Fire Safety

Fire Safety

‘Tis the season for holiday lights, peppermint-scented candles and delicious food. As the holidays rapidly approach, a rush has surely set in. We are all racing to get the Christmas tree up, decorate our homes in preparation for our families to visit and as well as making sure that we get the perfect gift for our friends and families. Although it is a busy time, we should not let this holiday rush interfere with our safety. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), residential fires are extremely common during this time of the year. To quantify this fact, the USFA notes some startling statistics:*

  • 890 people die from house fires each year
  • $2 billion in property loss occurs each year from these fires
  • 8% of total house fires are from winter home fires, and these winter fires cause 30% of all fire deaths
  • 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. is the most common time for house fires

Listed below are just a few ways how holiday fires begin as well as ways to prevent them.**

  • Cooking
    • According to the USFA, cooking fires are most common during the holidays. These usually occur because you forget that you are cooking something as you are visiting and catching up with your family; it is very easy to get distracted and forget about your dish in the oven. In order to minimize such risks, it’s important to ensure your smoke detectors are working properly as well as always keeping a fire extinguisher that can be accessed easily.
  • Candles
    • To avoid a fire caused by candles, ensure that the candles are not too close to anything that can easily catch on fire. Also, never go to bed with a flame still burning; always remember to blow it out before leaving the house or going to bed. Another way to prevent this type of fire is to consider using flameless LED candles. Although they may not seem to give off a scent or seem as festive, they are much safer.
  • Christmas Trees
    • One of the most fun, festive and traditional parts of this time of year is decorating the family Christmas tree. However, this is also an extremely dangerous and risky activity. As Christmas trees become even more dry, they become even more flammable, which poses a great threat especially when decorated with older lights or surrounded by candles. To minimize the risk of tree fires, consider using artificial trees. Another prevention tactic is to keep a well-watered tree, which are almost impossible to ignite.
  • Decorative Lights – consider combining this with the point above?
    • As I am sure most people know, ornaments aren’t the only decorations to go on a Christmas tree… lights are also a big part of Christmas decor. But it is crucial to throw away any cracked wires or broken sockets to prevent a fire, as Christmas trees are extremely flammable. Also, if you hang wires on the wall or railings outside, avoid using nails or staples, which can damage the wiring and increase the risk of fire.
  • Fireplaces
    • There’s nothing more relaxing than cozying up by the fireplace on a cold winter’s night. However, this much-beloved tradition is also very risky. Soot can harden on chimneys, which becomes very flammable. So before you become too comfortable in front of your fireplace, have your chimney inspected to see if it needs cleaning.

Before the holidays get into full swing, consider investing in Homeowners Insurance, if you have not already. Homeowners Insurance can help protect you and your home from such incidents. Contact the agents at Penny Insurance Agency for any assistance or questions you may have.


Common Thanksgiving Insurance Claims

Common Thanksgiving Insurance Claims

Thanksgiving is a such a wonderful time of the year! It is a great time to spend with friends and family, eat delicious food, watch football and possibly even nap in the middle of the day. There’s so much to celebrate and love about this holiday. However, with all the hustle and bustle going on, Thanksgiving is also a time when many accidents and mishaps occur, especially those within the home. Listed below are just a few of the most common Thanksgiving insurance claims as well as ways to avoid them.

  • Traffic Accidents
    • Did you know that Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest weekends of the year to travel by car?** If you think about all the people traveling to visit family, this statistic makes total sense. However, with more people choosing to travel by car, the roads are becoming even more crowded and congested resulting in the increased risk of traffic accidents. To avoid the risk of getting in an accident, it is important to make sure that your auto insurance is up-to-date and there to help protect you and your family financially if something were to happen. In order to avoid such kinds of accidents, plan your routes in advance when traveling unfamiliar roads. It is also important to be patient and make sure you allow yourself plenty of time so you are not rushed. Lastly, if the drive is over two hours, consider flying or taking a train. Although driving can be cheaper, the cost of your life may outweigh the financial one.
  • Kitchen Fires
    • As it turns out, turkey, the signature Thanksgiving dish, is the most common cause of house fires. Think about it: you are visiting with friends and family, become preoccupied and therefore forget about your turkey cooking in the oven. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in 2014 Thanksgiving was the most common day for home fires that as a result of cooking. The NFPA noted that there were 1,730 fires on Thanksgiving, which is almost four times the number of fires on an average day and over double the number of fires at Christmas (780).*** No matter how the fire starts or the size, the fire can spread rapidly and destroy your entire house if not careful. This is why it is absolutely crucial to never leave the stove unattended for an extended period of time. You home is probably one of the biggest investments you will ever make, so it is vital to take care of it as well as the people inside. The purchase of home insurance can help provide you with that security and peace of mind.
  • Injured or Sick Guests
    • Although being the host of the annual Thanksgiving dinner may seem like an honor, you are also taking a huge risk with such a responsibility. If one of your guests gets food poisoning or gets in an accident on their way from having too much to drink, you could be liable for the medial bills or repair costs. By purchasing general liability insurance, you could protect yourself from such costs.****

It is important to ensure your insurance policies are up-to-date to prepare for any potential liability issues that can occur this Thanksgiving. Contact us at Penny Insurance because we can help you. Give us a call today to connect with an agent to discuss your coverage options.