We're entering the fire zone...
Friday, October 11, 2013 • 10:31am
Two things. The first, we are entering the holiday season. It’s sneaking up on us quickly. The second, we are nearing the end of Fire Prevention Week. So, it’s not a coincidence that I’m writing this blog now. Most of the 1.3 million residential fires happen between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. So, it’s time for some fire safety tips because knowing is half the battle.
You don’t ever want to know what it is like to wake to the sound of a smoke alarm in the middle of the night, not being able to see, or find your kids. You need to take a proactive approach and protect your family.
According to September report sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), “Fire Loss in the United States”, a residential fire occurs every 85 seconds in the United States. Those are some rather serious numbers. Those 1.3 million residential fires, resulted in $7 billion in property losses. And then there are those things that numbers can’t measure; other more important loses, like lives or sentimental keepsakes that link you to your history. However you add it all up, it’s serious and you need to take some steps to ensure your house is safe from a fire.
As an Allstate owner, and hopefully just a decent human, it’s my job to offer you these home fire safety tips to help keep your family safe this season.
Be careful cooking
Almost half of all these fires are cooking related. A buddy of mine is a firefighter in Plainfield told me that the majority of fires he gets called to during the holidays are cooking related, and more specifically, related to people trying to fry their turkeys INSIDE. Do NOT attempt to deep fry your Thanksgiving, or any other, turkey, inside your house.
The leading cause, however, was leaving cooking food unattended. So, remember to never leave the kitchen without shutting off your oven. If you are a caretaker and have an elderly person who cooks in your home, check up on them to make sure they too are shutting off the oven before leaving the kitchen.
It’s that time where we don’t want to turn on the heat just yet, and many of us are depending on space heaters. Never leave a space heater on unattended. Period. If you are leaving a room, shut it off. If you are going to sleep, shut it off. The NFPA also has a 3 feet zone rule—no kids or pets within 3 feet of a space heater.
Replenish those electrical cords
Old, cracked electrical cords are another serious fire hazard. About this time, every year, check your cords for cracks and faults. If they are cracked or faulty, don’t try to get away with using. It just isn’t worth it. Buy new ones. You also want avoid running extension cords across doorways or under carpeting. And do not overload circuits; plug in only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time, the NFPA says; consider hiring an electrician to add additional circuits or outlets if you need them. It might be pricey, but in the long run it will be well worth it.
Consider replacing open-flame candles with LED-powered versions
This time of year my wife goes candle crazy. But even she has converted to LED-powered versions of the real thing. If she can, trust me, you can too! The NFPA suggests choosing battery-operated candles, like LED versions. They flicker and sometimes even smell like the real thing! If you absolutely won’t consider anything but the real deal, the NFPA says blow them out when you leave the room or go to sleep; use candle holders that are sturdy and won’t topple; and keep all candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.
Check smoke detectors.
Check smoke detectors and check batteries at least twice a year (many suggest doing so on daylight savings). Stay safe by following the NFPA’s recommendations for smoke alarm placement: install one inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every floor in your house, including the basement.
From Allstate-The Espeland Group to you - be safe my friends and let the fall festivities begin.
Our family has partnered with Allstate for over 80 years to help people with their auto, home, life and business insurance needs. Our quality, service-oriented agency is not only owned and operated by a family, our customers tell us we make them feel like family too. I’m proud to work with a company who’s been serving satisfied customers for over 70 years. Customers count on outstanding financial strength and superior claims service to help protect what they value most. Allstate delivers on their promise. In fact, their outstanding financial strength and superior claims service received an A+ (Superior) rating by A.M. Best. Quality service, strength and satisfaction – that’s something I’m glad to be a part of. - Nelson Espeland III
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