If you’ve ever known a friend or family member who has experienced a total loss fire or flooding under their homeowner insurance then you’ll understand the importance and value of taking preventive measures. These events can be devastating to a family! There’s the risk and chance that a loss of life can occur, that’s a tragedy in itself which becomes completely unbearable and can have profound emotional and psychological scars which never heal. Let’s hope that with some planning of escape routes combined with some luck you and your family escape without loss of life or severe injury.
What are you left with? If you’ve lost your home, your personal belongings, even the wardrobe of clothes you take for granted then you may feel like you have lost absolutely everything! Some items are easily and quickly replaced, others not so much. Remember the wedding dress that’s been handed down through generations, you were saving it for your daughter to wear someday. Or what about the collection of school work your young children had brought home since their first day of kindergarten, it was kept in a safe place so that you could pull it out to reminisce as they moved on through elementary school.
You’ll wish you could rewind time, maybe take some preventive measures that could have resulted in a completely different outcome. Most families wish they could have a second chance to do things differently, taking some measures today may mean you won’t need to wish for second chance. So let’s look at what you already do, or should be doing. Does your house have smoke detectors on every level? Have you added a carbon monoxide detector, we strong recommend this purchase. A surprising number of households don’t change the batteries regularly in these life saving devices, and an even greater number never even take a few seconds to test that they actually work a couple of times per year. Are you guilty? Some other simple steps can make a difference, testing your sump pump regularly and even checking on it during heavy rainfail will avoid a sudden surprise when it doesn’t work and your basement ends up under two feet of water – consider a flood alarm or even a generator backup in case the hydro is out (it’s more expensive than the option of an alarm, but you’ll sure be glad you have it if the time to use is ever arises). By the way, make sure it’s installed properly at your hydro panel, this is not an area that you want an inexeperienced or unlicensed electrician doing your work, trust us on this.
Some further consideration to allow for easier fire escape from your home:
Keep pathways clear in the house, especially near stariwells and exits, both for your safe escape and to allow firefighters the access they’ll require if called for a fire emergency.
Make sure bedrooms in the basement have a window escape option. Consider if the window is large enough to get out and that anyone occupying this bedroom can actually reach to get out (a practice run may be in order).
Have an escape plan for all members of the household with at least two ways out of every room, and practice it! This includes a safe meeting place outside the home.
Erie Mutual takes loss prevention very seriously, we physically inspect all new properties we insure, and continue visits on regular intervals thereafter. Our team of Loss Prevenion Officers will provide recommendations and advice on how to keep your home, farm or business safe for you and your family. Ultimately, loss prevention is everyone’s responsibility. Most major losses could have been prevented, avoided or minimized with a few basic precautions taken ahead of time. Don’t jeopardize your family’s home or safety, commit to being proactive today!
Article Written by Darcy Johnson
Erie Mutual Insurance Manager – Sales, Marketing & Business Development
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