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Avoid Home Fires: Preventative Measures During A Drought

By April 18, 2012April 15th, 2018General Updates

Record breaking warm weather? Check.
A lack of rain? Check.

Windy conditions? Check.
A winter with barely any snow? Check.

It all checks out for drought conditions in the Northeast. The resulting dry ground can increase the likelihood of home fires and brush fires in your area.

(Photo Source: Newsday, LI)

Numerous wildfires burned recently on the east coast, including Long Island, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a State of Emergency for Suffolk County due to wildfires in Ridge and Manorville. Recent wildfires can be attributed to the drought conditions we’ve been experiencing in New York and the Northeast including warm weather, a lack of rain, wind, and a dry ground due to little precipitation this winter. While weather forecasters are saying we may get some much needed rain this weekend, until then you can follow the tips below to protect your family from the chance of a fire occuring on your property as well as how to bounce back if one does occur.

How to Protect Your Home From Fire:

1. Safeguard Your Property and Remove Debris-

  • Make Sure Your Insurance Is Up-to-Date and Accurate- If your home is destroyed by fire, you’ll want to know that you have the protection in place to help you rebuild another place to live. Fire is one coverage that is included in most standard Homeowners Insurance and Renters Insurance policies. However, the standard insurance policy you arranged last year may not take into account your recent home renovations or rising building costs. Also, a standard policy will only replace your home with standard building materials, so if you’ve adorned your home with custom molding, marble etc.- you should account for that in your policy.

    • Have you made any upgrades or renovations since you last updated your insurance policy?
    • Does your insurance policy cover the cost of you living elsewhere if your home becomes uninhabitable due to fire? You may want to check.
    • Be your own best advocate and ask questions about your coverage so you don’t end up short when you need help the most. Feel free to contact our Personal Insurance Representative at (516) 431-9100 to see if you are adequately covered.
  • Install Direct Response Alarms- Having alarms in your home that alert your local fire department to emergencies can save you as much as twenty percent on your Homeowners Insurance.
  • Gardening Debris- Rake up leaves, mow your lawn and cut back overgrown shrubs and tree branches. Pay special attention to dry debris along the perimeter of your home or property. Water your lawn and keep ground surrounding your home moist.
  • Newspapers- Recycle newspapers regularly so you avoid storing them near your house.
  • Gutters and Downpipes- Clean them out regularly.
  • Store Flammable Liquids in a Safe Place- Store flammable liquids and paint away from the house. Face LPG gas bottle valves away from the house. Keep in mind that pool chemicals can ignite if placed near other flammable liquids, so store them separately.
  • Chimney- Put spark guards in your chimney and clean your chimney every year.
  • Porches- Put fire-resistant mesh screens under porches if you live in a fire-prone area.

2. Have a Back-up Plan if a Fire Should Happen

  • Mark Water Sources- Clearly mark all water sources and keep access clear for use during emergency.
  • Garden Hoses- Keep them connected to outside taps and make sure they reach all parts of your home and garden.
  • Supplies to Keep Handy- Buy a fire extinguisher and fire blanket and know how to use them. Keep a ladder handy that can reach the roof, plus basic tools like a rake, spade, and saw.

3. Have an Evacuation Plan

  • Emergency Kit- Prepare an emergency evacuation kit: include valuables, important documents, photos, food and water, first aid kit, pet food and any essential medication. It would also be a good idea to have a battery powered lantern, batteries and a portable radio in your kit.
  • Be Prepared in the Event of a Power Failure cordless phones and automatic garage doors won’t work. Your mobile phone may not have coverage.

Taking the necessary safety precautions to protect your loved ones and home against fire will help you avoid harm and save you money on your Homeowners Insurance policy. Click here to get more information and see if you are adequately insured.

Click here to get a quote or to request information about Homeowners Insurance

Local New York, New Jersey and Connecticut News About Wildfires, Brush Fires and Forest Fires:

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