how to protect yourself from a home fire - The Hartford

how to protect yourself from a home fire - The Hartford

THE HARTFORD’S HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM A HOME FIRE IN THIS ISSUE... • • • • Need-to-know facts about home fires – Page 2 The 2 most important s...

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Need-to-know facts about home fires – Page 2 The 2 most important steps to protect yourself from a fire – Page 2 Smoke detector buying tips – Page 3 New! Make your policy changes easily online – Page 4

BRAIN TEASER: LICENSE PLATES. Hop in and have fun! Page 4

WINTER l 2016


Dinner simmering on the stove. Candles flickering on the table. Logs crackling in the fireplace. These are the things that warm our winters—and help make this the peak season for home fires.* Each year, more than 2,500 people die and 12,600 are injured in home fires in this country. Direct property loss is estimated at $7.3 billion annually.**

Most people underestimate how quickly a fire can spread—and overestimate their ability to extinguish or escape from it. It takes less than 30 seconds for a small flame to turn into a major fire, and just five minutes for the room temperature to get hot enough to ignite every combustible object in the room simultaneously.** Fortunately, you can improve your odds of preventing or surviving a home fire. Start by taking this easy Fire Risk Assessment to understand your personal risk.

THESE 2 SIMPLE STEPS CAN HELP YOU SURVIVE A FIRE 1. Make sure you have working smoke alarms. According to the Red Cross, working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a fire in half.† To keep them working properly, follow these guidelines from FEMA:**

• Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends installing smoke alarms both inside and outside of sleeping areas. • Install both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms OR dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors. (See Smoke Detector Buying Tips on page 3.) • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing smoke alarms. • Test batteries monthly. • Replace batteries in battery-powered and hard-wired smoke alarms at least once a year, except non-replaceable 10-year lithium batteries. • R  eplace the entire smoke alarm unit every 8 to 10 years or according to manufacturer’s instructions.

2. Make a fire escape plan—and practice it. Fire experts agree that you may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out.† Follow these tips from FEMA to create an escape plan:** (continued, next page)

• Find two ways to get out of each room.

kitchen, here are a few simple steps you can take to help keep your home and loved ones safe:**

• If you need collapsible ladders to escape from upper-story windows, purchase only those evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL).

• S  tay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you must leave for even a short time, turn off the stove.

• Make sure that windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly, and that security bars can be opened. Windows and doors with security bars must have quick-release devices to let them be opened immediately in an emergency.

The Hartford is committed to helping keep you, your loved ones and your home safe.

• Practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed. In a real fire, you may be blinded by smoke or disoriented and unable to navigate the home you've lived in for years. • P  ractice your escape plan twice each year. Time your drills; everyone should be able to escape in two minutes or less. Revise your escape plan if a family member has a change in health, especially one that causes even the slightest functional limitation such as hearing, vision or mobility problems. This printable worksheet can help you make your escape plan.

HOME FIRES ARE PREVENTABLE! Of course, the best way to prevent loss is to prevent fires in the first place. Since most home fires start in the

• W  ear short, close-fitting, or tightly-rolled sleeves when cooking. • D  o not cook if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.

• D  ownload or order The Hartford’s guidebook Fire Sense: A Smart Way to Prevent, Detect and Escape Home Fires to learn more valuable information about the most common causes of home fires, lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk, and what to do if fire strikes. • T  ake a personalized Fire Risk Assessment developed by The Hartford and a leading fire scientist. Simply answer a few questions and receive your individualized score and information to help you improve your home fire safety.

Smoke Detector Buying Tips ✔ Some smoke detectors run on batteries, which need to be replaced regularly. Some run on your home’s electric current and won’t work if you lose power. Put both types of detectors in your house to be sure you’re protected.

✔ Not all smoke detectors work in the same way. Ionization units are better at detecting fires with big flames.

Photoelectric units are better at detecting fires that start slow and have more smoke. Both types of units must pass the same safety tests and will work well on all types of fires.

✔ Most smoke detectors sound an alarm, which should be loud enough to wake you from sleep. If you have trouble hearing it, get a detector that comes with a bright strobe light. This light blinks when the detector senses smoke. Place the detector right near your bed so the light will wake you up.

✔ Some smoke detectors shine a bright light every time the alarm sounds. This light helps you see where you’re going. Put one of these detectors near an exit so you can find your way to the door.

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Source: AARP††



Bundle Auto & Home and Save! Save up to 20%, or an average of $304, on a home policy with The Hartford when you bundle auto and home together.§ Plus, get an additional 5% savings on your existing auto policy. Click or call The Hartford at 800-684-3143.

1. J A N S T E

2. H A R I C K

3. A R Y S H E

4. I L Y BRO

5. R A M TOK

6. O R G E L I

See answers at the bottom of this page.

© 2016 by

Each box contains six letters of the first and last names of 19th-century British novelists. The top three are part of the first name and the bottom three are part of the last name, in order.

Now make policy changes online— QUICKLY AND EASILY. Buying a new car? Adding a new driver to your policy? Now you can make changes to your auto insurance policy from The Hartford’s Online Customer Service Center. • Simple. Obtain a quote or submit your policy change—it takes just a few minutes. • F  lexible. Change your coverages, vehicles and drivers. • A  ssistance Available. Speak with a Customer Service Representative if you want help. The Online Customer Service Center is secure and easy to use. Log in now to quote and submit your policy updates. Not signed up yet? Activate your online account now!

BRAIN TEASER ANSWERS: 1. Jane Austen; 2. Charles Dickens; 3. Mary Shelley; 4. Emily Brontë; 5. Bram Stoker; 6. George Eliot * ** † †† § The average home bundled savings amount was calculated by determining the difference between the average homeowners’ policy premium under The Hartford’s current home class plans with Coverage A limits between $200,000-$250,000 and a deductible of $1,000 when the home policies are “bundled” with a Hartford auto policy, and the average homeowners’ policy premium for the same coverage when the policyholders do not have auto policies issued by The Hartford. Actual bundled savings will vary depending on the rates applicable in your state and the individual characteristics applicable to the home and auto policies issued. The AARP Automobile & Homeowners Insurance Program from The Hartford is underwritten by Hartford Fire Insurance Company and its affiliates, One Hartford Plaza, Hartford, CT 06155. CA License #5152. In Washington, the Auto Program is underwritten by Hartford Casualty Insurance Company, and the Home Program is underwritten by Trumbull Insurance Company. In Michigan, the Auto and Home Programs are underwritten by Trumbull Insurance Company. Auto program not available in Massachusetts. Homeowners product is not available in all areas, including the state of Florida. AARP and its affiliates are not insurers. Paid endorsement. The Hartford pays royalty fees to AARP for the use of its intellectual property. These fees are used for the general purposes of AARP. AARP membership is required for Program eligibility in most states. Specific features, credits, and discounts may vary and may not be available in all states in accordance with state filings and applicable law. Applicants are individually underwritten and some may not qualify for this insurance, based on their driving history. Your premiums will be based on your verified driver and vehicle information and the coverage choices and policy options that you select. In Texas, the Auto Program is underwritten by Southern County Mutual Insurance Company through Hartford Fire General Agency. Hartford Fire Insurance Company and its affiliates are not financially responsible for insurance products underwritten and issued by Southern County Mutual Insurance Company. The Home Program is underwritten by Trumbull Insurance Company.