Deadly Everyday Items Home Insurance Customers Should Know

In the past, we’ve discussed the importance of staying informed as a consumer. After all, companies do make mistakes and when they do, it can be potentially fatal especially if said consumer is a homeowner. As an insurance agent, you are in a unique position to help your customers identify potential hazards and latch on to informational resources that can be a matter of life and death. It’s all a part of deepening your business relationship and showing value to your clients that is above and beyond what they can get shopping for insurance alone. That said, here are some areas where you can help your customers identify the risks hiding in plain sight. Feel free to pass these along.


Fire Extinguishers

According to KVUE, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced that Kidde “is recalling 31 models of disposable fire extinguishers, citing a faulty valve component.” The CPSC website estimates that about 4.6 million fire extinguishers are affected by this in the U.S. alone, with an additional 175,000 in Canada.

Kidde received 11 reports of fire extinguishers that had failed to discharge. While no injuries were reported, the potential for injury or fatality is there, and your customers don’t need to find out when they’re in the heat of the moment.

This is just one recall. Homeowners busy with the hustle and bustle of everyday life may also be overlooking service dates on their fire extinguishers or failing to check for flaws in older items that are still within the typically safe date range.

According to SFGate, most fire extinguishers can last “between five and 15 years” per manufacturing guidelines. The news site recommends checking the tag on the extinguisher for dates and manufacturer’s instructions.

“A fire extinguisher with a gauge should be checked every month to make sure it is properly charged,” the site adds. “An extinguisher without a gauge should be checked and serviced annually by a professional and given a hang tag recording all service and maintenance. Dry chemical extinguishers should be shaken monthly to prevent the material from settling.”


Toys And Electronics

A child’s toys may look innocent and appealing on the surface, but what families may not realize due to the pressures of taking care of kids, is that potentially harmful or even fatal purchases are hiding in their children’s rooms and easily accessible. Unfortunately, there are hundreds and hundreds of toy recalls a year and most parents don’t think to check the CPSC website for the latest information.

Fortunately, the site does have a wealth of information, and it makes it easy to search for older recalls in case the avalanche of hazardous product has buried their child’s toys on another page.

Electronics are another potential recall prone to fire hazards that homeowners should be aware of, and they, too, can be tracked through the CPSC website.


Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are both important to the health of a homeowner. While smoke is a little easier to see coming, carbon monoxide (CO) has been called “the silent killer” for a reason. A cracked furnace can filter CO throughout the home in small doses that build up over time and lead to health hazards, such as nausea and vomiting. If a homeowner goes to sleep unaware of the threat, he or she may not wake up. Needless to say, it’s very important that your customers stay aware of recalls on both of these device types. You don’t have to look far on the CPSC website to find detectors in the last year that fail to sound an alert when smoke or CO is detected.


In Summary

Your homeowners insurance leads & customers are important to you, and while your “job” is to make sure their insurance needs are taken care of, it never hurts to look out for their well-being and remind them of some of the responsibilities that go with home ownership. If you have a website, blog, or newspaper, and would like to establish more of a connection with your customers, pass along these tips. They’ll appreciate it.

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