Happy New Year!  2020 is looking fantastic so far at the Kasmann Insurance Agency, and we hope it will bring you and your family great things.  As the official “holiday” season winds down, and our lives return to a more normal schedule, it’s a great time to re-assess fire safety knowledge and procedures in all the different places that you and your family live, work, and play. 

Safe at Home

While fire drills are regularly practiced at schools, and perhaps at your place of work, how often do you practice fire drills at home?  When a home fire occurs, you could have as little as 2 minutes to leave safely.  Consider doing the following activities as a family:

  • Test fire alarms monthly.  At minimum, there should be 1 alarm in each bedroom, 1 outside the sleeping areas, and 1 on each level of the home
  • Shut bedroom doors for sleeping
  • Draw up and practice escape routes, including a safe meeting place outside
  • Make sure all exits are clear of furniture and clutter
  • Once safely outside, do not go back in until firefighters say you can
  • Familiarize yourself with your local fire department, like the Columbia Fire Department or Boone County Fire Protection District.  They’ll have helpful tips and resources specific to your area.

The Red Cross has numerous articles and tip sheets available on their website.

Another great resource for fire safety information is the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a non-profit organization established in 1896 which specializes in creating fire code standards and educating the public about fire safety.  Resources available on their website’s public education pages include facts on seasonal, regional, and public space fire risks, a worksheet for making a home escape plan, and links to fun and educational videos for the whole family to enjoy.  They also have an entire website devoted to their adorable mascot, Sparky the Fire Dog.

Fire Alarm

Safety on the Go

What if you’re at a public place, like a mall, movie theater, or restaurant?  Because so few people even think about fire safety in public, you keeping a few key points in the back of your mind can make a tremendous difference should the unthinkable occur.

  • Fire codes created by organizations like the NFPA require public spaces to have multiple exits.  Take a quick glance around and note where they are.
  • If there is equipment or furniture blocking an exit, tell a staff member
  • Occupancy limits are created to keep crowds from being trapped inside in an emergency.  If a room feels dangerously overcrowded, it probably is.
  • If a fire alarm is activated, don’t assume it’s “only a drill”

Prepare for the Worst

Planning for what happens after a fire is just as important as planning to stay safe during the fire itself.  Your Homeowners insurance policy is designed to pay for the cost to clean, repair, or replace your home and its contents after a home fire, minus your deductible.  Depending on your options, it may also cover some fire department charges and help you pay for temporary housing and other expenses until you can get back home.  Consider creating a Home Inventory of all of your possessions and keep it somewhere safe.  It can be a huge help to you and your claims adjuster to get you back to where you were before the fire.  Travelers Insurance has an article and video titled 5 Steps to Create a Home Inventory Checklist, and Columbia Fire Department has an excellent article on their website that guides a property or home owner through the steps from the time the fire is extinguished through the end of rebuilding.

Insure With the People You Trust

As a family-run small business, we focus on the personal relationships we build with each client.  We’ll help you through every step of recovering from a home fire, but we’d prefer if you never had one at all!  If you have any questions about the coverages your Homeowners insurance policy contains, contact us or call us at 573-442-1105.  Better yet, stop by the office Monday-Thursday 8am-5pm or Friday 8am-4pm.  You can count our exits and quiz us on where we’ve hung the fire extinguisher!

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