5 Tips for Preventing a Fire in Your Home

House fires account for thousands of deaths each year and billions of dollars in property damage annually. It only takes roughly 30 seconds for a very small flame to turn into a significant blaze. Therefore, it is important that Austin, TX homeowners be familiar with how to prevent a fire in their homes. Here are a few tips that the team at Southwest Insurance Center wants to share.

Test the Smoke Alarms

Once per month, you should take the time to test your smoke alarms with the simple push of a [test] button. If it doesn’t sound or the batteries are 10 years old, replace them. You may even want to ensure you have the appropriate number of fire alarms throughout the homes as advised by the U.S. Fire Administration.

Identify Potential Household Fire Hazards

Your home is full of fire hazards, probably more than you realize. While you can’t do much about the oven, other than not leaving it unattended, there are others you can locate and remove or evaluate.

If you use a toaster frequently, make sure to shake it out regularly to get the crumbs out, as they spark easily. Dust is commonly flammable, especially if there is a buildup around an electrical outlet. Make sure to unplug hair straighteners, curling irons, and the like, as they can reach high temperatures if left plugged in and on. Candles may smell great, but they are very dangerous if left where a child or pet could knock them over.

Practice Safe Candle Use

Speaking of candles, they are a common cause of home fires. In fact, they result in more than 20 home fires every single day. However, more than three-fourths of those fires are completely preventable. Make sure you are using candles safely.

Inspect the Sources of Heat

Your furnace should be professionally serviced each year to ensure it’s working properly. Because if it’s not, it could result in an unnecessary fire. If a space heater is being used in the home, keep it away from flammable items, furniture, curtains, etc. If you’re using a wood-burning fireplace, have the chimney inspected and cleaned each year.

Store Combustible Materials Safely

It is imperative that any flammable materials are stored in a safe manner, which means away from the heat! Whether it is garden supplies, cleaning supplies, hairspray, or something else that is flammable, they should be kept in a cool, dark storage area. Kerosene, gasoline, and propane should be kept in their original containers outdoors.

Even with precautions in place, a fire may still occur. To ensure you are prepared and protected, make sure you have the proper home insurance. Contact us today to learn more. Southwest Insurance Center serves the Austin, TX area and can help you determine the proper amount and type of coverage for your situation.