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  • Oct 06, 2023

Insurance Tip of the Month - Fire Prevention

For many of us New Englanders, autumn is a highly anticipated season when our weekends will be filled with fun activities like apple picking and hayrides, delicious smells of homemade chili, stews, and pumpkin pies, nights spent reading and playing board games by the fireplace, and, of course, football, football, football. This time of year, is truly special. However, our partners at HUB International also feel they have a responsibility to take a moment to remind you of some of the risks that this picturesque and colorful season brings with it.

Have You Designed and Practiced Not One, But Two Escape Plans?

It is recommended to have two ways out in case of a fire catastrophe. You can never be too prepared when it comes to fire safety. So, whether you've been living in the same house for ten years, just moved into your first home, recently downsized into a brand-new condominium complex, or your family is renting an apartment, now is the perfect time to establish and practice your fire escape plan. Haven't thought about a fire escape plan for your home lately? It can be scary to think about a possible fire catastrophe happening at your home, but it's even more frightening not to address the possibility, especially when you know all the facts.

Creating an emergency escape plan for your home may seem like a small to-do on your ever-growing fall chores list. But this is one task that you do not want to put off any longer. Just imagine for a second that it’s the middle of the night. Your kids are sound asleep in the next room and the house is silent and pitch black. Suddenly, you are startled awake by the sound of what appears to be a loud, blaring alarm of some kind. It takes a few pounding heartbeats to recognize that the siren is neither your early morning gym alarm nor one of your kids’ video games. Now you realize that it is your fire alarm going off and you smell smoke! In this situation, would you know exactly what to do next to ensure that you and your loved ones get out of the house as quickly as possible? Or will you find yourself panicking and trying to catch your breath because you're confused about what steps to take? If this seems a bit dramatic – it was intentional! Everyone needs to feel how truly important it is to prepare an escape plan for a potential fire or other emergency, although hopefully you never have to execute it.

Not sure where to start in planning your family’s unique escape plan? Lucky for you, the National Fire Protection Association  has put together an easy-to-follow Home Fire Escape Plan that takes away all the guesswork. Below, are some of the most significant steps.

Key Steps to Designing Your Home Fire Escape Plan

  • Start by drawing a map of your home that shows all your doors and windows.
  • Take a tour of the house with your entire family in tow. Be sure to visit each room and identify two possible exits, this includes windows and doors.
  • When inside each room, make sure that all windows and doors easily open and there are no obstructions.
  • Make sure your home has compliant smoke alarms. It is recommended that you check them once a month, change batteries annually, and replace them every 10 years. Also, have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home, as well as outside of each sleeping area and in every bedroom.
  • Choose an outside meeting place for your entire family. The National Fire Prevention Association recommends a spot in front of your home. Another great option is to gather at or in front of a neighbor’s home, with their permission of course. The important thing is to make sure that you and your loves ones are together and a safe distance from the fire.
  • While outside, make sure your house or building number is easily seen from the street, day or night, so emergency personnel can find your home quickly. Having sufficient exterior lighting will also allow you and your family to see in the event of a nighttime fire.
  • Talk through your plan with everyone that lives in your home and flush out any questions anyone may have.
  • Take the time to pre-program the local fire department’s emergency phone number into your phone, along with everyone else’s devices in your family.
  • Practice makes perfect! Practice your home fire drill at least twice a year, once at night and once during the day when everyone is home.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fire safety tips and how to make your fire escape plan. For more information, please visit the National Fire Protection Association website and take advantage of their free, very useful, and potentially lifesaving resources.

Who Can Help You Protect Everything Under Your Roof?

In the event of a fire, the number one priority is getting you and the members of your household to safety. But where do you go from there? One immediate call you should make is to your insurance agency. Their team will guide you through the steps you will need to take to file a claim and to begin repairing or rebuilding your home and replacing your belongings. In addition, they can assist you, based on your home insurance coverage, in finding alternative housing if your residence has become unlivable.

When a fire event affects your family, it can be a very stressful and emotional time for everyone involved. The team at HUB International will be there throughout your recovery process to answer your questions and help you make informed decisions on how to continue to safeguard your family, home, possessions, and everything that is important to you.

Giving you coverage on what matters most. As a member of GFA, you don't have to choose between getting the coverage you need or saving money. To have a representative from our insurance partners reach out to you with more information or to provide a quote, please click here.

Don't wait contact HUB today!

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