Follow Six Basic Steps After an Auto Accident

A car accident is always traumatic for any driver. Even if the damages are relatively minor, and both parties are uninjured, you might find yourself panicking over what to do next. There are important steps to take following any crash, no matter how severe.

Since car accidents involve insurance companies, both drivers need to collect the necessary information. They can do this by following six basic steps.

  1. The most important thing is to stay calm at all times. Letting emotions get out of control will only make the situation worse, and make it harder to take care of the things that need to be done.
  2. After remaining in control, the driver must make sure that they and their passenger(s) are okay and unharmed. Although it is important to move as far off the road as possible, it is also important if not more so to remain at the scene of the accident. If the driver or one of the passengers can do so, wave oncoming traffic into the other lane or warn traffic with hazard lights and flares, if available.
  3. Alert the appropriate authorities by calling 911 right away. If a cell phone isn’t readily available, flag down a passing car and ask them to call.
  4. The driver must contact their insurance company regardless of whether they were at fault. The sooner the insurance company knows, the sooner they can start working to resolve the claim. Both drivers should call their respective companies and report the accident, even if one of them was at fault.
  5. For legal reasons, the driver must not admit fault to anyone. All those involved with the accident should only talk about it with the police and their insurance companies.
  6. Finally, collect the information from all parties, which means that each driver must collect information from any witnesses. Most importantly, each driver should get the name of the other’s insurance company and their policy number.

If you have any questions about your protection, call the Stromsoe Insurance Agency Total Protection Team for the right answers to your questions.

Here are 4 EASY ways to reach us:

1. Call 877-994-6787 or 951-600-5751
2. Fax 951-677-6265
3. Email – insure@siaonline.com
4. Visit Exclusive New Website –  www.siaonline.com

Are the Fire Alarms in Your Home Functioning Properly?

A recent study from the National Fire Protection Agency, or NFPA, found that around 95% of U.S. homes have one or more smoke alarms installed throughout the house. Unfortunately, that same study revealed that the number of homes with nonfunctioning smoke alarms vastly outnumbered the amount of homes with no alarms at all. This shows that many homes are relying on broken and battery-less alarms to save their lives in the event of a fire. By following the advice of experts and maintaining a testing schedule, you can make sure your alarms will be ready when you need them the most.

Fire safety begins with purchasing the right type of smoke alarm, as dictated by your building code’s power requirements. The common types that are required vary from standard battery-operated alarms to ones that are wired into the home’s electricity. For individuals who have difficulty hearing, smoke alarms with flashing lights and devices called “bed shakers” are used together with audible alarms. Always purchase alarms that have been listed or approved by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), or a similar independent tester.

How Many?
The NFPA publishes the Life Safety Code 101 to inform people of the regulations and best practices when it comes to fire safety, and in this case, the amount of smoke alarms to install. It recommends having at least one alarm on each floor, including basements and attics, and within 15 feet of bedrooms. Place smoke alarms inside of bedrooms if family members usually sleep with the door closed. Remember, the strategic placement of smoke alarms is just as important as keeping them powered.

The building codes that govern homes built in the last few years are significantly trying to improve residential fire safety. Most require hardwired alarms that are interconnected, meaning that all alarms will sound if one detects smoke or intense heat. Also, the new codes require the installation of smoke alarms in every bedroom of the house.

Installing the usual store-bought smoke alarm is really quite simple and will require only a drill and a screwdriver. Hardwired and interconnected alarms should be installed by a qualified electrician. Battery back-up should also be used with electrically powered alarms, as well.

Fire safety experts offer more installation advice:

  • When installing a wall-mounted alarm, locate it between six to 12 inches below the ceiling.
  • Ceiling-mounted alarms should be installed more than six inches away from any wall.
  • On sloped and vaulted ceilings, located the alarm at the highest point.
  • In open stairways, alarms should be placed near the top of the staircase.
  • In closed stairways, like basement steps, the alarm should be placed at the bottom of the staircase.
  • Do not install alarms in drafty areas of the house, such as near windows, ceiling fans, or forced-air registers.

If you have any questions about installing fire alarms, call or email your local fire department. They will be happy to help you better protect your home against fires and show you the optimal places to install your smoke detectors.

If you’d like to review your coverage and find out if your home is properly protected in the event of a fire, here are 4 Easy ways to reach our Total Protection team:

1. Call 877-994-6787 or 951-600-5751
2. Fax 951-677-6265
3. Email insure@siaonline.com
4. Visit us on the web – www.SIAonline.com