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In most years, fire is the largest single cause of property loss in the United States. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were nearly 500,000 structure fires in the United States, causing approximately $10 billion in property damage. This deadly peril kills several thousand Americans each year and causes over 15,000 injuries. There are numerous steps, however, you can take to reduce your exposure to residential fires, including the following.

  • Install smoke alarms in various parts of your home, including bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens. Homes with smoke alarms typically have a fire-related death rate that is 40 to 50 percent less than the rate in homes without alarms.
  • Place fire extinguishers in several areas of the home, including the garage, the kitchen, and on each floor of the house. The potency of these extinguishers should be checked on a semiannual basis.
  • For those about to build a new home, consider the installation of a sprinkler system. These systems have proven effective in suppressing most fires before the fire department arrives. In addition, they normally add only about 1 percent to the cost of a new home and last for the life of the home.
  • Avoid leaving burning candles unattended. Fires often start when children, adults, and pets inadvertently overturn candles.
  • Properly maintain your clothes dryer, which is a big cause of fires in the United States. The dryer vent should be kept clean, the lint screen should be removed and cleaned after each use, and a qualified technician should periodically inspect gas clothes dryers.

Source: International Risk Management Institute, Inc.  Copyright 2015

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The information provided in these articles are only general descriptions and should not be relied upon as complete, correct or accurate for your specific situation. All coverage informaiton is subject to policy provisions, endorsements and may be  subject to your meeting underwriting qualifications. Murphy Insurance Agency is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other noninsurance professional services. Consult an appropriate professional for advice regarding your own situation.