This year Fire Prevention Week runs October 6th through 12th. Luckily, we’ve improved in some areas, but we still have a long way to go in others.
The U.S. Fire Administration reports that the number of fires has dropped by 6.2% since 2008, but fires have led to more deaths and substantially higher financial losses. As well, eight out of 10 fire-related deaths occur at home and in almost all cases, they were preventable.
Fortunately, you can take many small, but important actions to keep you and your home safe from fires.
Replace Old Smoke Alarms
When did you buy the smoke alarms in your home? If it’s been more than 10 years, the National Fire Protection Association strongly suggests replacing them.
Otherwise, you’re relying on a device that is beyond its’ useful life. Smoke alarms are less sensitive as they age and old ones may not trigger when you need them the most.
More Is Better
When it comes to smoke alarms, more is definitely better. Fire prevention experts suggest you install at least one on each level of your home and one in (or just outside of) every bedroom.
They’re inexpensive, easy to install, and give you the time you need to get out if a fire ignites in your home. A small fire can turn into a blaze in less than 30 seconds and fire spreads quickly. You may only have a few minutes to safely exit your home.
Create & Practice Your Escape Plan
The NFPA offers detailed information so you can easily create an escape plan. Practice it at least twice annually and include all members of the family (even pets).
Smoke can darken rooms quickly and fire can block exits. Everyone needs to know the plan well so they can take a secondary route if their primary exit isn’t an option. The only way for them to act instinctively is if they practice the plan often.
Be Fire Wise
The top cause of house fires is cooking. Leaving food unattended on the stove while you watch the end of your favourite show or check your email is a recipe for disaster – literally.
The second-most common cause of a fire in the home is a poorly maintained heating system or a space heater. Service your furnace, chimney, and wood-burning appliances annually. Never operate a space heater near flammable materials.
Today, you can buy infrared heaters which offer energy savings and their cabinets are cool to the touch.
Talk to an independent insurance agency like ours. No one can predict a fire, but you can certainly do what you can to reduce risk. It only takes a few minutes for one of our agents to realign your coverage with your needs.
They’ll also look for discounts if anything has changed. Perhaps you’ve quit smoking or installed a central monitoring system in your home to qualify you for a discount. Give us a call and we’ll make sure that you have the right coverage at the best possible rates.