Fall And Winter Seasons Mean an Increased Risk of Home Fires

Monday November 16, 2015

Danielle600px "Did you know that the average person only has 3 minutes to exit the home after hearing the smoke alarm? Use these 4 steps to prepare for a fire." Danielle Allen | dallen@peabodyinc.com   Since many people tend to stay indoors more during the fall and winter seasons, they actually face an increased risk of home fires. Additionally, many modern conveniences make homes even more at-risk than they have been in the past. As a result, it’s more important than ever to ensure that you and your family are prepared in case of a fire. In 1970, a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) found that families had an average of 17 minutes to escape a home fire after hearing a smoke alarm. Today, the NIST estimates that the time has fallen to just three minutes. The larger average size of homes today increases the amount of oxygen available to fuel a fire, and the synthetic materials found in almost every home today are extremely flammable. Since you may only have minutes to escape, it’s vital to take steps so that you are adequately prepared for a home fire:
  1. Install and maintain smoke alarms. Your home should have at least one smoke alarm on every level, and preferably one outside every bedroom. Check every smoke alarm once a month to ensure that it’s functional and loud enough to wake you up in the event of a fire.
  2. Make sure that any medication, glasses or other essential materials are easily accessible if you must escape your home quickly.
  3. Make a fire escape plan with your family, and practice it at least twice a year. You should identify two ways to escape from every room in your home in case flames or smoke block an exit. Also, identify a safe area to meet outside of your home once you’ve escaped a fire.
  4. Limit potential fire-starters. Most home fires are started by unattended cooking equipment or overburdened electrical systems. Never leave an operating stove or cook-top unattended for any reason, and consult an electrician to inspect your home’s systems.
It’s important to review your homeowners or renters insurance to ensure that your home and personal belongings are covered for fire damage. Contact Peabody Insurance Agency Inc. today to see how you’re covered.