any individual or couple seriously concerned about protecting family assets and earning power should consider an umbrella policy. Accidental tragedies resulting in multi-million dollar lawsuits are far too common to rely solely on basic policies.

Call or email for a Personal Umbrella quote or complete an application and fax to (888) 607-7154

This article was prepared and made available to your agent by the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas, which is solely responsible for its content. Please read your insurance policy. If there is any conflict between the information in this article and the actual terms and conditions of your policy, the terms and conditions of your policy will apply. The Independent Insurance Agents of Texas is a non-profit association of more than 1,500 insurance agencies in Texas, dedicated to helping its members succeed, in part by providing technical resources that explain insurance policies sold to their customers.

August 9th, 2015

Posted In: Articles


My son (daughter) is leaving home to attend college this fall.  Will my auto and homeowners insurance policies cover him (her) while at college?


This is a great question, and one that our customers ask frequently.

When college students move from home to their home-away-from-home – a rented dorm or apartment – insurance issues can arise and should be addressed before they leave home.

One key question that arises in discussing these issues is whether the student is still considered a resident of your household.  This is a legal question, but your homeowners and auto policies both contain provisions that apply the broadest coverage available in those policies to persons who are legally considered residents of your household.

It is generally accepted that students living away from home while attending college are residents of their parents’ household. Based on previous Texas court decisions, the real test is whether the absence of a person from the household is intended to be permanent or only temporary – whether there is physical absence coupled with intent not to return. This leaves a great deal of room for interpretation. There may be borderline cases that require you to think about alternatives. For example, it may be difficult to consider a 23-year-old graduate student living in an apartment year-round to be a resident of your household.

Read More…

August 9th, 2015

Posted In: Articles