Lessons Learned: How to Keep You and Your Family Safe

As an insurance and injury lawyer for more than 30 years, I have seen my share of human tragedies – many of which could have been avoided. I have handled thousands of liability insurance claims and lawsuits, and each time I wish I could go back in time to warn the victim and give them concrete steps to avoid the pain and injury.


Well, here is my chance. I have compiled a list of overly dangerous items and actions to avoid – or at least to understand the dangers when entering into such activities.  


1. Wear a Helmet

Not every minute of the day, of course, but you know when you need one: riding a bicycle, open vehicle, skateboard, scooter, or roller skates. And for Pete’s sake, don’t do any of those activities before the sun is up; blinking red lights on your outfit don’t magically stop cars or trucks from smashing into you.  


2. Speed Kills

You have heard this since you got your drivers’ license, and it’s the same with any of the above activities, as well as ATV’s and jet skis. SLOW DOWN. Maintaining control is the key to safety when you are hurtling through space at fast speeds. The slower you move, the easier it is to maintain operational control.


3. Don’t Dive Headfirst

Avoid diving boards unless you are in the Olympics. No matter how deep the pool, lake, or ocean may be (or how deep you think it is), always enter feet first, and with extreme caution. Breaking your neck will cause either death or permanent paralysis.  


4. Watch Children 100% of the Time

It takes just seconds for an unattended child to wander into deadly danger. We have cases in which a child drowns – even during a party. We have seen cases in which children are backed over by vehicles when no one is paying close enough attention to them. “All the time” means literally ALL THE TIME. Monitor them constantly.


5. Fence Off All Pools

Children and the elderly drown daily. Florida has water everywhere, and it only takes a moment for tragedy to occur. Self-latching fences are required in Florida, but even that is not enough. Use another pool fence, a pool cover, and even a pool alarm. Triple check your pool to make sure no one can wander in.


6. All Guns Are Loaded

Even if they aren’t, you cannot be sure. Treat every firearm with the utmost caution. Store them safely away from children unless they are legally and properly holstered on your body. Don’t joke around with firearms, and don’t let minors have or use them unless under adult or professional supervision.


7. Don’t Walk Out of the Kitchen While Cooking

Kitchen fires flare up when least expected. Moreover, children can come in and burn themselves, not understanding the dangers of hot surfaces. I have seen countless kitchen fire claims, and the vast majority started when the homeowner left the cooking area unattended.


8. Don’t Overload Electrical Outlets

I have seen customers that must have been attempting a Guiness Record for number of appliances plugged into an outlet. You should never daisy-chain or overstuff electrical outlets; that can cause short circuits which lead to severe and dangerous fires. Unplug appliances when not in use.


9. Leash and Fence Your Dogs

I know your dog is sweet, and would never hurt anyone. Except they all do. Dogs are protective by nature, and we have seen extensive damage done by dogs of virtually every breed and size. We have cases where children are facially scarred for life playing with tiny dogs. Unless inside the home, they should be leashed or fenced in. Dogs are incredible companions, but exercising oversight of our furry friends must be paramount.


10. Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Injuries can happen anywhere and at any time, but certain areas stand out in my professional experience. Be careful when showering or bathing, as you are in a slippery environment already. Water, soap, smooth surfaces – that can be a recipe for disaster. Walking down a flight of stairs, if you fall, can cause horrendous injuries - so walk slowly, use the handrails, and keep your shoes on.


Protect Your Home With Florida Peninsula Insurance

Many injuries can be avoided with focus, care, and attention to detail. Slow down, keep your wits about you, and – as my father always reminded me – “Don’t do stupid stuff.” Keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe should always be top of mind.


To further protect your home and family, consider home insurance from the insurance carrier Florida property owners have relied on since 2005. Obtaining homecondo, or renters insurance from Florida Peninsula Insurance Company has never been easier. Simply contact your agent or get a quote online now. 

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