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  • Writer's picturejoseph retcho

Tips to Prevent House Fires

Updated: May 12, 2023

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Based on our claim data, we've compiled a list of the most common causes of fire-related losses, as well as some things you can take to help prevent them.

One of the leading causes of house fires is faulty wiring and outlets.

  • Examine the electrical cords throughout your home for fraying and replace any that are.

  • Electrical cords should not be pinched or covered with objects such as rugs.

  • Be mindful of your home's electrical system's capabilities. Avoid overloading your circuits. You should contact a licensed electrician if you have any concerns regarding your home's electrical system.

  • Understand the distinction between surge protectors and power strips—both allow you to connect many electrical devices, but only the surge protector will safeguard these items from a power surge. Surge protectors are useful for safeguarding valuable electronic items such as laptops and televisions.

Inattention in the kitchen may also result in a house fire.

  • Never leave pots or pans on the stove unattended.

  • Keep a kitchen fire extinguisher on hand and know how to use it.

  • Maintain the cleanliness of your stove and oven. Food spatter or grease that has accumulated can later ignite when the stove or oven is turned on to cook.

  • Read on for more information on how to avoid cooking fires and what to do if one does occur.

Another common source of house fires is clothes dryers.

  • If you are installing your own dryer vent, use the proper duct material and follow the manufacturer's installation instructions. If you're not sure how to correctly install the vent, consider hiring an expert to do it for you.

  • Clean out the dryer vent on a regular basis.

  • After each load, remove the lint filter.

  • Lint may collect under and behind your dryer, so make sure you clean these areas as well.

Alternative heating sources could also provide a fire risk.

  • Avoid using an outdated space heater since it may lack suitable safety features when compared to newer models. When shopping for a new space heater, look for one that is UL Listed and consider the safety features.

  • Place a space heater away from furniture, drapes, and other items that could catch fire.

  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions if you intend to install an alternative heating system, such as a wood or pellet stove. If you're not sure how to correctly install the system, consider hiring an expert to do it for you.

  • Before installing a wood or pellet stove, be sure it is legal in your state and municipality.

Dirty chimneys can also cause a fire.

  • Have your chimney inspected by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney sweep on a yearly basis. Have a professional clean and repair the chimney as needed, especially before the cold weather arrives and you will be using it frequently.

  • Only use seasoned wood. Never burn damp or green wood.

  • Never burn cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, rubbish, or trees in your fireplace—all of these items might start a chimney fire.

Need help? Contact us and get your home insurance coverage quote.

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