Posts Tagged ‘Smoke detector’

Top 3 Ways Billerica Homes Could Save on Insurance

For most area homeowners, the 110-decibel wail of nearby fire engines may not be a sought-after feature when selecting the ideal neighborhood.

Nonetheless, according to The Wall Street Journal, living close to firehouse has its advantages. Safety is one. A reduction in your homeowner’s insurance bill, another.

Not all homes in Billerica can have the advantage of being next door to a firehouse, but just about everybody knows that having the proper insurance is important to protect not only the structure itself but also the valuables within. Here are three possible actions you could take this month, any or all of which might reduce the cost of your homeowner’s insurance premium:

Shop Around – We are much more likely to spend our time “liking” dancing cat photos on social media annually than in planning advanced insurance plan strategies. Nonetheless, a visit to the website of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners can help identify important nuances when selecting a vendor. Example: review complaints.

Reduce Coverages – Most people insure their homes for the full amount they paid at the time of purchase. If you bought your home in Billerica for $450k, you automatically insured it for that amount. But in the event of a loss event like a fire, you don’t necessarily need the full purchase price to rebuild the property—remember, that purchase price included the cost of the land. This idea should be weighed realistically against today’s costs. Take care not to go light on the replacement cost of your belongings (many folks do). A new inventory can help in that department.

Just Ask! – While discounts vary with each insurer, the following details might qualify your home in Billerica for a discount if you just go ahead and inquire:

  • Multi-policies with the same company.
  • Length of time with the same company.
  • A smoke detector or sprinkler system.
  • An alarm system, deadbolt locks, or other security measures.
  • You have not made a claim in recent history.
  • Your household doesn’t include smokers.
  • You qualify for a senior discount.
  • Your credit score has improved.

While not all of us are willing to move next door to a firehouse to save on our home insurance, there are multiple ways to whittle down policy premiums. I’m here as a resource for your Billerica property-related questions anytime: just give me a call!

Joan Parcewski —CRS, MRP, CSHP, SRES, CBR, LMC, Realtor & Notary
978-376-3978    OR
Licensed MA & NH    
Introductory Video
Joan_Parcewski (1 of 1)    Laer Realty Partners



Smoke Alarms – Which Ones to Choose?

Should they be ionization or photoelectric – or both?
Over the years we have learned that those with ionization sensors do react faster to flaming fires than those with photoelectric sensors.   At the same tim those that are photoelectric react faster to smoldering fires.  So obviously the fires are different when it comes to detection.
In terms of most home fires – flaming fires are the cause of the most home fire deaths.  Take a look at a youtube video from the Underwriters Laboratories that shows the difference in fire with modern furniture vs older furniture.  It is pretty interesting ( – maybe even a little scary.
You will find much information out there claiming one alarm is beter than the other, mostly from companies trying to sell their product.   Since, in reality every fire is different, perhaps we should take heed with what fire researchs and safety experts say – and that is that both types provide valuable safety to us, the consumer.  Read the white paper provided thru the government agency FEMA ( and make your own decision.
Since there is no way to know what type of fire may happen in your home and since together they provide better safety for you and your family,  the USFA recommends the following in every residence and place where people may sleep:
• Both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms, OR
• dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors
At their website, you will also find more information about the proper installation of home smoke alarms (
Also check with your local fire department.  When homes change hands, one of the requirments to close on the sale is smoke detector certificate fom the fire department.  But why wait that long?  Check now and protect your family.
The whole issue of smoke alamrs is so important to the safety of the consumer that the US Fire Administration (USFA) is working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory on research as to future improvements of home smoke alarms.  Their first report on this project can be downloaded at
Remember – also important = be sure your smoke alarms are installed correctly and are in working order.  Your family’s life may depend on it.
Joan Parcewski  

Leading Cause of House Fires – guest blogger Tony Lucacio

Our home is our castle as they say.  Being careful to take precautions to prevent fires as well as to protect your family when one happens is a top priority


Do you know what the leading cause of house fires is; it may not be what you think. Fires can be a great danger to you and your home and it is best to know what to look out for and how to stop it. You want to be prepared for a fire and the best way to be prepared is to know what the cause of the fire may be. Fires can end up being a major claim on your Massachusetts home insurance if you aren’t able to stop them. Here is a list of the most common causes of home fires and how to stop them from happening.

  • Cooking Fires are the leading cause of house fires. When you are cooking always be sure to watch your food, because most cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
  • Smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths. When a lit cigarette comes in contact with furniture, it can start a fire. Do not fall asleep with a lit cigar or cigarette in hand and do not smoke while in bed, because sheets and comforters are very flammable.
  • Heating fires are the second leading cause of house fires. Portable space heaters need to be kept away from flammable materials including curtains and rugs.
  • Electrical fires are another leading cause of house fires. Make sure that you use the correct wattage for light bulbs, because the bulbs can overheat and ignite the lampshade. Also make sure that a qualified electrician is doing the wiring for your home.
  • Have a fire emergency plan. Make sure that you and your family know what to do in case of a fire and have a designated meeting spot in case one happens. Having a meeting spot makes it easy to know that everyone has made it out of the house.
  • Have a fire extinguisher. Not every fire can be put out with just water. A grease fire can only be put out by a fire extinguisher.

Protect your house and avoid a home insurance claim by knowing what to do in case that a fire happens in your household. Fires are dangerous, but you can stay safe by being prepared.

Tony Lucacio       Merrimack Valley Insurance         978-667-2541


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