From the Agent’s Desk: California Home Insurance & Fire Safety

If you own a home, make sure you’re protected with our California Home Insurance.  A policy with us, can give you the peace of mind knowing that your home and personal property is well protected in the event of a fire.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, many people are turning to alternative ways to keep their home warm during the winter months, in an effort to save money on their utility bills.  Many of these methods are acceptable, such as kerosene heaters, wood stoves, fireplaces, furnaces and space heaters, but if not used properly they can cause a fire.

Here are some helpful safety tips to keep your home safe from fire:

  • Do NOT use your stove as a supplemental heating device.  It’s a safety hazard and it can potentially let off toxic fumes.
  • Do NOT overload the circuit if you’re using an electric heater.  Make sure to only use extension cords that have the necessary rating to carry an amp load.
  • Do NOT use electrical space heaters near water.
  • If you have a fireplace, be sure to have a glass or metal screen that covers up the opening.  This helps to prevent embers or sparks from coming out, as well as unwanted materials from going in – such as people, animals, clothing, etc.
  • If you have a wood stove, make sure it has the right amount of clearance (36”) from any combustible surfaces.  It should also have adequate floor support and protection.
  • If you use a kerosene or oil heater, NEVER refill the heater while it’s on or still hot.  Make sure to avoid overfilling the unit and ONLY use the fuel that is recommended by the unit’s manufacturer.
  • If you have a furnace, make sure to have it inspected before you use it.  And remember to keep combustible objects away from the heating system.
  • If your pipes are frozen, do NOT use a blow torch or other type of open flame to thaw them out.  The metal piping could conduct the heat and could cause the structure inside the wall to catch on fire.  Your best bet is to use hot water or a hand held dryer.
  • Every level of your house should have a smoke alarm.  Make sure to check the batteries to ensure that it is working properly.
  • Make sure you and/or your family has an escape plan ready in case a fire does break out.  Check all windows to ensure they open and close properly and if your house has more than one level, make sure you have escape ladders available.  Practice your escape plan and make sure all family members/occupants know what to do in an emergency.

If you have any questions about a California Home Insurance policy or you want to make sure your current policy has Dwelling Protection, Personal Property coverage and/or Extended Replacement Cost coverage, give us a call today!  Our knowledgeable staff is here to help make sure your home is well protected!