With Thanksgiving now over, we have the remaining holidays to look forward to. For the northerners reading this blog, you have a lot of SNOW and freezing weather ahead. Are you prepared?
As public adjusters, we know the colder months also cause a spike in tragic house fires, because people are staying indoors for activities like cooking and smoking, not to mention the increased usage of electrical items. However, a destructive or fatal fire can usually be prevented by taking a few precautionary measures.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), there were 501,500 structure fires causing 2,685 civilian deaths in 2015. Most of these occurred during the coldest months from October to March.
There are several things you can do to prevent this from happening to you. Some are free, and those that aren’t free are affordable. The biggest hurdle is simply doing them! As per the NFPA, here are 7 different areas that need to be addressed, with an accompanying tip for each:
- Smoke Alarms: There should be one smoke alarm on every level of the home, and one both inside and outside each sleeping area.
- Cooking Safety: Keep the cooking area free from items that can catch fire.
- Electrical & Appliance Safety: Do not run electrical cords under rugs.
- Candle Safety: Candles should be in sturdy, fire-proof containers that can’t easily be tipped over.
- Carbon Monoxide Alarms: Carbon monoxide alarms must be located on each level of the home.
- Smoking Safety: Ask family members who smoke to buy fire-safe cigarettes and smoke outside.
- Heating Safety: Be sure the chimney and furnace are cleaned and inspected yearly.
These tips will certainly get you started on the road to having peace of mind but if you want full confidence then check out this downloadable house fire prevention checklist. Included within the checklist are 20 more tips and a quick reference list for developing a home escape plan.
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