It is pretty much impossible to anticipate an emergency that will threaten your home. Even if you live in a place like Florida where hurricanes can be tracked, you can never know ahead of time if your home is actually at risk. Fire is the most constant danger, but the safety measures you take against it are the same that you can take against other natural disasters.

Keep Your Insurance Updated

At least twice a year I go over the inventory in PIMYU and make sure that our insurance carrier gets an update on our assets. It doesn’t take more than an hour (especially since I love to involve the kids) as long as I make sure to do it at least twice a year. We’ve gotten into the habit of taking care of it quarterly, and that has meant about 30 minutes of my time, which is more than worth it. In the event of a fire or a natural disaster, we know that the vast majority of our home and property are recorded.

Check Your Smoke Alarms

Most smoke alarms also detect things like carbon monoxide. It is recommended that you check your fire detectors at least once a year, although twice a year is better. This makes sure that the batteries are still good and that your family is safe in the event of fire or a gas leak.

Periodic Inspections

You should get in the habit of regularly looking at your home through the eyes of a safety inspector. Make sure that you don’t have items blocking exits, that you don’t have any fire hazards (such as oil cloths or aerosol cans near an open flame or other sources of fire, or large stacks of recycling), and that fireplaces and water heaters do not have anything flammable nearby.

You probably already look over your home for things like cracks in window sills and around doors. Consider upgrading these areas to be more protective against flooding. If water levels are really high, there won’t be any way to stop the water from getting in, but if the water is only an inch or two, you can keep the water from getting inside with the right kind of protection.

Don’t forget to check crawlspaces, basements, and attics. Keep these areas clear of debris and organized. It is really easy to just put stuff in those spaces for storage and forget about it. As long as you go through it periodically, you not only have less junk, you keep your home safer from things like fire.

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