What a year it's been so far!
Even with the pandemic the issues of life continue to rear its sometimes ugly head. We have had a couple of clients having a major encounter with fire concerning their homes:
- One lost a home entirely due to fire.
- The other had major damage done to their home also due to fire.
I'll touch on 10 tips on how to prevent a fire in your home.
Before I get into that, let me say something on contractors coming to your home to perform work. This is sometimes a major cause of claims and fires after the contractor has left and completed his work. Make sure that the contractor is licensed in his field of work and carries adequate insurance for the work that he's doing.
- Spontaneous combustion has happened with hardwood floor installers as the glue and sawdust somehow catch fire and cause significant damage to homes.
- Another issue is the increase probability of a fire due to people working from home and trying to juggle Zoom meetings with cooking lunch or dinner. Insurance industries say cooking fires are up in condos and apartments simply because people are at home more.
Here are 10 tips that can help you to prevent a fire:
1. Don't leave your clothing iron or hair straightening iron unattended.
This may be self-explanatory. However, there's a funny way of irons falling over, burning the iron board or the clothing item, and starting a fire.
2. Do you have excess lint in your clothes dryer or in the lint trap? Is the exhaust fan kept to clean?
This stuff is great if you need to start a fire when you're camping but definitely not in your home.
3. Where do you store your paint, solvents, flammable materials?
Please don't say in the furnace room as it has lots of space, and it's a convenient hideaway. This is dangerous and should be stored in an outbuilding away from your home.
4. Do you use a fireplace screen when you are enjoying your fireplace?
I agree the fire looks much better without anything in front of it, until a spark flies and lands on your hand, on the floor or rug. This could lead to the start of a fire. Make sure you keep a screen up to prevent sparks from escaping.
5. Many homes no longer have the traditional chimney but if you do...
It still needs to be cleaned to make sure there isn't any buildup that could lead do a problem within your home.
6. Get a fire extinguisher today!
This is a must. Keep it someplace handy and make sure everyone in the house knows where it is. The fire extinguisher if used right away will prevent major damage to your home as well as it might even save a life.
7. Are you a good cook who is safe?
My wife hates me cooking in the kitchen mainly because she's in over the top clean nut. She regularly reminds me to make sure I turn the handles in as your quick movements to try to get things done could easily knock something over and start a small kitchen fire. It is also a good idea to make sure that the range hoods and windows by the stove are clean to let the smell out. Many times people have curtains there, which have caught on fire.
8. If you like candles be careful not to fall asleep and leave it unattended or burning overnight.
It only makes sense to make sure that you put them out before you go to sleep or if you're feeling sleepy.
9. Many people when they finish their basement have extra outlets down there...
As we all know the value of having extra outlets, so that you can reduce the use of extension cords.
10. Watch for leaves, accumulating around the side of your house, and gutters or even debris.
We have all being a victim of that syndrome of saying "if I had only known, I would have taken care of that earlier."
We all have to be present minded, especially today, in dealing with risks. This is one job that everyone does, even though they may not be a certified risk manager. We are always managing risks such as deciding to go out during a pandemic. Making sure your home is safe for family and friends will require you to be a diligent and aware risk manager.
Let’s stay safe!