Fires are a pernicious force of nature and it’s crucial for homeowners to be prepared. Statistics show, that the majority of home fires start in the kitchen. The second most prevalent source of home fires are heating elements like wood stoves or fire places. However, fires caused by smoking are the leading cause of casualties. It is important to stay informed in fire safety preparation to keep you, your family and your home protected.
At Exodus, our public adjusters have an abundance of experience with clients who have experienced home fires. We’ve gathered tips to keep your family safe before, during and after a fire.
Fire Safety Preparation:
- Escape Plan
A smart way to prepare your home and loved ones in the case of a fire is creating, as well as practicing a fire escape plan. When a fire happens inside your home, the matter between life and death can come down to mere seconds.
When developing a fire safety escape plan be sure to include two separate ways to escape each room. This is beneficial in case one exit is obstructed by fire, smoke or fallen debris. Examine exits like windows to be confident they are operating properly. Windows that are stuck, screens, and security bars that are too troublesome to open can cause problems when it is too late. This is why it is important to ensure your escape routes are easily assessable and convenient.
Practicing how to exit your home in the dark can be productive. Fire happens fast, and thick black smoke can create darkness very quickly. If you have young children, educate them on firefighters and how they look so they won’t hide or be afraid if firefighters come to help.
- Smoke Alarms
Beeping smoke alarms are frustrating, however, this beeping indicates that batteries are low and need to be replaced. Having functioning smoke alarms can increase the chances of survival in the event of a fire. Replace the batteries inside smoke alarms twice yearly.
Be sure to install a smoke alarm on each floor of the home. Every 10 years replace smoke alarms with new ones.
- Additional Tips
Another helpful tool for fire safety can be creating digital copies of any hard-to-replace documents or records. Keeping documents like birth certificates, social security card or passport in a fire proof safe may be helpful as well.
Getting in the habit of sleeping with bedroom doors closed can also be helpful. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen and note the expiration date.
Once you realize there is a fire in your home, act swiftly and try not to panic. Stay low to the ground underneath hazardous smoke while you access the nearest exit. You may need to go through a door to reach your exit, first check to see if the door or knob is hot, and if smoke is seeping through the edges. In the case that the door knob is hot or the frames of the door are smoky, try the second exit.
If you have to go through the door, open it slowly and conscientiously. When heavy smoke and fire are present, shut the door immediately. If you have no way out, try to seal the cracks or vents where smoke may enter and call 911. Signal for help from a window with your voice, flashlight, or a bright colored cloth.
If other people or pets are trapped in your home and you can not reach them, get outside and call 911. Be sure to tell the operator where they are located in the home. Do not try to be the hero and risk your life, wait until professionals arrive to help.
Experiencing a disaster in your home is traumatic and devastating. Partial or extensive fire damage can cause a variety of problems for you and your family.
Local disaster relief services can help with things like temporary housing, food or medication that may have been lost due to the fire. When you’re ready, ask the fire department if your home is safe to enter. Be cautious of any structural damage when going inside your home and make a list of damaged property, as well as taking photos.
During these types of crisis, it can be stressful trying to navigate homeowners insurance policies. That’s where we come in. At Exodus, we take the time to handle your insurance claim so you can concentrate on your family and welfare.
The public adjusters at Exodus have the experience you can trust during the complicated claims process. We can help to recognize hard-to-find damages that will cause problems later on. As well as, guaranteeing that you receive the maximum amount you deserve from your claim. We are based in Florida and Texas, and are ready to help should disaster strike.