Several serious house fires have made the news in recent months, leaving many locals wondering how to prevent such a disaster in their own home. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to reduce the likelihood of a fire in your home, and minimize the severity if one does occur. By following these precautions, you may even be able to find cheap Pennsylvania homeowners insurance or reduce your current rates.
The first thing to do is a simple walk-through of your home. Look for fire hazards such as overloaded or damaged outlets. Be sure to keep an eye out for melted or cracked casings, as well as outlets that do not have power to them. These can be a sign of wiring problems, which can cause fire. If you have children, be sure to take their perspective into account. Some experts recommend involving them in the process. An easy way is to play a version of “I Spy,” which can show you what they are seeing. Be sure to include the garage or attached storage areas in this, as they can often house flammable chemicals or too many extension cords.
It is also important to do a smoke alarm audit. This involves checking the location and function of every alarm in your home. Make sure you have a minimum of one per floor, but preferably more. Be sure they are placed near sleeping areas and in the kitchen, and are mounted high on the walls or on the ceiling. Test the battery function and make sure they are in good repair. It is also a good idea to make sure they are all UL listed, as other smoke alarms may not be made to the highest standards. This may even be required by your Pennsylvania home insurance company.
One safety precaution that is often neglected is simply having fire extinguishers strategically placed around the home. Most experts recommend having at least four in the average family home. There should be at least one on each floor, and one in high-risk areas such as the kitchen and the garage. As with smoke alarms, these should be UL listed and checked periodically. Some Pennsylvania home insurance quotes may ask about precautions such as this and factor it into your rates.
Finally, you will need to plan for what to do if a fire occurs. Since fatal house fires often happen while people are asleep, be sure to have an escape plan from every bedroom. Parents and older children should determine who is responsible for making sure younger children get out of the house. Also, make sure young children know basic precautions such as “stop, drop, and roll,” and never to play with matches or candles. Parents and older children should also brush up on fire safety tips.
Fire is a serious risk, but there are many things that you can do to minimize the chances of one and even help you find cheap Pennsylvania homeowners insurance. For more information on home safety and making sure you have the right insurance coverage just in case, check out Williams Agency.