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Home heating is the second leading cause of a home fire, according to the American Red Cross. The peak months for home heating fires are December, January and February. According to the 2011-2015 National Fire Protection Association’s “Home Structure Fires” report:

Ø  Heating equipment was involved in an estimated 54,030 U.S. home structure fires.

Ø  The home heating fires are responsible for 480 civilian deaths.

Ø  The home heating fires are responsible for 1,470 civilian injuries.

Ø  The home heating fires are response for $1.1 billion in property damage.

Prevention Tips

Faulty Wiring and Outlets:

  • Check the electrical cords throughout your home for signs of fraying.
  • Be aware of the capacity of your home’s electrical system…Do NOT overload your circuits.
  • Understand the difference between surge protectors and power strips – both allow you to plug in multiple electronic devices, but only the surge protector will help protect these devices from a power spike.
  • Do not pinch or cover electrical cords with items such as rugs.

Alternative Heating Sources:

  • Avoid using an older space heater, as it may not have adequate safety features compared to newer units.
  • Do not place a space heater near furniture, curtains, other objects that could easily catch on fire.

Kitchen Safety:

  • To control a grease fire, carefully slide a lid over the pan to smother the flames, and then turn off the burner.
  • Plug all kitchen appliances, including microwaves, toasters and coffee makers, directly into a wall outlet. Never use an extension cord as it can overheat and cause a fire.

 

Tips for Filing Claims

  • Make a list of everything you’ve lost and do NOT throw anything away.
  • File your fire insurance claim as soon as possible, and make sure you include the following information (“Proof of Loss” claim):

o    Date/type of loss

o    Location of damage

o    Any related injuries

o    Others involved

o    Condition of home

o    Description of damaged contents

o    If you need temporary repairs

o    Copy of the police report

  • Keep your receipts and take photos.

o    This relates to spending money on temporary housing, investing in immediate/emergency repairs, or needing to spend to secure your property

o    Make sure you’ve taken as many photos/videos as you can – if safety allows for it.

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