Homeowners in Upstate New York love springtime. It means you can finally get outdoors for a few days and get a sense of what needs to be done around the house after a long winter. But, don’t forget the steps you need to take inside to improve the safety of your home as well. Skeele Insurance Agency is here to help. Our licensed and experienced agents want to give you the inside scoop on protecting your family this spring.
Simple Changes Enhance Home Safety
At Skeele Insurance Agency, we are committed to ensuring your family is safe, and we want to protect your financial well-being as well. We’ve identified three key areas to focus on this spring.
Smoke and fire alarms are an excellent investment. You need them. There is no doubt they save lives. However, many of our homeowners don’t know there are various types of smoke and fire alarms and that some are inferior to others. For example, we recently learned about a recall on Kidde smoke alarms. They failed to warn homeowners of fire risks. Be sure to check if your model was affected.
We also want to encourage you to consider an upgrade. Instead of the traditional, standalone smoke alarm you have, you may benefit from an upgraded, connected version. Connected smoke alarms (which often link to your carbon monoxide alarms as well) communicate with each other. They let you know if there is a fire risk throughout the home. Let’s say the basement has an alert, but you’re in your bedroom two flights up. These devices alert you throughout the home so you can take action.
- Near bedrooms
- Near fire risks such as your fireplace and in your kitchen
- On every floor of the home
Smoke alarms also require you to test them. Do so every month for the best level of protection.
Do you have a fire extinguisher? You may, but they will do little good if you don’t know how to use them. Many times, local fire departments will offer classes or training on how to use a fire extinguisher. If you don’t know how to use one, make that your first step. You can also use this guide from OSHA to help you learn how to use them properly.
A key problem is also knowing what type of fire extinguisher to invest in. Since numerous options exist, your should choose one based on the types of fire risks in your home. For example, most homes need at least a water fire extinguisher. This can handle wood, rubber, plastics, paper, and cloth. However, you may wish to upgrade to a CO2 or dry chemical version for electrical and oil/gas types of risks. OSHA offers guidance on the various types of fire extinguishers available to help you.
Where should you put them?
- In the garage and shed of your home
- In or near the kitchen
- In the basement especially if there is a furnace, hot water tank, or other flammable items
If you do have a fire extinguisher in place, be sure yours is not one of the models recently recalled by Kidde.
Carbon monoxide is a big risk factor because it is silent and odorless.
If you have an underperforming furnace or fireplace, it puts your home at risk. CO alarms will alert you to dangerous levels of CO should they exist. If your alarm goes off, leave the home immediately and call the fire department.
Where to place your carbon monoxide detectors?
- Near your bedroom
- In the basement or on each floor of the home
- Near living spaces
These are a few ways to make your home safer this spring. Of course, there are other steps you can take as well, but starting with these three is a good start.
If you have questions about your homeowners, condo, or renters insurance, contact any of us at Skeele Insurance Agency. We would be happy to help you in any way we can.