– Ask most young Northwest residents how to tweet, connect a wireless
router, or program a DVR, and you’ll most likely get a fast accurate answer.
But ask the same people where their circuit breaker is located, or how to shut
off their home’s main gas line, and you’ll likely get a blank stare. That’s the
finding of the most recent PEMCO Insurance poll, which shows that the younger
the residents, the less prepared they are for household emergencies.
the Northwest’s leading locally based insurer, found that only 47 percent of
respondents in Washington and Oregon under age 35 know where they can turn off
their home’s main gas line in an emergency. Exactly half (50 percent)
know where to locate a water shut-off valve, and fortunately, nine out of 10
(91 percent) can find their electrical panel, according to the
some household precautions are not top of mind for many Northwest residents,”
said PEMCO spokesperson Jon Osterberg. “While you may rarely need to
access your gas or water shut-offs or even your electrical panel, it’s
important for people of all ages to know where they are and what to do in an
emergency. It’s a matter of personal safety and protecting your home.”
poll found that older generations and men, in particular, are more likely to
know where to find household electrical panels, water valves, and gas
lines. About seven out of 10 drivers over age 35 in Washington and Oregon
(71 percent) say they know where to find their home’s water shut-off valve, and
about six out of 10 (61 percent) in that age group said they can find the valve
that controls the natural gas.
you smell a gas leak, call 911 or the emergency line of your utility company
immediately,” said Osterberg. “Follow their instructions before you act, but if
you need to shut off the main gas-line valve, it’s important to have a wrench
near the valve – for example, store a crescent wrench inside a zip-lock bag.”
poll also revealed that some residents expose themselves to the dangers of
household fires. Three-quarters of respondents who own their home say
they have at least one fire extinguisher in the home, but just 60 percent of
renters say the same.
a fire extinguisher to be effective, PEMCO recommends keeping it in an
accessible location, such as a kitchen or garage, or near a door or exit.
Any time a fire extinguisher is used, regardless of how much or how little of
its content is discharged, the extinguisher needs to be recharged or replaced
according to its manufacturer’s guidelines.
put out small household fires, PEMCO recommends the “PASS” technique – pull,
aim, squeeze, and sweep: Pull the pin from the handle and aim the nozzle
low. Squeeze the handle and move in toward the fire, aiming at the base of the
flame. Sweep the extinguisher from side to side until the fire is out.
learn more about the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll and to view a summary of
the results, visit www.pemco.com/poll, where the public is
invited to participate in an informal version of the poll and see how their own
responses compare with those collected by FBK Research of Seattle in November
the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll
Insurance commissioned this independent survey that asked Washington and Oregon
drivers several questions about driving habits and attitudes toward current
Northwest issues. The sample size, 600 respondents in Washington and 402
respondents in the Portland, Ore., metro area, yields an accuracy of +/- 4.1
percent and +/- 5.0 percent respectively at the 95 percent confidence level. In
other words, if this study were conducted 100 times, in 95 instances the data
will not vary by more than the associated error range.
Insurance, established in 1949, is a Seattle-based provider of auto, home, boat,
and umbrella insurance to Northwest residents. PEMCO Insurance is sold by
community agents throughout the region and through PEMCO offices. For more
information, visit www.pemco.com.