Last year alone, 1.2 million fires in the United States caused more than $11.6 billion in property damage. Many disasters are unpredictable, such as wildfires, but other types of fires can often be preventable. Read on to see if you are making any of these fire hazard mistakes so that you can keep your property safe.
Leaving the Lights on When You Are Away
Not only is this a fire hazard, but this also causes your electricity bill to spike. Lightbulbs are prone to heating up very quickly, which can ignite a fire. In addition, we often buy lamps thinking that they meet all safety regulations, but they can also be fire hazards. To be safe, turn all your lights off when they are not in use.
Improper Use of Extension Cords
This can happen in the following ways:
- Too many objects are plugged into a single extension cord (this can be especially common during holidays when decorations are set up)
- Plugging extension cords into each other to lengthen them
- Running extension cords beneath doorways and carpets
- Plugging large appliances such as washing machines into extension cords
Not Conducting Frequent Chimney Cleaning
Animals can build their nests in chimneys, which results in a pileup of flammable debris. Creosote, a substance that builds up in frequently used fireplaces, is also extremely flammable. Hiring a professional to clean your chimneys can help with these issues.
Improper Use of Space Heaters
Some common mistakes when using space heaters in fall and winter include:
- Placing them too close to curtains, clothing, bedding, and other items on the floors
- Using coil heaters improperly – coil heaters are particularly dangerous because their exteriors can get very hot
If problem areas are properly insulated, this removes the need for space heaters. Adding extra heating ducts or radiators to areas lacking in heat can also help. If you must purchase space heaters, ensure that they have timers and other automatic shut-off features for when they get tipped over.
Doing Your Own Electrical Work
Some things should really be left to professionals. If you are not a certified or licensed electrician, attempting to do your own electrical work could go very wrong. There are many steps and precautions to be taken during electrical work that you – or your employees – may not be aware of. You must hire a licensed or certified professional electrician to attempt all work.
Using Old Appliances or Using Appliances Wrongly
The safety standards and features of appliances can change often. The use of outdated or old appliances can be particularly dangerous as these appliances may not meet the most recent safety requirements. Purchase new appliances when possible, keeping up to date on rebates through government programs for appliances that are water/energy efficient. Refrain from crowding large appliances together, as they can produce heat even when not turned on.
Keeping Safe from Fire
Quick-moving and highly spreadable, fires can destroy a property within minutes. Habits like turning the lights off when not in use are simple ways for you to ensure that your property is safe. For insurance coverage, it is also good to know if your state is a standard fire policy state.
Need to file a fire damage claim? Look no further than Stone Claims Group Inc.’s professional public adjusters.