Home Fire Safety and Prevention Guide By Eastern Insurance 10/12/2016 10:36 AM | 0 Comments House fires are the nightmare of every homeowner. One small mistake — a stovetop left on, too much lint in the dryer trap, bedding and linens too close to a space heater — can lead to a fire that destroys your belongings and puts your family in danger.In 2015 alone, there were 365,500 house fires in the US that caused $7 billion of property damage (NFPA). As a homeowner, fire prevention should be at the top of your to-do list. October is Fire Prevention Month. We’ve created a list of reminders to help keep your house and family safe and minimize the possibility of unexpected blazes. Check your home from top to bottom with our tips to ensure that every room is clear of fire hazards (and follow along with Arbella Insurance’s home fire infographic!). In the Kitchen Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and check the batteries every 6 months and change the batteries if they are not working properly. Smoke alarms should be installed on every floor of your home — not just the kitchen! Never leave an oven or stove unattended. While it sounds simple, don’t forget to turn them off after use! Keep your stovetop clean of oil and grease splatters. These substances account for 37% of kitchen fires. Always keep a fire extinguisher in close proximity to flammable appliances in the kitchen. — Operate a fire extinguisher by remembering P.A.S.S: pull the pin, aim the nozzle, squeeze the handle, and sweep from side to side. Remember to check your fire extinguisher’s expiration date! In the Laundry Room Did you know that the buildup of lint in dryers accounts for 4,440 house fires per year? Clean lint screens before every load. Avoid overloading your dryer. Overloading can lead to overheated motors. In the Living Room It’s starting to get chilly at night. If you use a portable space heater, keep it at least 3 feet from other objects. Turn off a portable space heater when you leave a room, turn in for the night or leave the house. If you own a fireplace, inspect and clean the chimney annually and check monthly for damage. A dirty chimney may contain creosote deposits that can easily spark and cause a fire. 75% of chimney fires are caused by creosote buildup! Use a screen to prevent smoldering pieces of logs from rolling onto the floor or rugs. Always make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed. Blow out lighted candles after use. In all rooms, including the Bedroom & Bathroom Check all of your electrical outlets and wires. Frayed wires and old or damaged appliance cords cause fires and should be replaced immediately. Make sure all wires are “clutter free”. No wires should be covered with clothing or other home materials. Turn off and unplug hairdryers and hair straighteners after use. Create an Escape Plan Every second counts if a fire happens in your home. In order to ensure the safety of your entire family, we recommend creating an escape plan and communicating it with all family members. Everyone should know two means of exiting each room of the house, whether through a door or a window. If the bedrooms are on the second floor, do you have window escape ladders? It’s also a good idea to agree on a meeting spot outside and away from your house in case of an evacuation. Practice the escape plan with your family every year so that everyone can act quickly and safely in a fire emergency. Protect It All with Home Insurance By practicing these safety tips, most home fires can be prevented. However, accidents can and do happen. The cost of repairing damages to your home that are caused by fire is covered by homeowner insurance in most cases. Eastern Insurance is here to help. Give us a call at (800) 333-7234 or visit our website to receive a free quote on your home insurance or to discuss any insurance matter.