By Tammie Clarke Gibbs BROKER/REALTOR™ Lovins Realty – Vidalia, Georgia “The Service You Deserve – The Experience You Expect”
It’s easy to get caught up in everyday life and not realize that failing to prepare for an unexpected disaster would be devastating. Just imagine those things that you can’t replace like family members and the family pet. While there is no guarantee that you won’t still suffer a loss, doing a little planning could significantly minimize that loss. As a REALTOR™ in the Vidalia, Georgia area, I’m reminded frequently how important proper planning can be to a homeowner so here a 10 easy things you can do to protect your home from loss and whether you are a homeowner or you lease a property, when it comes to the place you call home a loss is still a loss. I hope that no-one reading this will ever experience such a loss, but if you do I hope you’ve taken the time to protect yourself as much as possible and that any loss is minimal.
1-Protect Your Family and Pets-
*Make sure that you have installed smoke detectors in your home. Placement should be in the kitchen, laundry room, near your breaker box and near any bedrooms. Smoke Detectors are inexpensive and can save lives.
*Have fire extinguishers in the kitchen and laundry at minimum. Make sure you are familiar with the instructions.
* Have an Emergency Plan that covers an escape route for each of your bedrooms . In the event of a fire everyone should know how to get out of the room they are in and have a spot in the yard where everyone meets up. If you have a single story home it’s often safest to go out the window. If you’re unsure how to create such a plan you can visit http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/safety-at-home-fires-burns.aspx?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIh9yxko6f2QIVS7jACh0WGgoaEAMYAyAAEgJi-fD_BwE
*If you have inside pets having a notice posted at doors telling firemen that there are inside pets and how many may or may not help save them, but at least they will know that the pets are there. Be sure to specify type of pet and if they are crated or where they normally are inside the house. This is important if a fire starts when you are away from the home.
2-Protect Your Memories & Important documents-
*Taking the time to scan in all your family photos, baby books and scrapbooks is just something that is pretty easy to do and the benefits far outweigh the time investment.
*Keep copies of important documents in a Safe Deposit box, Home fire safe and or secure online storage such as DROPBOX. You can sign up here https://db.tt/hE2zf56r
3-Insurance- Evaluate your insurance often and make sure that you keep it paid up. Keep in mind that guns and jewelry as well as some other possessions require additional riders. It’s best to consult your insurance agent to make sure you are sufficiently covered.
*If you live in an area near water make sure that your home isn’t in a flood zone. If it is then seek out information on FLOOD INSURANCE and make sure that you are protected.
*READ YOUR POLICY most homeowners don’t even know what to do in the event of a loss. Insurance companies typically have guidelines within the policy.
*If you rent…get renters insurance so that your possessions will be covered.
4-Visit your attic from time to time to look for any frayed wiring or other concerns.
5-Do a safety check every time you leave your house. We all love candles and no doubt a blow dryer and curling iron are clever inventions, but they along with the common household iron have been the start of many fires. Be sure to check each day when you leave and make sure that all such items are off.
6-Losses can also come from mechanical failure. Be sure to check your chest or upright freezers regularly if they are located somewhere you might not notice a failure as quickly.
7-Keep a bag ready for emergency travel and keep it in the trunk of your car or somewhere inside you can grab quick. Have a plan when it comes to your medications. In an emergency could you grab what you needed and get out the door fast?
8-Termites and other wood destroying pests can also cause losses. Make sure to have annual inspections or if you’re doing it yourself make sure you have a preventive plan in place. Don’t let these pests eat you out of house and home.
9-Check your bathrooms often to make sure you don’t have a leak that could cause damage and mold problems. A good place to check it the wall directly behind any tub, sinks or toilets. This is often a closet and the damage can sometimes go unnoticed.
10-Make sure that your attic is protected against squirrels. They can get inside and chew through wiring and cause all sorts of issues.
I hope this list of easy things to do has been helpful. If you ever need a REALTOR™ in the Vidalia, Georgia area please give me a call I’d love to help you.