Now that colder weather is really upon us, many people have retreated indoors for the winter. With cold weather comes an increased risk of house fires. This is due to a slew of factors, such as heating equipment, candles, and increased use of fireplaces. Depending on how much homeowners insurance coverage you have, damages to your home and belongings may be covered in case the unthinkable happens. But no one should have to experience a house fire. Here are some easy ways to prevent them this winter.
Get a Fire Extinguisher
Everyone should have a fire extinguisher. Ideally, you should have multiple. We can’t urge you enough to pick up a fire extinguisher as soon as possible if you don’t have one.
If you do have one already, make sure that it isn’t expired. Even if there is no expiration date, ask yourself how long you’ve had the fire extinguisher. If it’s been more than ten years, err on the side of caution and get a new one.
Clean Your Chimney
Do you enjoy making use of your fireplace in winter? So do we. But a disturbing amount of house fires start in the chimney. This is due to the buildup of creosote in the chimney, which can become combustible in sufficient quantities. As a rule of thumb, have your chimney professionally cleaned at least once per year. It’s one of the simplest ways to prevent a fire in your home.
Careful with Candles
In terms of fire safety, we’ve come a long way since the days of lighting actual candles in Christmas trees. But many people still enjoy lighting candles in their homes for warmth and ambiance.
If you do choose to light candles, keep in mind that they commonly cause house fires. We recommend following these best practices with candles:
- Keep them at least one foot away from flammable objects (curtains, tablecloths, paper)
- Don’t leave the room when candles are lit
- Avoid lighting them in the bedroom or other areas where you might fall asleep
Caution in the Kitchen
The overwhelming majority of house fires begin in the kitchen. This holiday season, you may have a few big cooking productions. Do your best to familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of cooking safety.
Beyond having a fire extinguisher on hand, make sure that you don’t leave the kitchen while something is cooking. Don’t rely on smoke detectors—by the time they go off, it could already be too late. If you experience a grease fire, absolutely do not use water to extinguish it.
Get in Touch with Wachter Insurance
At Wachter Insurance, our agents are here to help you pick the right homeowners insurance so you know you have coverage no matter your insurance claims. Have questions about your homeowners insurance claims? Find answers and learn more about filing insurance claims by contacting us. We will help you understand the coverage and limitations of your homeowners insurance so you can avoid having your insurance claims denied. Please call us at 301.371.6335, visit our website or drop by our Middletown, Maryland office to personalize your homeowners insurance policy today. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter too!