House fires can be one of the scariest and most dangerous events to experience but they serve as unfortunate reminders to homeowners about the importance of adequate home insurance. Although Florida homeowners may be more aware of summer fires that can be brought about during hot months with little rain, winter weather is cause for concern as well. The dry, winter air, as well as the combination of heating devices, holiday decorations and fire places can be a recipe for disaster. And of course there are other things that can start a house fire such as candles, electrical panels, heat lamps, overused or shorting outlets, chargers of all kinds, etc.
Home insurance provides protection for your house and the belongings inside of it in the event of an accidental fire. Your Dwelling coverage is supposed to be at what it would cost to rebuild the entire home (and keep in mind that often times a fire can end in a total loss, even if the flames are contained at some point, due to smoke or extinguisher damage). Then the Personal Property coverage would kick in for all of the furniture, contents, clothing, etc inside. These are two very important coverage limits you want to keep an eye on so they remain sufficient.
Here are a few house fire safety tips:
Have a plan: Homeowners and their families should have an escape plan in the event a fire occurs while individuals are present.
Check your smoke detectors: If you forgot to check your smoke detectors when you changed your clocks, do so now. No really – get up and check your smoke detectors because if you don’t now, you may not later. It’s a good reminder and rule of thumb to do this twice a year when you adjust your clocks for daylight savings time.
Have your fireplace properly inspected before the start of the winter season and properly clean and put out fires after each use. Never leave burning or hot coals unattended.
Use electrical heating devices with caution. In addition to heating your home safely, if it is the holiday season, be sure to unplug all electrical decor and lights when going to bed or the home is unattended. Double check that your chargers (cell phone, computer, golf cart, gaming systems, etc) are not getting too hot.
Never leave lit candles unattended. Unfortunately, people think candles are safe and will just burn down to the wick and go out when the wax is gone. Or that they’re safe being in a glass jar. This is still a dangerous fire hazard.
Take photos or video of your belongings once a year and store with other important documents or sentimental items in a fireproof safe. This will be hugely helpful in the event of a loss.