Fire-Related Deaths at Home On the Rise

Fire-Related Deaths at Home On the Rise
Despite advancements in sensors and smart home technology, people are more likely to die from a fire in their own home than they were a few decades ago.
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, the death rate per 1,000 home fires is 10 percent higher than it was in 1980. While our country as a whole has made good progress in preventing home fires, we can keep people safe by educating them about what to do in the event of a fire.

Today’s homes are built with materials that burn faster than ever. Depending on the type of fire, the homeowner could have as little as one to two minutes to be able to escape safely from the property. Insurance carriers can add a lot of value by bringing up fire safety best practices when conducting a property inspection.

Fire Safety Tips to Discuss in a Property Inspection
When addressing fire safety in a property inspection, there are three key areas that insurance carriers should discuss with homeowners:

1. Point Out Places in the Home Where a Fire is Most Likely to Start.
When walking through the property with the homeowner, insurance carriers should point out the places in the home where a fire could start. More than half of all house fires originate in the kitchen, and the oven is often the culprit. Other common spaces in the home where fires are more likely to start include the bedroom (especially if it contains a lot of plush objects), the chimney, and the laundry room.

2. Confirm the Fire Alarm is Working.
Confirming that the fire alarm in the home is working is a standard best practice during a property inspection. As a rule of thumb, homeowners should replace the batteries in their fire alarm at least once a year and install a new fire alarm every ten years.

3. Have 2 Escape Routes for Each Room in the Home.
Property inspectors should also talk to homeowners about having two escape routes out of each room in the property. Having a plan of action could make the difference between life and death if the homeowner only has a few minutes to figure out how to escape the fire.

All in all, while people typically feel the safest in their own homes, the sense of complacency towards escape planning and practice in the event of a fire is why we’re seeing an increase in the number of fire-related deaths in the home. Insurance carriers that take the time to talk to homeowners about how to protect themselves in the event of a fire will help to mitigate risk and save lives.

Our team at Insurance Risk Services has nearly 40 years of experience in partnering with property and casualty insurance carriers to provide them with thorough in-person property inspections. When we meet with your client to conduct a property inspection, we serve as the face of your business and are committed to representing you well. A property inspection provides us with an opportunity to educate homeowners about insurance risk, including house fires and how to protect themselves in the event of a fire.

Contact us at Insurance Risk Services to learn more about the value that we can provide to your insureds through an in-person property inspection.

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