Home fires pose a severe and often deadly threat in the United States. Last year alone, over 330,000 home property fires occurred, encompassing one- or two-family homes, apartments, and other multifamily housing. Although these home fires represented just 25% of all fires in the U.S., they were responsible for a staggering three-quarters of civilian fire-related fatalities and 76% of injuries. Moreover, these fires led to nearly $13 billion in direct property damage.
To mitigate these risks and ensure safety, it’s crucial to take proactive measures:
- Plan Ahead:
Prepare for the worst-case scenario. Ensure that everyone in your home knows what to do in case of a fire emergency.
Maintain accessible fire extinguishers within your home.
Keep all exits from every room clear, windows readily openable, and screens removable.
For those with disabilities, ensure that doorways can accommodate wheelchairs or walkers.
Practice your escape plan at least twice a year.
- Maintain Smoke Alarms:
Smoke alarms are your best early warning system for detecting fires in your home.
According to the NFPA, almost three out of five home fire deaths occurred in properties with either no smoke alarms or non-operational ones.
Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home, including the basement.
- Closely Monitor Stoves and Grills:
In the kitchen, never leave a stove unattended, as open flames and hot electric burners pose a significant fire risk.
On the patio, keep grills at least ten feet away from siding, deck railings, and clear of gutters and overhanging branches.
Never use grills inside a garage or any other enclosed structure.
- Carefully Operate Fireplaces, Woodstoves, and Space Heaters:
Homes equipped with fireplaces, woodstoves, or portable space heaters face an elevated risk of home fires.
Clean your fireplace and woodstove chimneys annually and use a sturdy fireplace screen to prevent rolling logs and flying sparks.
Never leave the house or go to bed without extinguishing the fire first.
- Watch Over Children:
Children are naturally curious about fire, making it crucial to educate them about the dangers of fire.
Store matches and lighters out of their reach and sight.
Never leave children unattended near open flames, such as a gas stove or candles, even for a moment.
In case you or someone you know experiences a fire or other loss at their home or business, the professionals at Hooten and Associates are here to provide assistance in securing the best possible settlement from your insurance coverage.
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