There’s nothing worse than losing a home to a fire, except losing a loved one in the process. To prevent such a loss, homeowners need to be ready and armed with the tools necessary to prevent such terrible outcomes. At Thiel Insurance Group, we’re here when you need to file a home insurance claim for these types of losses, but we would rather help you avoid them instead. We’ve taken the time to pull together a three-step plan to help you get started. Are you ready to make your home safe?
Step 1: Put Fire and Smoke Alarms in Place
Start with installing the proper fire alarms and smoke detectors in your home. Place units in all bedrooms, hallways, kitchen, laundry, and utility room. While these alarms may not prevent the fire from occurring, they do give you additional time to react to a fire.
Test all units each month, replace batteries annually, and if more than 10-years old, replace the unit with a new one. Also be sure to check to see if any of your models are affected by a manufactures recall such as the one announced recently by Kidde.
When replacing older models with newer ones, consider upgrading to a connected system. Connected fire alarms and smoke detectors are exceptional tools. By placing them throughout your home, an alarm on any device sends a message to all other devices, alerting you no matter where you are. Some even link to your smartphone.
Step 2: Prevent Hidden Hazards
Carbon monoxide is a hidden problem that can impact any home. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention offers a fantastic guide to this type of hazard. Your home can be at risk for many reasons. For example, a small hole in the vent that leads from your home’s dryer outside could allow gases to build up in your home. Or, your furnace could cause the same type of risk. Carbon monoxide, which has no smell or color, is hard to detect.
Your first step is to ensure there is no risk by having a licensed professional inspect your home’s appliances for carbon monoxide risks. We encourage you to do this annually. Next, install a CO2 alarm. Place them near your bedrooms and on each floor of the home. Check them every month along with your fire alarms.
Step 3: Use Fire Extinguishers
Should a fire occur, you may be able to prevent a small fire from becoming a big one. To be prepared you should have fire extinguishers placed throughout your home and garage.
When shopping for fire extinguishers, be aware that there are multiple types for different kinds of fires, as pointed out by OSHA. Most homeowners need to have a device designed to handle paper, plastic, chemicals like paint, fuel, and electrical fires. A Class ABC fire extinguisher is a good investment. Be sure you do not select any under recall, such as those affected by the recent Kidde fire extinguisher recall. And, be sure every person in the family has proper training – OSHA offers a guide for that, too.
While we can’t claim to be fire prevention experts, the team at Thiel Insurance Group is available to answer any of your questions about your homeowners insurance. Stop in, call, or email us if you have any questions.