A firearm of any kind is a very serious piece of equipment. For gun owners, firearm safety should be a common sense ideology. However, the majority of gun accidents in the household occur from lack of education or not taking the proper precautions. Whether you’re already a gun owner or looking to become one, you always want to avoid a potentially deadly scenario in your home by using extreme caution and abiding by basic firearm safety protocol. This could mean the difference between protecting your family from home invaders and accidentally harming someone that you love or an innocent bystander.
Firearm Safety Tip Checklist
It doesn’t matter whether you purchase from a gun show, pawn shop, or online, you MUST register your firearm and obtain the necessary licensing. This is a legal requirement not only in case your gun goes missing, but to ensure accountability in the event your gun is used in a criminal act. Connecticut locals are strongly encouraged to research the state’s required licenses before purchasing their first gun.
Inquire at your local gun ranges, as most of them provide the customary training and safety courses for appropriately operating a firearm. As important as it is to earn the proper certifications, it’s even more crucial to pay attention and truly learn what is needed to keep you and your family safe with a gun in your home.
Preferably in a locked vessel such as a safe, hide your firearm securely and out of reach of children or those who it is not registered to. Always keep your gun unloaded with the safety trigger on. Additionally, ammunition should be hidden separately away from the gun. These practices will help avoid an accidental discharge and will make it more difficult for intruders to get their hands on a loaded weapon.
Handling the Firearm:
Safely handling a firearm will be discussed in-depth in your training courses, but we still want to stress the topic. Guns should always be in “safety” mode whenever they are in your possession. Furthermore, your shooting index finger should never hover around the trigger until the moment you intend to shoot it. Always keep the barrel of the gun pointed down towards the ground until you’re ready to fire. *Rule of thumb – NEVER point your weapon at anything you do not intend to destroy just in case of an accidental discharge.
Cleaning the Firearm:
This is significant for a few reasons. A poorly maintained and dirty firearm will not always fire correctly. Because of this, many misfires and backfires can occur, causing damage to the weapon and possible injury to anyone around. Any firearm should be thoroughly cleaned inside and out before each use. And just like how it is suggested to be stored, your gun should always be unloaded with the safety on whenever you are cleaning it. Even if you remove the magazine, a single bullet may be loaded into the chamber of the gun; so double, triple and quadruple check to ensure it is completely unloaded.
When to Take It Out:
Most people purchase a gun to protect their families and homes from criminals in or around their property. The hope is that the weapon will never need to be used for this reason, but an immediate threat is one of only a few instances in which it should be taken out. The other reasons would be to clean it or to go shooting at a gun range. Whenever transporting a firearm to a gun range, it should be secured in a locked vessel and stored in the trunk of your car.
Who Should Have Access to it?
Only those with the required licenses and training should ever access your personal firearm. Never lend it out to anyone unless it is within the confines of a range. No weapon should ever be put into the hands of a child. Children are more likely to be killed or injured by a firearm accidentally than from a criminal act. It may be tempting to some to show off their newly-purchased handgun, but it should only be handled by its owner.
Firearm safety is the number one responsibility any gun owner to avoid harm to themselves, their families and their property. Yes, gun incidents can also lead to damage to your home, which in turn, leads to unnecessary insurance claims. Accidents in the home can arise out of nowhere, so you don’t want to just protect yourself physically but also financially with sufficient homeowner’s insurance. In the market for new coverage? We’re always happy to help!
So you say you’ve never had to file any homeowner’s insurance claims. (knock on wood!) If you fall into this category, then you’re one of the fortunate ones. However, as long as you’re aware that disasters can occur at any moment, you’re more prone to take precautions to lessen the blow whenever the need to file a claim may pop up. Even the most common damages or injuries that occur inside or around the home can be minimalized with a few simple preventative measures. Check out some of the ways you can decrease the likelihood of having to file a claim on your home.
Prevent Damage, Injury, and Costly Homeowner’s Insurance Claims Against…
With a lack of caution, unpredictable weather such as wind, rain, hail, snow and other storms can force the need to file homeowner’s insurance claims.
– Purchase and install storm doors and windows. Always keep them securely locked during any type of storm.
– Prepare proper storage for outdoor furniture, lawn ornaments, potted plants, or any light-weight yard items. Things such as deck tables or potted plants can not only get damaged themselves but can become dangerous when thrown around by extremely high winds.
– Lightning can also pose a threat. Install lightning rods to avoid as many lightning strikes as possible. Use surge protectors and unplug unnecessary electronics during a storm.
– During the winter, accumulated snow can wreak havoc on homes, especially those with flat roofs. Clear off your roof any time there is snowfall. Just a foot of snow can weaken a flat roof to the point of collapse.
– Hire a licensed professional to trim any tree branches that hang over your home. Branches can become weakened and snap from intense winds or added weight from snowfall.
Water damage is not typically covered by standard homeowner’s insurance; therefore, you often need a separate policy.
– Rain gutters should be relatively new and installed securely. Aim gutter reservoirs as far away from your home’s foundation as possible. Clear all gutters of leaves, mud and other debris at least twice a year to allow water to flow easily.
– Regularly inspect outdoor water hoses, spouts and other things that discharge water. Pay attention to details while looking for wet spots or leaks.
– Have your roof inspected annually, as the smallest leak can quickly escalate into a much larger problem.
– Seek professional assistance at the first sight of leaks coming from your sinks, toilets, showers, or other indoor piping. Especially in regards to plumbing, repairs will only increase in cost and aggravation the longer you put them off.
Fire damage to your home can be devastating, but it is also one of the most preventable disasters.
– Unplug electronics when they are not in use.
– Damaged electrical cords should be replaced immediately.
– Keep furnaces, space heaters, fireplaces, and other heat sources properly maintained and far away from flammable objects and furniture. Never leave heating sources or flames, such as candles, unattended.
– For smokers, try to smoke outside whenever possible. In case you do smoke indoors, thoroughly extinguish your cigarette/cigar
and its ashes with water. Never smoke when you are sleepy.
– Set a timer with an alarm whenever using an oven, stovetop or grill to remind you that it is on. Never wear loose-fit clothing when cooking.
– Keep all lighters and flame sources stored away and out of reach of children.
– Connecticut state law requires smoke detectors to be installed on each floor of your home. As an extra precaution, install these detectors in each bedroom as well. Test them every month to make sure they are working properly.
– Store fire extinguishers at each end of the house. Check their gauges monthly and replace them right away if they are inoperable. (see image on right)
If someone is injured on your property, you may be liable depending on the circumstances.
– Clear all ice/snow from walkways and doorsteps during the winter.
– Rearrange electrical chords, furniture or other objects that can be a tripping hazard.
– Replace any loose or broken floorboards, stairs, handrails or driveway divots that can cause injury.
– Swimming pools should be completely fenced in with a locking gate.
– Properly secure any hanging decorations or furniture that can potentially fall and injure someone.
– Dog owners can be liable if their pet bites someone on your property. The best solution for this is to properly train your dog to not be aggressive, but if that is not in the cards, keep your dog fenced in your yard and display a “Beware of Dog” sign on the fence.
Prevention is key! It doesn’t require a lot of effort to safeguard your home and side-step the most common homeowner’s insurance claims. In some instances, your home may require additional coverage in the form of a Personal Umbrella. If you believe this might be the case for you, please contact us today for a quote!