Did you know that the National Fire Protection Association recorded more than 350,000 house fires across the US in 2016? Fires can spread quickly in the home, and if not put out quickly, they can be completely devastating. While most Minnesota homeowners are used to protecting against harsh winter weather, fire safety should also be at the top of your list. As your trusted independent home insurance agents, we want to make sure you and your loved ones are protected from common fire threats. In addition to investing in comprehensive home insurance, we suggest being prepared for the worst and following fire prevention best practices.
The 7 Most Common Causes of Home Fires
1. Portable Heaters
It is not uncommon to use portable heaters in Minnesota homes for a good part of the year. But most portable heaters are at risk of tipping over if not set-up properly or if they’re left unattended. Remember when setting up your trusty heater to keep it away from flammable items like furniture or curtains and never leave it running unattended.
2. Cooking Accidents
Even the most experienced cooks can run into issues in the kitchen, but it’s always a good idea to follow a few simple safety rules to avoid a cooking fire. Never keep hand towels or potholders near the stove top while its on. Additionally, remember that grease fires can break out quickly and should be put out with an extinguisher or by smothering the fire.
Although they can be great for the ambiance in almost any room in your home, candles pose a great fire risk. Help reduce the risk of a candle fire by always burning them in a fire safe jar or dish. Also, remember to burn candles at a safe distance from flammable fabrics and never leave a lit candle unattended.
4. Electrical Outlets
Electrical fires are also very common in the home, but they can be prevented by following a few simple safety precautions. For example, pay close attention to the recommended outlet rules for large appliances. Typically, large appliances like a refrigerator or an a/c unit should be the only item plugged into an outlet. Additionally, remember to only use extension cords as a temporary solution and beware of overloading them as well.
5. Dryer Vents
Not only does a clean vent keep your dryer performing better; but it can also help to prevent a fast-moving fire from breaking out. If you leave the dryer vent to build up with lint, the heat that’s used to dry your clothes can easily start a fire. So err on the side of caution and clean it out after every load.
6. Flammable Liquids
Whether you have leftover paint from your last DIY project sitting out in the garage or you haven’t found the right spot to store your cleaning solutions, it’s important to make sure that flammable liquids are stored safely away after each use. Additionally, old rags that have been used in maintenance projects pose a great fire hazard, so make sure they are cleaned or disposed of properly.
7. Outdoor Cooking
Grilling too close to your house can start a fire. Additionally, a dirty outdoor grill can be home to lots of grease buildup. Not only can grease cause your grill to malfunction but it can easily catch fire as well. Be smart about how you use your grill and make sure it’s clean after every meal.
Practice Fire Safety Year Round to Protect Your Home
With the right level of home insurance coverage, you can protect your home and loved ones from a fire. Want more info on the benefits of a comprehensive insurance policy? Visit Patriot Insurance Agency online and request a quote today!