House fire 1-2-3

Is your home fire safe? Have you thought about what you can do to prevent a fire from happening? Do you have a plan for if there is a fire?

At Turners Tips we believe that the best way to keep your insurance costs down is not have a claim in the first place. So here's some risk management tips to help you control your potential for a home fire:

Bedroom

  • Do you use candles? Never, ever leave them unattended.
  • Do you have an emergency escape ladder for rooms on the second storey?
  • Do you sleep with the door closed? If so then you should have a smoke alarm in your room. If not, then there should be one on the same floor.


Kitchen

  • Do you keep a lid nearby when cooking in a pot? You do this so that if a fire does start in that pot then you can quickly cover it.
  • Is there a fire extinguisher in the kitchen? Do you know how to use it? Is it recharged and/or checked on a regular basis?


Smoke and carbon monoxide detector

  • Do you have at least one on every floor, including the basement?
  • There are two types of smoke detectors - ionization and photoelectric. You should have at least one of each type in your home.
  • How old are your smoke detectors? If you can't remember then you should replace them. The maximum life of a smoke detector is 10 years.
  • Your smoke detector should be checked every month. Even the wired-in type should be checked on a regular basis and the battery-type should get a fresh battery at least once a year.
  • A carbon monoxide detector should be located near your bedroom areas. Having one of these is very important if you have any type of heating device such as a forced air natural gas furnace, hot water heater, fireplace - in other words, every home should have one.


Whole house area

  • Replace old, worn out cords. A frayed cord is just inviting trouble and they are relatively inexpensive.
  • If you have a fireplace then you should have a good screen made out of metal or glass. Yes, burns to the rug would be covered under insurance but remember, you have a deductible. The worst case scenario is when that small burn ignites the carpet or drapes and now you face an inferno.
  • Make sure that you have adequate wiring. An older home will have problems dealing with all the new high-powered technology. It can cause problems for your computer system as well. So consider an upgrade.
  • Do an inventory of your contents. It is best if you never need to use it but if there is a fire you will need to list every item either destroyed or damaged. Keep a copy off site.


Limit damage

  • If this is a wildfire situation, follow the instructions of your local emergency community response center.
  • Have an evacuation plan. Everyone in the family needs to know two exits out of the home.
  • Check your regional news for updates on your situation.
  • Keep flammable items such as propane tanks away from buildings.
  • Have an emergency evacuation kit ready.
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