Too Important Not To Share... - Just a few thoughts... Blog at - 289774

Just a few thoughts...

Too Important Not to Share... 
Nov. 15, 2012 7:16 pm 
Updated: Dec. 3, 2012 7:02 pm

Looking at sassyoldlady's post on the Recipe Buzz regarding a house fire in her neighborhood...<

Here was my response:

"Tears coming to my eyes... December 12, 2003 we had a house fire (yes, the electric water heater), lost our 2 cats. Had to re-build, but didn't lose anything truly important and no one was home at the time. Our smoke detector was still screaming even though the housing had melted off from the heat. Be sure to replace those batteries and also check to be sure your house insurance coverage is enough, especially if you have had the policy for a long time and not had it reviewed recently. You should be insured for what it would cost to re-build your house as-is in today's labor & materials prices, not what your house is worth or what it might have cost 20 years ago. Merely stepping up your policy by a percentage every few years is not necessarily enough. Sorry if it seems like I'm on a soapbox, but believe me it is very important, trust me I know from painful experience. We had to build a new house and it was only enough for a good down payment."

Dear friends, we recently had to turn our clocks back -- an excellent time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.  If you haven't changed them yet, please do so!  It could save your life or that of your loved ones.

Check your insurance policy to make sure there are provisions that will pay for housing if you are displaced due to a fire (or any other natural tragedy).  Make sure your coverage is adequate to cover replacement costs for your belongings as well as what it would cost to re-build your home, not just its current value.  Remember several years ago when the price of lumber, plywood, and drywall went sky-high?  Almost doubled in some cases.  Even though our policy was increased incrementally each year, it did not take into account the enormous rise in building material costs.

Know what is in your home, either pictures or lists.  Keep a copy off-site.  We had to itemize all of our losses, room by room.  Insurance payments were based on what was lost, a certain percentage of each item, and more paid if the item was actually replaced and paid for.  So we were frantically buying replacement items in order to get the most value from our insurance.

Another family in our area had a house fire the very next week.  The home burned completely to the ground, the kids lost their deceased mother's ashes and all the family photos.  And no insurance...

Have a plan in place for all types of emergencies, even when it may be totally unexpected in your area (i.e. Hurricane Sandy).

The holiday season is upon us, enjoy yourselves, stay safe, and hold your friends and family close to your heart.

