By ALLEN MCQUISTON
The Jemez Agency
If you had the opportunity to take a few seconds out of your busy day to keep your home, your loved ones, and your most valuable possessions safe, would you do it? Of course. Why take the chance of something disastrous happening, like a house fire, if those few seconds were able to provide the peace of mind that everything is protected?
Throughout my many years of working in insurance, I’ve handled many fire claims and while this may go without saying, a house fire can be one of the most stressful things someone could ever experience. But did you know that the majority of house fires result from issues that can easily be avoided? That’s right! Most house fires in the United States are caused by things that can easily be prevented, so why run the risk of putting your family and your home in harm’s way?
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), some of the top causes of fire include:
- Clothes dryer; and
If you notice from the list above, the fire dangers associated with these items can be avoided. The last thing any of us want is to put ourselves in a situation that could have been prevented if we would have only taken the time. Here are a few quick and easy precautions to keep in mind:
Never leave candles burning in an unattended room. Though many of us think that as long as we’re home, the candle is fine, trust me, it only takes a few seconds for a candle to get out of control and a fire to spread.
While cooking, never leave the food unattended. I have heard more than once, “I left the pan on the stove for just a few seconds to get something in another room, and when I came back the kitchen was on fire.”
Don’t smoke inside your home. Cigarette ashes, even when we think are put out, can easily catch your home on fire. Always smoke outside, but even then, make sure your cigarettes are fully put out. And please, please, please, NEVER put cigarettes in a trash can.
Clean out the lint trap of your clothes dryer after every use. Many house fires are caused from lint build up in a dryer, which only takes a few seconds to clean out.
Test your smoke detectors and electrical outlets. According to the NFPA, “three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38 percent) or no working smoke alarms (21 percent).”
This list is in no way exhaustive, but spending a few extra seconds each day to use these simple steps could very well make a huge difference. If your home, loved ones, and prized possessions are worth protecting, then your time is worth spending. A few seconds a day can give you a lifetime of peace of mind.