Whenever autumn rolls around, homeowners should begin to think about fire safety. It is important to ensure that your home is properly insured through your Fall River insurance agent, but it is also important to know that you are doing everything possible to keep your home, your property and your family safe. Knowledge is the best home insurance, so you should take time to learn all you can about the potential pitfalls that can occur during this time of year. In addition to getting quality home insurance in Fall River, you owe it to yourself to protect your home from fire risks with these top ten safety tips.
Tip #1 – Annual Check and Servicing of Fireplaces
One of the areas that Fall River homeowners must stay diligent about is fireplace safety. Fireplaces are responsible for a lot of home fires and losses each year. When the temperature begins to drop, most homeowners start by using their fireplaces to heat their homes and create a seasonal mood. Before cold weather hits, make sure to have your fireplace checked for cracks and obstructions, get the creosote that comes from burning wood cleared out before using again and make sure that gas burning fireplaces are checked annually as well.
Tip #2 – Proper Burning in Fireplaces
The next issue with using fireplaces is knowing how to build a fire and what to burn. Make sure not to over “build” your fire with paper, as you could possibly ignite the soot in the chimney and start a chimney fire. Knowing how to properly use your fireplace can be the best home insurance against these types of accidents. Knowing what to do if an accident occurs to prevent major damage to your home is also an essential skill.
Tip #3 – Fireplace Clean-Up Safety
When it comes time to use your fireplace, make sure to use the right type of “fuel” when you make a fire. Wood logs and special manufactured logs are designed for use in a residential fireplace. Charcoal should never be used, as it gives off carbon monoxide, which can be extremely dangerous and deadly. Make sure to keep the damper open if you have hot ashes in your fireplace and allow ashes to cool inside of a sealed metal container. Speak with your Fall River insurance agent for even more fireplace safety tips.
Tip #4 – Kitchen Safety Tips
During the fall season, more people are cooking for family and friends to celebrate holidays and host other gatherings. Make sure to check your oven to ensure that it is clean and ready to handle all of the cooking and baking that you will be doing during this time of year. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean your oven and stove to prevent fires from occurring. Clean up any spilled grease or oil before igniting your stove. Get a special kitchen fire extinguisher and keep it on hand for any fire emergencies.
Tip #5 – Get Your Furnace Inspected
Make sure to schedule with your HVAC repair company to have your furnace inspected each year before the cooler season starts so you will be ready to heat up your home when the time comes. Doing this ahead of time or on an annual maintenance service schedule can help to save you time and money compared to having it done on an emergency/repair basis or calling out a service during their peak busy season.
Tip #6 – Consider a Fuel Inspection
Depending on the type of fuel that you use to heat your home, consider having someone come out from the fuel company to do an annual inspection as well. For example, residential heating oil, propane and natural gas lines and equipment should all be checked regularly. Speak with your service provider to find out about annual inspections and other servicing that should be done prior to the fall and winter season.
Tip #7 – Inspect Space Heaters Prior to Use
Another type of heating source that many people rely on are the individual room-based space heaters. These can be used in rooms that do not get heat from a central heating source or that is typically colder than other rooms due to its location in the house. Make sure to inspect old or used space heaters prior to use to prevent accidents and risks associated with using them.
Tip #8 – Follow the Directions
When it comes to using space heaters, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions on how to properly use it within your home. Fall River homeowners who rely on this type of heat, even just temporarily throughout the season, should be very careful and never leave a space heater unattended for safety reasons. Keep all objects, people, pets and combustible items away from the space heater at all times.
Tip #9 – Outdoor Maintenance
Make sure to rake up leaves and remove them from your property. This can be quite a challenge for Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island homeowners, but it is an essential part of maintaining and protecting your home. Speak with your Fall River insurance agent about any questions you might have about leaf removal, burning and even composting to improve safety on your property.
Tip #10 – Maintain Trees and Branches
Before the fall season starts, go through your property and check trees to ensure that they are healthy. Trim or remove any branches that hang over or near your home. Branches that get iced up or full of snow can crack and break, falling onto your roof and causing damage. If the branches or trees are too large for removal, consider hiring a professional tree trimming or removal company to come out and take care of it for you.
Call Paul Sullivan Insurance Agency in Fall River
For more tips that can benefit Fall River homeowners and property owners throughout the South Coast region, contact your local Fall River insurance agent at Paul Sullivan Insurance. We can help you get the best home insurance for your residential property. Give us a call today at 508-679-9111 for a FREE quote or to learn more about our options for home insurance in Fall River and the surrounding Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island area.