Preparing For Disaster


File Sep 01, 10 56 23 AMThe most devastating loss of property that a family can experience is a house fire. Fires in your home can cause a wide range of damage from just smoke and odor contamination to complete loss of structure and property. Further damage is often incurred from water and chemicals used in the efforts to put the fire out. While you can never really prepare for the emotional pain from a house fire, you can do a few things to limit the long-term impact on your family.


Be Prepared to Survive a House Fire

Three out of five home fire deaths happen from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Also, half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep. This makes it extremely important to maintain your smoke alarms by checking the batteries as specified by the manufacturer. Also, only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. This is especially important if you have young children in your home or anyone else with limited mobility. Once you’ve escaped a house fire, it’s important to stay out of the structure until professionals have deemed it safe. Read more about preventing house fire related deaths here.


Update Your Insurance

While most fire victims are extremely thankful to have escaped with their health and safety, those feelings can quickly turn to despair and worry when one realizes how much property they have lost. Without proper insurance coverage, the loss can be even more devastating. Renters should always carry Renters Insurance to protect their personal belongings. Homeowners should consult with their agent annually to ensure they have proper coverage for both their structure and contents. Also document high value items such as electronics, jewelry, artwork, and firearms. Collect serial numbers when possible. Keep important paperwork such as passports, legal documents, and insurance in a fireproof safe, or in a safe deposit box at your bank.


Prevent House Fires

The best way to prevent a house fire is to know the most common causes of them, which include: cooking (especially frying), portable heaters, failure to maintain heaters and chimneys, smoking cigarettes in the home, faulty electrical systems, and candles. Unattended cooking is a very common source of fire, so never walk away from an active cooktop. Faulty electrical systems can include anything from defective breakers to overloaded extension cords. Do not repeatedly reset a breaker that continues to trip, instead, turn off the breaker and call an electrician. Any heating device or candle should be kept far from ignition sources such as bedding material, draperies, and clothing.


Fire Safety Prevention Week starts October 9th. Visit the National Fire Protection Association’s webpage to learn more. Bishop Clean Care offers services for cleanup of smoke and fire damage, and is certified by the IICRC.


If you ever find yourself as a victim of a house fire, call us (229) 883-1202.