Family Fire Safety – Education and Planning

Children and Playing with Fire – What Can You Do

Children have a natural curiosity about fire and its ability to “come out of nowhere.” However, as an adult, you’re well aware of the dangers of fire and the value of fire safety education. Matches, lighters, and other heat sources are one of the leading causes of fire-related deaths for children under five.

Thankfully, it is easy to circumvent the statistics with the help of fire safety. Parents should practice and teach fire-safe behaviors to children and educate them about the dangers of fire and ignition sources with the help of lesson plans that can be created and shown at home.

Fire Safety Education For Children

  • Teach children that fire doesn’t just appear from thin air – teach them about ignition sources, that fire is dangerous because it is hot and quickly spreads, creating smoke that causes damage to the lungs. Allow open dialogue and empower kids to ask questions about fire. Answer them in an age-appropriate language that they’ll understand.
  • Warn children never to play with matches and lighters. Instruct children to notify you or another adult if they find these items in the house or somewhere in public. You can help set a good example by refraining from using fire as a source of entertainment – children will want to re-create the experience, with or without your supervision.
  • Check your local libraries and pick up books about the aftermath of fires and fire safety designed for kids. The children’s literature section will have books that deal with the subject of fire, firefighters, the damage that can be caused by fire.
  • By using the power of song, you can reinforce the need to get out of a burning building. A catchy tune sticks with children – with this song being sung to the tune of Frere Jacques.

The importance of creating a fire safety plan. Designate two ways out of every room if possible. While creating a fire safety plan, make sure that windows are not stuck closed. For windows that aren’t used habitually, they can be stuck shut due to grime and accumulated dirt. Inspect the windows, and make sure that they can be opened quickly, that screens can be removed in a pinch, and the security bars can be engaged.

Popular Misconceptions about homeowners insurance

Popular Misconceptions about homeowners insurance

As a homeowner, are you familiar with all the details of your homeowner’s insurance, and how much coverage you have? According to recent studies, almost 60% of today’s homeowners don’t understand their policies and are not properly insured.

Homeowner’s insurance is a bundle of services designed to cover the potential emergency needs of owning a home. To be properly prepared for a catastrophic event, each part of the insurance package needs to be sufficient for its purpose:

  • Replacement Cost. This covers the replacement of your home in case it is destroyed. Nearly 60% of homeowners have an insufficient amount of coverage, and would not be able to properly rebuild after a loss.
  • Personal Property. Along with the actual house structure, you need coverage for personal property items you own. Furniture, appliances, electronics, clothing – everything you own – must be accounted for and covered in case of an event. 40% of those surveyed did not understand their personal property coverage and are likely underinsured.
  • Liability. One of the responsibilities of owning a home is that you become liable for any kind of accidents or incidents on your property. If someone slips on the ice walking past your house, or a visitor trips on a toy and tumbles down your stairs, you may be held responsible. Liability insurance covers you for those events, up to the amount of the policy. Almost half the homeowners surveyed didn’t understand liability insurance, and 24% weren’t sure how much coverage they had.
  • Deductible. The deductible amount of your property coverage is the amount you pay out of pocket in the event of a claim. A larger deductible means smaller premiums, so keeping it higher is desirable, as long as you can comfortably come up with the amount if you have a need. Deductibles do not apply to liability insurance.
  • Rate Shopping. One-third of those surveyed said they do not shop for best rates. Often a homeowner can find an insurer that better fits their situation, with proper coverage for less cost. Shopping wisely can bring substantial savings in the long term.
  • Coverage Changes. It’s important that as your home value changes, or if you purchase additional personal property, that you discuss these changes with your agent to assure you remain sufficiently covered.

Checking into your insurance coverage before a tragic event happens can save a lot of heartbreak later during the difficult time of a claim.

