Safety Messages about Smoke Alarms for Fire Prevention Week

The content for this blog is taken from the National Fire Protection Association. October 9-15 is Fire Prevention Week with a focus on replacing smoke alarms every 10 years.

Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get outside quickly.

Smoke Alarm

Safety Tips

  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement.
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.
  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use both types of alarms in the home.
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the stove.
  • People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
  • Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan.

Plan your Escape

  • Your ability to get out of your house during a fire depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning.
  • Get everyone in your household together and make a home escape plan. Walk through your home and look for two ways out of every room.
  • Make sure escape routes are clear of debris and doors and windows open easily. Windows with security bars or grills should have an emergency release device.
  • Plan an outside meeting place where everyone will meet once they have escaped. A good meeting place is something permanent, like a tree, light pole or mailbox, a safe distance in front of the home.
  • If there are infants, older adults, family members with mobility limitations or children who do not wake to the sound of the smoke alarm, make sure that someone is assigned to assist them in the event of an emergency.
  • If the smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside. Respond quickly – get up and go, remember to know two ways out of every room, get yourself outside quickly, and go to your outside meeting place with your family.
  • Learn more about home escape planning.

Children and Smoke Alarms

NFPA is aware of research indicating that sleeping children don’t always awake when a smoke alarm activates. While this research is worrisome, we shouldn’t allow them to obscure the fact that smoke alarms are highly effective at reducing fire deaths and injuries.

NFPA reaffirms the value of the smoke alarms already available to protect people from home fire deaths and voice its concern about the number of U.S. households without these early warning devices. While 96 percent of American homes have at least one smoke alarm, no smoke alarms were present or none operated in two out of five (41%) of the reported home fires between 2003-2006. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

NFPA emphasizes the need to continue planning and practicing home fire escape plans and to make sure everyone in a home can be awakened by the sound of the smoke alarm. NFPA suggests practicing the escape plan during which the smoke alarm is activated so all family members know its sound.

Every home fire escape plan is different, and every family should know who will – and who won’t – awaken at the sound of the smoke alarm. If someone doesn’t wake up when the alarm sounds during a drill, the family should design an escape plan that assigns a grown-up who is easily awakened by the alarm to wake the sleepers, perhaps by yelling “FIRE,” pounding on the wall or door, or blowing a whistle.

Norcia wants everyone to be safe in their homes, specifically from the threat of a fire. If you would like more information about smoke alarms and how to keep your home and family safe, please visit the public education section of NFPA’s website. If you experience a damaging fire in your home, Contact Us for assistance with insurance claims and working through the property damage.

What to Do After a Severe Storm

public adjuster green bay norcia insurance consultantsAfter a storm or another severe weather event, it can be incredibly stressful – especially if your house sustained any damage. You might not be sure what to do first or where to turn. As a public adjuster serving Green Bay and the surrounding areas, we have helped countless homeowners like you file the insurance claims needed to get their houses fixed. Here are a few suggestions on what to do after a bad storm:

 

 

  • You need to think about safety first and foremost. If for any reason you cannot stay in your home, you need to immediately find another place to stay. Ask friends and family for help or stay at a nearby hotel. There could be live power lines that are creating a safety risk, or you might be dealing with flooding, which could include raw sewage and other health risks like that.
  • If your house is fine and nothing is flooded, and if it is safe to go outside again, you need to start documenting the damage. Take a notebook and a camera and start taking pictures of damages and making notes about it. In those notes, make sure you keep track of any potential problems: mold developing, crumbling drywall, etc.
  • Contact us so we can send a public adjuster to your house. Your first consultation is totally free and you are under no obligation to hire us for help. But we think once you talk to us and see how we can help, you will want us to stick around. We can handle the insurance claims process from here, and part of our services is taking inventory of the damages as well. Our public adjuster will be the go-between between you and your insurance company, and we can even file paperwork and speak to the insurance company on your behalf.
  • Finally, be patient. Even with our help, the insurance claims process can take a long time: usually several months. However, our public adjuster will do everything he or she can to speed up the process or, at the very least, keep up with the insurance company so you get your insurance pay-out that much sooner.

Are you interested in learning more about how to hire a public adjuster in Green Bay or any of the surrounding areas? Call Norcia Insurance Consultants at 866-512-LOSS (5677) or Schedule a Free Consultation.

Next Week is Severe Weather Awareness Week

Did you know that April 13 through April 17 is Minnesota Severe Weather Awareness Week? Every year, Minnesota’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) collaborates with the National Weather Service and 16 different state and local agencies and organizations to raise awareness of the seasonal threats that severe weather can bring. The intent is to teach Minnesota residents how to avoid severe weather or, if they cannot avoid the bad weather, what to do before, during and after the severe weather hits.

Severe Weather Awareness Week features two very important events: two statewide tornado drills. On Thursday, April 16, sirens throughout the state will be tested to ensure that they all work properly in the event of a tornado. And these tests are a great time for residents to practice their tornado drills and to educate their families on what to do when the alarm sounds for real. The drills will be held at 1:45 p.m. and 6:55 p.m. During these drills, all statewide sirens will sound off and all NOAA weather radios in Minnesota will also sound the warning alarm.

On average, Minnesota experiences 40 tornadoes a year. The record was set in 2010 when 104 tornadoes touched down throughout the state.

Each day of Severe Weather Awareness Week will focus on a different topic:

Monday: Alerts and warnings

Tuesday: Severe weather, lightning and hail

Wednesday: Floods

Thursday: Tornadoes (including statewide tornado alarm tests and drills)

Friday: Extreme heat

If you visit the Severe Weather Awareness Week site, linked to above, you can get more information about each day’s topics.

Emergency preparedness is especially important this time of year. While the warmer temperatures and milder weather are both great for outdoor activities and fun, the weather can change at the drop of a hat. It can go from sunny and pleasant to stormy and dangerous in a matter of minutes. And when you hear a tornado siren go off, it is imperative that you and your loved ones know what to do and where to go so everyone is as safe as possible.

And if the worst does happen and a tornado or another severe weather event affects you, call us at Norcia Insurance Consultants. We are public insurance adjusters serving the entire state of Minnesota, as well as Wisconsin. Call us when you need help with your insurance claims. We can help make sure you get the money you deserve from your insurance company.

Call 866-512-LOSS (5677) or Schedule a Free Consultation.

Get Ready for Winter! Winter Hazard Awareness Week

Every year, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety sponsors a Winter Hazard Awareness Week and this year it is from November 10 through November 14. On Monday, November 10, the focus is on Winter Storms. We here at Norcia Insurance Consultants believe in being as prepared as possible for bad weather. Here are a few tips and some more information on winter storms and how to get ready and stay safe.

  • Get familiar with the terms that the National Weather Service uses for local forecasts. It is important to know the difference between an “outlook,” a “watch” and a “warning.”
  • Keep up to date on the weather forecasts. If severe weather is predicted, get to the store as soon as you can for supplies like canned food, de-icer, water and other items you will need if you are stuck at home for a few days.
  • Heavy snow and ice can cause structural damage to your home, like collapsing roofs and more. Ice dams can form and a variety of problems can result. If the worst happens to your home and you need help with your insurance company, call Norcia Insurance Consultants. We are public adjusters and can help you collect all of the money your insurance company owes you for your claim.
  • Do not go outside to inspect any damage to your home if it is unsafe to do so. It is best to wait until conditions clear before you go out to see what damage has been done. Better safe than sorry! Ice or a large amount of snow is usually the culprit when it comes to roof and gutter damage.

If you experience damage to your property thanks to a severe storm or other event, call us at 1-866-512-LOSS (5677) or Contact Us.

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