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house firesNow that frosty weather has settled in, we’re all looking for ways to stay warm.

You’ve probably broken out the sweaters and flannel sheets.  You also may have turned on the furnace or even turned to a fireplace or wood stove for heat.

House fires become more common this time of year.  However, you can take some fairly simple steps to protect your home and family from tragedy.

House Fires Don’t Have to Happen

Did you have your furnace serviced before you turned it on?  The Times Herald reports that heating devices are a common cause of house fires.

In addition to having having your furnace checked every year, experts recommend changing the filter and having the chimney checked.  A buildup of exhaust particulates and creosote from wood-burning appliances increase the chances for a chimney fire.

If you have an open fireplace, be certain to use a screen to prevent sparks from escaping.  Also, safely dispose of ashes.

Keep flammable objects at least three feet away from heat sourcesDon’t overload electrical outlets or extension cords both inside and outside the home.

house firesWhile installing smoke detectors doesn’t prevent house fires, they could save your life.

An article in the Mt. Pleasant Epicenter recommends a smoke detector on every level of your home and in every bedroomTest them each month to ensure they still work and change the batteries regularly.  Remember, smoke detectors only have about a 10-year life span.

If a fire happens in your home, do you know how to get to safety?  Your family should have an escape plan that includes where you will meet once you get out of the house.  Include different escape routes in case your way gets blocked.

The Keating Agency also recommends you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen.  Cooking fires are some of the most common and water isn’t always recommended.

Of course, this is only a solution for small fires.  For a large fire, don’t try to put it out yourself.  Your best course is to get out of the house safely.

For 50 years, the Keating Agency has been your local, independent insurance agency.  We gladly provide information we believe will keep our friends and neighbors safe.

As a third-generation family business, we know our relationship with you goes beyond selling you a policy.  If you’d like to discuss fire safety for your home, or other issues of concern, please give us a call.

At the Keating Agency, we’re here for you.

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