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Loss Prevention Corner

"Loss Prevention Corner" is a compilation of hundreds of practical tips to help you reduce your chances of having a loss, or to minimize your damage if you do. The tips are divided into categories such as Fire, Water Damage, Burglary, Identity Theft, and many more!

Fire Prevention

Minimize the use of electrical extension cords and make sure the ones you do use are in good condition.


Do not stretch extension cords across heavily traveled areas, or under carpets.


Do not overload electrical outlets.


Annually - examine the electrical panels, wiring, and electrical components for evidence of overheating or wear. Ensure that all components are secure. Flip the breakers on and off to ensure that they are not sticky.


Keep open flames away from walls and curtains.


Never leave a burning candle unattended.


Don't play with matches and lighters.


Keep matches and lighters in metal containers and away from children. Use child-resistant lighters.


Keep halogen lamps away from curtains, drapes, and other combustible material.


Install and maintain smoke detectors properly. Check them monthly and replace batteries twice a year, or as needed.


If the smoke detectors are over ten years old, they probably should be replaced. One should be installed in at least all bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens.


Install a carbon monoxide detector on each level.


At least one approved fire extinguisher should be kept on each floor, and all family members should know where they are and how to use them. One should be kept in the kitchen (but not next to the stove), and don't forget one in the garage. Each extinguisher should be clearly labeled as to the type of fire they are designed to extinguish, and checked periodically to make sure it is properly charged.


Be sure that your home is clearly designated with your house number so that the fire department can easily find your home in an emergency. Also be sure your driveway is passable at all times to allow emergency vehicles to reach your home.


Some locks require keys for both sides of the door. This is good protection from theft, but bad for fire safety. If you have this type of lock, keep a key nearby and make sure everyone knows where it is.


Know your local emergency number.


Have emergency phone numbers handy to the phone.


Interior doors, such as those on closets and bathrooms, should have safety release locks that allow them to be opened from either side.


Know how to turn off gas and electricity in case of emergency.


When building a new home, consider installing a sprinkler system. These systems have been proven to be very effective in suppressing most fires before the fire department arrives.


Properly maintain your clothes dryer, which is a big cause of fires in the United States. The dryer vent should be kept clean, the lint screen should be removed and cleaned after each use, and a qualified technician should periodically inspect and clean clothes dryers.


Examine heating/cooling air filters at least monthly and replace or clean as necessary.


Inspect and clean humidifiers and electronic air cleaners at least monthly.


Keep tree branches and shrubs trimmed back to ensure that they are not in contact with the house.


Look at overhead wires coming to the house. They should be secure and clear of trees or other obstructions.

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During my 27 years as a Property and Casualty Insurance Agent in the Greater Boston area, I have been collecting, from many sources, lists of dos and don'ts related to various areas of Loss Prevention (also known as "Risk Management"). "Loss Prevention Corner' is a compilation of those Risk Management tips that we offer as POSSIBLE SUGGESTIONS. Each of these tips may or may not be appropriate at all times, since every situation is different. The tips are here for your consideration. You must decide which of them is right for you.

Michael A. Norman
Our Video Legacy / Owner









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Weekly Tip: Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. That way you will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place!