Lower Your Homeowner’s Insurance Costs. Practice Fire Safety.

According to statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in 2008, fire departments responded to nearly 1.5 million fire; 27% of them were residential, accounting for 83% of civilian deaths by fire. Those fires caused $15,478,000,000 in direct property losses, and probably resulted in a lot of homeowner’s insurance premium increases or cancellations. You can avoid becoming a statistic and lower your homeowners insurance costs by practicing fire safety. Combine your spring cleaning with these fire prevention precautions:

  • Test your smoke detectors and install fresh batteries in all units. Experts recommend doing a test monthly and replacing smoke detectors every 10 years. Clear away any dust or cobwebs that may have accumulated on or around the units. Make certain everyone in your home knows what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear the alarm. Smoke alarms may qualify you for a discount on your homeowner’s insurance.
  • Test your home fire extinguishers. Check the locking pin and tamper seal. If they are missing or damaged, replace the unit. Inspect the nozzle and hose assembly for any deterioration and do make sure spiders haven’t taken up residence. Finally, turn the unit upside down to break up the powder that compacts over time. Make sure everyone in your home knows where fire extinguishers are stored and how to use them properly.
  • Hold regular family fire drills so that everyone knows what to do and where to go. You should have at least two escape routes. Also,  be sure you can easily open any windows that may be needed as escape routes in case of fire.
  • Check the cords and plugs on electric appliances. Have any that are frayed or damaged professionally repaired or replace them.
  • Overloaded outlets are the source of many home fires. If your home is short on outlets, invest in quality surge protectors.
  • Change or clean furnace and air conditioning filters.
  • Use your canister vacuum cleaner to remove built-up lint from your gas or electric clothes dryer.
  • Clean up the dust bunnies that collect around your water heater.
  • Remove any flammable materials that may have been stored near water heaters, furnaces and dryers. These including newspapers, rags, cans of paint and cleaning solutions. Properly store or dispose of these items.
  • Before you fire up the gas grill, inspect the vents, hoses and gas lines. Spiders like to nest in these areas and can clog the lines.
  • Program emergency numbers including the fire department into your landline and mobile phones.


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