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Nine Safety Tips for Preventing Fires in Your Home

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House fires can pose a significant danger to Florida homeowners, and fire damage can be difficult and costly to recover from. Fire is the third likeliest cause for a homeowners insurance claim, and fire damage claims average more than twice as much in costs as any other type of claim.

Every 24 seconds, fire departments are dispatched to a house fire somewhere in the United States. Here are several ways you can help prevent a fire in your home:

  1. Stay alert when cooking. The majority of house fires start in the kitchen, so watch for faulty cookware, frayed wires, burning food, or potholders or other fabrics left too close to a flame. Exercise caution with gas stoves and make sure your smoke and gas detectors are operable at all times.
  2. Avoid smoking indoors. As smoking has become less popular in the United States, house fires started by a dropped cigarette have decreased, but a large number of fires still occur every year due to someone falling asleep while smoking or dropping an ember in a trash can.
  3. Be careful with candles. Nice smelling candles can make your home feel warm and inviting, but don’t leave the house with candles unattended or the room if small children and pets can reach a candle.
  4. Check appliance cords. If you have a pet, try to protect your cords and keep them out of reach. Chewed, frayed, and broken electrical cords start thousands of fires every year, and can cause other injuries as well.
  5. Store flammables correctly. Keep gasoline, oil, and other flammable liquids or materials in a safe, dry place away from open sun or the chance of sparks. If you need to dispose of hazardous materials, check with your local government office to ensure your disposal method is legal and safe.
  6. Watch the grill. Fires can start out of doors as well as inside, and barbecue grills are common culprits. Make sure you monitor your grill at all times while cooking, and be aware of children or pets running around who could bump into a grill and overturn it.
  7. Outlet overload. Monitor the amps being pulled through every item you plug into a wall outlet, particularly if you are using a multi-plug extension cord. Outlets can overheat, melt, or catch on fire, sending flames up a wall in minutes.
  8. Faulty home wiring. While most newer homes must pass rigorous inspections when it comes to electrical installation, in some cases renovations may result in an overloaded breaker box or split off wiring that isn’t properly grounded. Electrical malfunction is the fourth most common cause of residential fires.
  9. Childhood fire education. Teach children early about the dangers of playing with fire (including candles, lighters, and matches) and create a fire plan for if a fire occurs, including escape routes and a meeting place outside the home.

By being proactive, you can reduce the chance of home fires and help protect your property, home, and family.


This article is for informational purposes only and does not form a part of, replace, change or amend any terms, conditions, provisions or language within your Olympus Insurance policy. We encourage you to read your entire policy.

Olympus Insurance is licensed by the state of Florida. Information found on this site is intended for Florida residents only.