This article first appeared in the latest issue of Good Life Magazine. It is reprinted with permission of the author. Daphine lives here in ArrowCreek!
Preparing for a Dry Summer
by Daphine MacLean
With current weather forecasts for the summer looking dry, we as home owners should prepare to make the best of it. Recently my insurance expert and I had a conversation about the upcoming potentially dry summer and the risk of fires in our area being escalated. Fire can be devastating to a family and community so we need to be prepared in the unlikely event that one should come our way.
Since most of our homes are our biggest assets we need to protect them. So I have some smart ideas to protect your home and it’s contents this year. First you should do a video inventory of each and every room of our home, make certain that every item in each room is captured, furniture, art, drapes, and anything of value. Lay out all your jewelry, furs, clothing and accessories and document them via video. If you have receipts or estimates lay them out to be videoed right next to the item. Also don’t forget electronics and the manuals to them. The manuals are very helpful for the insurance company to identify exactly what each item is. You should also remember to do a complete video of the outside of your home and any structures on your property. Include any outdoor furniture, BBQ’s, sculptures, and thing that you value that is outdoors. Don’t forget the garage and all it’s contents, and make sure if you utilize a storage unit that it is also insured. While videoing give a verbal description of each item with as much information as possible. The good news is that this so very simple to do with a smart phone or GoPro. Once you have videoed everything make sure that your video is stored in several places where it will be safe. Like in an iCloud, or on a flash drive that can be put in a safe-deposit box or a fireproof safe. Scan any important documents and keep them safe. Especially tax receipts, unfortunately the IRS doesn’t care if your home burned down with all your tax papers in it.
Next you should clean any debris from around the outside of your home that could catch fire easily. We have lots of dry grasses the summer time here that should be removed from around your home. Don’t be shy about asking your neighbor to do the same, as fire can easily spread from one house to another. If it’s time to do any landscaping consider using materials that resist fire and don’t use too much of our precious water.
Talk to your children about the dangers of fire and the importance of preventing fires. Make sure children know to call 911 immediately if they smell or see smoke or fire in or near your home. Review your families escape route from your home and where you will meet should you have a fire. Test your fire alarms, and smoke detectors, and replace all batteries. Make sure you review your insurance coverages with your agent so there are no surprises should you have a fire. Be proactive and keep your family and home safe this summer.
Let’s work together to have a fire free incredible summer.