In Wisconsin, 85.7% of the deaths that result from fires take place in residential homes. That’s 9.2% higher than the national average. In order to protect your family and your home from fires, G&L Insurance recommends taking the time to outfit your home with the proper safety equipment.
No one wants to think that a fire could happen in their home. Sadly, accidents and malfunctions do happen. All you can do to avoid a catastrophe is to plan ahead and prepare. Below, we’ll go over exactly what products you’ll need to install in your home to be adequately prepared for a potential fire.
The Ultimate Guide to Home Fire Safety
Preparing your home for a possible fire is all about purchasing and installing the proper equipment. Most of the following items can be found at any home improvement supplies store or online. Do your research to find quality products that have been thoroughly tested and vetted.
Smoke Alarm Installation
The most important piece of fire safety equipment any home has is the smoke alarm. But you don’t need just one — you need many:
- At least one on every floor
- 1 in every bedroom
- One outside of every sleeping area (in the hallway)
Fire extinguishers are manufactured in one of two main ways. They are either battery-operated, stand-alone models or connected, wired models.
Connected or wired models are safest and optimal for the home. They do not need batteries to operate them, which means they’re less likely to malfunction because of faulty or old batteries. They also connect to each other in your home, which means you’ll be alerted faster to a possible fire. Learn more about the two main types of smoke alarms available here.
Remember to take care of your smoke alarms on a regular basis. Batteries should be tested every month, batteries should be replaced every year, and the smoke alarms themselves should be replaced once every ten years.
* Check your smoke alarms: Be sure you don’t have either of these Kidde models (Kidde Dual-Sensor models PI2010 and PI9010), which were recalled for failing to alert homeowners to smoke and fire.
Fire Extinguishers Know-How
Have at least one fire extinguisher in your home — preferably in your kitchen. If you’re unsure what model or size to get, keep in mind that this will largely depend on the types of fires you may be putting out.
If you’ve never operated a fire extinguisher before, it may come as a shock that they’re rather a challenge to manage. Therefore, be prepared by knowing the four key steps needed to use one: Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep (hint: Use the word PASS to remember). Find out more about fire extinguisher use at OSHA.gov
* Check your fire extinguisher: Like their smoke detectors, certain Kidde model fire extinguishers were also recalled by the manufacturer.
Carbon Monoxide Protection
Even though carbon monoxide or CO is not related to fires directly, it’s also important to be aware of its dangerous potential in your home. Various appliances like a water heater, furnace, generators, and other small engines and machines can produce carbon monoxide, but it is extremely dangerous and can even be deadly when released from these products. The worst part is that it’s largely odorless and colorless.
To protect yourself and your family, put at least one CO alarm outside of where you sleep at night (for example, in the hallway by your bedrooms). Change the batteries twice a year. To help you remember, consider checking the batteries every time you change your clocks for daylight savings time.
Provide Your Home with the Ultimate Protection of Homeowners Insurance
Knowing where to set up smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and how to operate a fire extinguisher is certainly essential to protecting your home from fire. But serious damage can still occur from even a few small flames, and the ultimate protection in these cases comes from the right homeowners insurance policy.
At G&L Insurance, we are proud to provide our customers with home insurance policies that meet their needs. Our experienced and friendly agents will work with you to find the coverage that works best for you.
To learn more about the policies we have available and to get a quote; please feel free to contact us at your earliest convenience.