Fire Damage is one of the most common and destructive losses that you may face in your life. Fire Damage can be both emotionally traumatic and financially distressful. It can cost you millions of dollars and millions of memories. Fire Damage can take away a lifetime of memories from you within minutes. Smoke, soot, and burns can leave traumas for you that can last for a lifetime. Oftentimes, the damage that fires cause can be so severe that it can take an eternity to repair that damage. In accordance with a statistical report presented by United States Fire Administration (USFA) and the Insurance Information Institute, an average house fire can cause a loss of forty thousand dollars. In the worst case scenario, it can result in a total loss. Dealing with fire damage is the last thing you want and therefore you must take preventive measures to make sure you never have to deal with this disaster. Fire Damages are preventable and are mostly caused by cooking or heating fires. Fire damage has lasting effects. Even after the fire is extinguished, the soot and smoke can cause further damage. Fire odors can be impossible to remediate and oftentimes, complete replacement of the damaged item is required.
Causes of Fire Damage
● Cooking Fires
One of the most leading causes of Fire Damage is unattended cooking. A statistical report by the National Fire Protection Association says that unattended cooking is the principal cause of fires in homes. Cooking fires are caused by a variety of reasons. Uncovered cooking pots, loose-fitting clothes, or any greasy mess can invite a fire that can get rampant in a few minutes. Even minor pan fires can turn into something severe.
● Heating Fires
Fireplaces, wood stoves, and chimneys can start fires if you are not careful enough. While relishing the warm glow of evening fires in winter, people can often become unheedful of many dangerous things like maintaining a safe distance with the fireplace or hanging fabrics like curtains nearby. Heating Fires are often caused through clutter accumulated in chimney connectors and joints.
● Smoking Fires
Smoking is one of the principal causes of fires in homes. By refraining from smoking, you can considerably curtail the risk of getting a fire in your house. You should not be smoking at all. However, even if you do smoke, make sure there is no flammable object nearby. A fire can be initiated from a tiny spark. Therefore, even if you are smoking outside the house, you need to make sure that there is no debris close by. Debris can catch a fire very quickly. A heedless disposal of the cigarette can also instigate a fire.
● Electric Fires
Electric Fires is one of the leading causes of fires in both industrial and domestic sectors. These fires are mostly caused by worn-out wires and defective outlets. These fires can be instigated from a mere wiring defect in home appliances such as electric stoves, dryers, electric ovens, air conditioners and so forth. Many times, electrical cords are overloaded and a small electric spark puts an uncontrolled fire in motion. Electrical appliances are present everywhere in our houses and if a certain spark is produced, a fire can start in no time. Frayed cords and faulty outlets are the major causes of electric fires. These fires can also be instigated by your own negligence like trying to push a three-pronged plug into a two-pronged outlet. These acts of negligence can turn out to be very catastrophic for you.
How to Control the Fire?
● Installing Smoke Detectors
This is one of the most important ways to defend yourself against house fires. The installation of smoke detectors has now become a law. If smoke is detected timely, reasonable steps can be taken to prevent the fire thereby saving your house and your life. The location of smoke detectors is extremely important. Alarms should be mounted centrally on the ceiling of the hall, room, or stairwell. Alarms should not be mounted near the doors or windows and should be mounted at least two feet away from any corner. The batteries of the alarms should be changed twice a year. Although ionization detectors work well, installing photoelectric detectors is a more reasonable option as these detectors are better at detecting smoldering fires where there is very little flame in the beginning but a lot of smoke. These fires can spread very subtly.
● Fire Escape Plan
A fire can move throughout your house in a matter of minutes. It can engulf your house quickly and the black smoke that builds up afterwards can make it impossible for you to see. You need to have a Fire Escape Plan that shows all possible exits from every room. Learning to use Fire Extinguishers and practicing crawling out of the rooms at night through emergency exits are also very helpful.
● Installation of Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers are as important as smoke detectors. Fire extinguishers come in a variety of forms depending upon the fire they are used to extinguish. Light-weight fire extinguishers are handy and should be preferred so that everyone can use them easily. Whether you go for the plastic-made fire extinguishers or the refillable metal fire extinguishers, keeping them in your house is a prerequisite if you want to control the fire on time.
Fire Damage and Insurance
As fire damage is one of the most catastrophic damages that can happen to your property, signing up for insurance to minimize your financial burden is essential. Oftentimes, homeowners’ insurance does not offer complete coverage in the case of fire damage. In a standard homeowners’ insurance policy, fire damage coverage is not good enough to cover for all losses incurred. That is why signing up for Fire Insurance can help you alleviate your financial burden. It will provide complete indemnification in case of fire damage. The indemnification will either be offered on the basis of replacement-cost or an actual cash value for the losses incurred. The compensation offered under this policy can often be capped at a rate less than the cost of the losses incurred. The extent of the coverage varies from policy to policy.