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Now that fall is here and the mercury is dropping, people will be spending more time indoors and the number of structural fires will increase. As the days become shorter and the nights become longer (and colder), here are a few tips to help prevent fires in your home:

  1. Cook with caution:  Never stray too far away from the kitchen when cooking. It’s easy to get distracted while something is simmering on the stovetop or baking in the oven, but try using a timer as a helpful reminder something is cooking. Also, consider keeping at least a three-foot radius around the stove as a “kid-free zone” to prevent accidental bumping of hot pots and pan
  2. Heating the home: You are likely to bring out the warm blankets and turn the heat on soon. Try to keep anything that can be combustible away from heating equipment such as fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, and space heaters. Have your heating equipment inspected annually by professionals to help prevent system malfunctions that could cause a fire.
  3. Candlelight:  Candles can make lovely decorations (and make it smell like pumpkin spice), but they can also be very dangerous. Whether they are used in a jack-o-lantern or as an emergency measure during a power outage, keep candles in a sturdy holder so they won’t tip over easily. Try to keep hair and clothing away from the candle as you light it, and don’t burn a candle down to the very end.  Never leave your home with a candle burning.
  4. Electrical outlets:  This is the time when most people begin decorating their homes for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  Remember not to plug too much into an extension cord or safety strip. Big appliances should always be plugged directly into a wall outlet. Make sure electrical cords are not running under carpets or in front of doorways because they could also become a potential trip hazard.
  5. Safety equipment:  A big piece of fire safety and prevention is ensuring all the equipment is working properly. It is a good idea to test all smoke alarms monthly, change batteries annually, and replace old alarms and power strips with newer models after 10 years. If there is anyone in the household who is hard of hearing, there are smoke alarms that are available that have strobe lights to visually alert them of a fire. Also, have a working fire extinguisher that is visible, unobstructed, and in its designated location.

Fall and winter can be beautiful seasons.  For more tips and fire prevention information, check out the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

The Turner Agency, Inc. is a local Trusted Choice® independent insurance agency located in Greenville, South Carolina and in Clemson, South Carolina. Serving the Upstate of South Carolina and beyond since 1962, we offer a variety of personal and business coverage choices and can customize an insurance plan to meet your specialized needs for homes, automobiles, recreational vehicles, secondary homes, and your business. Contact The Turner Agency today.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources and is not all inclusive regarding the subject matter. This content is offered for educational purposes only. Posted with permission from Central Insurance.

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