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Watch our video and read our guidelines on how to take an inventory of your belongings. Next, we’ll give you some tips on how to choose an ethanol fireplace and portable fire extinguisher for your home.
How to prepare for a major insurance claim (video)
Take a home inventory
4 steps to taking an inventory of your belongings
1. Make a list of your most valuable items
Start by compiling an inventory of your belongings. You don’t need to include everything you own, only the most valuable items, like furniture, jewellery, electronics, computers, household appliances and antiques.
2. Take pictures in every room
A quick and easy way to keep a record of your belongings is to take pictures of items in every room. That way, you’ll be less likely to forget anything. Also, remember to take pictures of storage areas, closets and shelves. You can even take pictures of your receipts and keep them with your inventory.
3. Keep your receipts
Keep receipts and user manuals with your inventory. If you’ve misplaced a receipt, ask the retailer if they can send you a copy because they often keep client receipts on file. Having proofs of purchase for valuable items can really simplify the claim process.
4. Save a copy of your inventory—but not at home
If you can, make a digital copy of your inventory, photographs and proofs of purchase and keep it somewhere safe. For obvious reasons, it’s best to keep it outside your home, like with a friend or family member.
Choosing the right ethanol fireplace
Ethanol fireplaces are becoming increasingly popular because they make your home feel warm and inviting. If you’re thinking about getting one, first make sure it’s ULC certified—otherwise you might be buying a serious fire hazard.
What’s more, non-certified models can pollute ambient air, cause serious burns, fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Regardless of the brand or certification, ethanol fireplaces can be dangerous. So always use caution and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Fire caused by ethanol fireplaces are more often due to negligence than faulty products. Very few insurance companies charge additional premiums for ethanol fireplaces, but you should still tell your insurer if you have one installed.
Get more tips on fire prevention
What type of fire extinguisher do I need?
Having a fire extinguisher is just as important as having an evacuation plan in the event of a fire. There’s no doubt that it’s one of the best ways to minimize fire damage. But make sure you have the right fire extinguisher.
For households, we recommend choosing a 5- or 10-pound ABC multipurpose fire extinguisher. These are designed to put out 3 types of fires.
- Class A fires involve wood, textiles, paper, cardboard and plastic
- Class B fires are caused by flammable liquid or gases like solvents, gasoline, alcohol and oil
- Class C fires are electrical fires. The extinguishing agent doesn’t conduct electricity, so class C fire extinguishers can be used safely on live electrical systems.
These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.
In Quebec, Desjardins Insurance refers to Desjardins General Insurance Inc. In Ontario and Alberta, Desjardins Insurance refers to Certas Direct Insurance Company, underwriter of automobile and property insurance.