August 17, 2016

Fire prevention and protection

One of the most destructive forms of property damage is fire damage.  Fires can destroy your home, damage your possessions, and put your loved ones in danger. For fire prevention and protection purposes, there are a few common sense habits you can get yourself into to minimize the chances of putting yourself and your family through a house fire.

How to prevent house fires


A large percentage of fires in the home are related to cooking.  Grease, in particular, can cause a small flame to spread quickly, and is a dangerous accelerant.   Although cooking fires are the most common, they are also easily prevented.  Make sure your cooking area is clean before each time you cook. No food or residue from the last time you cooked should be near the burners, on the grate, or on the base of your oven. Another reason these fires can become out of control is simply lack of attendance. Make sure to always keep an eye on stove top or grill cooking, and don’t leave the house when cooking in the oven. These are steps that can easily be employed for purposes of fire prevention and protection.

Plumbing, heating, and air

The condition of your plumbing, heating, and air conditioning can also be a major contributor to house fires. Make sure to have regular annual checks by a professional. Have your equipment professionally checked and serviced, and if you have a fireplace, get it cleaned each year. You could even be entitled to discounts on your insurance if you make this maintenance a part of your budget each year. If you live in a warm climate, you may not use central heating, since you have an infrequent use for heat. If you use space heaters, use them sparingly. Only use them when you are in the room that they are being used in, and be careful about knocking them over. Space heaters can cause fires very quickly, and these often go unnoticed until it is too late.

Electrical wiring

The most dangerous house fires start behind the walls.  Learn to look for red flags, such as your electricity shutting off regularly. If you have to flip the breaker on a regular basis, you should hire a professional immediately to look into the reasoning behind this. This could easily be a pre-house fire symptom. Also, be careful of using extension cords for extended periods of time.  If you are, check on them daily and when possible, unplug them before leaving the house or for an extended period each day (for example, overnight).

Use common sense

You’d be amazed the sheer amount of house fires that are caused by homeowners that simply aren’t paying attention. All it takes is the slightest negligence towards taking care of your home; if you turn your back towards an unsafe situation, you could find an uncontrollable fire moments later.

Fire protection

Unfortunately, even if we do everything right, there is sometimes still not way to prevent a house fire. This is when fire protection comes in. This is just as simple as prevention – it requires items found in every home. These items include extinguishers, sprinklers, and alarms, and provide all the fire protection your home needs.

At the end of the day, when it’s time to move past the incident, you’ll want the right kind of coverage from your insurance company: you’ll want a paid-for contractor, and to feel comfortable that all the repairs your home needs are done, and done well. Therefore, it is incredibly important that you check your insurance policy to be sure about what you will be covered for.

If you want more detailed information about fire prevention and protection, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has some here.

You may also be interested in:

4 Fire Insurance Policy Tips
How to Handle Fire Damage