5 Tips to Prevent Fires in Your Home

Keeping your home safe is a top priority, so making sure to avoid fires is obviously top of mind. From installing smoke alarms to maintaining heating sources and crafting emergency escape plans, these tips can help make your house a safer home for you and your loved ones. Keep reading for tips on how to prevent fires in your home! 

Install Smoke Alarms

To enhance your home’s safety, strategically place smoke alarms on every level of your residence and outside every sleeping area. Regularly check these alarms to ensure they are in proper working condition and change their batteries at least once a year.

Maintain Heating Sources

Regular inspections and cleanings of home heating sources, including furnaces and stoves, are essential. Keeping up with maintenance gives you an opportunity to address any issues to prevent malfunctions before it’s too late. Also, remember to regularly check for cracked or rusted furnace parts and tend to any creosote buildup in chimneys.

Stay Informed About Recalls

Keep yourself informed about recalls related to home appliances that pose a fire hazard. Register your appliances with the manufacturer to receive timely recall notices. Take immediate action to replace or repair any recalled appliances, reducing potential fire risks in your home. You can search for recalls through the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website, or by downloading the app

Keep Flammable Items Away from Heat

Maintaining a clean and clutter-free kitchen stove area is crucial. Store flammable items such as pot holders, towels and curtains away from cooking surfaces. Additionally, avoid leaving cooking appliances unattended while in use and regularly clean oven hoods and vents to prevent grease buildup.

Have an Emergency Escape Plan

Practicing emergency escape plans is vital for every household. The American Red Cross suggests all members, including children, know two ways to escape from every room. Conduct fire drills regularly to familiarize everyone with escape routes. Designate a family meeting spot outside the home where everyone gathers after escaping, and ensure that windows and doors can be easily opened and unlocked.

Home safety is a collective responsibility that demands diligence and proactive measures. By implementing these home safety tips to prevent fires, you not only protect your property but also prioritize the lives of your loved ones.

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Whether you’re a longtime policyholder or just starting to look for insurance options, we’re here to help. If you have questions or concerns that you want to discuss, connect with your local OKFB agent today. If you have any insurance-specific questions, we would love to help you find the coverage that best meets your homeautocommercial and life insurance needs.

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5 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Winter

As the temperature drops, it’s essential to make sure your home is prepared to take on the cold. Taking proactive measures not only ensures your comfort but also contributes to the safety and efficiency of your living space. Keep reading for winter home tips to be prepared! 

Seal Leaks and Cracks

One of the most common sources of heat loss in a home is through leaks or cracks around pipes, especially in the kitchen and bathroom areas. To prevent cold drafts and conserve energy, inspect these spaces for any gaps or openings. Use weatherstripping or caulk to seal these leaks, ensuring a snug fit. This simple step can significantly improve the efficiency of your heating system and keep your home warm during the winter months.

Check Insulation

Proper insulation is crucial for a comfortable indoor temperature and reduction of energy costs. Look for any signs of wear or damage and replace or add insulation where needed. Consider investing in energy-efficient insulation materials to enhance your home’s overall thermal performance. Adequate insulation not only keeps your home warm but also helps prevent frozen pipes and reduce the workload on your heating system.

Clean Gutters

During the fall, leaves and other debris can accumulate in your gutters, causing clogs and preventing proper drainage. When it gets colder, these clogs can lead to ice dams and water damage. To avoid these issues, clean your gutters thoroughly before the first snowfall. Remove any debris and ensure that downspouts are clear and direct water away from your home’s foundation. This can help protect your roof, siding and foundation from potential winter-related damage.

Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Safety should always be a top priority, especially during the winter when heating systems are in constant use. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are functioning correctly. Replace batteries if necessary and consider upgrading to newer models for enhanced safety features. Properly functioning detectors are crucial for early detection of potential hazards, providing peace of mind for you and your family throughout the winter season.

Clean Chimney

If you have a fireplace, it’s essential to have your chimney cleaned and inspected annually. Creosote buildup can become a fire hazard, and blockages may hinder proper ventilation. Additionally, check the chimney cap for any damage and repair or replace it as needed. Regular chimney maintenance not only enhances safety but also improves the efficiency of your heating appliance.


By taking the time to prepare your home for winter, you can maintain a comfortable and safe living environment for you and your family. From sealing leaks to cleaning gutters and testing detectors, these winter home tips are simple yet effective in ensuring your home is ready to face the challenges of the colder months. Don’t wait until the first snowfall – start winterizing your home today for a cozy and worry-free winter season.

5 Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe During Winter

As winter sets in, it’s important to ensure the safety and well-being of your pets and animals. The cold weather can pose various risks to animals, so it’s important to be aware of how much time they’re spending in the cold. To help keep your pets safe during winter, we’ve compiled a list of five tips! 

