It is Fire Prevention Week and now is the perfect time to start thinking about steps you can take to protect your family and yourself. There are few disasters that are quite as devastating as a fire loss.
Fires happen every day, 365 days a year. They are a powerful force that can cause loss of property as well as injury and death. It is important to take steps to prevent fires and have a plan in place if one should occur. Here are some actions you should take:
- Install smoke alarms – Smoke alarms should be located on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area, and inside each bedroom. You should also test your smoke alarms once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
- Make an escape plan – Create a plan to escape from each room of your home, communicate your plan and have a meeting spot outside your home. For help creating your fire escape plan visit the National Fire Protection Association for free tools. Here is the link: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Preparedness/Escape-planning
- Practice your escape plan – Use the test button on your smoke alarm to simulate a real fire alarm and practice your escape plan at least twice a year.
- STOP, DROP AND ROLL – Teach everyone in your home these three important steps to put out a fire should your clothing catch fire.
Steps to take in the event of a Fire
- Get Out – Evacuate the building and call 9-1-1. Do not return into the burning building.
- Avoid smoke – If you must evacuate through smoke, get low and go under the smoke.
- Smoke, heat and flames blocking your exit – place a wet towel under the door and call 9-1-1. Open a window and wave a brightly colored cloth or use a flashlight to signal for help.
- Go to your meeting place – Follow your family communication plan and take a head count to make sure everyone in accounted for.
Recovering from a Fire
- First Aid and Medical Attention – Immediately after a fire seek medical treatment for people and animals who suffered smoke inhalation or burns.
- Stay Out – Do not re-enter the damaged structure. Ask a building inspector or contractor to check the structure to make sure it is safe before you re-enter the home.
- Communicate – Let your family and friends know you are safe.
- Call your insurance Agent – Start the claims process. Your home policy may have coverage for additional living expenses while you are displaced as well as coverage to rebuild/repair your home and personal property.
Here is a link to an additional resource from American Red Cross on picking up the pieces after a fire. https://www.redcross.org/content/dam/redcross/atg/PDF_s/Preparedness___Disaster_Recovery/General_Preparedness___Recovery/Home/picking-up-the-pieces-after-a-fire.pdf
Do not forget the importance of having sufficient homeowner’s and renter’s insurance just in case the worst happens.
Call us today to review your level of coverage.