Homeowners Insurance Broker Andrew Biscay has some tips to keep your family safe before, during, and after a fire. Preventing fires is incredibly important, but so is having your whole family ready if one breaks out.
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside all bedrooms, and outside of all sleeping areas. Test at least 6x a year and replace batteries often.
Unplug unused electronics and appliances between uses.
Have a qualified electrician periodically check your circuit breakers, outlets, and fixtures. Old breakers can stick open and not trip when they're supposed to, leading to overheating/fires.
Keep grills/fireplaces far away from your house. Do not have fires on windy or dry days.
Keep doors shut while sleeping to prevent spread of dangerous smoke.
Have fire extinguishers charged and readily accessible on each floor. Have entire family know where they are.
Teach kids what a smoke alarm is, what they sound like, and how to call 911 in proper situations.
Teach kids how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothes catch fire. They should also learn how to crawl low out of danger to avoid smoke inhalation.
Avoid using candles and other open flames in your home when possible.
What do during a fire:
Have a family emergency escape plan for fires, a meeting spot away from the house, and practice regularly (see below for tips)
Know how to safely operate a fire extinguisher
For large fires, get out, stay our, and call 911 immediately.
Yell "FIRE!" and get outside right away. Use stairs only, do not use an elevator.
If smoke, heat, or flames block your exit route, stay in the room with doors closed. Place a wet towel under the door and call the fire dept ASAP. Open a window and use a brightly colored piece of fabric to wave for help.
Consider having emergency fire ladders for each room, a baseball bat to break windows, and adequate training to escape danger.
Home Escape Plans:
Fire Escape Plans (click to download)
Identify 2 ways to exit each room
For infants and children, have a plan for getting to them, and helping them out of the house safely.
Find a safe location away from the home for everybody to meet.
Conduct regular fire drills with your entire family, including the process of exiting the home from each bedroom and meeting at your escape point.
The most important part is to consider the safety of your family first. Having great insurance means that your home and possessions will be restored after a large loss. South Lake Agency can work with your family ahead of time to address any concerns you have with your insurance policy, and make sure your home and possessions properly protected. Your home and stuff can be replaced, but that's not the case with your life.
Feel free to share these tips with friends and family! Thanks again.
President, South Lake Agency