Unfortunately, we’ve seen too many homeowners suffer financial loss due to a loss that could have been prevented. In De Pere, WI, we see many different home insurance claims, from wind storms to slips and fall. But there is something about a fire loss that is scary.
Fire can happen in any home, no matter how well maintained. But, in some cases, a homeowner can reduce the extensiveness of that damage by having a home designed to give them time to react and take action. At Brian Van De Hey Insurance, we want you to know how to make your home safer, and possibly save your home from being a total loss.
Alerts Are Essential
A very good place to start is with tools that provide an early alert to a fire. Specifically, fire and smoke alarms. They give you time to react and give you a chance to call 911 as soon as possible. If you have smoke alarms in your home, be sure they are fully operational. Test them monthly, replace batteries annually, and replace the entire unit every ten years. Also be sure to check for any recalls that might affect your unit such as the Kidde brand smoke detector recall.
While most homes have a smoke and fire alarms, you might want to consider an upgrade to a connected fire alarm system. This is not much more expensive, and it does not take much more time to install. But, it allows for each alarm to communicate with the others to signal. This ensures you hear it no matter where you are.
Know the Hidden Risks
Many of our home insurance claims relate to the unknown – the property owner didn’t know a hazard existed. There is no more worrisome a risk than high carbon monoxide levels. Read the guidelines provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about carbon monoxide. You will learn that you cannot smell it or see it. But this gas can be life-threatening in a matter of hours of exposure.
To protect yourself and family, we encourage you to invest in CO2 alarms for your home. Place them on each floor, especially near the bedrooms. In Wisconsin, winter and spring are big risk factors because you are running your furnace. However, if you have a fireplace, a clothes dryer, or even a car in the garage, there’s a risk. Install these systems and maintain them properly. Also, have your appliance technician out to inspect your existing systems – be sure they are not putting your family at risk.
Know How to React
Finally, plan ahead to know what to do in the case of a fire. This includes calling the fire department and having a fire extinguisher nearby. A good first step is to be sure you invest in the right type of fire extinguisher for your home. Also be sure that your model is not affected by a recall such as the one for certain Kidde models. Most homes need a fire extinguisher that can handle electrical, paper, plastic, and chemical-based fires.
You should also be well versed in how to use an extinguisher properly. If you are not sure, OSHA offers some tips and strategies to help you better understand.
Finally, if you do have a loss, the team at Brian Van De Hey Insurance is always here to help. And if you are not a current client, let us give you a no-obligation, multi-company quote on your homeowners insurance. We’re confident that we can provide the coverage you need at a premium that can’t be beat.