Spring Forward: A Time for Sun…and Fire Safety

At this point, everybody in the snowbelt is tired of the long, blustery winter we’ve been having. With snowfall after snowfall, it seems like there’s no end in sight. But never fear…yesterday brought about a more visible sign of spring than even a shadow-less groundhog or a budding crocus: turning the clocks forward! 

There’s nothing more satisfying than “springing forward.” Turning time ahead an hour and suddenly the day just seems longer — when the work day ends, you can actually drive home and eat dinner before the sun goes down. 

But although everyone manages to get each clock in the house properly adjusted, most people overlook another household spring task – checking smoke detectors. This may sound like an obvious action as part of maintaining a safe residence but, truthfully, smoke detectors are usually out-of-sight, out-of-mind, for most of us after first moving into a home. 

In some instances, this isn’t detrimental. After all, everyone knows that smoke detectors inform people–by repeatedly chirping, quite loudly (seemingly always late at night), when their batteries are running low. But sometimes they don’t work like they’re supposed to. 

The National SAFE KIDS Campaign estimates that 80 percent of all homes in the United States have smoke detectors, notes the Kiwanis web site. “Unfortunately, only two-thirds of those homes are protected by their smoke detectors because the rest of them don’t work.” The International Association of Fire Chiefs is even more pessimistic. It estimates that half of all smoke detectors have dead or disconnected batteries. 

The National Fire Protection Association goes on to offer this advice: “Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound. An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires, and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, both types of alarms, or a combination alarm (photoelectric and ionization) should be installed in homes.” 

As we all know, smoke detectors can (and do) save many lives. But they can also save you thousands upon thousands of dollars in residential damages along with hours of claim filing. 

This spring, use the rule of thumb that, when it’s time to turn the clocks forward, it’s also time to check the smoke detectors, and along with checking those batteries, it’s also a great time to check your homeowner’s policy, and make sure you’re up to date on your contents limits. If you’re like many consumers, you may be paying for coverage you don’t need. Worse, if you’ve recently moved from a home to an apartment, you may be underinsured for your contents. While you may be relying on your insurance company to help you determine the right amount coverage, they typically don’t know either. The ratio between what you own and what you are insured for is called “Insured to Value.” We can help make sure this calculation is correct with a no cost, no strings attached assessment. Contact us to learn more! 

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