It’s not fun to think about, but tragedies like home fires, carbon monoxide leaks and deadly storms happen. Preparing and having a plan for you and your family can be the difference between life and death in the event of a tragedy. So, how can you best prepare your home and your loved ones?
Home Fire Safety
Your home is likely outfitted with smoke detectors, but did you know you should check your smoke detectors once a month and replace the batteries twice a year?
You have, on average, two minutes to leave your home in the event of a fire, making functional smoke detectors essential. Take a few minutes each month to check the batteries and cases to ensure they are functional.
If there are children in the home, teach them what a smoke detector sounds like and what to do in the event of it alarming, including how to dial 911 and where to go outside the home.
You can also buy a fire extinguisher for the kitchen or garage. Take time to teach every member of the family who is old enough how to use it, and make sure to replace it when it expires.
Severe tornadoes aren’t incredibly common in Ohio but it’s best to have a plan before we enter peak tornado season, especially after the devastation in Mayfield, Kentucky last December.
First, determine the safest place in your home to take shelter in the event of a tornado. Typically, it’s in the basement or an inside room without windows on the lowest floor (bathroom, closet, center hallway). If possible, avoid sheltering in a room with windows or near the hot water heater. For added protection, get under something sturdy (a heavy table or workbench). Cover your body with a blanket, sleeping bag or mattress.
Then build your emergency bag. Consider including:
- Flashlights and spare batteries
- Basic first aid supplies, including gauze, bandaids and disinfectant wipes
- Diapers, baby wipes and formula if there is an infant in the home
- A change of clothes for each person
- Battery-powered radio or an NOAA weather radio
You can visit the National Weather Service’s website for an extensive list of items you should include in your emergency bag.
Do you know all the sources of carbon monoxide (CO) in your home? Common sources of this odorless, but deadly gas include clothes dryers, water heaters, furnaces or boilers, fireplaces, gas stoves and ovens, and even lawn equipment.
The first signs of CO poisoning symptoms can resemble the flu but eventually, symptoms will progress to confusion, impaired judgment and coordination, and eventually loss of consciousness.
To protect yourself and your loved ones, install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home, including checking and replacing the batteries and learning how the detector will sound if CO is detected.
We know the heartbreak of watching something you’ve worked hard to own and make into a home destroyed by a fire, accident, or big storm. As difficult as it can be to live through, rebuilding and repairing the damage is possible — with the right insurance coverage and the right help. At SFM Insurance, we can help you find the right home insurance coverage for your family that will protect you.