How to Prevent Home Fires

We all know that house fires can be devastating but you may not know a few hard truths. Aside from the fact that fires can become life threatening in less than two minutes, a small flame caused by an overturned candle or overheated appliance can transform into a major fire in less than 30 seconds.

With room temperatures reaching upwards of 600 degrees at eye level, an engulfed house — and those within it — are vulnerable to a host of misfortunes. From serious health risks such as smoke inhalation to severe property damage or loss, the consequences of a home fire can prove to be costly in many ways. Thankfully, there are many things we can do to prevent home fires and protect our families, houses, and financial security.

At Doeren Mayhew Insurance Group, we work with individuals and families to minimize the financial fallout after fire or smoke damage to their homes. Our clients rely on us to customize homeowners insurance quotes and related policies to ensure adequate coverage in the event of disasters like these. But, it’s not enough to secure insurance that will give you peace of mind ahead of a fire.

Follow these tips to prevent home fires and the inconvenient, grievous, and financially-disruptive consequences that may follow.

Unplug Unused Electrical Devices

The continuous flow of electricity can be a potential fire hazard. Be sure to unplug appliances when they are not in use to prevent overheating or an electric surge. Small kitchen appliances, chargers, and entertainment systems not only waste electricity when they are not being used, they are also commonly to blame for appliance fires.

Keep Chimneys Clean

It’s important to remove creosote, soot, blockages, from wood-burning chimneys to ensure they continue to operate safely. Creosote is particularly dangerous because it is a byproduct of wood combustion and is, therefore, highly flammable. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). you should hire a professional chimney sweeping company to conduct annual chimney inspections. You should also schedule a deep chimney cleaning any time more than 1/8” of buildup is observed.

Use Surge Protectors Safely

Too many fires are a result of improper power strip safety or useage. Your surge protectors, power strips, and electrical cords should have an internal circuit breaker that will prevent overloading or overheating. Always remove and replace these devices if they become too hot to touch. Also, never place surge protectors where they might be covered with a material that prevents air circulation.

Send the Smokers Outside

Smoking inside the home increases the risk of a fire. Between discarded and unattended cigarettes, ashes, or matches, and the extreme flammability of items found around the home, it’s best to not smoke inside. Also, lighters are not kid-friendly and can lead to home fires started by unsuspecting children out of sheer curiosity. If someone does smoke in the home, they should never smoke in bed and always use sturdy ashtrays and child-proofed lighters.

Clean the Dryer’s Lint Filter Regularly

Home dryer fires are caused by clogged lint filters. That’s why it’s critical to clean them after use — every time. Be sure to make it a habit to inspect the filter before and after each load of laundry. You can also take it a step further and brush the lint filter with a nylon brush to ensure an optimal cleaning. Always replace damaged or worn filters right away to prevent the risk of fire that comes from not using a lint filter at all.

As a homeowner, it’s important to safeguard the safety, peace of mind, and financial well-being of everyone in your household. Contact one of our trusted insurance advisors to learn more about how to prevent home fires, or request a quote online to ensure your home has the right coverage.