Home Fire Safety Tips – October 2019

Did you know that cooling and heating are the leading causes of home fires and fire injuries?  Did you know that November and December are the peak months for fire-related deaths?  With the holidays right around the corner and the weather getting colder, now is the perfect time to review and practice fire safety.

Safety Tips When Cooking:

  • Be alert; if you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the oven or stove-top.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
  • When simmering, baking or roasting, check the food regularly, remain in the kitchen while cooking and use a timer.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stove-top.

Heating is the second leading cause of death. Heating safety tips:

  • Keep all flammables, like paper, clothing, bedding, drapes or rugs, at least 3 feet from a space heater, stove or fireplace.
  • Never leave portable heaters and fireplaces unattended; turn off heaters and make sure fireplace embers are extinguished before leaving the room.
  • If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, nonflammable surface, like ceramic tile, not on a rug or carpet.
  • Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
  • When buying a space heater, look for models that shut off automatically if the heater falls over.

Other top causes of fire include smoking, electrical problems and candles. To minimize risks:

  • Institute a “no smoking” policy in the house.
  • Check all cords and replace any that are frayed or have bare wires.
  • Switch to flame-less candles.
  • Keep matches and lighters high and out of children’s reach in a locked cabinet.

Working Smoke Alarms are a Must

About three out of five deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or working smoke alarms. Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan providing early warning reducing your risk of dying in a fire.

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas on the ceiling or high on the wall.
  • Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen, at least 10 feet from the stove, to reduce false alarms.
  • Use special alarms with strobe lights and bed shakers for people who are hard of hearing or deaf.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.

Create and Practice a Fire Escape Plan

In the event of a fire, remember every second counts, so you and your family must always be prepared. Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly. Twice a year you should practice a home fire escape plan with your family.

Tips to consider when preparing this plan include:

  • Find two ways to get out of each room in the event the primary way is blocked by fire or smoke.
  • A secondary route might be a window onto a neighboring roof or a collapsible ladder for escape from upper story windows.
  • Make sure that windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly, and that security bars can be properly opened.
  • Practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed.
  • Teach children not to hide from firefighters. 

Homeowner’s Insurance – July 2019

There is nothing like your home

Home, it’s your favorite place to relax after a long day; it’s your sanctuary.  It’s where your kids run to after they step off the school bus.  It’s a place where you build long lasting memories that have taken place.  Your home is where you play, plan and dream with those you love.  Therefore, it’s essential you ensure it properly – both inside and out.

Home insurance covers more than disasters

Home insurance isn’t reserved for times of catastrophes such as – fire, tornadoes, and other natural disasters.  It can be a welcome sight when your home has been subjected to complete ruin.  The hail damage you received to your roof, the broken water heater that flooded your newly finished basement, theft, vandalism, identity theft and more are all items that can be covered under your homeowner’s insurance.

Damage caused by most disaster is covered but there are exceptions. A standard homeowner’s policy does not cover flooding, earthquakes or poor maintenance.  Flood Insurance is provided by the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program, you may purchase this from an insurance agent.  Earthquake Insurance is available either in the form of an endorsement or as a separate policy.  Most maintenance related problems are the homeowner’s responsibility.

Homeowners insurance policy includes four essential types of coverage
  1. Coverage for the structure of your home. This part of a policy pays to repair or rebuild your home if damaged or destroyed by fire, hail, lightning or other disaster listed in the policy. It does not cover flood, earthquake or routine wear and tear. Most standard policies also cover structures that are not attached to a house such as a garage, tool shed or gazebo.
  2. Coverage for personal belongings. Furniture, clothes, and other personal items are covered if stolen or destroyed by fire or other disaster. Most companies provide coverage for 50 to 70 percent of the amount of insurance on the structure of a home. Expensive items like jewelry, furs and silverware are covered, but there are usually dollar limits if they are stolen. To insure these items to their full value, individuals can purchase a special personal property endorsement or floater and insure the item for its appraised value.
  3. Liability Protection. Covers against lawsuits due to bodily injury or property damage that policyholders or family members cause to other people. It also pays for damage caused by pets. The liability portion of the policy pays for both the cost of defending the policyholder in court and any court awards—up to the limit of the policy. Coverage is not just in the home but extends to anywhere in the world. Liability limits generally start at $100,000. An umbrella or excess liability policy, which provides broader coverage, including claims for libel and slander, as well as higher liability limits, can be added to the policy.
  4. Additional Living Expense. Pays the additional costs of living away from home if a house is inhabitable due to damage from a fire, storm or other insured disaster. It covers hotel bills, restaurant meals and other living expenses incurred while the home is being rebuilt. Coverage for additional living expenses differs from company to company.
What Home insurance options are available

Lancaster Insurance Center provides the following types of home insurance to meet your specific needs..

  • Home Insurance
  • Condo / Townhouse Insurance
  • Renters Insurance
  • Mobile-Home Insurance
  • Dwelling Fire / Landlord Insurance

We offer coverage enhancements like replacement cost coverage for your dwelling and contents, guarantee replacement cost, water back up of sewers and drains, ordinance or law, and equipment breakdown.

When it comes to your home, Lancaster Insurance Center is here to help you protect what matters the most.  Lancaster Insurance Center will be there for you every step of the way, especially in the event of a claim.  We are about helping you protect what matters the most, your family and your home.