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House Fires Increase During Winter – What Should You Do?

Candles near window

No one wants to think about the possibility of a fire in their home- especially for condo and cooperative residents in the Tri-State. Yet the winter season brings into focus several of the principal causes of house fires: space heaters, fireplaces, candles, cooking fires, electrical fires, and improper storage of flammables. That’s a lot to consider, but the fact is, the ounce of prevention taken now will avoid or eliminate damages and fire insurance claims later. Here are some pointers to make this winter season safer for you, your family, and the other residents in our New York City condo or cooperative community.

No one wants to file a condo fire damage claim so consider taking these simple precautions:

Open flame: If you must have candles, ensure that these are never lit when children or pets are present. Do not leave a lit candle or fireplace unattended. Always be certain that the fireplace and candles are fully extinguished before retiring to bed, and that for fireplaces, no live embers are present.

Cooking fires: keep a kitchen fire extinguisher on your counter near your stove. Also, good to have on hand- large canisters of salt. In the event of a grease fire, salt can quickly extinguish flare-ups before they spread. Do not use curtains in your kitchen near your stove. Keep your cell phone with you at all times, in case a 911 call becomes an imperative.

Space Heaters: like candles and fireplaces, do not leave unattended.

Electrical fires: We all like to decorate for the holidays. Do not overtax your electrical system. Be sure not to stain the amperage on your outlets by installing several runs of holiday lights and/or holiday decor from one outlet. Instead, consider LED lights which do not require the same amperage as traditional holiday lights, are cooler, and longer lasting.

Flammables: Do not store propane canisters, barbecue fuel, solvents, glues, cleaning fluids or any similar items near flame or heating elements. Preferably store these well away from living quarters in a garage storage unit.

Lithium-ion batteries: Properly store batteries. Batteries should not be left unattended in the event that it becomes damaged, unstable, and overheats. It is recommended that lithium-ion batteries be stored separately from hazardous materials, combustibles, or any flammable items.

All of these precautions can be easily taken well before your holiday and throughout the winter. For more information on how you can avoid a condo fire claim, speak with our team at United Adjusters & Appraisers. We’re here to help at 800-718-5677.


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