The word fire strikes fear in many of us. It’s something that can start so easily and spread so quickly, and it can destroy homes and shatter lives.
When a fire takes hold, it can cause loss of life, structural damage to wood and brick, smoke damage to ceilings, walls, and furnishings, and destruction of the possessions within, both material and sentimental.
Yet many fires that occur in our homes or business are preventable. Let’s take a minute to learn how to reduce risk, preserve life and protect your home and business. Here are our top tips on keeping you, your family, your home, and your business free from fire.
Not only are installing smoke detectors an essential part of keeping your family and home safe, but you should also have one installed on every level of the home or workplace. Bedroom alarms are especially important because if a fire breaks out while you’re asleep, smoke damage will be fatal. Remember to check the alarms monthly, and replace the batteries twice per year, and consider having the alarms wired to the mains.
Having a small fire extinguisher in an easily accessible spot in the house or office is wise. Remember that some extinguishers are suitable for electrical fires and others are better for fires caused by cooking. Extinguishers should be checked for signs of tampering and expiration.
A fire blanket in the kitchen is an excellent way to stop a fire in its tracks by smothering it.
Do your family or work colleagues know what to do in the event of a fire? Talk about it together, so that everyone is clear on what steps to take in an emergency such as fire. Nominate an assembly point, and pick a room where you can gather, preferably one with a phone to call for help and a window to escape from. You could wait here by closing the door and blocking off smoke with a towel or a sheet.
Many fires start because of faulty electronics. Any device that produces heat, such as a charger for a cell phone, must be unplugged at night. Discard any appliance that has exposed wires or plugs. Never overload electrical sockets. Avoid using dryers at night and ensure that lint is cleared from the machine regularly as this can easily catch fire.
Candles are lovely in the home, but never light them near curtains, blinds, or anything flammable, and blow them out before you leave the room.
Never leave open flames unattended when cooking in the kitchen or at the BBQ.
The aftermath of a fire can be extraordinarily stressful. You might think that having home insurance means you’re automatically covered, but we have seen how insurance companies can investigate fire and smoke damage claims to minimize your compensation for the loss.
The insurance company will focus on whether they can assert that you were involved in setting the fire by hiring a cause and origin fire expert. An insurance adjuster will inspect the property first, either immediately or within 24 hours of the incident, followed by the origin fire expert.
If the worst should happen, we are here for you. If you’ve got a pending or denied fire or smoke damage claim get in touch.