That candle that you thought would create a nice romantic atmosphere, has really killed the mood when you fell asleep with it still burning. It doesn’t take much for a fire to start, and when it does it does not wait for anyone. Your home is filled with all sorts of flammables, and fire spreads quickly. Our clients Steven and Amy recently reported a claim to us from exactly this situation. An anniversary dinner and drinks led up to an intimate encounter. We’re not sure if it was the drinks or afterglow that caused our clients to fall asleep, but they awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of their smoke detector blaring. Steven jumped out of bed in search for the fire extinguisher. In an emergency, you’d be surprised to discover that you can’t exactly remember where it is! Steven kept calm and grabbed hold of it. He read the 1 2 3 instructions quickly- aim and shoot! Within moments, the fire was out. Luckily, the fire extinguisher had been recently serviced. Had it not, the fire could have easily gotten out of hand, causing more damage and possible injury or death. Once the fire was out, they contacted the fire department, just to be safe. The authorities arrived on the scene to ensure that there were no chance of the blaze re-sparking.
That night, they checked themselves into a hotel. The smoke smell in their apartment was too strong to bear. Our adjuster met us at the scene and began to calculate the amount of damage incurred. Besides the items that were directly damaged by fire, the bulk of the damage was a result of all the smoke. Contents and the unit itself were to undergo extensive cleaning or replacement, in order to restore them to the condition prior to the loss. Fortunately, our renters insurance policy settled for damage to the contents under the property portion, damage to the unit under liability, and loss of use coverage for the additional living expenses. It took nearly 2 months for all the work to be completed; Steven and Amy were tired of being cooped up in a small hotel room, and they welcomed a home cooked meal after getting back into their unit. Without our renters insurance policy, they would have lost thousands in contents, and spent several thousand more in hotel and restaurant expenses. Just one of many cases that require us to ask ourselves: Do I have a working fire extinguisher? Do I know where my fire extinguisher is? Do my smoke detectors function properly? Do I have an inventory of my personal belongings?