Simple Steps for House Fire Prevention
Seventy-seven percent of all fire deaths in 2017 occurred in the home, according to the National Fire Protection Association. As the temperature drops and holidays draw closer, the use of indoor lights, candles, and fires increases. With the festive décor and traditional use of fire to create a warm and cozy home comes an increase of house fires.
Over 360,000 residential fires occurred in 2016, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, causing $7.7 billion in property loss. The main cause of house fires was cooking followed by heating. Keep your home safe this winter with a few simple winter house fire prevention steps then make sure you’re covered in case the worst happens.
1. Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and outside of all sleeping areas. Check them once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year, recommends the American Red Cross
2. Create a fire escape plan. Make sure each family member knows at least 2 ways to exit the house. Practice the plan with every member of your household at least twice a year.
3. Teach children basic fire-safety rules such as the stop-drop-roll technique and to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency. Teach them to not run from firefighters.
4. Cook wisely. Cooking is the main cause of house fires. Don’t leave the stove unattended while it’s being used. Remember to set timers to prevent food from overcooking and catching fire. Keep a pan lid or baking sheet ready. You can use it to cover a fire and extinguish it.
5. Have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned before the first fire of the season.
6. Use space heaters wisely. Keep them away from flammable items like flimsy holiday décor, fabric, and furniture. Also, turn them off before leaving the room. Search for space heaters with an automatic-off function should the unit get too hot.
7. Be smart about candles. Candles are common during the holidays but can lead to house fires all too easily. From 2011-2015, an estimated 8,700 house fires were started by candles each year. Keep candles out of reach of children and pets. Set them on or in a non-flammable and stable container and surface. Remember to put the candle out before leaving the room.
8. Practice general fire-prevention steps. Keep flammable items at least three feet away from open flame and heaters. Keep fire extinguishers on hand in areas where a fire is most likely to occur (such as fireplaces and kitchens). Keep your fire detectors working properly.
Speak with one of our agents today to make sure you have the right coverage for your home. Homeowners insurance typically covers the cost of repair due to a house fire. Also, it may cover detached structures such as a garage or shed. Personal property lost during a house fire may be covered under homeowners insurance as well. Make an appointment today and get peace of mind that your home and valuables are protected. Follow the tips above to keep your family and guests safe this holiday season!