Know your pet’s limits

Just like humans, pets have varying tolerance levels to cold weather. Make sure you’re aware of your pet’s reactions to the chilly temperatures and adjust accordingly. Some pets, such as those with short fur or certain health conditions, may be more sensitive to the cold. Monitor your pet’s behavior and if you notice signs of discomfort like whining, shivering, or a reluctance to move, it’s time to bring them indoors.

Protect their paws

Winter streets and sidewalks are often treated with salt and other chemicals to melt snow and ice. While these substances are effective in preventing slips, they can be harsh on your pet’s paws. Consider using pet-friendly ice melt on your own property and wipe your pet’s paws after walks to remove any residue. Additionally, you might want to invest in pet booties to provide extra protection against the cold and chemicals.

Watch for hypothermia

Hypothermia is a real danger for pets during winter. If your pet is exhibiting signs, such as whining, shivering, appearing anxious, moving slower than usual, or actively seeking warm places to burrow, it’s crucial to act promptly. Bring your pet inside immediately and provide a warm, comfortable environment. Consult your veterinarian for further guidance.

Check your vehicle

Cats seeking warmth may crawl under cars or hide in the wheel wells, putting them at risk when the engine starts. To avoid accidents, make a habit of checking around and under your vehicle before starting it. A quick tap on the hood or a honk of the horn can alert any hidden pets to move to safety.

Bring your pets inside

One of the simplest and most effective ways to ensure your pets’ safety during the winter is to bring them inside. While some animals are better suited to colder temperatures, domesticated pets, in general, are not equipped to endure extreme cold. Create a cozy space for them indoors, complete with blankets, to keep them warm and comfortable.

By being proactive and implementing these pet safety tips during winter, you can ensure that your pets stay happy, healthy, and safe during the colder months. Remember to pay attention to your pet’s behavior, bring them inside when temperatures drop, and take precautions to protect their paws. With a little extra care, you and your pets can enjoy a cozy and worry-free winter season.

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6 Tips for Driving in Severe Weather

Mother Nature has a way of surprising us when we least expect it. Unpredictable weather conditions, from sudden storms to flash floods, can make driving a challenging and potentially dangerous task. To help you navigate these situations safely, we’ve compiled our top tips for driving in severe weather.

Don’t drive through a flooded road

One of the most dangerous situations you can encounter on the road is driving through a flooded area. It may seem like common sense, but many accidents happen when drivers underestimate the power of rushing water. Just 12 inches of swiftly moving water can carry away most cars, and it takes only two feet of water for trucks and SUVs. To avoid the risk, never attempt to cross a flooded road, even if it appears shallow.

Drive slowly

In most challenging weather conditions, slowing down is key. Reducing your speed gives you more time to react to unexpected obstacles and potentially slippery roads. Remember that your vehicle’s stopping distance increases in severe weather, so maintaining a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you is crucial. By driving slowly, you’ll have better control over your vehicle and reduce the risk of accidents.

Resist the urge to “floor it”

If you are stuck on muddy or snowy roads, the temptation to hit the gas pedal hard can be strong. However, doing so can lead to spinning tires and loss of control. If you find yourself stuck, follow these steps:

  • Straighten your wheels.
  • Gently accelerate, applying steady pressure to the gas pedal.
  • Avoid spinning your tires; this only digs you in deeper.
  • If you have sand, kitty litter, or blocks in your emergency kit, place them under your drive wheels to gain traction.

Stock your vehicle

Being prepared for unexpected emergencies is a smart move for any driver. Having certain items on hand can make a significant difference if you find yourself stranded in adverse weather conditions. Create an emergency roadside kit that includes essential items, such as:

  • Jumper cables
  • First-aid supplies
  • Non-perishable snacks and water
  • Ice scraper and snow brush

Read more tips on how to put together a car emergency kit.

Leave your lights on

Visibility is crucial when driving in unpredictable weather. Ensure your headlights are on, even during daylight hours, as it helps others see your vehicle better. Additionally, consider using your hazard lights in extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain or dense fog. This added visibility can help prevent accidents by alerting other drivers to your presence.

Pull off the road if necessary

If the weather conditions become too treacherous to continue safely, don’t hesitate to pull off the road. Find a safe place to park, such as a rest area or parking lot, and wait for the weather to improve. It’s better to delay your journey than risk getting involved in an accident due to poor road conditions.

Driving in unpredictable weather conditions demands caution, preparedness and patience. By following these six safety tips, you can protect yourself and others when driving in severe weather. Remember, your safety should always be your top priority, so exercise good judgment and take extra precautions when facing challenging weather conditions.