Thursday, June 26, 2014

Being Prepared Keeps Families Safe

By: Edward L. Blais, JD, CIC

In 2012, approximately 365,000 fires occurred in homes throughout the U.S., resulting in almost 3,000 deaths and over 12,500 injuries.  Though the rates of these instances have been declining over the past decade, Blais Insurance wants you and your family to be fully prepared in case of an emergency.

As fires spread rapidly through your home, they leave you with as little as two minutes to escape.  This is why it is necessary to take full precautionary measures and be ready at a moment’s notice.  According to the National Fire Protection Association, here are some essential tips to ensure your family’s safety:

    Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes.
    Draw a floor plan of your home and mark two ways out of each room, including windows and doors.  Mark the location of each smoke alarm.
    Practice your escape routes with your family members to be sure everyone knows all possible routes and memorizes their options.
    Plan routes from each floor in case the fire begins from lower levels of the home and make it impossible to leave from the bottom floor.
    Designate an outside meeting place (i.e. a mailbox, neighbors driveway) that is a safe distance from your home for everyone to meet back at after they have escaped.
    Inform guests about your family’s escape plan, especially those who are staying overnight.
    Perform monthly fire drills, and have your family practice getting low in case of toxic smoke on their escape out of the home.

Remember in tall buildings to never use the elevator in the event of a fire, and to talk to your building manager about posting evacuation routes for each floor. When searching for an apartment or high-rise home, be sure to look for one with an automatic sprinkler system, as these can extinguish a home fire in less time than it takes for the fire department to arrive. 

- If you have an elderly resident living in your home, various other precautions should be taken to ensure their safety as they may require more assistance in case of an emergency.  The U.S. Fire Administration has created an entire packet for these instances and can be accessed here:

- For more fire safety tips and access to printable lists for your home, visit

At Blais Insurance, your safety and security is our top priority.  For a complimentary review of your current policies, call us at (401) 725 - 0070.