Fire Prevention Tips

A fire is one of the most devastating things that a person can experience. The primary concern, of course, is that everyone escapes unharmed. Following that, ensuring that prized possessions such as photos and family heirlooms are safe is a natural secondary reaction. Not every fire can be prevented, but there are steps we can take to reduce the possibility, and preparations we can make to minimize the damage.

How can I prevent a house fire?

The first thing you can do is to assess any fire hazards in your home, and correct or remove them. Check around any source of heat. A safe space of three-feet is the recommended distance between a heat source and potentially flammable materials such as boxes or papers.

How can I make sure my wood stove or fireplace is safe?

It’s essential that your heater, wood stove, fireplace, etc. be cleaned and serviced regularly to ensure that it is in prime working order, and that there is no danger of fire hazard due to malfunction, blocked flue and the like. A yearly cleaning by a professional can help ensure safe operation.

Can space heaters cause fires?

Space heaters can be a simple solution to rising heating costs and a convenient option, but they can also be a fire hazard. If possible, position space heaters on top of ceramic flooring as opposed to carpet and other flammable variants. Never leave a space heater unattended. Make sure to shut your space heater off when you leave the room. For convenience and safety, some space heaters are equipped with automatic shut off.

Are candles a safe option during a power outage?

When conditions cause power outages, candles are a common go-to, but again, these alternative light sources can also be a hazard. Electric or hand-generated lamps and flashlights are the preferred solution. It’s crucial that, if you do choose to use candles, you don’t leave them unattended and that you don’t allow them to burn through the night.

How can I make sure electrical outlets and extension cords don’t cause a fire?

Overloading can cause electrical fires. A common hazard that many of us create out of the simple desire for convenience is that of overloading electrical outlets and extensions. The best and safest solution is to have adequate wall outlets, and to minimize the number of items plugged into each.

Is smoking a fire hazard?

Smoker? Smoking outdoors is your best bet when it comes to preventing a house fire. Make sure to use a proper glass or ceramic ashtray to extinguish your butts. To ensure that they are safely extinguished, douse them thoroughly with water.

How can I fire-proof my home?

Two essential tools to have on hand in the fight to prevent house fires are smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. Fire alarms should be installed on each level of the house. The number of alarms you have should be determined by the space and shape of your home. Install alarms so that a fire started in any area of your house can be quickly and easily detected. Test alarms monthly, and replace batteries once a year on a specific and memorable date (i.e. birthday, holiday), and use a calendar to remind you of that date.

Fire extinguishers should be kept in a visible and accessible place. Kitchens are a logical spot to place an extinguisher, as stoves are a common source for fires. It is recommended that, if your fire extinguisher has a gauge, its pressure is checked on a regular basis, and that any extinguisher be checked frequently for signs of damage such as rust, leakage, etc.

How can my kids help in case of a fire?

If you have children in the house, keep matches and lighters out of their reach, if possible, in a locked cabinet. Not only can this help prevent a house fire, but it helps keep kids safe in general.

Adults know to call 9-1-1 in case of an emergency, but do your children? As fast action can save lives and minimize damage, make sure to have the 9-1-1 talk with them. Of course, it’s a bit of a balancing act to help a child determine when to call and when not to call, but dialing the emergency number when a fire is the cause for concern is a safe bet.

The bottom line is that educating ourselves and our children about fire prevention only works if we put what we know into action. A talk with a Cooke Insurance agent can help determine what the best course of action for you is when it comes to coverage. In the unfortunate event of a house fire, knowing that you have a policy in place to help rebuild and restore can go a long to adding security to your situation and alleviating some of the stress from a very stressful situation. In a time of uncertainty, Cooke agents have solid experience in dealing with these situations. Call 1-800-566-5666  to talk to a Cooke agent or click here for our Staff directory.



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