Nov. 15, 2012 7:27 pm
Yep, I replaced my batteries in my smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. I do have more than replacement insurance like you, and they will pay for putting us up until the house is replaced. But one thing I could not replace is my wife, and my best friends (my dogs, I call them my babies).
Nov. 15, 2012 7:33 pm
You are absolutely right King, nothing can replace your loved ones. Thanks for stopping in (and changing your batteries!)
Nov. 15, 2012 7:34 pm
Thank you for the reminder. It could happen to any of us.
Nov. 15, 2012 7:45 pm
Many people don’t understand the ‘Insurance to Value’ provision which is found in most home insurance policies. This kicks in where there is a partial loss so that the insured is penalized for not carrying the required amount of insurance. Another consideration is demolition costs for the damaged property which is often overlooked when calculating the costs of materials and labor to rebuild. Invest in at least one fire extinguisher.
Nov. 15, 2012 7:54 pm
Good reminder to us all MB. Thanks for the reminder. Especially at this time of year.
Nov. 15, 2012 7:55 pm
Thanks for stopping in BN and Candice.
Nov. 15, 2012 8:00 pm
ConkyJoe, you are absolutely right! Demolition can be a huge expense, particularly if your home is older and may contain asbestos or lead paint and needs to be disposed of by haz-mat teams. You don't realize how much can chip away at your "coverage" until things like this gets deducted. Replacing our personal items? It wasn't completely explained to us that the cost of having our personal items, furniture, etc. professionally cleaned and then stored for several months until we had a place to keep them, was all deducted from our allotment for personal item loss. That was a huge blow.
Nov. 15, 2012 10:14 pm
Way back when we got married, DW and I bought a maple "colonian: dining set for less than a thousand dollars, an incredible sum of the day, and built our lives around it, but "our fire" totally wasted it. The insurance company had some funny things about its value The semi undamaged/unburnt things that we insisted be retained were in fact rectained, but you can see how the finish darkens on them, and you don't get tha on the replacement stuff... The Replacement dining table is not something you can get at Leon's or the "Brick", it had to be custom ordered, and was about $3500.00, if not more, each chair was custom, and cost about $500.00 apiece, where the Insurance Company was whining about "original receipts" versus replacement costs, but State Farm came through in the end...good on them! We lived in a "trailer" in our driveway for about four months, while our house was rebuilt, and I cannot begin to describe how bad this was,or how strong our marriage proves to be, or what good neighbours we have (or how we were taken careof by same!) It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...but its a long way behind me, in my mind, tomorrow is the only thing I must face up to. On which note, I need to go to bed!
Nov. 16, 2012 1:11 am
Soo very sorry to hear your story Hun :(:( Yep MG, You are Right! I need to call the gas co. And the fire dept. Will change batteries tomorrow! Hugs, miss u:):) Thanks so Much!!
Nov. 16, 2012 3:37 am
Magnolia-you never know , thanks for the reminder. We had a forest fire here in Colorado, just 25 miles from my home. We were put on alert to get ready in case the fire would spread our way. I spent an evening getting all my valuables ready to move, just in case. Fortunately, we didn't have to evacuate our home. It was a big reminder to take photos of all your valuables, and keep receipts. I started scanning my receipts, now. Your situation-there is little or no time to get all your valuables before the fire wrecks havoc. I am glad you didn't lose your family. It is sad you lost your cats. Chairlifter-although you lost so much in your house fire, I am glad you and your husband were safe.
Nov. 16, 2012 3:56 am
Excellent reminder, Magnolia! Keeping insurance up to date is just something you generally think about. You know, I don't think the DH changed the batteries in the smoke alarms. I will definitely check on that today!
Nov. 16, 2012 4:13 am
We had a house fire,lost all we had,the most important being my husbands brother.We were married 2 years when this happened,smoke alarms and all were in order,firedepartment didn't konw what happened.This was over 30 years ago and we still don't what caused the fire.So please make sure you keep everything upto date.Insurance most of all.
Nov. 16, 2012 10:51 am
Thanks for stopping in Patty Cakes - get those batteries changed!
Nov. 16, 2012 10:53 am
chairlifter, the stress is unbelievable when dealing with the results of such a disaster. Insurance agents, displaced from your home, re-building, etc. I think our marriage became even stronger having survived that.
Nov. 16, 2012 10:56 am
Lela, we were so very fortunate that we weren't home. The DH and I were at work and our son was at school. School was only half day and if the fire had started a couple of hours later, my son could have walked right into a flashover. As a side note, my husband was the fire chief of our small volunteer fire dept. at the time. He heard about the fire over his pager at work and heard our address being called out for mutual aid from area fire departments.
Nov. 16, 2012 10:57 am
Cat Hill, get that DH to change the batteries!
Nov. 16, 2012 11:00 am
Manella, what a terrible tragedy for your family. No personal items lost can compare with the loss of a loved one. That is why I am a fanatic about the detectors and the insurance.
Nov. 16, 2012 1:09 pm
Thanks for your great reminder. My car caught on fire while we were all in it this August. Fortunately we were all o.k. but our car was ruined. So glad we had insurance. My son was so upset but I kept telling him it could be worse, it could have been the house. That I would have had trouble with. Or even worse in Manella's case a loved one! So sorry to hear of it.
