A home fire can be one of the most devastating — and deadly — hazards your clients face. Here are some statistics from the United States Fire Administration: In 2010, 362,100 residential fires occurred in the U.S., resulting in 2,555 deaths, 13,275 injuries and more than $6.6 billion in property damage.
As with any potential hazard, prevention is key. The next time you’re going over a homeowners’ policy with a client, help them review this checklist of ways to keep their home and family safe from fire:
- Never “stack” too many electrical items into the same outlet by using splitters, extension cords with multiple outlets, etc.
- Use bulbs of the correct wattage for all light fixtures.
- To extinguish grease fires, keep baking soda near your stove or range. Don’t use water, which will spread the flames.
- Never leave cooking unattended.
- Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach.
- Never leave home with the clothes dryer running.
- Clean dryer vents frequently, and clean the lint screen after each load to keep the airway clear.
- Don’t put straw, hay or other flammable materials under your home.
- Store flammable liquids (paint thinner, gasoline, etc.,) in approved containers outside your home, never under your home.
- Fires started by cigarettes cause more deaths than any other type of fire. If you smoke, never smoke when you’re drowsy and extinguish butts with water.