Each spring, thunderstorms roll through the Sheboygan area, often creating the threat of lightning strikes and fires. We also see a few fire pits and grills start home fires throughout each summer. We want to take the time to help make sure you never have to experience a home fire of your own. Let’s talk about some common threats we see and how you can protect your home from them.
Perhaps the biggest threat to your home is fire. A house fire can occur due to a number of factors – storms, electrical fires, grease fires, and much more. You may not be able to prevent them all, but you can surely take steps to minimize the damage. Here are a few ideas.
- Install smoke and fire alarms in your home. Detecting both smoke and heat gives you a better chance of an early warning. If you have existing units, we encourage you to replace them if they are more than ten years old, or if they are affected by a recall, such as some Kidde alarm models.
- Check the batteries once per month and replace batteries each year.
- Consider investing in connected alarms. We’ve heard a lot about smart home technology, and this is one upgrade we encourage you to make. Connected systems communicate with each other, providing you with broader notification of a fire – sometimes right on your cell phone.
- Have enough alarms in place. Put them where you’ll hear them – at the top of the stairs, near bedrooms, and on every floor. Run a drill to ensure everyone knows what to do when they hear them.
Containing a Fire
If a fire were to occur, will your family know how to react? Too often the answer is no. This is because most of us have never experienced a fire and talk about having a plan. Here’s how to prep your family:
- Purchase the right type of fire extinguishers for your home. OSHA offers some guidelines to follow based on the fire risks in your home.
- If you already have the right type of fire extinguishers, and enough of them, be sure they are in good working order. Be sure they are not included in the recent Kidde recall.
- Make sure everyone knows how to use the fire extinguisher. OHSA offers guidelines to help you.
Carbon Monoxide Threats
Next, we want to focus on carbon monoxide, a type of gas that comes from appliances such as those fireplaces you’ve used all winter, your furnace, gas water heater, or even your dryer. Unfortunately, there’s no warning of this threat. Nothing you can see, touch, hear or smell. Here is a short list of things that you can do to prevent or warn your family of this danger.
- Have your appliances updated by a technician this spring. An annual inspection is a good idea.
- Invest in CO2 alarms. Like fire alarms, place them throughout the home. Be sure everyone knows to leave the home if the sound and to call the fire department immediately.
- Test these alarms each month and replace batteries each year.
Read more about it at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
By following the steps outlined above, you will have a safer home, and the chance of fire or accident will be greatly reduced. And because there are no guarantees, we strongly suggest an insurance review as well. Just like preparing for a fire with having the right tools, you should also prepare yourself with the protection home insurance provides should a loss occur. Give us a call or send us an email. We’d love to talk to you about how we can help.