Nov. 16, 2012 3:23 pm
This is a great reminder. I might add that most folks should have a CO2 detector. People die every year from CO2 poisoning. We have earthquake, flood, umbrella policy and full replacement coverage for our home and belongings. It isn't cheap, but when you need it it is a godsend :)
Nov. 16, 2012 3:24 pm
manella, what a sad tragedy. I remember a house fire in Olympia when I was young that took the life of a father and his three children. His wife was an RN on the night shift at our hospital. it was so sad and I am sure she was never the same.
Nov. 16, 2012 8:09 pm
iceemama, thanks for stopping in. No one likes paying the insurance premium, but boy when you need it, at least it's there.
Nov. 16, 2012 8:11 pm
MG, some of the coverage may seem like overkill to some, but who knows when some unforeseen natural disaster can strike? People think about California when they think about earthquakes. There is a major fault line in the midwest.
Nov. 17, 2012 12:16 pm
Sadly many of the coastal residents in NY had no flood insurance. They are screwed:(
Nov. 17, 2012 12:27 pm
Yes, dear! :) I asked, he didn't, and we are getting batteries today to change them! I meant, also, that insurance is not something you generally think about unless you have had a disaster. We have decided we need our policy reviewed! Thanks again for this blog because so many at this time of year are heating with kerosene and are going to be putting up Christmas lights soon. We do need to be mindful of cold weather additions to the household that could do us harm. Space heaters etc.
Nov. 18, 2012 5:01 am
Very good and sincere blog! I know my hubby doesn't think of anything happening to our home. When our children were old enough to leave them for an hour, I'd always tell them call me for anything. Of course, they'd call to tell me, "Will you get some candy?" I love my home and my family!
Nov. 18, 2012 3:56 pm
Hi luv2cook! No one ever thinks something bad will happen to their home and if they are lucky, nothing will. But we all need to be prepared to keep our family and homes safe.
Nov. 18, 2012 7:21 pm
Hey Mags! Luv2cook from Florida here - - I have been very blessed that the closest we had to a fire was my first thanksgiving cooking for my husbands parents (27 years ago) - - we had a very old stove - - the oven was "slow" and the turkey had been cooking "forever & ever - amen" there was only 2 "eyes" working and one of them started to spew sparks - - - I started yelling for my husband - he came running in with a fire extinguisher and telling me to get out of the house - - - I stubbornly refused to go without my turkey - - and although it is a "funny thanksgiving day story" now - - it was definitely not worth anyone's life - - loved ones are not replaceable - - turkeys are (and in some cases. . . should be - lol) - - thanks for the great read - - and Happy Thanksgiving to you Mags (ie: Louise) - - I raise my cookie dough in a turkey day salute to you!!!!
Nov. 20, 2012 8:30 am
Excellent reminder my dear friend. As you know, we have experienced a house fire also. If not for the smoke detectors who knows if any of us would have woke up and gotten out in time. I hope you have a memorable and enjoyable Thanksgiving. I'm grateful to have you as my friend. ((Hugs!!))
Nov. 20, 2012 6:23 pm
Many years ago my sister recieved an electric blanket for had a short...and she woke to her bed in flames. The dogs woke the rest of the household because she had the basement room and it didn't have a fire alarm...The smoke hadn't reached the upper rooms to set them off. But luckily the dogs got everyone up and my sister ran out of the house and had burns on only her ankles and legs. Being an electrical fire it shot through the house and burned it down with the connecting garage cars and all in less than an hours time. It took place around 3am so by the time the fire department was notified (being we couldn't call) they were only able to keep it from spreading to neighbooring homes and property. So don't forget to put fire alarms in the basement, most people do not.
same as above 
Nov. 21, 2012 7:52 am
Thanks to one and all for the serious reminders about smoke detectors, insurance coverage and all that goes with these. Holidays of peace and love to all of you.
Nov. 22, 2012 6:06 pm
luv2cook, glad the turkey situation didn't turn out any worse. Fires can spread so quickly and unless you've seen a video of just how quickly, a person just doesn't realize. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!
Nov. 22, 2012 6:07 pm
Lady Sparkle (my dear Thelma), thank you for your comments. I am very thankful for all of my AR friends.
Nov. 22, 2012 6:08 pm
RatherBeCooking - you are so right, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are absolutely needed in the basement too.
Nov. 22, 2012 6:11 pm
sameasabove, thanks for stopping in. It's one of those responsibilities that a lot of folks don't stop to think about. Out of sight, out of mind. Thank you for your well wishes to all. Same to you this holiday season.
Click to Change your Profile Picture
Magnolia Blossom

Home Town
Lostant, Illinois, USA
Living In
Magnolia, Illinois, USA

Member Since
Apr. 2009

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Dessert, Quick & Easy

Gardening, Reading Books, Music, Wine Tasting, Charity Work

Go Pro!

In Season

Dinner in the Fast Lane
Dinner in the Fast Lane

Get quick & easy recipes for your busiest days.

Football Food for the Win
Football Food for the Win

All the game-day eats you need to crush the tailgate competition.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and helpful cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for just $7.99!

About Me
Married for over 30 years living in a very small central Illinois community. Proud mother of 1 son in the Army. Admin Assistant for an engineering firm. Allrecipes Ambassador. Love meeting AR peeps. They're the very best!
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States