Safeguard Against Fire Risks

October is National Fire Prevention Month, and with 350,000 residential fires occurring each year nationwide, it’s important to know how to protect the structure that’s most important to you. Your home serves as a place of refuge for you and your family, and protecting it from a fire can be simple when you take the necessary preventative steps. Check out this list of tips to help keep your family and home safe from fire damage: 

Do’s and Don’ts of smoke alarms

A smoke alarm is your first line of defense, and we want to reward you for having one. With our fire alarm discount, you may be eligible for a policy discount based on the type of alarm you have installed. Contact an OKFB agent to learn more and see if you qualify.  

It’s important to not only have the proper amount of smoke alarms installed, but also to make sure you test them regularly. The National Fire Protection Association recommends installing smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Don’t install smoke alarms near windows, doors or ducts where drafts may have an effect on them operating properly. Never paint, decorate or put stickers on the alarms, as this could interfere with them working. 

Test your smoke alarms at least once a month by using the test button. Make sure you follow care instructions that come with the alarm, including cleaning best practices and how often you should replace the battery. The general recommendation is to replace the battery once a year and replace the smoke alarm every 10 years. 

Keep a fire extinguisher nearby 

Install a fire extinguisher on every level of the home and learn how to use it. If the time comes when you need to extinguish a fire around the house, you’ll be able to act quickly. 

Check appliances and cords

Take the time to regularly check your appliances’ cords to ensure they are not old, worn or damaged. Frayed or damaged cords around the house can spark, easily leading to a fire. Try to avoid running cords through high-traffic areas in your home where they may more quickly get worn out or damaged. Also, make sure you’re not overloading outlets or extension cords. Have an electrician install more outlets if you feel you don’t have enough. 

Make safety plans for the family 

One of the simplest ways to help prevent a house fire is by making sure everyone in the home understands the safety precautions. Talk to your children about fire safety and set rules for the household to keep best practices in place. Keep lighters and matches out of reach of children, teach them the importance of blowing out candles when leaving a room and how to identify the sound of smoke alarms. Lastly, create a fire escape plan so everyone is prepared and knows where to go if a fire occurs.

OKFB understands the importance of your home and the role it plays for your family. Protect your dwelling with Home Insurance. Talk to an agent today!

Summer Outdoor Safety Tips

Summer is here, which means it’s time to enjoy your favorite outdoor activities with the family. Whether you’re cooling off in the pool or grilling burgers, it’s important to keep outdoor safety tips top of mind. Check out these tips to help ensure you have a fun and safe summer.

Water safety

Whether you’re poolside or lakeside this summer, keep these outdoor safety tips in mind to make sure you and your family are safe from any water-related accidents.

  1. Use flotation devices. Water conditions can change in an instant, so even those riding in a boat or in shallow water should wear a life jacket at the lake at all times. At the pool, children who can’t swim should be outfitted with arm floaties or life jackets and adults and children who can’t swim should stay in the shallow areas where they can safely touch the bottom of the pool.
  2. Apply sunscreen. Make sure to apply sunscreen liberally and often. An appropriate SPF can help protect your skin against damage and burns from the intense summer sun.
  3. Never leave children unattended. Always watch children when they’re in or around water. This will help prevent any water-related accidents, as well as allow you to take action quickly if a situation occurs

Fire and grill safety

Summer means campfires, bonfires and outdoor grilling. These tips are helpful if you are working with fire or heat this summer.

  1. Choose the right location. Keep any fire apparatus or grill at least 10 feet away from any home or structure and make sure it is on a flat surface. Also keep it away from overhanging branches and patio coverings.
  2. Check weather and burn status. Fires can unexpectedly spread, especially on windy days. Make sure to check the weather as well as the burn status to avoid the dangerous spread of a wildfire.
  3. Be smart around fire. Never allow children or pets to be unattended around fires. Follow basic safety tips such as: avoid wearing flowy clothing, avoid drinking while grilling or dealing with fire and always keep a fire extinguisher in close vicinity of the fire/grill.

Playground safety

Children’s outside playground equipment can have some hidden hazards during the summertime. Here are some outdoor safety tips to be mindful of in the summer heat.

  1. Hot surfaces. The metal and plastic on the surface of playground equipment can reach temperatures between 120-150 degrees. You will want to check the heat levels of these surfaces before your children play on them, or seek out equipment that is in a shaded area.
  2. Insects. Wasps and mosquitos are two insects commonly found at playground sites that you will want to watch for in the summer. Wasps can sting and injure a child, and mosquitos are known for transmitting diseases. Applying bug spray can help prevent encounters with these, and other, insects.
  3. Bacteria. Children can pick up all kinds of viruses and bacteria from playground equipment. Some playgrounds may offer wipes — or you can pack your own — for sanitizing surfaces before playing on them, which can help prevent the spread of diseases. Have your children wash their hands before and after a playground visit to help keep illness at bay.

No matter what activity your family is enjoying this summer, always stay hydrated and apply sunscreen. Drink water continuously throughout the day and take breaks in the shade to avoid heat exhaustion and dehydration. Be aware of the warning signs so that you can take action if necessary.

Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s Safety Services Division offers a wide variety of free safety programs that provide further information and safety tips. To learn more or request a program in your community, visit OKFB’s Safety Services Division.