Home Safety – HomeownersInsurance.org http://www.homeownersinsurance.org Homeowners Insurance Tips and News Fri, 28 Jun 2013 15:01:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 Hottest Tips on Preparing for House Fires http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/hottest-tips-on-preparing-for-house-fires/ http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/hottest-tips-on-preparing-for-house-fires/#respond Tue, 29 May 2012 14:14:09 +0000 http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/?p=1599 The American Red Cross states that the single most common disaster they respond to is home fires. Furthermore, they say that house fires are the most preventable disaster. If you know how house fires occur, you can take the necessary precautions to prevent significant damage and possible danger to household residents.


How They Happen

  • Cooking – According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking was involved in 44% of reported home fires in 2010. This includes accidents caused by unattended cooking, clothing items lighting up, frying, and the ignition of food and other cooking materials. The NFPA also notes that the peak of cooking fires occur around Thanksgiving.
  • Smoking – Although not the primary cause of home fires, smoking is the single greatest cause of deaths by home fires. Those who smoke indoors do not always pay close attention to how close their cigarette is to furniture and clothing, both of which tend to catch on fire and often result in the death of the individual. When a cigarette or cigar is not properly extinguished before being disposed, it can light paper in wastebaskets on fire and get out of hand before anyone notices.
  • Electrical – The two most common reasons electrical fires start are lights and home electrical systems. People don’t always check the maximum wattage requirement for lamps and other lighting fixtures and when they use bulbs that generate too much heat, it can cause a house fire. Placing things on top of lamps and lights will also result in the object potentially igniting.
  • Heating – In the winter months, heating results in numerous house fires. Contrary to what you might assume, furnaces are not the primary cause of heating-related fires. Space heaters pose the biggest problem as they are often placed too close to the wall or flammable materials. Another common mistake people make with space heaters is hanging socks and shoes on them to dry. After a while, however, they forget about the clothing items, which eventually catch on fire.
  • Christmas trees – In December, that gorgeous evergreen is covered in lights and plastic tinsel. Old strings of lights can have faulty bulbs or exposed wires. The slightest contact with a drying pine-needle or synthetic material on the tree can quickly cause the whole tree to go up in flames. Although lights look prettiest at night, it is vitally important to turn off the lights before bed.
  • Children playing with fire – Keep all matches and lighters out of reach of small children. Kids who don’t know how to properly handle fire are responsible for many house fires each year. Proper education on this subject can prevent children from mishandling flammable materials. A field trip to the local fire station can be a fun way to teach them about fire safety.


How to Prevent

Prior to dealing with a blaze in the home, there are some basic preparations you can make that will prevent accidents like the ones listed above from happening.

For starters, identify two escape routes from every room in the house and make sure all members of the household are aware of them. About twice a year, hold drills to refresh the route in everybody’s mind. Locate all ladders and hoses around the outside of the home and check that they are all in working order in case it becomes necessary to use either one.

Additionally, replace all fire alarm batteries at least once a year. Windows often become stuck over time so periodically it’s wise to ensure they open smoothly.

Always supervise cooking and have a fire extinguisher near the kitchen. For space heaters and all other electronic devices, read the warnings and instructions to avoid accidental ignition of objects in the immediate vicinity.


How to Respond

The Red Cross lists multiple response tips in case a fire does occur. If possible, they recommend you use whatever escape plan you have practiced and set in place. In case doors or passageways are blocked by flames or excessive smoke, stay in the safety of the room you’re in at the moment. Close the door and block the empty space under it with a towel or some other cloth.

If there is a window in the room that can be opened, do so if you are certain of a hasty escape. Leaving the door open for a prolonged period of time supplies more oxygen to the nearby flames and can increase the speed that it approaches your location. If a window-exit does not seem possible, flash any available light through the window to get anybody’s attention who might be outside.

If there is any way to contact the fire department, do so immediately. After you have escaped from the house, do not reenter for any reason. Keep a first aid kit outside somewhere safe in case of injuries that need attention after escaping.

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Keeping Your Home Safe http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/keeping-your-home-safe/ http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/keeping-your-home-safe/#respond Fri, 08 Oct 2010 15:59:38 +0000 http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/?p=1046

Accidents are the leading cause of death in people under 45, and they account for about a third of all injury-related emergency room visits, according to the CDC. In-home accidents are also the leading cause of homeowners insurance claims, but there are many things you can do to reduce your risk.

