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Smoke & Fire Safety

U.S. fire departments respond to a home fire every 86 seconds. Don’t let your home be a part of this statistic. Consider following the steps below to ensure your home is safe.

Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms once per month.
Close your doors at night and as you leave to prevent spread of fires.
Working smoke alarms should be installed in all rooms.
Know the signs or carbon monoxide poisoning and how it occurs: www.cdc.gov/co/faqs.htm.
Remember: You can’t see, taste or smell gas.
Replace batteries in your alarms every 6 months.
Install alarms in every bedroom and make sure they are interconnected.
Check to be sure smoke alarms are on the ceiling or wall and properly installed.
If the alarm goes off, get out. Stay out.
Replace smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
Special alarm systems should be installed to alert those who are hard-of-hearing or deaf.
If there is smoke in your home, get low and stay low.
Have a home escape plan created and make sure everyone in the house is aware.
Know how to properly use and maintain a fire extinguisher.
Download a mobile app and take advantage of advanced technology to monitor and control capabilities beyond the classic alarm system.

If there is smoke or fire in your home, alert the fire department immediately by calling 911 or your local fire department. For a complete list of fire department phone numbers, click here.

Tip: Set a reminder on your phone to test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms once a month & one to replace batteries every 6 months.

“While You’re Away” Safety

Whether you are traveling out of town for a fun vacation for a week or leaving your home unexpectedly for a few days, it is important to consider taking these precautions to keep your home safe:

Tell your friends and neighbors but not social media. 
Refrain from advertising you are away from your home.
Share the good times when you return home from vacation.
Lock up your house: doors and windows too!
Leave on a few lights at home to allude to the idea that you are home, so burglars can’t take advantage while you are away.
Have your mail and newspapers held while you’re gone or ask a neighbor to collect them. 
Don’t leave money, important or valuables out in the open.  

Tip: Purchase a Smart Security System that allows you to control and monitor home entry remotely. Learn more about smart home security systems from these articles:
Smarthome Security Guide: Smart Home Security Systems
The Best Smart Home Security Systems

Product Recall Safety

Product recalls often happen and can cause injury or damage to property. It is important to be aware of these recalls whether minor or major and take steps to keep your home and family safe.

Stay in the know with an app or email updates.
Report any dangerous products.
Read labels on products and understand the safety information provided.
Before you buy a product, find out if the manufacturer has recalled it.
Be extra cautious if you are purchasing a product for a child.

Tip: We suggest you sign up for product recall email alerts by visiting Recalls.gov.

Chemical & Fuel Safety

Many household products are dangerous if ingested and should be stored properly in the home. Improper usage and handling of chemicals and fuels can also be harmful.

Keep household products away from children and out of reach.
Store products in their original packaging.
Flammable products (fuels and fertilizers) should be kept in cabinets with guards and childproof locks.
Do not store extra fuel, paint, or  home-improvement chemicals in your garage.
Note that some chemical and fuels pose a leaking risk and may need to be kept in a climate-controlled environment.

If you suspect a child has ingested a household product, contact American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1212 immediately.

Tip: Learn about how to baby proof doors and see some of the best products available here:
How to Baby Proof All Types of Doors
Top 10 Best Child Proof Door Knob Covers Reviews
Best Baby Cabinet Locks

Theft & Burglary Safety

Home burglaries are often the result of unlocked windows and doors, but there are many other precautions you can take to protect your home from theft, such as:

Consider buying an advanced home security system.
Lock all windows and doors.
Store lock boxes or safes in a hidden area of the home.
Keep all personal information in a fireproof safe or box.
Close curtains to prevent thieves from “taking inventory” of your home.
Keep garage doors closed and locked.
Replace worn keypad entry devices.
Make sure your home address is visible for emergency response teams. 
Change home entry code periodically.
Secure a wireless network at home with a passcode.
Shred personal documents and destroy hard drives before disposing.
Scout out the weaknesses of your home and survey it from the eyes of a burglar.
Keep shrubbery around entrances and walkways trimmed.
Build a fence.
Get to know your neighbors, so you can rely on them to help protect your home too.
Ask for increased lighting on your street if necessary.
Secure all vehicles on your property.
Change the locks when moving into a new place.
Don’t label your personal keys or hide spares outside.
Reinforce windows with safety glass.

Tip: Click here for six ways to burglar-proof your home:

Backyard & Summer Safety

During the summer, we often spend more time in our backyards and invite family and friends to join us. Here are just a few things you can do to keep you and your guests safe:

Provide adequate supervision.
Designate an adequately trained lifeguard for the pool. 
Properly design, install and maintain pools and other outdoor equipment: grills, trampolines, boil pots, steps, etc.
Remedy faulty deck railings, sidewalks, or sinkholes.
Wear proper safety gear for bike rides, such as a helmet.
Provide water and remain hydrated. 
Wear protective sunblock and loose clothing.
Monitor alcohol consumption.
Make sure your grill is placed well away from your home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
For outdoor seafood boils, make sure your propane tank is certified and up-to-date, have a fire extinguisher nearby, set up in a clear open area, and never leave the pot unattended.

Tip:  Download the American Red Cross S.O.S. app to help you in almost any emergency: Heimlich Maneuver, CPR and more. Click here.

Natural Disaster Safety

Natural disasters come unexpectedly, but there are steps you can take to make sure your family and home are as safe as possible. 

Repair your roof when needed to prevent wind and hail damage.
Caulk holes & install weather strips to prevent water damage. Check all doorways and windows.
If a basement doesn’t exist, Take shelter in small rooms towards the center of the home: bathrooms, hallways, closets, or under the stairwell.
Expedite insurance claims of theft, damage or loss by having a Home Inventory Checklist.

Tip: In the event that your property is damaged, it is important to be prepared. Download a FREE app that allows you to upload photos of your property. For more information, click here or download our Personal Property Inventory Form.

Disclaimer
Resources

Any descriptions of products, coverages, or safety tips that appear on our website or social media pages are for informational and educational purposes only—they do not form part of your insurance policy. Safety tips and disaster preparation tips are general guidelines and are not meant to be exhaustive lists. The items that appear in these lists may not be valid or effective in every circumstance. Please use your own judgment when making safety and precautionary decisions.