Owning a home is a big milestone in many people’s lives. When it comes to protecting that investment, it’s important to understand the risks owning a home exposes you to. One common risk all homeowners should be aware of is the potential for a house fire. We’ve prepared a few fire safety tips that every homeowner should consider as part of their home safety planning!
Why Is Home Fire Safety Important?
Between 2013 and 2017, there were over 350,000 home fires reported. Like flooding and flood damage, fire can cause major damage, with these five years totaling $7 billion worth of property damage done.
Home fire safety is critical to keep your family safe and to avoid major property damage. Fires can start and spread throughout your home in minutes. Without the proper safety precautions, you may not be able to safely evacuate. The longer a fire burns, the more complete its destruction may be – leading you to losing your home! Additionally, Michigan is full of historic homes that may need updating to their fire safety, from homes in a big city like Detroit to the historic beauty of buildings around Adrian, MI.
Fire damage is often preventable with just some basic protections and safety planning!
Fire Safety Tips for Homeowners
Install & Maintain Your Smoke Detectors
The biggest risk of a fire is how subtly they can begin. An electrical spark, tipped over candle, or other accidental fire can happen in empty rooms of the home or when you aren’t paying attention. By the time you may see fire or smoke, it may be too late to control! Every home should have smoke detectors in the most critical locations, including:
- At least one on every floor of the home
- Every bedroom
- Near fire-based appliances
- Utility rooms
Smoke detectors near common sources of fire, like kitchens or dryers are crucial for quick responses to fires as soon as they begin. For bedrooms, they’re necessary to help you stay alert of smoke or fire in your home when you’re resting!
Installing smoke detectors is only one part of this critical fire safety tip! Smoke detectors should be regularly checked to ensure that they are functional several times throughout the year. When their batteries begin to run low, they make a distinctive chirping sound to let you know. However, it’s possible for you to be out of the home when a smoke detector begins to signal its low battery. The more frequently you test your detectors, the more reliable they will be!
Be Alert When Cooking
As fire safety tips go, making sure you stay alert when in the kitchen is the best thing you can do to prevent a home fire. Almost half of all fires in the home start in the kitchen. An unattended dinner cooking in the oven or a gas range accidentally turned on can lead to a necessary evacuation in the time it takes you to take a phone call in the other room!
Here are some important fire safety tips to prevent kitchen fires in your home:
Grease Fires – Anyone who cooks should know how to deal with grease fires! Overheated grease can catch fire suddenly and handling it may seem counterintuitive to newer home chefs. If you attempt to douse a grease fire, the water will not quell it. The only way to stop a grease fire is to deprive it of oxygen, so always have a lid handy to cover the pan and let it die.
Oven Fire – If something in your oven catches fire, keep it closed! Like a grease fire, the best way to stop an oven fire is to deprive the flame of oxygen. Your oven is designed to handle high heats, so it should protect your home until the fire dies out. A severe enough oven fire may require help, so call the fire department while you evacuate to ensure it’s safely put out.
Child Safety – Gas range knobs are just in reach for many young children who love to explore with their hands. An accidental ignition could turn into a consuming house fire. Look online to find child safety covers or other solutions to prevent your young family members from accidentally starting the range.
Stay on Top of Maintenance for Heat-Generating Appliances
Everything from clothes dryers to fireplaces are potential home fire hazards if not properly cleaned and repaired when necessary. Fire and heating appliances are designed to handle heat, but that doesn’t mean they’re immune to potential home fire risks!
Dryer fires tend to happen due to a lack of cleaning. Lint buildup in either in the lint trap or the vent can ignite when exposed to the high heat of a running dryer. The more clogged a dryer vent is, the more heat will build and lead to a potential fire.
Likewise, fireplaces are a potential home fire risk for several reasons. Creosote is the biggest concern when it comes to fireplaces. This is a byproduct of combustion that accumulates over time, often high in the flue or chimney. Creosote can ignite suddenly and burns at extremely high temperatures. Creosote ignition can damage the flue or masonry, making the next fire you burn potentially able to leak heat to nearby wood or carpentry, causing a house fire!
While you should take care to maintain all your home appliances, those involved with heating elements or used with fire are some of the most dangerous to ignore. Always stay up to date with inspections, cleanings and repairs!
Homeowner’s Insurance for Fire Damage
In the event of a fire in your home, your homeowner’s insurance can help mitigate the financial burden of repairing and replacing lost items or your lost home. In many cases, fires destroy enough of a home’s structural components that a complete rebuild is necessary! During these rebuilds, you’ll need a place to stay, funds to replace lost necessities like clothing, and of course the expenses of the rebuild.
We can help you better understand how homeowner’s insurance protects your family following a house fire. Contact us to learn more about getting the best homeowner’s insurance policy for your house!
Contact Iott Insurance for a Quote Today
Iott Insurance has been a part of southeast Michigan for over 50 years. We can help you plan your insurance needs and find you the right policies or plans to protect you.
Or you can visit one of our three offices in southeast Michigan:
Blissfield, MI – (517) 628-4574
Lambertville, MI – (734) 807-3825
Petersburg, MI – (734) 215-9884
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