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As a homeowner, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect your loved ones and your property from the risk of a fire in the home. In Edmonton, part of this process would be to obtain homeowner’s insurancecondo insurance or tenants insurance. These types of insurance will cover damage to your home or personal property should a fire break out. You may believe that you are cautious enough never to let a fire start in your home, but it’s important to remember that not all fires can be anticipated or prevented. Quick responses from watchful neighbours and firefighters can help to reduce damage, but a string of fires can easily affect several properties at once.

How to Reduce the Risk of Fire

In any type of home, your first line of defence against a fire is your smoke alarms, which are mandatory in Alberta. You must ensure that you have a smoke detector on each floor, especially near sleeping areas. Test the fire alarms on a regular basis to ensure that they are in working order. If the smoke detectors are battery-operated, replace the batteries in spring and fall. The smoke detectors themselves should be replaced every 10 years.

Purchase a fire extinguisher or two to keep at your most frequently used exit and in the kitchen. The idea is to have one extinguisher located in an area of safety before deciding whether the fire is one you can put out yourself with an extinguisher.

Be aware that some of the most common types of home fires involve accidents in the kitchen or problems with the heating or electrical system. Kitchen fires are often caused by leaving food unattended in the oven or on the stove. You should make it a habit to turn off the stove if you leave the room, especially when cooking at high temperatures. When cooking with oil, use an appliance with a thermostat. You should also keep children and any flammable items such as dishcloths, paper towels or potholders away from the stove.

Never barbeque indoors, leave candles unattended, or smoke in bed. Surprisingly, every year, smokers cause numerous fires from falling asleep with a lit cigarette.

During cold Edmonton winters, many homeowners like to raise the heat or use the fireplace to stay warm. It is important to stay safe, so make sure children and any flammable objects are at least three feet away from any heating equipment. Keep the heating system properly maintained and inspected on a regular basis by a qualified professional. Always use the right kind of fuel for the heating device as recommended by the manufacturer. If you are using a wood fireplace, ensure that there is a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room and have the chimney swept annually by an experienced professional.

All electrical work in your home should be completed by a qualified electrician. If you are buying or remodelling a house or condo, have it inspected. On average, your electrical panel should be checked every 20 years.

To limit the risk of electrical fires, always use light bulbs that are consistent with the recommended wattage for the light fixture. All major appliances (including refrigerators, air conditioners, stoves, etc.) should be plugged directly into the wall outlet and not used with extension cords. Three prong plugs should never be used with two prong extension cords even if you can make them fit. Cords that are worn or frayed should be replaced.

Have a Safety Plan

Awareness and careful planning to reduce the risk of fire does not eliminate it completely. That is why you also need a family or household fire escape plan. If you live in a condominium building you may want to consult with the building management.

First, make sure everyone in your household knows how to use the fire extinguisher. The PASS steps recommended stand for:

  • Pull the pin
  • Aim downward
  • Squeeze the lever
  • Sweep the extinguisher from side to side, aiming at the base of the fire.

Because a fire could persist, you will want to have an escape plan in place. Start by drawing a floor plan of your home on grid paper, including every floor and all possible emergency exits (including windows, doors and stairs). Include features like the garage and porch roofs, trees and television antennae that can help in an emergency escape. For each room you will ideally have two marked escape routes (usually a window and a door). Mark these exists on the floor plan and make sure they are accessible, meaning that all windows will open and no heavy furniture is blocking the way for all members of the household who may use them. If there are any children, elderly or disabled residents in your home, decide in advance who will assist them.

It is important that once everyone exits the property there is a pre-arranged meeting place a safe distance away that everyone knows to go directly to in order to ensure that no one is missing. There should also be a neighbour’s property and an alternate place designated as the place to go to call for the fire department in the event that no one who was home has a phone with them after leaving.

Communicate and Rehearse the Safety Plan

You must make sure you discuss the plan as a household and that everyone knows what to do. It is crucial never re-enter a home where there is a fire. Your local fire department will be properly trained to rescue any remaining individuals and pets. Practicing your escape plan periodically (at least every six months) will ensure everyone is familiar with it and stays safe in the event of an emergency.

Insure Your Property

A fire emergency can be devastating for you and your family. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer, a growing family in two-storey home, or a retired couple in a bungalow, the destruction of your home and most prized possessions is a horrible experience. If you have a comprehensive homeowner’s insurance in Edmonton, however, your loved ones will be looked after and your personal possessions will be replaced.

