GRAND RAPIDS, MI, MICH., Dec. 17, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The holidays are a great time to brush up on home safety precautions and Foremost® wants to help you and your family stay safe. Foremost Insurance Group is a national specialty insurance carrier offering insurance for home, landlord and vacant, mobile home, auto, motorcycle, snowmobile and much more.

"A home is often one of the  greatest investments a family will have and it's important to take a home inventory and practice safety tips, in case there is ever the need to submit a claim," says Jim Gontjes, senior product manager for Foremost. "We've gathered useful information to help consumers enjoy their home to the fullest and keep their families and personal belongings safe."

Complete a personal property inventory.

If your belongings are stolen or destroyed, most insurance companies will ask you to provide a record of them. Without a list or record of these items, important details are sure to escape you. Add the trauma and stress a major loss can cause, and inevitably, you'll forget something.

  • Developing a home inventory, beforehand, can help.  Follow these tips when doing a home inventory:
  • Take pictures of each room to accompany your inventory.
  • Have valuable items like silver or jewelry appraised and store those records in a safe place.
  • Make sure you store a set of photographs and copies of your inventory appraisals outside your home (like in a safe deposit box). You may want to leave a copy with a trusted friend or relative.
  • Keep valuable papers and records like stocks, bonds, duplicate copies of your will, stamp and coin collections, and jewelry that you don't wear frequently in a safe deposit box.
  • If you've made a major purchase recently – like the new tablet you can never put down, make sure you let your insurance agent know and be sure to add it to your insurance and personal property inventory.

Know and understand fire safety tips for your family.

More than 500,000 house fires occur each year, in all types of homes – site-built and manufactured, making it the second leading cause of accidental death in the home. The most important part of fire safety is prevention. Foremost offers the following fire prevention and preparedness tips to help keep you safe:

  • Always have a fire emergency plan for your family and practice your family fire drill at least twice a year.
  • Keep baking soda near your stove to extinguish grease fires. If you don't have baking soda, use salt, but never use water, as it will spread the flame. Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Store flammable liquids like gasoline, kerosene, paint thinner, etc., in approved containers outside your home, but not under your home. They  produce invisible vapors that can ignite even from a small spark.
  • Never use extension cords on a permanent basis and avoid running them under rugs.
  • Clean dryer vents frequently and empty lint screens after each load.

Develop safe storage habits.

If you're finishing up pre-winter painting or touching up paint that's gotten marred, why not take time now to make sure that your storage habits are safe habits? Make sure to keep flammable paint supplies, glues varnishes and sprays away from all living areas. Also, keep antidotes for cleaning products and other poisons posted where these items are stored.

Foremost wants you to stay safe this holiday season. To learn more about Foremost products or to share feedback, visit www.Foremost.com, our blog at blog.foremost.com, our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/ForemostInsurance, our Twitter page at www.Twitter.com/Foremost.

A part of the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies®, Foremost Insurance Group ("Foremost") has been a leader in personal lines insurance since 1952. Foremost is headquartered in Caledonia, Michigan. Farmers Insurance Group of Companies is a leading U.S. insurer group of automobiles, homes and small businesses and also provides a wide range of other insurance and financial services products. Farmers Insurance is proud to serve more than 10 million households with more than 20 million individual policies across all 50 states through the efforts of more than 50,000 exclusive and independent agents and nearly 24,000 employees. The Farmers Exchanges are three reciprocal insurers (Farmers Insurance Exchange, Fire Insurance Exchange and Truck Insurance Exchange), including their subsidiaries and affiliates, owned by their policyholders. Farmers Group, Inc., along with its subsidiaries, manages the non-claims insurance operations of the Farmers Exchanges. Farmers Group, Inc. is wholly owned by the Zurich Insurance Group. For more information about Farmers, visit its Web site at www.farmers.com or at www.Facebook.com/FarmersInsurance.


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