Fire Prevention 101: Keep Your Home Safe This Summer
Summer is the season for fun in the sun, but with it comes some increased risk factors for fires. Dry weather, high temperatures, and more time spent outdoors can pose serious threats to your homes and cars. By implementing some simple, cost-effective fire prevention measures, you can minimize the risk of fire-related incidents. Here are some essential tips for preserving your most valuable possessions.
Practice Safe Grilling
Summer is prime time for outdoor grilling, but it’s important to do so safely. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), July is the peak month for grill-related fires.1 Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your home, deck, or any flammable objects. Ensure proper ventilation by keeping the grill in an open area, away from branches or roofs. Clean the grill regularly to prevent grease buildup, which can easily ignite and cause a fire. Lastly, never leave a grill unattended, as accidents can happen in seconds.
Be Mindful of Electrical Appliances
With air conditioners, fans, and other electrical devices working overtime during summer, it’s crucial to exercise caution to avoid electrical fires. Do not overload outlets or use extension cords excessively. Regularly inspect cords for any signs of wear and replace them immediately if damaged. Unplug appliances when not in use and avoid leaving them running overnight.
Properly Store Flammable Materials
Many household items, such as paints, gasoline, solvents, and cleaning products, are highly flammable. It’s essential to store them properly in a well-ventilated area away from heat sources, direct sunlight, and open flames. Keep them out of reach of children and consider using lockable cabinets or containers. Educate family members about the dangers of these materials and how to handle them responsibly.
Maintain Your Outdoor Space
Maintaining a fire-safe outdoor space is just as important as fire prevention measures inside the home. Clear away dry leaves, dead vegetation, and any flammable debris from your yard, as they can easily catch fire. Regularly trim trees and shrubs, especially those close to your house, to minimize the risk of spreading flames.
Summer is wildfire season, and you need to be prepared for the worst. California’s peak typically runs from August to November, but some states face a higher risk earlier in the summer with a drier winter.2 Keep a safe distance between trees and shrubs and remove old overhanging branches that could serve as a pathway for fire.
Fix Automotive Issues
Schedule regular maintenance checks for your car to ensure all electrical and mechanical systems are in good working condition. Faulty wiring, fuel leaks, or damaged exhaust systems can increase the risk of a car fire. Pay attention to warning signs such as strange smells, unusual noises, or dashboard warning lights and have them addressed promptly by a qualified mechanic.
Choose parking spots carefully, avoiding areas with dry grass, leaves, or other flammable materials. If possible, park in designated parking lots or garages. In hot weather, refrain from leaving flammable items, such as aerosol cans or lighters, inside a parked car.
Develop an Emergency Plan
No fire prevention plan can stop all fires, but a well-practiced emergency plan can save lives. Discuss escape routes with your family members and establish a meeting point outside your home. Teach everyone how to dial emergency services and how to operate fire extinguishers. Conduct regular fire drills to familiarize everyone with the escape procedures. By being prepared and staying calm, you can minimize panic and increase the chances of a safe evacuation.
Who is Answer Financial?
The right insurance can help protect the value of your home and cars when fire prevention measures fail. Over the years, Answer Financial has helped more than 5 million people like you properly insure their homes and vehicles. We’re the cost-effective path to coverage because we work with 40+ top-rated insurance companies to find the rates you need. Start by clicking here to get an insurance quote on your most valuable things with us.
November 7, 2023
- Insurance Information Institute, “Triple-I: Consider Safety When Celebrating July 4,” https://www.iii.org/press-release/triple-i-consider-safety-when-celebrating-july-4-063022
- Insurance Information Institute, “Triple-I: Wildfire Preparedness Critical as Summer Nears,” https://www.iii.org/press-release/triple-i-wildfire-preparedness-critical-as-summer-nears-053023