October is National Fire Prevention MonthOct 6th, 2023
The importance of fire prevention is emphasized every year in Canada with Fire Prevention Month. This dedicated month is a reminder for us to be vigilant and protect ourselves, our homes, and our belongings against the devastating effects of fires.
Fire Prevention Month helps us all come together and raise awareness of home fire hazards and how to mitigate the risks.
Top 5 Fire Hazards in the Home and How to Prevent Them
1. Electrical Problems
Faulty wiring and malfunctioning appliances are some of the most common causes of house fires. To prevent these issues, make sure all electrical systems are up to code. Promptly investigate and repair signs of problems like flickering lights, sparks, outlets that get hot to the touch and outlets that stop working. Appliances that spark or give off smoke should be repaired or replaced.
2. Cooking Incidents
Kitchens have a high risk of fires because they include heat, open flames, and flammable materials. Reduce your risk of cooking-related fires by monitoring stovetops, keeping flammable objects like paper towels and cookbooks away from heat sources and keeping a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Don’t forget to educate family members on the importance of fire safety and how to use the extinguisher.
3. Heating Appliances
You can’t do without a heat source during the harsh Ontario winter, but you can mitigate the fire risk it can pose. Get faulty furnaces fixed promptly and avoid using space heaters for general heating. If you must use a space heater, keep it a meter away from anything flammable, set it up on a sturdy surface so it won’t tip and avoid using extension cords.
4. Candles and Other Open Flames
Candles create a cozy atmosphere, but they are also a leading cause of house fires. Be sure to use a fireproof candle holder, keep lit candles away from curtains and other flammable and put candles out before leaving the room. Consider using flameless candles as a safer alternative.
Even though fewer people smoke than in times past, cigarettes, cigars, and similar items are still significant causes of house fires. The safest solution is to avoid smoking in the house and use outdoor spaces like a back patio. The next-best solution is to keep plenty of large ashtrays handy and empty them frequently.
What to Do if a Fire Starts in Your Home: Your Family Fire Safety Plan
No matter how careful you are, there is still a chance of a fire emergency. Having a fire safety plan in place can save your life and the lives of your family members. Here are a few key elements your plan should include:
1. Call 911 and remain calm.
The sooner a call is made to emergency services, the quicker help can arrive.
2. Know your escape routes.
Identify pathways to escape from multiple rooms of a burning house, and practice leaving that way so they’re not too unfamiliar if an emergency happens. Also, designate a meeting place outdoors so that it’s easy to check if everyone has made it out.
3. Inspect your smoke alarms.
Install smoke alarms throughout your home and test them regularly. Test your smoke detector batteries twice a year. A good rule of thumb is to conduct a test every time the clocks move forward or back.
4. Check all fire extinguishers.
Install fire extinguishers in key locations like the kitchen, hallways, and utility room. Teach everyone who is old enough to hold one so they can use it properly.
5. Teach “Stop, Drop, and Roll”.
This method is used to extinguish the flames quickly when your clothes are on fire. Teach it to the entire family because you never know if it will come in handy one day.
6. Stay Low in Smoke.
Heat and smoke both rise. By crawling along the floor in smoky areas, you reduce your risk of being overcome by smoke inhalation.
7. Close Doors.
Closing doors reduces air transfer between rooms, which slows the spread of fire. This can give you more time to escape.
8. Hold fire drills.
Fire drills aren’t just for school. By conducting drills at home, your entire family will stay familiar with the escape plan and procedures that should be used in case of a fire.
Protections in Your Home Insurance Policy if You Experience a Fire
Despite all precautions, house fires can still happen. It is essential to know and understand what protections your home insurance policy provides in case of a blaze. The most common types of coverage:
Dwelling Coverage – This pays for repairing or rebuilding the physical structure of your house.
Personal Property Coverage – Protects your belongings, such as clothes and electronics inside the house.
Additional Living Expenses (ALE) Coverage – If your home is made uninhabitable by a fire, this coverage pays for temporary living expenses such as hotel costs and other rental expenses.
Liability Coverage – If a fire results in injury to someone else, this insurance can help cover medical or legal costs.
High-Value Item Coverage – If you own one or more items with a value exceeding what is covered by regular personal property coverage, make sure to add this coverage to your policy.
Get in Touch with an Insurance Broker
As Fire Prevention Month emphasizes the importance of physically protecting our homes and lives, it is also a reminder to make sure your home insurance policy is up to date.
Our team at Duliban Insurance will guide you through your home insurance policy and make sure you have the proper coverage in the event of a fire or other disasters. We are happy to help answer any of your questions. Contact us today!
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