Summer Grilling Safety Tips

Summer is here, and families are firing up their grill. However, negligence can cause grills to be dangerous. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 9,600 grill-related fires occur each year, with fires peaking during the month of July. With 70% of homeowners owning an outdoor grill or BBQ, there has been a spotlight placed on grill safety.

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Volcano Coverage Explained

Volcano Insurance

Volcano Insurance is a complex topic due to the numerous provisions and exclusions listed in most policies. The answer to the majority of the “Is this covered under my policy?” questions typically boil down to whether or not an insured event directly caused the damage, but this is not necessarily the case regarding volcano insurance. Your coverage for damages that resulted from a volcano depends almost exclusively on your situation. With that said, here are some common issues that arise during volcanic eruptions and whether they would be covered under most policies.

Are earthquakes associated with the volcano covered?

For most insurance policies, the answer is no. Shock waves that occur before, during, and after a volcanic eruption are typically excluded from volcano insurance. However, if these earthquakes cause a fire, explosion, or lead to theft, you may have a claim.

Is ash cleanup covered?

An insurance company will not pay for the costs of cleaning up ash or other particles. The homeowner is responsible for handling the cleanup process. However, if there is damage as a direct result of the ash buildup, such as a roof collapsing due to the weight, you may be covered.

Property that is simply coated in ash and not physically damaged will not be covered nor will property that is damaged as a result of the cleanup process. For example, if you break a window while attempting to remove the ash, the window repair costs will come out of your own pocket.

Is damage from a lava landslide covered?

This one can be a bit tricky. Typically, landslides and other forms of earth movement are excluded from volcano insurance policies. If the landslide consists of fresh lava that is still in a liquid state, there is a good chance your policy will cover the damage.

If the lava hardened, you will most likely be out of luck. Hardened lava is classified as a rock, which means it is no longer directly associated with the volcano. If the lava hardened, weathered overtime, and rolled down a hill in a rock slide ultimately damaging your property, the repair costs will come from your bank account.

Are you Properly Covered Against Uninsured Motorists?

Did you know that if you’re involved in an accident – even if you weren’t at fault – you could actually pay more and have your premiums go up if the driver is uninsured? If you don’t have proper coverage, being hit by an insured driver can hit you – right in the wallet.
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Home Inventory For Insurance

Most homeowners don’t realize how much they actually have until a disaster strikes – loss of valuables from a burglary or damage from a fire. Showing your homeowner’s insurance agent documentation of your belongings can speed up the claims process and ensure you’re fairly compensated. Technology has made this even easier- just a few minutes with your smartphone is all most people need for a home inventory. Read more

What Do I Need to Do if I Buy a Car From Out-of-State When I Live in Massachusetts?

Sometimes, the car you really want is at a dealer or a private seller from out-of-state. Perhaps, it’s the best deal for the money, or you’re looking for something specific not available in Massachusetts. Here are the things to keep in mind when buying a car from out-of-state, specifically when it applies to those living in Massachusetts. Read more

Holiday Fire Safety Tips

While the holidays are a time of family fun, they are also a time for fire and other safety hazards, as well. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are nearly 47,000 fires a year during the winter holidays. These fires cause more than $550 million in property damages, 2,200 injuries, and 50 deaths. What causes so many of these fires? It’s mainly because of the increased use of candles, fireplaces, and highly combustible decor.

 

Here are some steps you can take to increase fire safety in your home or business and reduce the risk of a damaging and potentially deadly fire.

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Are Left-Hand Turns Really That Dangerous?

You may have been told in driving school that whenever possible to avoid left-hand turns. Based on accident studies over the years, it’s even suggested by some car safety experts to plan your driving routes to minimize or even eliminate left-hand turns. What makes left-hand turns so dangerous?

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Protect Your Bar or Restaurant With An Affordable Surveillance System

Have you considered purchasing a surveillance system for your bar or restaurant? You may have thought the cost too high for you to afford. The great news is that surveillance systems cost less than you think. The potential savings to your business could also be more than you think. Read more