  • Dog Bites – There are over a million instances of dog bites every year. The CDC recently estimated the number to be as high as 4.7 million. Every year, over half a million dog bite victims have injuries serious enough to send them to the emergency room, and dog bite claims are driving insurance premiums up. Know what you can do to prevent dog bites, and make sure your family and friends are safe around your pets.
  • Slips and Falls – Falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for children up to age 19, and approximately 8,000 kids are rushed to the emergency room every day for injuries resulting from falls. To keep kids safe, always supervise their playtime, and use safety gates to keep toddlers away from stairs. One-third of all seniors also take a tumble every year. While falling down may not seem like a serious problem for most adults, older folks have brittle bones and falls commonly lead to hip fracture and even premature death. To keep your home safe, eliminate tripping hazards, add grab bars and railings, and make sure there’s adequate light.
  • Fireworks – According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, seven people died and approximately 7,000 were treated in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries in 2008. Most of these took place in the weeks surrounding Independence Day, and of those injuries, more than 40% were children under 15. Always supervise children when using fireworks, and leave the large displays to professionals.
  • Poisoning – In 2008, more than 2,000 people a day were seen in emergency rooms due to accidental poisonings, and poisoning death rates went up by 63% from 1999 to 2004. With such a dramatic rise in fatalities, it’s more important now than ever to pay special attention to household chemicals. Don’t store food and chemicals together, and always keep substances in their original containers to avoid confusion.
  • Accidental Fires – Deaths from fires and burns are the fifth most common cause of accidental death in the U.S., and the third-leading cause of home accident fatalities. To keep your loved ones safe from fire, install approved smoke detectors and routinely check batteries. Keep cooking areas free of fabrics, and use caution when operating space heaters.
  • Choking – In 2000, 160 children ages under 15 died from choking. More than half of these cases involved non-food items such as toys being ingested by children. When you consider that every choking death represents about 100 trips to the emergency room, you start to grasp the size and scope of the problem. To keep kids safe, keep dangerous toys, foods, and household items out of reach, and always supervise children at play.
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Simple Ways to Save on Homeowners Insurance http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/simple-ways-to-save-on-homeowners-insurance-2/ http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/simple-ways-to-save-on-homeowners-insurance-2/#respond Sat, 11 Sep 2010 20:34:30 +0000 http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/?p=924

If you are an average American home owner, chances are you are paying more for your homeowners insurance than you need to. Most insurance companies have their agent or another representative, often a third party company that specializes in gauging insurance risk, check out your home and property. This inspection is often completed without your knowledge, or even while you are away.

Most insurance agents won’t tell you what you can do to get a better rate on your homeowners insurance because they are paid on a percentage basis. So, for them, the more you spend on homeowners insurance, the better. They don’t even need to fear competition, because the things which insurance companies charge more for are fairly universal.

Here are some simple things you can do to save money on homeowners insurance:

  • Remove all knob and tube wiring. If you have an older house, you might have some of this old fashioned wiring still in the basement, often because a contractor never took it down when the home was rewired. If your house is still actually using knob and tube, call an electrician and have it replaced right away. It presents a fire hazard. Even if it’s not functional, though, an insurance company can rate you simply for having it still hanging there.
  • Cut down all trees near the house. If you really must have trees close to the house, at least make sure that no branches are touching the house, especially the roof. Better yet, make sure that no trees are even overhanging the roof, as insurance companies will charge you more because of the danger of storms knocking the limbs down.
  • Keep all wood piles away from the house. Also clear out any brush or dry vegetation close to the house.
  • Don’t keep old cars or appliances close to the house. This may sound crazy that we even need to mention it, but you’d be surprised how many houses keep old appliances and cars around the yard. If you must keep such things (to sell for scrap or whatever), at least put a fence around them.
  • Fence in any pools or trampolines. Insurance agents lick their chops when they see these things left unlocked, because your insurance is going to cost you more.
  • Make simple repairs. Don’t let things like broken windows, cracked sidewalks, or missing shingles or siding go unattended. This makes insurance companies believe you are more likely to need to make claims in the future, which means they will charge you more for your homeowners insurance.

Image by Clarity J

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45 Posts of the Best Steps for Fireproofing Your Home http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/45-posts-of-the-best-steps-for-fireproofing-your-home/ http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/45-posts-of-the-best-steps-for-fireproofing-your-home/#respond Fri, 03 Sep 2010 15:41:05 +0000 http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/?p=903

Fireproofing your home is very important. Your home is one of the most expensive purchases you will make in your lifetime. Keeping it safe from the devastating effects of a fire is not as hard as you might think. Here are several tips on how to keep your home safe as well as your family. Doing small things like, checking your smoke detector batteries and staying with your food when cooking can make big differences. Many people suffer from injuries or loss of property each year due to fires. Use these great tips to keep your home and family safe.

