Start Off the New Year with These Fire and Flood Safety Tips! (part 1)
As the new year begins, you’ve probably already started to give some thought to your New Year’s resolutions. In addition to hitting the gym more or learning how to tap dance, we encourage you to also resolve to work a little harder on fire and water safety. Both fire and flooding plagued many home and business owners throughout the nation in 2017, and we want to do our part to help you protect your loved ones in 2018 and beyond. This two-part series will explore how you can take measures to prevent fires and floods from happening, how to stay safe in the event that fire or flooding does occur, and how to deal with the aftermath.
Fire Safety in the New Year
Every year, fires take the lives of more than 4,000 Americans. On top of this, another 25,000 Americans are injured in fires. The majority of these fire-related deaths and injuries (over 80 percent) occur within the home. Direct losses associated with fires are estimated at nearly $8.6 billion annually. These facts make it very clear that fire safety is not to be taken lightly – especially when you consider the fact that the majority of home fires are preventable.
Unattended candles, electrical wiring, cooking accidents, and space heaters are among the leading causes of fires inside the home. With this knowledge in mind, it’s easy to start formulating an actionable plan for preventing fires from occurring within your residence. Here are a few expert tips to help you get started on your own fire prevention and safety list:
- Candles – Burning candles and incense can lead to house fires. When left unattended, these seemingly small heat sources can ignite combustible materials nearby, or begin the smoldering process. Candles can also be tipped over by people, pets, or even a draft. Instead of burning candles, you might consider using a candle warmer in order to enjoy the aroma without an open flame. If you must burn a candle with an open flame, you should make sure that the candle is located on a flat, sturdy surface away from flammable materials. Never leave an open flame unattended and always extinguish candles before leaving the home or retiring for the evening.
- Electrical Wiring – It’s in your best interest to frequently inspect your cords and extension cords for any frayed or exposed wires. You should also check out your electrical outlets to make sure that cover plates are present and that no wiring has been exposed. Avoid overloading extension cords or outlets.
- Cooking – When cooking, avoid wearing long or loose-fitting sleeves that could come into contact with the flame from a stove. Be sure to keep materials like pot holders, paper towels, and cookbooks away from flames or sources of heat. Never leave your cooking unattended and always make sure that you turn off your burners and your oven when finished.
- Space Heaters – If using space heaters during the colder months, be sure to keep them at least three feet away from combustible materials and always turn them off when no one is present in the room.
Not all fires are preventable and even the most diligent homeowners find themselves the victims of a house fire. It’s imperative, then, that your home is equipped with functioning smoke detectors at all times. Be sure to check the batteries frequently to ensure that your detectors are in good working order. It’s also wise to have a charged fire extinguisher on hand. Make sure that you and your family have an evacuation plan in case of a fire, and that everyone knows where to meet once they have safely evacuated the home. We would actually suggest that you install smoke/CO detector combos throughout your home, as these can save you from both fire damage and carbon monoxide poisoning.
In the event that a fire causes damage to your home, you’ll need to have the damages assessed and repaired right away. Call the team at Abbotts Fire & Flood for thorough and compassionate care, as well as a free estimate. And be sure to check out part two of this series, where we’ll explore how to prevent and protect against flooding in 2018.