Keeping your family safe from financial ruin is a big part of the work we do at Smith Insurance and Financial Services. Our insurance is designed to address the most common risks our clients face, such as storm-related damage or fires. As a homeowner, there are several things you can do to make your property a bit safer. We’re here to help you with three simple steps to take right now.
Install or Update Fire Alarms
Fire is a common cause of home insurance claims, unfortunately. While you may not be able to prevent them from occurring, you may be able to minimize the damage they cause. Here’s how you can do that:
- Check your existing fire alarms. Be sure they are in good working order – test them every month and replace them every ten years. If you have a Kidde model, be sure your model is not on this recall.
- Consider the move to upgrade them. Fire alarms can now be a part of your smart home technology. At the very least, they can link to each other and communicate a risk throughout the home even if just one fire alarm detects the risks. Connected alarms can help you to protect your family with a faster warning.
- Place enough fire alarms and smoke detectors throughout your home. They should be near the bedrooms, but also in upper levels of the home. Be sure to place them on every floor of the home or by high-risk areas.
Know the Risks of Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas. It has no scent, and you cannot see it. This makes it highly dangerous – as homeowners do not know it is there. In Wisconsin, where many of us have fireplaces, and our furnaces turned up well through spring, there is a risk that this gas is present in the home. We encourage you to learn more about the risks associated with carbon monoxide from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Then, take these steps to protect your home:
- Install CO2 monitors in your home. These work much like your home’s fire alarms.
- Place them on each floor of the home. Be sure to place one in the bedroom area.
- Work on maintaining each of the appliances in your home. Be sure a licensed technician takes a closer look at your home’s appliances to ensure they are properly vented.
Invest in Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers provide an obvious benefit to property owners. But, many people do not have enough of them in their home. It’s important to invest in a model designed to handle paper, plastic, electrical, paint, and chemical based fires, at the least. OSHA provides a breakdown of the different types of fire extinguishers as well as how to use them.
There are a few more steps to take:
- Be sure any fire extinguisher in your home is not affected by the Kidde recall.
- Next, be sure every member of your home is properly trained in how to use these – you can learn more at OSHA.gov.
- And, be sure to have them inspected at least one time a year to ensure they are working properly.
It’s our job at Smith Insurance and Financial Services to keep you safe. We do this through comprehensive home insurance policies. However, we also like to know we’re giving you the information you need to prevent a loss.