  1. How to Fireproof Your Home: Check out these steps here on protecting your home and your family by fireproofing.
  2. Polk Fire Department- Fireproofing Your Home: Learn from the fire department some easy steps to keeping your family safe.
  3. Green Fireproofing: Take a look at these options on how to fireproof your home while being Eco friendly.
  4. Fire Proof Your Home: Here are five ways you can fire proof your home and do it easily.
  5. Fireproofing Your Home: To protect your home and family from the devastating effects of fire, try these easy steps to fireproof your home.
  6. Monitored Smoke Detectors: Adding monitored smoke detectors can greatly protect your home.
  7. Fireproof Your Home from Brush fires: Learn tips on how to protect your home and property when brush fires are out of control.
  8. Candle Safety: Tips on how to burn candles in your home safely. Keep them away from children to keep them from getting burned.
  9. Fireproof Your Holidays: Keep your home safe from fires during the holidays. Learn how to keep your Christmas trees safe as well as candles and other fire hazards.
  10. Buy a Fireproof Safe: Keep your items like birth certificates or other important papers in a fireproof safe. If you should ever have to face a fire to your home you will at least have these papers safe.
  11. Winter Survival Guide: Get tips on how to prepare your home for winter and how to protect yourself from fire.
  12. Gun Safe in Your Home: When purchasing a gun safe make sure it is a fireproof safe. This helps to protect your valuable firearms in the event of a fire in your home.
  13. 5 Tips to Fireproof Your Home: Get some useful tips on how to fireproof your home. Keep your family and your home protected from the possible event of a fire.
  14. How to Make Your Home More Secure: Learn tips on getting your home up to being a secure protected place. Find out what you need to do to fireproof your home.
  15. Fireproof Your Home for Summer: Here are 12 ways to make sure your home is ready for summer. With brush fires and summer heat there can be unavoidable incidents. Be prepared with these steps.
  16. Simple Steps to Summer Fireproofing: Learn things like moving your recycling outside and being careful where you grill. These things can help to prepare your home for summer.
  17. How to Choose a Fire Safe: Find a few tips on choosing the right firesafe for your home. Make sure your valuable are protected with one of these.
  18. Residential Sprinklers Requirements: Some states require residential homes to have fire sprinklers installed. Find out here what some of those states require.
  19. Top Fire Safety Tips: When you are going on vacation, it is very important to fireproof your home. Use these top tips to make sure your home is safe while you are away.
  20. Is Paint a Fire Hazard?: Find out if certain paints in your home can be a fire hazard. Also get tips on being fire safe at your home.
  21. Tips to Cook Safely in the Kitchen: Get tips on cooking in your kitchen and staying safe.
  22. Fire Safety Tips: Learn how to be fire safe at your home. Have a plan in place in case of a fire.
  23. Tips for Pet Owners: Read here on keeping your home and your family pet safe from fires.
  24. Using Candles Safely: Get information here on how to make sure you use your candles safely. Insure your safety as well as the safety of your home by following these tips.
  25. Stand By Your Pan: Discover why firemen say to stand by your pan while cooking in your kitchen. Learn how this can keep your home safe.
  26. National Pet Fire Safety Day: Get tips on keeping your pets safe from fire as well as tips to fireproof your home.
  27. 15 Fire Safety Tips: Protect your home and your life with these helpful tips on fire safety.
  28. Fire Safety and tips:  Here are a few articles to help you to prepare your home in case of a fire. There have also been reports of antifreeze in residential sprinklers as well as other tips to look out for.
  29. Fire Safety Tips: Here are five home safety tips to keep your house protected from fire.
  30. Fire Safety for Toddlers and Preschoolers: Learn how to educate your young child on being safe around fire. Teach them your plan for getting out of the house and help them understand what fire is.
  31. Keep July 4th Fun and Safe: Tips on being safe while having fun on the July 4th holiday. Learn fireworks safety if you are planning on having them at your home.
  32. One Family’s Story: Hear one families story on the fire that devastated their home. Read a few safety tips on keeping your home and family safe.
  33. Home Fire Prevention Tips: Keep a fire from starting. Learn tips here on how to prevent fires before they start.
  34. Preventing Pets From Starting Fires: Learn how your pet can start a fire in your home. Make sure you follow these tips to prevent that from happening.
  35. Some Tips to Prevent Fire: Get a few tips here to prevent your home from catching fire. Find out what these few safety tips are that can mean a big difference to your home.
  36. How to Prevent Fires: Learn tips on how to prevent your home from catching fire. Practice these tips and keep your home safe.
  37. Home Wiring: Take a look here on how to insure that your wiring is up to date. Making sure your wiring is good will help to prevent possible fires.
  38. Fire Prevention in the Home: If you are concerned about fire in your home, try these tips for preparing your home. Prevention is the first step to stopping the devastating effects of fire.
  39. FireProof Safe: Get tips on using a fireproof safe in your home and which ones work best.
  40. Fire Department Gives Tips: Learn about the Mayport fire department giving tips to homeowners on fire prevention tips. Also find out if your fire department does the same.
  41. Fire Prevention Week: Take a look at the fire prevention week. Help children be prepared should they face a fire and also get tips for your home safety.
  42. Prevent Home Fires: Fire prevention week helps to educate people on preventing fires in the home and other places.
  43. New Cooking System to Prevent House Fires: Check out this new cooking system that can help to prevent house fires from starting.
  44. Preventing Heating Related Fires: When it is winter time, the heater can cause fires if not properly maintained. Learn how to winterize your home here.
  45. Preventing House Fires and Loss of Life: Find out how to prevent house fires and keep your loved ones safe.

