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Fire Protection for Your Home – Before It’s Too Late

The Reality of Home Fires

It is human nature to avoid worrying about non-urgent threats. The common thinking is that bad things happen to others, not ourselves. The threat of a home fire is one such life situation. As a homeowner, it is important to understand the reality of the risk of a fire at home and be proactive in protecting your Family .

The stark statistics of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention speak for themselves. A death from fires is the third leading cause of home fatalities. Every 30 minutes, fire in a home injures someone; a fatality from a home fire occurs every 169 minutes. The total cost of these fires exceeds $8 billion annually.

Causes of Fires in the Home

Fire ProtectionThe tragedy of home fires is all the greater since there are ways to greatly reduce them. Carelessness while cooking causes the majority of fires in the home. Of the remaining, over 40 percent of all residential fires have a smoking or alcohol-related cause. Most fires in homes occur during the winter months and over a third of the fires are in homes without smoke detectors.

Dealing with the Risk

With such a significant loss in dollars and lives, it is prudent for every homeowner to take all reasonable steps to prevent loss from a home fire. Here are seven steps to protect your family against the threat of fire in your home.

Carry Adequate Insurance

The concept of home insurance in America originated in Philadelphia under the guidance of Benjamin Franklin. After a rash of home and office fires, the community came together to share the risk against future losses. This concept of shared risk is at the heart of all insurance. Any one individual finds the financial loss of a fire devastating. However, if that person is part of a group making small regular payments against the risk of fire, there are funds in that group to cover the loss when fire strikes one of the group’s members.

Talk to Your Children

Children are curious about fire and enjoy playing with it. You need to warn them about the dangers of playing with fire and keep matches out of their reach. However, there is no need to make them overly fearful when there are cute books like No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons) available.

Have a Fire Proofing Inspection

All local fire departments will gladly conduct an inspection of a residence to identify common fire risks. The training and experience of these firemen point out many risks that a homeowner will easily overlook. Things such as outdated wiring, incorrect storage of flammables, and other items are easily remedied and significantly reduce the risk of fires in the home.

Keep Fire Extinguishers in the Kitchen and Garage

As kitchen fires cause the majority of residential damage, a handy fire extinguisher may save the day. However, an individual should never delay in calling the fire department while trying to extinguish a seemingly controllable fire.

Install Smoke Detectors

Many fire departments provide free or low-cost smoke detectors. These devices are the number one fire prevention tool for the home. They save thousands of lives each year, and they allow many fires to be stopped before getting out of control. Even if you can’t get them for free, your local “big box” building supply store has them for just a few dollars, they are well worth the cost. If you are using the battery only type be sure they have fresh batteries by changing them regularly.

Consider Overhead Sprinklers

In some areas, and particularly with new construction, homeowners elect to install overhead fire sprinkler systems. Costs for these systems have declined substantially and are a wise investment in many situations.

Be a Cautious Smoker

Be extremely careful in the home if you are a smoker. Don’t risk falling asleep with a lit cigarette. Thousands of injuries and many deaths occur each year from violating this basic safety tip. The concern is doubly strong when it comes to alcohol use and attempts at cooking and/or smoking in the home.

Adequate fire insurance for the home helps to recover from the damages of a fire. The best remedy, however, is prevention. Taking a few active steps will minimize your risk of death, injury and loss from a home fire.

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Image courtesy of Nokhoog Buchachon / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


  1. These are very important tips to follow. I really learned a lot from this blog. Most of all, we should be vigilant in our efforts for Fire Prevention because only through this will lives and properties not be put to waste.