In less than thirty seconds, a small fire can grow completely out of control and turn into a major fire that spreads throughout the house. Within minutes, your home can be filled with smoke. Preventing fires is the easiest way to avoid a potentially dangerous situation. While in the kitchen, follow these safety precautions:
- Unplug portable appliances when not in use
- Keep a fire extinguisher in an easily accessible area of your kitchen
- Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing that can drape on flames and into pans
- If you wear your hair long, keep it tied back
- Do not place oven mitts, towels or other cloth items near the stove
- Do not place metal dishes or tin foil in the microwave as this can cause sparking.
Fires can start in any part of the home. Keeping fire extinguishers placed throughout your home can help you extinguish small fires before they get out of hand. Installing a central station fire alarm in your home will ensure that the fire department responds quickly and can also save you money on your homeowner’s insurance policy.
In the event of a fire, remain calm. Turn off the appliance you are using, if possible. If the fire starts in a pan on your stove, try to place a cover on the pan.
If you are unable to stop the fire, leave the home immediately, warn others who could be home to do the same, and call 911.
The time to check your homeowner’s policy to ensure you are adequately insured is before the fire strikes. Ask your agent to review your dwelling amount to ensure it reflects the current replacement cost. Remember, your home is insured for the amount it will take to rebuild your home and not its resale value.