Your home is engulfed in flames, disappearing before your eyes. All of your belongings turning to ash. All comfort and happiness seem like a memory. While this sounds horrific, it is not completely unimaginable. House fires happen on a regular basis; reportedly 358,300 home-based fires happen a year. According to the NFIRS, one civilian fire-related death occurs a little over every two hours. Being prepared in the event of a house fire is the best way to ensure the safety of yourself and your family.
Not only should you be prepared for an emergency, but your family should also have a plan in place. Having a fire escape plan is as essential as having a first aid kit in your home. This is a step by step plan that your family is all aware of and the best potential route for everyone to take to get to safety. Make sure you are regularly checking smoke detector batteries and the exit location doors or windows to make sure they are functioning properly. Make sure your important valuables are in a fire proof safe and DO NOT try to retrieve them during a fire.
Notify All Living Beings
Making sure all living beings in the home are made aware of the fire. If the smoke detectors aren’t going off, be sure to scream “FIRE!” as loud as possible. In the case of someone sleeping or being unaware, this ensures everyone has the appropriate amount of time to get out of the house. Locating your pets is also crucial to avoid loss. Adults should always make sure their children and animals are safe or able to exit the home. When leaving the home try to cover your nose and avoid too much inhaling of smoke.
Call 911 immediately! As soon as you are able to, call 911 or the fire department. If you are unable to locate family members, it is best to let someone with the proper equipment go back into the home to locate them. Calling 911 as soon as you’re out of the home is a great way to get the fire out faster.
File A Claim
Call your insurance agency to file a claim. This is crucial. While you may be overwhelmed by the trauma you just experienced of losing your home, the claim process can take a long time. It is important to get it started immediately and get the ball rolling. Once someone comes to board up your home, this would be a great time to start making lists of everything you know/remember was in the home. From the designer purses to what might have been in the fridge…EVERYTHING! This is something that will help move your claim along.
Fires are awful but being prepared may save you a ton of time (and your life). Fires happen quickly and are unexpected, they are also quick. Do not hesitate and get yourself and your family out safely. Make sure you have the proper coverage or pair your homeowners insurance with your health and auto; call Health Benefit Services today!