Cold weather safety for your home and family
Ahh, fall—We love it! Vivid foliage, pumpkin spices, football and cuddling next to the fireplace warms our hearts, but please remember: As the weather gets cooler and you take action to keep your family warm, your family and home face greater jeopardy. The National Fire Prevention Association warns that heating equipment fires are the second-leading cause of fire deaths in American homes in the colder months and it suggests these tips to prevent them:
- Select equipment that bears the mark of an independent testing laboratory.
- Be sure the equipment is installed by a trained professional, in compliance with local fire and building codes.
- Keep all portable heaters (whether powered by electricity or fuel) at least 36 inches from anything that can burn, including furniture, bedding, clothing, pets and people.
- Run space heaters only when you are in the room and awake. And, supervise all children and pets when the heaters are in use.
- If you are using a portable kerosene heater, use only the fuel recommended by the manufacturer. Store the kerosene away from heat or open flame in a container approved by your local fire department, and be sure it’s clearly marked with the fuel name.
- Have your heating system and chimney inspected (and cleaned, if necessary) prior to the start of every heating season.
- If using a wood stove, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for installation, use and maintenance.
- When disposing the ashes from your fireplace or wood stove, first make sure all embers are extinguished and discard them away from the home. Your evergreens will love cold ash incorporated into the soil!
Above all, we want you to be safe in your home, and we want to help in the event that the unthinkable happens. Part of being prepared is making sure your homeowners insurance reflects the amount of coverage you would need to replace your home and possessions. Do you have replacement cost coverage? Have you taken a home inventory with photos or a video? Call our agency. We’ll be glad to review and explain your coverages to you.