One of the most frightening thing for any homeowner is to think about what might happen to their home if it caught on fire. There are many tips for homeowners on the Internet about what to do if you experience a residential fire, however the best tips for Fall River homeowners should be on how to prevent ever experiencing a fire in the first place. Your Massachusetts residential insurance policy is designed to protect you from fires and other “acts of nature” that can damage or destroy your home, however there isn’t usually coverage provided for out-and-out negligence. Check your homeowners insurance policy or speak with your Fall River insurance agent to find out more about what is covered – and what isn’t.
Common Causes of Household Fires
The number one cause of household fires is the cooking fire. There are many situations that can lead to a cooking fire, such as grease spills or flammable items getting set too close to the cooktop. It doesn’t matter if you have a gas stove or an electric burner, cooking fires can happen when you least expect them. However that doesn’t mean that you can’t be prepared to prevent them using these tips for homeowners.
Tip #1 – Don’t Walk Away from a Lit Stove
In more cases than not, many cooking fires are started simply by someone walking away from something that they are cooking. Pots can boil over, grease can splatter and catch on fire – so many things can go wrong when you aren’t in the room and paying attention. If you absolutely must walk away – even if for just a couple of minutes – turn the heat off and move the pan or pot to a cool burner. You can resume cooking as soon as you return.
Tip #2 – Keep It Neat and Tidy
Another great tip for Fall River homeowners is to keep your stove top neat and tidy, free and clear of anything that could catch fire. Even if the stove and the oven are off, it is important to keep this area clear. Dish towels, paper towels, oven mitts, boxes, containers, aprons – all of these things are known to somehow find their way to the top of the stove and all of them are also known to cause household fires.
Tip #3 – Dress Properly
Another dangerous habit that can sometimes lead to a cooking fire is clothing that comes in contact with burners and catches on fire. As you can imagine, this can be a frightening experience for the cook and everyone around them. Wear clothing that isn’t loose-fitting and roll up your sleeves tightly so they won’t come loose while you are frying something or stirring a pot of hot, boiling liquid.
Tip #4 – Clean Up Messes
Dirty stoves and dirty ovens are just waiting to be the cause of a big kitchen fire. Clean off your stove regularly, wiping down grease and other food splatters or particles that find their way onto the cooktop. Grease build-up can be extremely flammable. Every time you cook with grease or you cook with meat that might splatter a little grease while it’s being browned, make sure to clean your stove right away and get any spills that happen as soon as possible. You don’t want to walk away from a grease spill – not ever.
Tip #5 – Beware of Hot Grease
That being said, make sure that you allow grease or oil to cool down before you throw it away. Not just the grease on your stove, which can burn you as you wipe it up, but in your pans as well. Don’t ever dump hot grease into a garbage can – it could literally go up in flames. If you don’t have time to let it cool all the way down, some cooks prefer to dump grease into an old food can or coffee can before they throw it away. That way they can clean up the kitchen without having to wait for it to cool.
Other Things You Can Do to Prevent Home Fires
Did you know that your smoke detector is one of the most important fire safety devices that you can own? Check your batteries twice a year and test your equipment to make sure that it is in proper working order. Your homeowners insurance policy will sometimes have discounts available if you install extra fire prevention equipment, such as sprinklers and electric-based smoke detectors instead of battery-operated ones. The rule of thumb is to change your batteries every time you change your clocks for daylight savings time. This will help you always remember and never forget the importance of checking and changing those batteries.
Another tip for Fall River homeowners is to turn off the oven and keep the door shut if a fire breaks out inside. If a fire occurs in a pan, slide a lid over the pan if it is safe to do so and turn off the burner. Once the fire is out, leave the pan uncovered until it cools down completely. If there are any doubts as to the safety of the situation, your best bet is to get out and call 9-1-1. Close the door behind you to help contain the fire. It isn’t worth it to get burned or injured trying to fight the fire yourself.
Homeowners Insurance in Fall River
If you are in need of Massachusetts residential insurance, contact Sullivan Insurance in Fall River. Whether you need homeowners insurance, auto insurance, commercial insurance or boat insurance, Paul Sullivan Insurance Agency can help you get the coverage you need. Fall River homeowners have trusted Sullivan Insurance since 1956 and you can too!