Cooking and heating the home are the two top causes for house fires, and as we head into the cooler months and the holidays, numbers of house fires increase dramatically. While safe cooking and heating practices are your first line of defense, having a plan of action when it comes to a home fire escape plan is an important step to ensuring the safety of you and your family. Here are some simple but important actions you can take to ensure your family’s safety:
- Check your smoke alarms regularly! If your alarm has regular batteries they should be changed once a year and tested monthly by pressing the test chirp button. Smoke alarms should be installed in all sleeping and living areas, and it’s important to educate everyone in your home on what a functioning smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when it goes off.
- Have at least one fire extinguisher in the home in an easily accessible location and have all family members trained on how to use it.
- Keep flashlights in key spots around the home in case of a power outage and difficulty seeing at night.
- Plan and practice a home fire escape plan. Your children might be very familiar with a fire drill that has been implemented at their school. Taking the same initiative at home to plan out a quick and efficient escape plan at least twice a year can go a long way to ensuring every family member’s safety. Pick a designated escape route along with an outside meeting place and practice until all family members get it down. A contact outside the home area is also recommended that everyone knows and can touch base with in case of a regional disaster.
- Have a grab bag ready and easily accessible with necessary items such as medications for a few days, a change of clothes for each family member, pet needs, and important documents.
If you want to review your coverages or policy information, visit our Customer Service Center at https://www.westernmutual.com/policy or call us at (800) 234-2103.