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3 Important Things to Know About Fire Extinguishers

Whether your Texas home is a three-story Tudor, a skyline-grazing apartment or an RV on wheels, you need at least one fire extinguisher for it. But if you don’t have the right one, or you haven’t checked it recently, you may have a false sense of security rather than a fire-fighting device. There are a few important things to know about fire extinguishers, but they aren’t complicated. Here are three things to help you get up to speed:

  1. There are extinguishers for each type of fire. Class A: ordinary combustibles, such as wood; Class B: flammable liquids or gasses, such as gasoline or propane; Class C: energized electrical equipment like appliances; Class D: combustible metals; and Class K: cooking oils and greases. An extinguisher that isn’t rated for the fire you’re trying to fight likely won’t help.
  2. Multipurpose extinguishers are widely available. Typically rated for Class A, B and C fires, they are good for most living areas and also work on small grease fires. You need at least one for each level of your home, and one in the garage is a good idea, too. Store them in an accessible area and inspect them regularly for rust and other damage. Also follow any maintenance instructions included with the device. Some need to be shaken regularly, for example.
  3. Remember “P.A.S.S.” when you use your extinguisher. Pull the pin. Aim the nozzle at the fire’s base. Squeeze the lever. Sweep the nozzle back and forth. And always keep your back to an exit when fighting a fire. You need to be able to escape quickly if necessary.

Even more important than knowing how to use your fire extinguisher is knowing when not to use it. If you’d be putting yourself at risk trying to fight a fire, leave the area immediately. You should already have a family fire escape plan in place, so don’t hesitate to use it if there’s any question about your safety.

After all, your life is irreplaceable. Your insurance, however, can help you rebuild your home and replace your belongings. If you’d like to check up on your coverage, give us a call today.

June 14th, 2016

Posted In: Personal Insurance

An umbrella liability policy is a relatively inexpensive way to purchase higher liability limits for you and your family, above and beyond the limits provided in homeowners and auto liability policies. In addition, most umbrella policies provide coverage for liability claims not covered by other policies, subject to a small self-insured retention. Umbrella policies got their name because they provide excess limits in increments of $1 million above more than one underlying policy. Any individual or couple seriously concerned about protecting family assets and earning power should consider an umbrella policy. Accidental tragedies resulting in multi-million dollar lawsuits are far too common to rely solely on basic policies.

Call or email for a Personal Umbrella quote or complete an application and fax to (888) 607-7154


This article was prepared and made available to your agent by the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas, which is solely responsible for its content. Please read your insurance policy. If there is any conflict between the information in this article and the actual terms and conditions of your policy, the terms and conditions of your policy will apply. The Independent Insurance Agents of Texas is a non-profit association of more than 1,500 insurance agencies in Texas, dedicated to helping its members succeed, in part by providing technical resources that explain insurance policies sold to their customers.

August 9th, 2015

Posted In: Business Insurance, Personal Insurance

Question:

My son (daughter) is leaving home to attend college this fall.  Will my auto and homeowners insurance policies cover him (her) while at college?

Answer:

This is a great question, and one that our customers ask frequently.

When college students move from home to their home-away-from-home – a rented dorm or apartment – insurance issues can arise and should be addressed before they leave home.

One key question that arises in discussing these issues is whether the student is still considered a resident of your household.  This is a legal question, but your homeowners and auto policies both contain provisions that apply the broadest coverage available in those policies to persons who are legally considered residents of your household.

It is generally accepted that students living away from home while attending college are residents of their parents’ household. Based on previous Texas court decisions, the real test is whether the absence of a person from the household is intended to be permanent or only temporary – whether there is physical absence coupled with intent not to return. This leaves a great deal of room for interpretation. There may be borderline cases that require you to think about alternatives. For example, it may be difficult to consider a 23-year-old graduate student living in an apartment year-round to be a resident of your household.

Read More…

August 9th, 2015

Posted In: Personal Insurance