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Amica Insurance shares five tips for National Fire Prevention Week

10/10/2012

LINCOLN, RI – It’s National Fire Prevention Week, so Amica Insurance is sharing five basic fire prevention tips – as well as some important safety reminders.

“Thousands of people die each year in house fires, which also cause billions of dollars worth of damage,” said Lisa St. Onge, an assistant vice president with Amica Insurance. “But there are some basic steps you can take now to help prevent fires in your home.”

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and other fire safety experts offer these tips:

  • Talk to children about the dangers of playing with matches and lighters. Store matches and lighters in a locked cabinet or out of reach.
  • Turn off the stove and blow out any candles when you leave the room.
  • Make sure chimneys, fireplaces, wood and coal stoves and furnaces are regularly inspected and cleaned.
  • Keep combustible materials away from fireplaces, wood stoves, stove tops and other heating sources.
  • Store gasoline in approved containers and keep the containers in an outdoor shed or other area away from your home.

It’s also important to make sure you and your family are prepared in case a fire occurs, St. Onge said. Each home should have a smoke detector on every floor – and make sure it works. Test all smoke detectors frequently to make sure they’re working properly.

Nearly two-thirds of all fire deaths occur in homes that either have no smoke alarms or the smoke alarms weren’t working, according to the NFPA. “Smoke detectors are proven life-savers, so they should be a top priority,” St. Onge said.

Also, make sure you have an evacuation plan with two routes of escape, in case one route is blocked by fire or smoke, St. Onge said. “Don’t forget to rehearse the plan, so everyone knows exactly what to do if a fire breaks out. The evacuation plan should include a meeting place so everyone knows where to go if there is a fire.”

Here are five other fire safety tips:

  • Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. Make sure there’s a smoke detector inside each bedroom and/or sleeping area.
  • Demonstrate for children what a smoke detector sounds like and talk to them about what to do if they hear one.
  • Test each smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm monthly to make sure it works.
  • Replace batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms twice a year, when you change your clocks for daylight saving time.
  • Replace the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors alarms every 10 years.

“House fires can occur anytime, day or night, so it’s important to do everything you can to protect yourself and your family,” St. Onge said.

About Amica

Amica Mutual Insurance Company, the nation's oldest mutual insurer of automobiles, was founded in 1907. The company, with corporate headquarters in Lincoln, RI, is a national writer of automobile, homeowners, marine and personal umbrella liability insurance. Life coverage is available through Amica Life Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary. Amica employs more than 3,100 people in 40 offices across the country.

CONTACT:Vince Burks, Corporate Communications, 50 Amica Way,

Lincoln, RI 02865-1155, 800-652-6422, ext. 24563

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