home fire insurance

The Importance of Protecting Your Home from Fires in the Winter

Your home is perhaps the most important place that you and your family share. Protecting it is crucial, not just from hazardous weather or burglars, but from another danger that, although rare, can be much more devastating.

House fires can happen in an instant and cause overwhelming damages and losses. It’s incredibly important to have home insurance in case the unfortunate ever happens. In this piece, we’ll be discussing the causes of house fires and what you can do to prevent them.

Contact Shepard Walton King today to get the protection for your home that you and your family deserve.

The Facts

In 2015, the National Fire Protection Association determined that there were 1.3 million fires reported in the United States. These fires resulted in 3,280 civilian deaths and 15,700 injuries. Along with these statistics, it was also reported that there was an estimated $14.3 billion in damages caused by fires. What causes most of these fires and when are they most likely to occur?

Staying Warm

A majority of house fires occur between December and February, the coldest months of the year in most parts of the country. One of the main causes of fires breaking out during this time is people trying to warm their homes. If you are using a floor or space heater, keep it at least three feet away from people or objects that can catch fire. If you have a stationary unit, space heater or a water heater that needs to be installed, let a professional handle it. These appliances should also be inspected and cleaned annually. Never forget to turn them off when leaving the home.

Electrical Fires and Safety

Fires can also be caused by electrical failures/malfunctions. Faulty electrical objects are the leading causes of house fires, but there are several ways to prevent them. First, only one heat-producing appliance should be plugged into a single wall outlet. For example, one coffee maker or space heater should be connected to a single outlet at a time to reduce heat from building up. If you are having frequent problems with tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses, have it looked at immediately.

Safety First Around the House

When purchasing a home, be sure to have all electrical work looked at by a professional electrician or qualified inspector. If using an oil-based heater, make sure to use the correct oil. If your home has a fireplace, keep a stable screen in front of it to prevent sparks from flying outwards. If you’re removing ashes, be sure they cool off first. And, of course, test smoke alarms once a year and replace them after ten years.

Getting a Plan Ready

An escape plan to get everyone out safely in case of a fire is a must. Draw a map of your home with all windows and doors clearly labeled and go over it with your family. Then discuss a meeting place outside to make sure everyone is out of the house. Your meeting place should be a safe distance from the home.

Tips from the Experts

Being in the insurance business for over 20 years has shown our own Chris Graham that fires can start from places both inside and outside the home. Here’s what he had to say, “It’s important to keep your home clean, but also keep the outside clean as well. Pick up any debris around your home like dried leaves or trash that can burn very easily.”

Get Protected Today

Protect your home or business with insurance today. Shepard Walton King can help you get the right plan that fits your family’s needs. With our knowledge of the insurance business, you’ll be able to sleep easy at night knowing that your home or business is properly covered. If you’re looking for house insurance in McAllen, then visit us today to get started.

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