Tips for Protecting your Home and Family from Fire

August 15, 2017

Follow These Tips For Protecting Your Family From Fire!

Aldrich/Taylor Insurance Agency is here to make sure you get the best deal on your homeowner insurance and a good policy will cover damages and losses from fires. However, insurance can't restore lost lives and reproduce some of your most precious personal possessions. To help make sure you and your family stay safe at home, here are some important fire protection and prevention tips that provide some important ways to protect your home from fire.

What is Fire Protection?

Fire protection is obtaining the right knowledge on fire prevention and putting that knowledge into practice. In other words, knowing why fire protection is important does little good if you don't educate yourself on the matter and take action.

What Makes a Good Home Fire Alarm System?

In 2014, the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) released a report on home fires , with some surprising results. It covered a period from 2007 to 2011. For example:

  • When a fire starts, it could become deadly within three minutes time.
  • Three of every five fire related deaths happened in homes that had no working smoke detectors or alarms.
  • Your chances of dying in a fire are twice as great if you have no working smoke detector.
  • Of all the non-working smoke detectors, nearly half had no batteries and one-fourth had smoke detectors with dead batteries.

To have an effective alarm system, the NFPA recommends these things:

  • Put smoke detectors on all floors and outside of every home bedroom
  • Test alarms monthly.
  • Replace alarms after 10 years, even if they work.
  • Use ionization and photoelectric sensing alarms.

The Importance of a Home Fire Evacuation Plan

Here is a fictional story but it could happen to almost any family. The Smith family was home one night and about 1:00 am a fire started in the house. The alarms woke everyone up and the parents rushed to make sure the kids got out of the home. However, by the time they got to little Frank's room he was already gone. He went out the back door and was hiding under a patio table.

Everyone (except Frank) ended up in the back yard and his father, James, checked outside everywhere and couldn't find him in all the noise and confusion. James decided to go back in the house and find his son but fortunately, he caught a glimpse of him under the table. This scenario could have easily ended in tragedy because the family had no fire escape plan from home.

Coming Up with a Fire Escape Plan

Walk through the entire house and figure out the best evacuation route. It's important to get all family members together so everyone gets the same information. You need to have things on paper so they can be posted on the wall for everyone to see. You can download an excellent home fire escape plan worksheet from this web page at the NFPA website. Click on the "escape planning grid" link. The NFPA site is one of the best places to get the latest fire protection news and information.

Don't forget to tell everyone to drop to the floor and crawl out of the house if it's full of smoke or hot inside. Many people are seriously injured or killed from breathing super heated air, and the air is the coolest at floor-level.

Draw up your floor plan. You can download a home fire escape plan template by going to the Red Cross website . It's a good idea to come up with a home fire drill checklist too. You can find a good one at the allParenting website . This will give you some good ideas.

Home Fire Kit

You should have a fire kit in your house to ensure everyone's safety. Here are some things to include:

  • Fire extinguishers (especially in the kitchen)
  • Flashlights
  • Fire blankets
  • Fire escape ladder (for homes with more than one story
  • First aid kit

How to Protect Your Home from Forest Fire

Many parts of California face real danger from wildfires and it's important to keep your home as safe from harm as possible. The NFPA recommends removing everything around your home exterior that can feed a fire. Here are some common questions on home fires:

At what distance should firewood be stored away from the home?

Most fire professionals recommend storing firewood at least thirty feet from your house. It can easily catch fire in a wildfire and spread to your home.

How can you protect your home from fire?

You should have a complete home fire preparedness plan in place. This includes working smoke detectors with batteries changed twice a year (when you reset the clocks). Check out reliable sources for information like FEMA, NFPA, and other non-profit organizations. Educate yourself and your family on fire prevention and have a good evacuation plan.

How can I make sure my fire insurance is sufficient?

When you wait until a disaster happens, it’s too late. For example, if you have home insurance that only covers the current value of your house (and not the replacement cost) you could lose thousands of dollars if it's destroyed by fire. Now is the time to contact your insurance professionals at Aldrich/Taylor Insurance Agency. We'll help you choose the most affordable policy with the best options. Call us at 1-818-841-2940 today for more information.