Fahs Insurance Blog

Fire Safety Planning to Keep Your Family Safe

SFI Logo

House fires are a serious issue that could harm your family if you are not prepared. We have fire safety drills at school and work, but we don’t always think about making a plan for a home fire. If you follows these tips and take the time to plan for a fire, you and your family will be more prepared to safely get out before the fire gets out of control.

The first step in fire safety is to eliminate any potential fire hazards from your home. You should check your smoke detectors to be sure they are working, make sure electronics do not have damaged cords and make sure not to overload outlets or extension cords. Electric devices can be one of the main causes for starting a home fire, so by checking them regularly you can reduce that risk.

Next, you should teach your kids about the dangers of fires and what to do if one happens. First make sure they know not to play with matches or lighters, and then keep those items out of reach. In the event of a house fire, you will want your children to know how to respond quickly. Children should be taught to cover their nose and mouth and get low to the ground and to exit the home immediately if the alarm goes off. If you teach them ahead of time, they will have a much better chance at escaping a house fire unharmed.

The most important step in fire safety is to create a family escape plan. You should make a diagram of your house with all of the windows and doors marked, so that two escape routes can be listed for each room. This will prepare your family to escape from any room in the house. You should practice the escape routes as a family twice a year to remain alert. A designated meeting location that is a safe distance from the house should also be discussed so you can accurately account for everyone during a fire emergency. Make practice drills fun for the kids by creating a game using a stopwatch to see how fast each family member can escape. A family who regularly practices their plan, in most cases will be able to get to safety before the fire engulfs the house.

If you feel overwhelmed on where to start, use the Internet to download available templates and worksheets from your local fire department to help you create your escape plan.

RV Tips for Beginners

RV’s have recently been rising in popularity in America as a great way to travel across the United States. According to Richard Coon, president of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, “More than 20 million Americans travel in RVs every year because of the unmatched freedom and flexibility they provide when traveling.” With school out and summer underway, Fahs Insurance wants to provide you with some RV tips to help with your summer adventures.

When traveling, you can choose to stay at a RV campground or a rest stop. When you first get to where you will be staying the night, you should follow a checklist to be sure everything will be set up and secured for your stay. This includes the following:

1. Check for low hanging branches or obstacles on the ground that could damage the RV.
2. Locate the sewage, electrical and water hookups.
3. Pull the RV close to the hookups and balance it with blocks or a stabilizing jack if necessary.
4. Chock the wheels to secure the vehicle.
5. Connect to the electrical hookup and switch appliances to run from the hookup instead of the battery or propane source.
6. Attach the sewer hose to the drain hookup – wear gloves for this step.
7. Pull out the awning and set up your campsite.

When you stay at a campground, you must also be courteous to your neighbors during setting up and your stay. By following a few simple etiquette tips, you and your neighbors can have an enjoyable stay during your vacation.

1. Always follow the guidelines established by the campgrounds.
2. Clean up after your pets and keep their noise level down.
3. Be sure to park properly to keep from intruding on your neighbor’s area.
4. If you are coming in late, try to be quiet and courteous while you set up for the night.
5. Make sure the sewer is properly connected so it doesn’t spill over onto your neighbor’s patio area.
6. Do not trespass.
7. Keep everything tidy.

The most important part to maintain on an RV is the tires. You are at risk for a tire blowout if you do not follow proper maintenance, which could endanger your family and other vehicles around you. By taking precautions, you can help minimize preventable tire blowout and have a safe and fun vacation.

1. Check the air pressure of the tires to be sure it is within the correct PSI
2. Change tires at most every five years or when the tread or tires look worn down
3. Use tire covers during long pit stops to prevent damage from the sun
4. Take the RV out periodically during parts of the year it is not in use to prevent cracks from forming on the bottom of the tires
5. Conduct frequent inspections of the entire wheel area to be sure everything is functioning throughout your trip

Fahs Insurance is happy to help you find the best insurance and other options for your RV. Together we can help you feel safe and prepared for your next RV adventure.

Tips for Safe Boating This Season

Florida is the perfect place to find adventure on the water. We’ve lived here for 28 years and we haven’t met many people who don’t enjoy this popular pastime. Practicing safe boating is easy with a little planning. We encourage you to educate and re-familiarize yourself on safe boating and water-related activities each year.

1. Always wear a lifejacket: Almost three-fourths of all fatal boating accidents, the cause of death is drowning. In *88% of those drowning’s, the person wasn’t wearing a life jacket. Further, the U.S. Coast Guard requires that all recreational boats carry one Coast Guard-Approved life jacket for each passenger.

2. Be weather conscious: Always check the weather before going out on a boat to see how the weather conditions may change throughout the day. Storms and changes in weather can increase the likelihood of an accident or becoming trapped on the water.

3. Maintain safe speed: Always operate your boat at a safe speed and stay aware of other boats traveling in the same area to avoid accidents.

4. Designate a back-up navigator: It is important for someone other than the driver to become familiar with the controls on a boat. Especially in Florida, high temperatures can cause dizziness, heatstroke, and dehydration. Always be prepared for a situation where the driver may not be able to continue controlling the boat for any reason.

5. Regular boat maintenance: Regularly evaluate your boating equipment to prevent unexpected breakdowns and repairs.

6. No Alcohol: The U.S. Coast Guard attributes a third of fatalities on the water as a result of intoxicated persons operating a boat.

It only takes one boating accident to see the importance of practicing safe boating. For unavoidable circumstances we also want to remind you to carry valid boat insurance, know your coverage, and update the policy regularly.

Fahs Insurance is happy to help you assess your boat coverage or find the best options for you if you are new to boating. Together we can help Southwest Florida residents feel prepared for boating on the water this season.