How do you keep your home safe from fire?
All homeowners fear the possibility of a house fire. Besides the loss of cherished possessions, fire can endanger the lives of loved ones and pets. The horrors of a house fire can’t be overstated, and everyone wants to do what they can to make sure it doesn’t happen to them.
While you can’t guarantee that a fire won’t start in your home, you can take steps to lessen the chances. Along with good homeowner’s insurance, certain precautions can help you protect the things you care about most.
But what do you do if your insurance company refuses to pay out following a house fire? How can you move on without the money you need?
The wise thing to do is retain the services of a qualified insurance attorney at Morgan & Morgan. An insurance attorney will help you push back against your insurer when they unfairly deny you payment or try to lowball your claim.
If you’re trying to recover in the aftermath of a house fire, contact Morgan and Morgan for a free case evaluation and legal support that you can count on in your time of difficulty.
Safety Tips All Homeowners Should Know
Many homeowners insurance policies offer discounts to homeowners who implement proper safety procedures or install safety-monitoring devices. If your insurer offers these sorts of deals, you might find yourself searching, “How do you keep your home safe from fire?”
The following safety tips will significantly decrease the danger of fire in the home.
Test Your Smoke Detectors and Replace Their Batteries Regularly
Smoke detectors are your first line of defense against a house fire. If a smoke detector goes off in time, you might be able to stop a fire before it threatens your home and the people in it. But a smoke detector only helps if it’s functioning correctly.
To ensure your smoke detector is protecting you, start testing it once a month. It should be audible from several rooms away—if it isn’t, you probably need to replace it.
You’ll also want to get in the habit of changing out the batteries regularly. Too many homeowners wait until their smoke detector batteries are low to change them. It’s much safer to spend a few extra dollars and replace the batteries before each test.
Finally, make it a point to replace your home’s smoke detectors every ten years, even if they seem to be working without issue. New units are relatively cheap and come with sophisticated technological features that can save lives.
Monitor Carbon Monoxide Levels
Almost all homes have smoke detectors, but many don’t have carbon monoxide detectors. Newer smoke detectors can also detect carbon monoxide, but if you have outdated units, you may not be as protected as you think.
Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, so if anything in your home is leaking the gas, you probably won’t know until it becomes a threat. And that threat is very real.
Many defective household appliances can emit dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide, including:
- Gas stoves
- Gas lines or pipes
- Water heaters
- Space heaters
To minimize the hazard that carbon monoxide can pose, install new carbon monoxide detectors in your home and check them on the same schedule as your smoke detectors.
Maintain and Replace Appliances as Needed
Older appliances are usually among the biggest fire hazards in homes. For example, a worn-out gas range could be leaking gas right next to a toaster with a short that’s prone to sparking or overheating. Appliances often last a decade or two, but they may be unsafe for the latter half of their lifespan.
The safest option is to replace any appliance that’s beginning to show signs of age, such as deterioration, rust, or reduced efficiency. If you can’t afford to replace your appliances, have a professional inspect them and tune up any that are aging.
Follow Safety Rules Regarding Fire
Anytime you introduce fire to your home, you’re taking a risk. Some of these risks are easier to avoid than others.
Never smoke inside your home or allow your housemates or guests to do so. If you or someone in your household smokes, designate a nonflammable area outside and safely dispose of all ashes and cigarette butts afterward.
Your fireplace is another cause for concern. To keep it as secure as possible, remove any flammable debris from the surrounding area and clean it after every use. When spring and summer roll around, it’s also a good idea to take the time to clean out your chimney.
Finally, avoid using candles as much as possible. When they’re necessary, set up a nonflammable surface, such as a ceramic plate or metal dish, to catch the dripping wax. Never allow pets or children near lit candles.
Is There Anything Else I Can Do to Protect My Children?
Practice fire safety drills. Your children might roll their eyes, but if they’re educated on how to get out of a burning house, they’re much more likely to escape unharmed.
How Many Smoke Detectors Do I Need in My Home?
The more you have, the safer you will be. At a minimum, you should have one working smoke detector per floor, one in the kitchen, and one near each sleeping area.
Defend Your Home From Fire With Morgan & Morgan
With any luck, you’ll never have to face the terrifying reality of a house fire. But if you do, contact Morgan and Morgan to consult with an accident attorney and get a free case evaluation. Your family can benefit from the guidance and support of an experienced attorney who knows how to leverage insurers to pay out the compensation their clients deserve.