Fire Safety Tips
Thousands of people in Canada have fled their homes as hundreds of wildfires burn in Saskatchewan, Canada. Beginning June 28th, 2015, a fierce channel in the jet stream sent a river of smoke to Northern Minnesota and the smoke billowed as far south as the Twin Cities. Through the first week and a half in July, air quality in Minneapolis/Saint Paul was deemed, “unhealthy for sensitive groups”. With wildfires, forest fires and general fires now on the front of most Minnesotans’ minds, we, The Hal Tiffany Agency would like to give advice as to how to most effectively prevent home fires.
The number one action a homeowner can take to prepare their home is to have smoke detectors installed on every floor in their home. Hint: they’re much more effective if they’re working, so testing your smoke detectors on a regular basis (at least once per month) is paramount in preventing house fires. Most insurance companies will offer discounts on home insurance for smoke detectors that report directly to a fire station or other central station. The second most important, oftentimes overlooked tip is having a charged fire extinguisher in your home. Having the extinguisher recharged and maintained annually is the general rule of thumb, but following the recommendations and directions on the manufacturer’s label will always suffice. As common sense as the aforementioned tips may appear, you may be surprised by the amount of homeowners that don’t adhere to these basic guidelines. According to the American Red Cross, 60 percent of house fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms.
Hopefully, you don’t ever encounter a home fire in your lifetime, but if you do and you are at home, make sure to abide by the American Red Cross guidelines, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL for help. This also may seem like absolute common sense, but in the event of a fire, you may have the natural instinct to try to salvage all of your belongings and/or playing the role of hero by attempting to save pets. GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL for help. Your local fire department(s) are much better equipped to attempt to quell your house fire.
In summary, home fires happen much more often than we’re led to believe. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, in 2011, there was a total of $11.7 Billion lost due to injury, death and property damage as a result of fires in America. Please be sure to do your best to protect you, your family and those around you.