One of our agents had the horrible misfortune of dealing with a house fire a couple of weeks ago. She and her husband lost just about everything they owned. Furniture, clothing, electronics and even their beloved cat, Sir Dazbog (may he rest in peace). Since then, she has taken to Facebook to educate friends and family on everything about home safety she has learned from this awful experience.
None of us ever really believe that a catastrophe will strike our home. In the back of our minds, we know the possibility exists, but until you have to go through it yourself, you don’t really know what the aftermath will bring. So, here’s advice directly from Erica.
Install smoke detectors in your home. They are the cheapest life-saving equipment you can ever imagine.
Have an accessible fire extinguisher (or two). Definitely keep one handy in the kitchen, but add a second layer of safety by stashing one in your bedroom as well.
If you rent, rather than own, invest in renter’s insurance. Your car insurance company more than likely can handle this for you and the cost is amazingly low. Think less than $50 a month to replace everything you lose.
Get a fireproof box to hold all of your important papers and protect it from fire damage. Birth certificates, car titles, passports. These are all a HUGE pain to replace, making the upfront cost worth it in the long run. Erica also recommends stashing extra copies of your car keys in the box, since a melted key will not start your car and some cash so you can at least buy a toothbrush in the event you need one in the middle of the night.
Make an annual record of your belongings. Take photos or even videos of each room in your house, including the interiors of cabinets, closets, and drawers. Keep scanned copies of receipts for big purchases and a record of the serial numbers of all of your electronics such as televisions and laptops.
Make and practice an escape plan. Knowing the fastest way out of your home should be second nature, but panic can set in during an emergency. Conducting home fire drills can literally save your life.
We are all just relieved and thankful that Erica and her husband got out alive. We’d like to keep you that way too.
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