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Wednesday, 01 May 2019 13:51

Fire Extinguisher Facts

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Did you know there are EIGHT different types of fire extinguishers? And when do you use them?


In order to know when to use each fire extinguisher, you should know the five different types of fires.

Class A– Fire started with wood, paper, cloth

Class B– Fire started with combustible liquids such as gasoline & paints

Class C– Electrical fires

Class D– Fire started by flammable metals such as sodium or potassium

Class K– Kitchen fires


Types of Fire Extinguishers

  • Water & Foam – Take away the heat element. Foam extinguishers will separate the oxygen from the other elements. Used for Class A fires only.
  • Carbon Dioxide— Take away the oxygen element & remove the heat with cold discharge. Used for Class B & C fires.
  • Dry Chemical—Interrupts the chemical reaction of the fire. Used for Class A, B & C fires.
  • Wet Chemical—removes heat from the fire & creates a barrier between the oxygen & fuel elements. Used for Class K fires.
  • Clean Agent—the extinguish the fire by interrupting the chemical reaction or remove heat from the fire.. Used for Class A, B & C fires.
  • Dry Powder—Similar to Dry Chemical, Dry Powder extinguishers separate the fuel from the oxygen. For Class D fires only.
  • Water Mist—Take the heat element away from the fire. Used for Class A fires.
  • Cartridge Operated Dry Chemical— Primarily interrupts the chemical reaction of the fire. Class A, B & C fires

Please remember that fire extinguishers have limitations– the most important thing is to make sure everyone gets out safely and you call 911.


How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

Remember the phrase PASS

Pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher which will break the seal

Aim the nozzle toward the base of the fire

Squeeze the handle slowly

Sweep the nozzle from side to side


Friday, 15 March 2019 14:56

Claim's FAQ

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Want to be prepared in case you ever have to submit a claim? Read these frequently asked questions below. As always, feel free to call our claims department should you need to submit a claim or if you have any questions. 


Q: This is my first claim. What should I do?

A: If you have a claim, or if an event has occurred that could give rise to a claim, contact your insurance agent immediately. The agent will help you fill out the necessary paperwork to expedite your claim. Also, at this time, you should discuss with your agent how you might preserve and protect the damaged property to mitigate further damages. To find your agent’s telephone number, please look on your Otsego Mutual policy.


Q: Is this covered under my policy?

A: Please refer to your declaration page along with the policy forms/endorsements. If you need a copy of your policy information feel free to contact your agent or an Otsego Mutual representative. If you have any additional coverage questions please contact Otsego Mutual claims department.


Q: Does my deductible apply to every claim? How do I find out what my deductible is?

A: Yes, however with some exceptions - to inquire contact our office. To find out the amount of your deductible, please refer to your declaration page. The deductible will be listed directly under "Property Coverages". 

Tuesday, 09 August 2011 15:04

How to Develop a Family Disaster Plan

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ALBANY, N.Y. – State and Federal emergency management professionals encourage individuals and families to be ready in case there is an emergency. Every one should have a plan – know what to do and when to do it during an emergency – and have a fully-equipped emergency supply kit packed and ready-to-go.

You should be prepared to take care of yourself and family members for the first 72 hours – that's three days – following a disaster, such as a severe storm or hurricane. An emergency preparedness kit should include food and water for each family member, a battery-powered or hand-held radio, flashlight, spare batteries, first aid kit, non-electric can opener, dry clothes, bedding, toilet paper, and garbage bags for personal sanitation. Don't forget extra eye glasses, medications, copies of prescriptions and special products for babies, the elderly and medically fragile or disabled family members.

Other items to consider include sleeping bags or blankets, paper towels, books, puzzles and games for children and food for family pets. It's helpful to have cash in case banks are closed and ATMs are not open. Have important insurance information and other important documents readily available.

Make an evacuation plan and learn the evacuation routes in your neighborhood. Traffic congestion is inevitable. Plan for a significantly longer travel time to reach your destination. If possible, evacuate using only one vehicle. Have a communication plan with phone numbers of family members in case people get separated. Identify a friend or family member in another town, who can be contacted during an emergency.

Store the emergency supplies in an easy-to-carry plastic storage container or duffel bag, so that you can grab it quickly and go when an emergency forces you to leave your home. Putting together an emergency kit isn't expensive. Many of the items are probably in your home already. Any additional supplies you may need can be purchased over a period of time.

More information on emergency preparedness, including how to put together a family communication plan, can be found on FEMA's Web site (in English and Spanish): FEMA, and NYS OEM.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Tuesday, 09 August 2011 14:59

Hurricane Brochure

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The best way to prepare for a hurricane evacuation is to know your evacuation zone and develop a plan ahead of time.

Click here to read more.

Monday, 08 August 2011 18:37

Dryer Vents

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Clothes dryer fires account for 15,600 structure fires annualy.

Click here to read more.

Friday, 27 May 2011 13:17

Sidewalk Talk

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Many homeowner liability insurance claims arise from defective sidewalks. Otsego Mutual, as part of its inspection process, makes an attempt to determine if the sidewalks of our insureds need updating or replacing. In some cases the company may require an insured or prospective insured to repair or replace a defective sidewalk.

Although a homeowner may feel their sidewalk is defect free and poses no danger to pedestrians it takes as little as a ½” difference in elevation between one flag and the next to cause a possible tripping hazard.

The following photos show defective sidewalks which are not only unsightly, but could be hazardous to pedestrians:
Friday, 27 May 2011 13:16

Documenting Your Possessions After A Loss

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Your worst nightmare has just happened! You’ve had a fire or been robbed.

Can you document what was stolen or destroyed? The insurance company will ask you to do just this and it’s your responsibility to prove what you lost and its value.

Here are some suggestions to help you cope with this difficult task.
Friday, 27 May 2011 13:14

Woodstove Safety

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Protecting Your Home

woodWith the ever-increasing cost of home heating, more and more energy conscious people are installing wood stoves. An undesirable result has been a corresponding increase in the number of wood stove and chimney fires. In fact, over one-half of the one-and two-family dwelling fires in rural and suburban areas are caused by wood fuel use.

Burning wood requires more work and attention than simply adjusting a thermostat. To reduce the chances of having a fire in your home, follow the recommendations in the Woodstove Safety pamphlet below on proper selection, installation, maintenance and operation of a wood stove.

Friday, 27 May 2011 12:00

Home Heating Safety Tips

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According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), nearly two thirds of residential heating fires and related injuries involved space heaters and similar equipment such as fireplaces and chimneys. Proper use and maintenance of these appliances will ensure the safety and efficiency of your home heating system.

Space Heaters

Only use heaters that are approved by an independent testing lab such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Look for models with an automatic shut-off device and temperature control. Never put anything on top of the heater and provide adequate space from walls and furniture. Electric and kerosene heaters should never be left unattended. And use only crystal K-1 kerosene in your kerosene heater – never gasoline or camp stove fuel.
Friday, 27 May 2011 11:58

Fire Prevention & Safety

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House fires are devastating. The overwhelming sense of loss caused by fire, smoke and soot are traumatic. In many cases fires can be prevented, however, even the most safety conscious efforts can't prevent the unexpected.

The following safety tips can help you prevent or escape the devastating effects of a house fire:

1) Fire Extinguishers

Place fire extinguishers on all levels of your home, especially areas where there's the greatest risk for a fire – the garage, kitchen and basement.

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