Many homeowners — parents included — are unprepared for an emergency

Aly J. Yale
Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports Contributor
November 15, 2018 - 2 min read

Ready or not

Thinking of renovating in 2019? You might want to add a few basic safety features to your tick list. According to a new study, a large number of homeowners are woefully underprepared for emergencies — especially house fires.

State of emergency

A new analysis by found that nearly 40 percent of homeowners either don’t have a fire extinguisher or don’t know where theirs is.

What’s worse? A whopping 81.3 percent of those without a fire extinguisher think it’s safe to put water on a grease fire — an act Western National Insurance says can spread the flames even further.

Another huge chunk of homeowners rarely — if ever — change the batteries on their smoke detectors. In fact, one in every five homeowners has never changed their batteries at all.

Millennials are the worst offenders, with 25.9 percent saying they’ve never changed the batteries. Another 6 percent said it’s been at least nine months since they did so. More than 19 percent of Gen X homeowners say they’ve never changed the batteries or haven’t in at least months. For Baby Boomers, it’s 16 percent.

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Not prepared, not confident

But even those homeowners who do have adequate safety features aren’t confident they know how to use them. Over 30 percent of Millennials say they’re not confident in their ability to operate a fire extinguisher, and 28 percent of parents say they’re not either.

Parents are also ill-prepared for other emergencies, too. When ranked according to how stocked their emergency kits were, put them dead last, after Boomer, Millennial and Gen X homeowners.

New house checklist: Things you need that you never imagined

Baby Boomers apparently have the most comprehensive home emergency kits, with at least three-quarters owning a flashlight, first aid supplies, extra batteries and three days of non-perishable food.

“When it comes to upgrades and upkeep, the things you aren’t thinking about could be the very ones that could save your life in the event of an emergency,” reported. “Replacing the batteries in your smoke detector or making sure you own (and can locate) a fire extinguisher isn’t glamorous, but they could make all the difference should disaster strike.”

Get today’s mortgage rates

Thinking of adding some safety features to your home? Then shop around and see what refinance rates you qualify for today.

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