Fire Prevention Tips For Your Property

Fire Prevention Tips

Fires are one of the most devastating things to happen to a home or business. Unlike other disasters, it often comes without any warning, leaving people at a higher risk. This, coupled with the fact that fires are far more devastating overall, makes it incredibly important to prevent a fire from happening in the first place.

Although property fires occur less frequently, they can happen to you. These fire prevention tips will help you be prepared and safe in the event a property fire occurs.

Biggest Cause of Property Fires

Image from: NFPA Research on Home Structure Fires 2023

Before we dive into these important fire prevention tips, it may be beneficial to understand the elements that increase the risks of fires in the first place. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has some research and statistics about property fires that go along with the graph above.

According to the NFPA, “The 2021 estimate of 338,000 reported home fires from the 2022 NFPA Fire Loss in the United States report was 54 percent lower than the estimate of 734,000 in 1980 and 5 percent lower than the 2020 estimate of 356,500. The decline in reported fires was sharpest during the 1980s, continued more slowly in the 1990s, and mostly leveled off in the past two decades.”

The research shows that property fires have decreased substantially since the 1980s but the fire risk is still prevalent, with the leading cause of property fires being cooking. This information will help you better understand and implement fire prevention strategies.

Fire Prevention Tips

Identify Potential Fire Risks/Hazards

The first step to preventing a fire is to identify the most common ways that a fire can happen (like in the graph above). You can then take a look around your home or business to see if it is a possibility for you. Doing a brief checklist every 6 months or so can go a long way in making sure you catch any issues.

The most common causes of fires in a home are:

  • Cooking accidents
  • Heating appliances (space heaters, etc.)
  • Electrical fires
  • Smoking
  • Candles
  • Christmas tree fires

The most common causes of fires at businesses are:

  • Cooking equipment
  • Heating equipment
  • Electrical and lighting equipment
  • Smoking materials

Knowing this, take a look around and see how a fire might start. Do you have cooking equipment like pots and pans that need replacing? Are you leaving space heaters on overnight? Is there electrical wiring that you’ve been meaning to fix? Answering these questions could save you big down the road.

Test Smoke Detectors

This is such a simple thing to do that most people need to remember. Test those smoke detectors people!
It may be a hassle to go and grab a ladder to check the smoke detector but it can end up saving your life.
It’s important to remember that smoke detectors don’t prevent a fire, but only let you know when a fire has already started. However, catching a fire early can mean the difference between a couple of thousand dollars in damage, and a couple million.
More importantly, they could be the difference between just dealing with fire damage and dealing with the loss of your life or others around you. According to the NFPA, “almost three out of five home fire deaths were caused by fires in properties with no smoke alarms (41 percent) or smoke alarms that failed to operate (16 percent).”

Create a Safety Plan And Practice

As kids in middle school, we are taught to have a safety plan in place for fires at home. As adults, this is a practice that we should continue to follow.

Consider all possible exit points at home and determine how each of you can leave most efficiently. Don’t forget to identify a spot to meet as well so that everyone can know who made it out of the building and who may still be inside. Make sure everyone in your family knows the plan!

You need to do this same process for businesses, only scaled up. You should make sure the plan is clearly defined and displayed in multiple locations within the building, especially if you have a lot of employees. It is also important that you practice with everyone regularly as well to make sure everyone is on the same page, and you can identify any gaps or issues.

If A Fire Happens, Get Out!

One of the most common ways that people get injured or lose their lives in a fire is because they spend too much time either A) putting the fire out or B) trying to gather personal belongings.

Our advice in the case of a fire is to GET OUT. While you may have many things in your home or business that have sentimental value to you, your life and the lives of others around you are ALWAYS more important.

If you are concerned about losing sentimental items, you can look into a fireproof lockbox or something similar that can help protect those items from damage in a fire.

Overall, fires are one of the most devastating and life-threatening experiences anyone can be in. Not only that, but it can be one of the most complicated insurance claims to file because of everything that goes into calculating damages and identifying the causes.

Insurance companies love to try and show that you were negligent and that a fire could have been prevented to try and reduce your claim. If you show that you took steps to prevent a fire from happening in the first place and that you had a plan in place, you can save yourself a big headache later.

If you do end up with property damage from a fire and are not sure what to do, give Fortitude Public Adjusters a call first! We can help you navigate the process of submitting an insurance claim and make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible! Contact us today!

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