July 27 2014

Home Fire Emergency: Plan Ahead!

The home fire! Something nobody hopes to ever have but, for a fact, comes as a total surprise to everybody who does have one. If you think people just like you don’t have home fire emergencies… just turn your TV on. They’re never welcome but they can be, somewhat, planned for.
Here are some tips on how to plan for the possibility that you ever have a home fire emergency in your home:
First of all…. let’s hope you have homeowners insurance. It’s not expensive and you can even get it to cover apartment living. Most companies’ rates are relatively the same and all the big, well-known companies offer it. If you’re just now moving into a home and need homeowners fire protection for the first time in your life, you can probably get a discount from the same company you’ve got your auto insurance, or perhaps some business insurance, with.
Next… don’t do anything stupid around your house. Sure, that sounds obvious but really, you’ve got a big asset and a lot of money tied up in your home now. You’re not living in the college dorm anymore.
So take the time to learn something about what really constitutes a ‘fire hazard’. Sometimes things constitute a fire hazard that you didn’t even realize. If you discover something like that around your home… you’ll be glad you were forewarned in time to do something about it.
Next… you should make it a point to take an inventory of everything of value you’ve got around the home. The best way to do that is on one of the many ‘home inventory’ software programs that are out there. Many decent ones are even free or, for that matter, just use an Excel spreadsheet.
The point is, if and when you have to make a claim, the process will go a lot easier if you can document what you lost.
Next… be sure there’s nothing in the condition of your home that might make it more susceptible to a fire. This could include excess junk piled up somewhere, old wiring, old appliance, furnaces….. anything like that. Old stuff breaks and sometimes it ‘goes down in flames’ so minimize your odds of anything breaking and starting a fire.
Next… let’s hope that if a fire does start that it’s something you can catch early enough to put out yourself. You can buy fire extinguishers of various sizes and at the least you should have one in your kitchen. If you have a garage, you should have one there too…. especially if you do a hobby work or auto repair there.
Next… it never hurts to have some common medical supplies around the house. It’s entirely possible that you might have a small fire and hurt yourself putting it out and need to self-administer some simple first-aid. If you can… why not?
Next… be sure you have the number of the fire department programmed into all your phones…. i.e. your home phones and your personal smart-phone. In most cases you’ll just be calling 911 but if there is a special number… you should have it.
That’s about all you can do. Just think it through and be prepared. Don’t wish for a home fire emergency but do PLAN AHEAD.