FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Insurance agents are warning their customers to clear brush away from their homes now. They don’t want houses to end up on fire. But they’re also telling people to prepare for the worst. A Fort Worth insurance agent offers unique perspective — her home burned down last year.
“My husband had tried to go back into the home thinking that ‘Hey I have a fire extinguisher in the car and it’s a small fire’, by the time he went back in the roof decking and everything had caught,” said State Farm agent Kathleen Alexander. “I’ve lived through this.”
In these unseasonably warm and dry conditions the first thing Alexander is warning customers to cut back brush, grass and tree limbs away from your home, now.
“A lot of times they’ll say oh yeah, I’ll worry about that later and they never do,” she said. “And so our goal is to always make them be mindful of it.”
But there is one big preparation tip Alexander learned when her home burned down. Don’t just think of your big items like TV’s and furniture when you insure your house.
“You think you don’t have a lot,” Alexander said. “But when you really start thinking about each and every little item you have a lot more. I mean, we are Americans! We love to consume.”
She has a good technique she recommends for itemizing your belongings.
“I say ‘I want you to close your eyes and walk me through your home and I want you to tell me what you have in each and every room,’ ” she said. “Let’s go with your closet. Tell me how many pairs of shoes you have. And tell me how many pairs of pants you have.”
Alexander is also telling her clients to prepare an emergency kit — copies of their birth certificates, social security card and prescriptions. Keep them in a safe place away from the home because those important documents might not survive a fire.
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