A house fire can be a very scary and stressful situation. A significant percentage of preventable fires occur when residents are not in the home or they are asleep for the night. A fire that occurs during these times can take longer to recognize, increasing the risk of injury and significant damage to your home. A simple fire safety routine before you leave the house or head to bed for the night can reduce your chances of a fire insurance claim and keep your family safe. Some of the top sources of preventable fire insurance claims we see are cigarettes, heaters, cooking equipment, lighting and candles. Care and attention to safety with these items can help reduce the risk of a house fire.
- Improper disposal of cigarettes is one of the most common causes of house fires. If you smoke, make sure you are disposing of your cigarette appropriately. For example, disposing of a cigarette in an outside planter may not be the safest way to dispose of the cigarette. Pete moss is flammable and can lead to a destructive fire loss.
- Make sure space heaters are turned off when you sleeping or leaving your home. If you are using a space heater, we recommend using a newer one that has an automatic shut off. Older space heaters are common causes of fire insurance claims. Also double check that all of the heat vents are clear of anything combustible. Something as simple as a pillow or blinds close to a fireplace or space heater can ignite a fire. Other heat generating devices should as irons, steamers and hair straighteners should be turned off and unplugged when not in use.
- Ensure your oven and stove are turned off when you are done cooking and don’t leave the house or go to sleep while food is cooking.We commonly see fire insurance claims because people leave the house with food still cooking on the stove or in the oven. It is also recommended to unplug electrical cooking devices such as your toaster, kettle and crockpot when not in use. Cords can become frayed causing them to spark.
- Whether you are using candles for light, smell or ambience, we strongly recommend that you don’t leave the candle unattended. Lit candles should also have a sturdy base and not be kept close to anything that can ignite. If you have a pet or child it is important to be extra cautious as sometimes children and animals can inadvertently knock over the candle.
- Another common cause of fire insurance claims is from light sources. Lamps shades can build up heat and many lamps can easily be knocked over. When you leave the house it is important to ensure all lamps and unnecessary lights are turned off.
Follow this simple fire safety routine to reduce your chances of a fire while you are away from your home or asleep for the night:
- Make sure the stove and oven are turned off
- Turn off lamps and unnecessary lights
- Put out candles
- Turn of space heaters and other heat generating devices (iron, steamer, hair straightener)
- Ensure heat vents are clear
- Cigarettes are safely disposed (if applicable)