Contact MBS Insurance Brokers Ltd. in Edmonton

It is critical that you have sufficient insurance to cover any damage to your home or personal property. If your property is currently uninsured, consider speaking with an independent insurance broker regarding the best plans for house insurance in Edmonton.

At MBS Insurance Brokers Ltd., we understand the importance of insuring your home in case of emergency and will work to find the best option available for your family. Contact us today to inquire about homeowners insurance or condo insurance in Edmonton at 780-436-7880. You can also request a free quote on our website.

How an Insurance Broker Saves You Time and Money

Do you know the benefits of an insurance broker?

Suppose you’re looking for the best insurance coverage at the best rates in Edmonton. In that case, you’ll first want to understand the benefits of an insurance broker and how they can help protect you in all sorts of different situations – whether it be saving you money, time or giving you simple peace of mind.

What Are the Benefits of an Insurance Broker?

Here are some of the many benefits of an insurance broker.

 

1. Saves Time

An insurance broker does all the work for you, so you don’t have to spend your valuable time shopping around for insurance. Instead, you simply provide your broker with information about your needs, and they shop the markets on your behalf.

 

2. Saves Money

Insurance brokers work with many different partners to find the best deals on the insurance that works for you. They take all your needs into account and make recommendations that are in your best interest. They have relationships with many insurance partners and can negotiate competitive rates and discounts, saving you money in the long run.

3. Expert Knowledge and Advice

An insurance broker provides you with the support and expertise you need to find coverage that suits your needs. They work with various products and services to find the coverage that best suits you. In addition, they can draw from an extensive knowledge base and experience to advise you on the best options. 

Insurance Brokers provide expert and unbiased advice. A wealth of knowledge about coverage and market rates combined with expert risk assessment ensures your possessions and business are adequately protected. Whether you are looking into auto insurance rates, tenant insurance, or home insurance rates, your insurance broker can help you every step of the way.

You can utilize their expertise to quickly identify your options and rely on their unbiased advice to help you make the best-informed decision for your situation.

 

4. Working For Your Best Interests

Since insurance brokers do not work with one particular company, they have nothing to gain from recommending a specific product. The insurance company also pays them a standard commission. Thus, there is no financial incentive to choose one insurer over another.

Insurance brokers have your best interests in mind. You can count on them to find you the best rate possible, which can give you the peace of mind you need. You can rest assured knowing that if you ever need to file a claim, one of our brokers will be there by your side to guide you every step of the way. They act as an advisor on insurance-related matters. They will shop the market for the best coverage and rates for you. Since fulfilling your needs is their only priority, they will provide independent, unbiased advice on the right coverage for your situation.

5. Privileged access and rates

Insurance Brokers have access to a wide selection of the best insurance companies in the country. These insurance companies are only accessible by Insurance Brokers. They do not deal with the public directly or with Direct Writers. Brokers enjoy long-standing relationships with these insurance companies. Still, they do not have an affiliation with any specific insurer, enabling brokers to provide you with a broader range of options at competitive rates.

 

6. Transparency

Insurance brokers must give full disclosure about their compensation and its effect on your insurance premium.  They are also required to declare any financial links with specific companies that may be a conflict of interest, enabling you to make the best-informed decision.

 

7. Risk and Advocacy Experience

Extensive experience dealing with different clients and claim situations equips insurance brokers with a broader perspective on how to reduce your risk. Also, in the event of a claim, you can count on your broker to act as your advocate with the insurance company and handle your claim fairly and promptly.

Speak to MBS Insurance in Edmonton about your Coverage

Reach out to MBS Insurance today to determine your home, auto, and commercial coverage options. Over the past 45 years, our experienced team of insurance brokers in Edmonton has earned the trust and loyalty of our clients by delivering superior products and services. We understand your needs and provide you with the best protection and rates.

There are many benefits of an insurance broker. We can help you understand the intricacies of your insurance plan while saving you money at the same time. We are a trusted insurance provider in Edmonton and provide personal and commercial insurance policies to people living in Alberta. We offer the best rates on recreational, auto, property, commercial, and group insurance policies. 

Contact us online for a free quote or by phone at 780-436-7880.

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This article was originally published on October 7, 2016, and updated for 2021.