Tips to handle a disaster at home
For most of us, our home is our pride. It is our haven, a sanctuary from the chaos and turmoil of the outside world. And hence, we set up our homes with a lot of love and attention to detail, making it comfortable, warm and inviting. However, many of us forget that in addition to creating a beautiful home, keeping it safe and secure is equally, if not more, important. Hazards like fires, gas leaks, thefts etc are very common and can happen to anyone, no matter how well you protect your home. So ensure that you are ready for any kind of emergency.
General Tips for all emergencies
For your peace of mind, keep a few general guidelines in mind.
- Safeguard important documentation like passports, birth certificates, financial paperworketc. Have them handy in a safe place, ready to be grabbed at short notice should you need to evacuate the house. Save digital copies on a pen-drive as well.
- Try to have more than one exit. This could be an extra door or accessible windows from which you can escape. The entire family should be aware of a planned exit route.
- As far as possible, protect your home from the more common disasters. So have a fire extinguisher handy. Get your gas pipes and electricity lines inspected regularly. Keep your doors and windows secure whether you are in home or out.
- Most importantly, buy a home insurance policy so you are protected from financial losses, if disaster strikes.
Tips for House Fires
- Escape should be your most important priority. If there is smoke, it is important to stay low and breathe while finding the nearest exit.
- If the exit is blocked by smoke or anything else, then try another route.
- While opening a door, check the door knob, if it is hot it means the fire is on the other side. In such cases, your best bet is to exit through window.
- If you are unable to save family or pets on your way out, once outside, call the fire department and clearly inform them of their whereabouts in the house. Never try to go back into a burning house.
- If you are living in a multi-storied apartment, move quickly to the nearest refuge area or assembly point.
- Do not use the elevator in case of a fire, use the stairs instead.
Tips for Gas Leaks
- Always ensure that your gas connection and cooking appliances are of good quality and fitted by authorised technicians.
- If you smell gas odour or suspect gas leak, switch off the gas supply immediately. Open the windows to allow fresh air in and disperse the gas.
- While you are airing the house, avoid switching on electrical switches as sparks can cause an explosion. Do not smoke, light candles or use matches as this could cause the leaked gas to ignite.
- Once the immediate danger is averted, call the gas company emergency helpline so that the gas leak source can be located and fixed. If calling from a mobile phone, ensure you are outside.
Tips for Theft/ burglary
- Never keep valuables lying around in plain sight at home, rather keep them in a locker or safe.
- Never post your whereabouts, vacation plans, contact number, address or bank account details online as these become easy targets for criminals to prey on.
- If you sense an intruder or the house seems broken into, get away to a safe place.Then call the emergency number and file a complaint.
- After filing a police complaint, contact the insurance company and inform them before taking any other actions.
Disclaimer: The above information is for illustrative purpose only. For more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.