Image credits: dvs

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Top 51 Home Safety Blogs http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/top-51-home-safety-blogs/ http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/top-51-home-safety-blogs/#respond Thu, 17 Jun 2010 01:34:57 +0000 http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/?p=650

Injuries that occur at home are one of the top reasons for emergency room visits each year. Whether it is falling from a wobbly ladder or a child putting a small object in their mouth, these are the types of accidents that can be prevented with just a little foresight and preparation. For this reason, it is important for consumers to be aware of the pitfalls to safety that can be present in their homes. The following blogs have thorough and practical information that is applicable to keeping everyone safe in their homes, regardless of whether they live in a house or an apartment.

  1. Sandwich Ink: This blog gives advice about keeping seniors safe to the “sandwich” generation, the generation that is taking care of both their children and their parents.
  2. Seabridge Bathing Blog: This blog entry reminds seniors, and those people who care for and love seniors, about the home safety issues that are of particular importance to this segment of the population.
  3. Pocket Change: This blog entry features gadgets such as smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms that are essential to ensure that a family is safe in their home.
  4. HJDS Investment Group: This blog entry tells consumers about the common mistakes that are made in regards to home safety.
  5. Caring Companions: A blog entry that focuses on keeping seniors safe during the cold days of winter.
  6. My Philly Lawyer: This blog entry, written by a lawyer in Philadelphia, focuses on the safety issues surrounding swimming pools as well as the responsibilities that come with pool ownership.
  7. Family Home Security: This blog focuses on helping people keep their home safe by covering many different aspects of home safety including keeping children safe.
  8. She Knows: This blog article features some tips on staying safe while entertaining in the home.
  9. Do it Yourself: These articles give consumers lots of tips about how to stay safe when dealing with electricity.
  10. Home Safety Tips: This article focuses on safety tips to keep in mind when consumers attempt home improvement jobs around the house.
  11. Home Security: This article details some items consumers need to be aware of in order to be safe in their homes
  12. Do it Yourself HQ: This entry offers some timely tips to remind consumers about being safe while using power tools.
  13. Solar Power: This blog entry cautions people about being safe with their solar power battery banks.
  14. Ask the Electrician: This article details a variety of ways in which people need to be safe around electricity.
  15. Natural Handyman: The Natural Handyman has a handy article that gives consumers great advice about how to make a backyard playground a safe area.
  16. Atlanta Injury Attorneys: A blog article that deals things consumers need to know concerning the prevention of burns.
  17. Crime, Safety, Security: This website is full of tips for families to keep themselves and their family members safe.
  18. Mrs. Fixit: Mrs. Fixit gives consumers advice about how to enjoy the beauty of candles in the house in a safe way.
  19. House Plans and More Blog: This blog entry gives lots of information about how consumers can be safe around pools.
  20. GaGa Sisterhood: In this blog entry, the writer reminds people how to keep children safe around water.
  21. Creating Communities: This blog details a wide assortment of safety tips in celebration of June as Safety Month.
  22. Mommy B Knows Best: This mother discusses keeping children safe and baby proofing the home.
  23. Ron Hazelton: Ron Hazelton’s blog details how to keep children safe in the home.
  24. All Things Frugal: The blog focuses on frugality and offers some tips on how to keep older adults safe in the home.
  25. Life 360: This blog entry focuses on summer tips safety tips.
  26. Blog4Safety: This blog entry offers some tips for consumers to stay safe during hurricane season.
  27. Community Blog: This blog entry gives a number of tips to keep young babies safe.
  28. Home Safety Blog: This entry details some pitfalls consumers need to be aware of in order to stay safe in their homes.
  29. Listen 2 Your Gut: This blog entry brings consumers’ attention to the safety of Wi-Fi for children in the home.
  30. Debra’s List: Debra details some simple ways that consumers can be safer in their homes.
  31. My Child Safety: This blog entry gives detailed information about ensuring children stay safe around water.
