Living in Florida comes with many perks, such as warm weather and sunshine all year long, along with beautiful beaches, freshwater springs, and many other natural attractions. But homeowners here also face unique challenges, with severe weather events posing the biggest threat to Floridians and their homes.
The Risks We Face
Florida's extensive coastline, low elevation, and geographic location between the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico make Florida one of the most vulnerable locations in the world for hurricanes. No area of the state is truly safe from the threat of hurricanes; all of the Florida coastline has been impacted at some point.
Other common risks include high winds, flooding (and subsequent water damage), lightning strikes, wildfires, heat and humidity, and mold and mildew. All of these hazards (and more) present an ongoing battle for Florida homeowners.
In addition, run-of-the-mill accidents and other disasters can befall even the most cautious homeowner. But don't worry – there are steps you can take to protect your home and keep your loved ones safe. What follows are some essential home safety tips to help you prepare for these and other potential hazards.
Protect Against Windstorm & Flooding
• Keep your gutters unclogged and free of debris
• Trim trees near the home
• Have your roof inspected* and updated, if necessary, with wind mitigation features (straps, braces, etc.)
• Replace missing or damaged roof shingles as soon as possible
• Install hurricane shutters
• Ensure outside furniture is secured
• Consider adding flood insurance coverage to your homeowners policy
* You may qualify for a no-cost, no-obligation hurricane inspection under the new My Safe Florida Home program, enacted by the Florida Legislature in 2022 to help homeowners strengthen their homes against potential storm damage. And impact-resistant doors, windows, and garage doors are exempt from sales tax until June 30, 2024.
Fire Prevention Tips
• Install fire/smoke detectors; keep the batteries refreshed
• Keep lithium batteries dry and away from flood waters
• Keep fire extinguishers or similar devices accessible
• Don't go to sleep while candles are still burning
• Don't leave any electrical wiring exposed
• Pay attention to anything out of the ordinary at electrical outlets (buzzing noises or odd smells)
• Have your dryer vent cleaned annually
• Never leave a hot stove unattended, and keep flammable items away from it
Tips to Help Prevent Accidents in the Home
To help prevent slip and falls and other accidents in the home, try the following:
• Reduce clutter, cords, and other items posing a tripping hazard
• Make sure all areas of the home are well-lit, especially stairways, hallways, and entryways
• Use nonslip mats and rugs in entryways and water-prone areas (near a bath or shower, for instance)
• Use safety gates if there are young children or pets in the home
• Install carbon monoxide detectors and test them regularly
To help prevent dog bites:
• Train and socialize your dog to be around others in a controlled and positive way
• Provide a safe and comfortable space dogs can retreat to when overwhelmed or stressed
• Supervise your pets around guests
• Consider purchasing animal liability coverage
• Keep a first-aid kit handy, and make sure everyone knows where it is.
• Secure important papers – such as your homeowners policy, ID, passport – in a waterproof container, such as an airtight, zip-close type bag.
• Keep a list of emergency phone numbers somewhere easily accessible.
• Review your insurance coverage amounts annually, to ensure you will be adequately reimbursed should you experience a covered loss.
Ensure You're Protected By Using These Home Safety Tips
We hope you found these home safety tips valuable. Keeping your family and home safe and protected is our No. 1 priority at Edison Insurance Company.
To review your homeowners policy or if you have any questions about how else you can protect yourself, your loved ones, and your home, call your Edison Insurance Company agent. To become an Edison policyholder, get a quote now.