The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) has declared October 9 through October 15, Fire Prevention Week. This year’s theme is “Don’t Wait - Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years.” This is part of a three-year effort by the NFPA to educate the public about basic smoke alarm safety. Having a working smoke alarm can save your life.
Fire Prevention Week was originally established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. That devastating fire killed 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 buildings, and burned over 2,000 acres. Not every fire is that large and destructive but they all have the power to be devastating.
Home Fire Prevention Tips
More than 3,400 people are killed in home fires each year. Simple steps can keep you and your family safe and your home standing. Follow these tips to prevent a house fire.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, especially in bedrooms.
- Test your smoke alarm every month. If it doesn’t work, change the batteries or change the alarm.
- Have a fire escape plan and practice it with your family twice a year.
- If a fire happens, get out and stay out. Call for help, but don’t run back inside.
Certain activities are magnets for potential fires.
- Don’t leave a burner or stovetop unattended while cooking. If you have to leave the room, turn off the burner. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher readily available in your kitchen.
- Have your central heating system professionally inspected each fall to catch potential problems that could cause a fire.
- If you use a space heater, make sure you give it three feet of clear space on all sides to prevent a fire.
- Require that smokers go outside and douse their cigarette butts with water before throwing them in the trash. Don’t allow butts to be thrown on the ground.
- Check your electrical cords periodically. Replace frayed cords and don’t overload electrical outlets with too many items.
- Avoid using traditional candles if you can. Battery-operated lights are safer. If you must light a candle, do not leave it unattended and don’t burn them in your bedroom.
No one wants to think a fire can happen in their home. And this isn’t just about avoiding an insurance claim or the loss of your property. Fire prevention saves lives - yours, your family, and your pets. Be mindful of different fire hazards in your home all year long, but use this week to double check your smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and fire escape plan. Educate your entire family so that everyone stays safe.
If you have questions about your current home insurance policy and what’s covered in the event of a fire, contact us at Charlotte Insurance. We’re happy to help you have a better understanding of fire safety and your homeowner’s insurance.