Nearly every day in the news we hear of a disaster involving fire. Whether wildfires raging across thousands of acres or a single-family dwelling engulfed in flames, this kind of news leaves us feeling vulnerable and helpless.
We’ve experienced colder-than-normal temperatures here in SW LA, many days bordering on frigid, therefore fire safety comes to mind.
We mentioned a few tips in our Holiday Safety Tips article like checking the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and unplugging electric heaters, but let’s see if there are other things important to fire safety we can share with you….
*Have your electrical box and wiring checked and/or updated. This may seem like an extravagant expense, but think of the cost should you have a fire and lose a loved one because of faulty wiring.
*Have your central unit cleaned and serviced before turning the heater on. We all know that awful smell of dust burning off the heating coils of our central unit. Having it serviced can help avoid this and assure you it is safe for the season.
*Keep your fireplace/chimney clean and serviced annually. Same goes for a wood-burning stove.
*Should the power go out, do not use generators inside the home!
*Keep drapes away from electrical cords, outlets and space heaters.
*Make sure connections to propane or natural gas appliances are properly tightened and do regular checks for leaks around fittings and/or old pipes.
*Be careful not to overload your electrical system. Today’s modern families are overrun with electronics – televisions, iPads, iPhones, Wii’s and other video/electronic game centers. Each of these need to be plugged in and/or charged. Often, we grab a multi-plug adapter or power bar not realizing the strain on our electrical system. Limit the use of extension cords for this same reason.
Space heaters are the #1 cause of house fires. Here are some tips to help you avoid using them if possible.
*Keep the drafts out! Caulking and/or replacing old windows (and doors) can help keep the elements out and warmth in without you having to resort to the use of electric or gas space heaters when temperatures drop as they have this year. Changing from old wooden or aluminum windows to energy efficient ones may qualify you for a discount on your home insurance so be sure to let your agent know if you do this.
*Close off vents in unused rooms. Warming (or cooling) a room that is not in use on a regular basis can save on heating costs and keep the other rooms a bit more comfortable, again limiting or avoiding the use of space heaters.
*If your house is on piers, insulate underneath and use plywood around the crawl space to block cold winds.
Along with implementing these ideas, have an escape route and designated place for family members to gather in case of a fire or other disaster.
These are several ways to improve upon fire safety, but one of the most important things you can do is maintain adequate insurance on your home & personal property and life insurance on your family. If you’re in the market for either, or both, please give us a call and we’ll get ’cha covered!
Until next time take care and remember, safety (fire and otherwise) begins at home, with you.
Tommy Curtis and Staff.
Is an insurance agent with integrity and your best interest in mind. Call to speak directly to him.
Address: 509 7th Street
Lake Charles, LA 70601
Office Hours: M-F 9a - 5p (CST)