Are your assets covered?
What if there’s an emergency? What if that emergency is a fire? This Friday at 1pm (yes we’ve moved) we’re joined by Phillip Young of National Fire Control (http://nationalfirecontrol.com/). We talked about how to be safe, how to protect yourself and your family.
Protect the ones you love. Be prepared. Be safe!
- Get away from a car that’s on fire. Prevent car fires by keeping up with maintenance.
- Get carbon monoxide detectors for your gas appliances and bedrooms.
- Have a fire escape plan with a meeting place.
- An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure — start planning
My Car’s on Fire! The Arizona Car-BQ
Why do cars catch fire? Is your car going to blow up? That only happens in the movies. A car can catch fire. Usually, that’s because of debris under the hood (like leaves) or a fluids leak, which can ignite if it flows over the right parts of the engine — like the catalytic converter. If you smell something, get it checked out! Small leaks get bigger. What happens is the leaky fluid catches fire and the wind feeds it oxygen, and, bam, you’ve got a fire. Newer cars have nylon fuel lines, rather than metal. The result is a Car-BQ. Can this happen on electric cars? It’s possible. But the key is, this is all preventable.
What else causes fires? Smokers. Like John Candy in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, that really happens! People who flick cigarettes cause fires and not just car fires, forest fires. Overstuffed ash trays can light up. Yes, that happens! More than you think.
For what it’s worth, Steve quit his three-pack a day cigarette habit. It’s been over 30 years. Nice work, Steve!
What happens if your car is on fire? If it’s small and manageable, on the inside, hit it with a fire extinguisher. If it’s under the hood or other mechanical place, get away from the car!
Another safety issue on cars is airbags. Friendly Auto had a customer who was in a very minor accident, and all his airbags went off. She got hit from behind, and all side curtain airbags went off. That’ll cost her more than fixing the body damage. But they worked!
Matt sees this all the time in insurance. It’s good to have the airbags. Cars get totalled when repairs hit 75% of the total value.
The Whole Crew Has Gas
Congratulations to Friendly Auto, two years in a row named the AAA Top Shop in Arizona!
Steve and Felecia had Philip Young of National Fire Control in the studio. They are a family-owned fire protection service, in the Phoenix metro area. The work mostly with businesses on everything from inspections of sprinklers, backflow devices, kitchen hoods, and more.
What does it look like out there? Are businesses staying safe? Most of them, yes. There are regulations they have to meet. Fire extinguishers have to be inspected every year. There’s so much to remember. How can business owners remember all that? Phillip’s team will remind you when it’s time for inspections. That way, you won’t get an unpleasant surprise from the fire marshal!
Sprinkler systems get inspected at least annually, if not every quarter. That depends on the type of business. There is routine maintenance, including running a camera through the pipes.
A caller asked about an old electric stove that melted down. They replaced it with a gas stove. What does he need to worry about? Felecia told him to get a carbon monoxide detector. Steve and Felecia and their kids’ lives were saved by theirs! They were woken up one night by the Chandler Fire Department who said they have a gas leak. They did, and they were okay simply because of the detector. Put them in bedrooms and near gas appliances. Steve’s got them in his garage and the laundry room.
Why is National Fire Control better? First, they are local, family owned and have been around for 40 years. Second, that’s all they do — fire protection. They are experts. And you’ll get a real person when you call.
Use a licensed plumber to check our gas connections, like Jay Monday, our guest next week.
Fire Safety in your Home
Matt has some exciting home safety news. Breaking News from State Farm! February 13th is national khaki day! Yes that’s true, but that’s not the big news. The big news is a new program that is still in testing. It’s an artificial intelligence (AI) device that you plug into your outlet, syncs to your WiFi, and it keeps an eye on your home, like a stethoscope. It’ll talk to your phone and help you prevent fires before they happen. Felecia sees a lot of home inspections with serious electrical problems. People, hire pros to do your work!
Steve and Felecia almost had a fire in their home in New York. Their lights were flickering, and their electrician couldn’t figure it out. Then, they smelled an electrical odor in their sons’ room (no, not those smells). Steve had his electrician friend come out. The guy felt the wall, it was warm, and put his fist through the wall. Apparently, there was an electrical box there. The previous owner had removed the box and just twisted the wires together with electrical tape — no wire nuts. It was starting to burn the insulation. The whole house was close to burning down.
Home Inspectors regularly find fire hazards. If people knew of the issues, they’d fix them. They’re not expensive. For example, in one home Felecia had inspected, they found regular outlets on the exterior. Phillip agrees — that’s a bad fire safety issue. Get the right outlets with the covers.
Houses don’t have anti-syphon valves. That keeps the water from backing up from your home into the municipal source. It prevents contamination.
On a side note, this was a VA loan. The VA requires the house to be safe, not just at value. A VA inspection will find the safety issues.
Safety Planning Tips: Medications, Escape Plans, and More
Felecia mentioned that in this manufactured home, there was an Arizona room off the bedroom. But there was no exterior window. Huge fire problem. Bedrooms need to have a window through which a firefighter can fit with all of their gear.
What’s the number one cause of accidental death in the United States? Poisoning. Most people die from poisoning due to overdose of prescription medication, or from mixing medications. All mistakes. How do you avoid that? Use the pill bottle with daily tabs. That way, you don’t forget if you took your meds.
When you have a pill bottle full of narcotics, don’t throw them away! Your address is on them. People go through garbage looking for those and will rob you. Take those back to the pharmacy.
Do your own fire drills. Have a fire plan. Plan your escape routes from the house and establish a meeting place. If you don’t have a meeting place, you may panic, thinking that somebody’s still in the home. Pick a rally point. Also, look at having escape ladders for the second floor.
Matt, the risk advisor, recommends good fire safety education. The best thing is prevention. Know how to stay safe and prevent fires.
If you’re doing work and repairs on your home yourself, it’ll catch you in the end. You may not keep the home up to safety code. You may also not do it right. That’ll come out in an inspection. Hire a pro!
Change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Add some carbon monoxide detectors. Get your roof inspected. Get HVAC maintenance done. Keep things up, and you’ll keep your home safe.
Until next week, Drive Friendly Arizona!