  32. Earth Easy: This blog entry gives consumers lots of alternatives to toxic cleaners that are often used in the homes thus filled the home with noxious fumes that can make it unsafe for people.
  33. American Safe Room: This blog entry gives details on building a safe room appropriate for use during a natural or man made disaster.
  34. Six Wise: This blog entry reminds consumers about how dangerous small appliances can be.
  35. How Cast: This article offers lots of easy to implement ideas for keeping older people safe in their homes.
  36. Fake Kid: This blog article goes consumers many suggestions for keeping children safe at home.
  37. Security Choice: A blog entry that details numerous ways for people to keep their families safe.
  38. Home Inspector Locator: This blog has a thorough listing of many safety tips and resources designed to keep people safe in their homes.
  39. Home Safety: This article discusses in detail how to keep seniors safe from the most common household accidents.
  40. Apartment Search: Although targeted to apartment dwellers, these safety tips can be applied to any to help stay safe in the home.
  41. Apartments.com: This blog entry is full of safety tips that people that rent apartments will appreciate.
  42. Home Insurance: This blog has a number of safety tips geared toward the summer time. They are conveniently group by category.
  43. Gomestic: This blog gives many practical solutions to help consumers ensure their home is safe for their toddler.
  44. Christian Homemaking: This blog entry gives consumers 15 ways to stay safe from house fires.
  45. I Think Therefore I Blog: This blog entry focuses on helping consumers stay safe while using space heaters.
  46. Hibber Bothwell: This blog features a host of safety tips for those households with babies.
  47. Quazen:  This blog entry details ways to ensure that consumers are safe in their homes, one room at a time.
  48. Daily Puppy: This blog gives simple and concrete ways for consumers to stay safe in the home.
  49. My Precious Kid: This blog details how people can keep the children in the house safe from large televisions.
  50. Home Evolutions: This blog focuses on keeping the older segment of the population safe in their homes.
  51. Oregon Injury Attorney: This blog entry details the dangers of mini blind cords to children in the home.
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Is Your Home Vulnerable to Hackers? http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/is-your-home-vulnerable-to-hackers/ http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/is-your-home-vulnerable-to-hackers/#respond Wed, 09 Jun 2010 13:16:44 +0000 http://www.homeownersinsurance.org/?p=527 Today, home security is more than just installing good locks or a fire detection system and making sure that you’re paid up on your homeowners insurance. No, in the Information Age, your home may be vulnerable in new and interesting ways that it wasn’t just a few years ago.

Not only do you need to invest in physical home security, you also need to be concerned about cyber home security. If hackers can get into your home computer, they can cause all sorts of havoc. From identity theft to destruction of your data, there are many risks involved. Worst of all, your homeowners insurance isn’t going to protect you from financial losses that occur because of a cyber-attack.

Here are some ways your home might be vulnerable to hackers:

  • Phone call hacking. With the rise in popularity of Bluetooth devices, your communications are now vulnerable. Whether it’s the Bluetooth in your phone or your computer, you’re at risk. The best way to avoid Bluetooth hacking is to turn off Bluetooth when you’re not using it, and to turn off the “discoverable” mode on your phone.
  • Printer hacking. A cyber criminal could break into your home, steal your printer and potentially retrieve the past several printouts. Today’s printers actually store some of your data in memory, and usually that includes the previous print jobs. Those printouts might have personally identifying information. You can file the stolen printer on your insurance, but good luck with the ensuing identity theft.
  • Display interception. Installing a simple device known as a “Tempest receiver,” a hacker can intercept the transmissions between your computer and monitor. Make sure you regularly check your computer for devices that weren’t there before.
  • Vacation Tweets. Some folks are prone to announcing to the world when they will be gone on vacation. If someone follows you on Twitter or is a Facebook friend, they could feasibly know when you’re going to be gone and rob your house.
  • Wireless hacking. Many people don’t even turn on the basic security features of their wireless router. It takes very little time and effort, and no specialized equipment, for a hacker to get into your unsecured wireless network and get access to your data.

Photo via altemark

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