How to Prepare For House Fires
A fire can be devastating to your home. In 2015, there were 1,345,500 fires reported in the US alone. These fires resulted in 3,280 deaths and 15,700 injuries. There was a total of $14.3 billion in property damage. Fires can destroy the property and its contents, and it can be life threatening. If your home catches on fire, you have approximately 2 minutes to safely get out. Preparing for a fire before it happens will help make sure your family is safe in case it even happens. You should also take steps to prevent fires from happening as well. Preparing your home is relatively simple and straightforward, but a little preparation can go a long way!
How to Prevent Fires
These tips could help you prevent fires from happening in your home. The best method to fire safety is prevention. Hopefully, the steps you take to prevent fires will be enough to stop it.
- Install Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms will warn you of any excessive smoke. It’s loud enough to wake you from sleep at night too. Place them on every floor of your home. Target bedrooms and other sleeping areas.
- Test your smoke alarm monthly
Each month, check your smoke alarm to make sure that it is still working and the batteries still have power. If not, change the batteries.
- Practice home fire drills
Go over different exit routes and various situations. In the event of a fire, your family should feel confident that they know an escape route. You should also practice these at night when there is limited visibility.
- Always turn off the oven before you leave
Sometimes it can be easy to forget if you’ve left the oven on. Always make sure that the oven and stove are off before you leave. Leaving the oven on can start a fire while you are away.
- Put out candles and fires
Always remember to put out candles before you leave your home or go to bed. It’s possible that the candle’s fire accidentally lights something on fire. The same should be applied to fires in fireplaces. These fires should be always be extinguished if they are not being supervised.
- Have a fire extinguisher in your home
A fire extinguisher will help dissolve smaller fires. You should replace your fire extinguisher regularly because they can expire. You want to make sure it is ready to be used in case of an emergency.
Create a Fire Safety Plan
A fire safety plan will prepare you and your family in case a fire doesn’t happen. A fire safety plan is simply a plan on what you should do in the event your home catches on fire. These are some tips to help your family come up with a course of actions:
- Locate at least 2 escape points from each room. That way, if the fire blocks one, there is still another way out.
- If you have young children, designate one person to get small children out quickly.
- Teach children how to crawl under smoke, and how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothes catch on fire.
- Teach children to feel doors before opening them in a fire. If the door is hot, there is fire on the other side.
- Pick a location to meet once everyone gets outside.
- Close doors on your way out. This will slow the spread of fire.
- Make sure windows open properly and screens can be removed easily and quickly.
Homeowners Insurance and Fires
It’s important to have a homeowners insurance policy in case a fire occurs. The insurance company can help financially protect you from losses and damage from the fire. It’s a good idea to keep a copy of important documents, receipts, and a home inventory in a secondary location outside of your home. This way, if a fire ravages your home, you have proof of inventory in a secure location. Unlike flood insurance, a homeowners insurance policy will likely cover soma damage caused by fire. It’s important to speak to your insurance agent about your coverage limits. They can help you find a policy that will best protect your home and family.
If your home catches on fire, call 911 right away. Alerting the fire department quickly can make a significant difference. A small fire can become a huge one in less than a minute. Hopefully, you will never experience a fire, but in case one ever happens, you’ll be ready.
Call and Encharter agent at 888.754.8299 to speak to an agent about a homeowners insurance policy! We’re here to address any questions or concerns you may have!