Having a home fire is a very stressful situation and most of us hope we never need to go through it. We all think “it will never happen to me” but annually in Canada thousands of house fires happen, a number of them fatal. What can we do to protect ourselves from this occasionally deadly occurrence? And what do we do if it happens? From your smoke detectors to home insurance, you need to be prepared.
Be Prepared… Only in Case
When you purchase your home, You’ll Be required to purchase home insurance and your own insurance provider will cover these basic steps:
- Have a working fire extinguisher in your home.
- Take stock of your own family’s personal possessions. A movie recording is the easiest thing to do, but an item-by-item list along with your estimated worth is much better. (Store these off of the premises in a safety deposit box or something similar.
- Follow appropriate fire safety guidelines.
If you do not follow these steps, you might not qualify to be covered under your home insurance coverage. A lot of people say they will make certain attempts when they register their house insurance types, but then go home and forget about the necessary measures.
In each home, people should practice fire safety and be aware of the everyday dangers that lead to fires. In 2002, over 9000 home fires in Canada were started by cigarettes or “smoking devices”. Look around your home and make sure you are taking the following precautions:
- Never overload outlets or power bars and constantly use the right pronged plugs for every socket.
- Never have anything electric near water or heat.
- Always clean out your dryer’s lint screen and make sure that it is vented to the exterior of your home.
- Never leave lit candles burning unattended or near open windows or loose material/clothing.
- Check your smoke detectors at least one time a month to see whether they’re in good working order.
- If you are a smoker, make sure you properly extinguish your cigarettes, matches, and lighters. It is best to use an outdoor container with water and sand.
- When you’ve got a wood-burning stove, make sure it is properly installed and far away from your walls.
What to Do if You’ve Got a Fire
If a fire starts in the home the very first rule is to get everybody out of the house. Follow your evacuation plan if possible and get as far away as you possibly can. Once you’ve gotten out of the house, visit a neighbor’s and call 911. Never go back into a burning home. Don’t forget to stay low, cover your nose and mouth with your clothes, and test doorknobs until you catch them. And always remember the vital instructions: Stop, Drop and Roll!
If by some chance you’re trapped in your home, place as much distance between yourself and the flame as you can. Cover your face with a moist towel in case you can and choose your cordless or cell phone with you if you can to call for help and guide rescuers to your location.
After the Fire
The main step following a fire is to call your home insurance provider. Due to the severity and urgency of a house fire, insurance businesses have a tendency to make fire claims their top priority. Your home insurance policy provider can refer fire restoration firms that can finish the initial cleanup and drying process. You also need to discuss what’s covered on your policy and what is not. After your house has been through the first cleanup, you may then move on to a contractor who can restore your house. Have your contractors fill out the appropriate insurance forms and maintain an open line of communication with your insurer during the restoration procedure.
Fires can escape control very fast, usually in less than 30 minutes. Thus, it’s important to get out as fast as you can. Never go back inside unless the fire department informs you that it is safe to do so. Learn more tips for developing a fire escape plan here. For skilled fire damage cleanup, fire damage, or smoke remediation support, speak to your local PuroClean office. Click this link for more information.