The Benefit Of An Education Strategy For Fire Prevention

The Benefit Of An Education Strategy For Fire Prevention
Tackling the issue of fire safety with insureds has long been focused on having the appropriate number of smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and other safety measures. Such requirements are often essential to receiving coverage anyway and are readily noticed during an insurance inspection. Despite this, home fires and deaths from home fires are on the rise.
Naturally, working on fire prevention is the superior portion of a two-pronged approach. While little can be said for cooking and smoking-related fires borne of ingrained habits or momentary distractions, electrical fires are the true highlight of any fire prevention program. Unfortunately, broaching this subject with insureds often begins and ends with a higher premium due to the electrical state of the home. The risk involved may necessitate the cost, but this should be the end of a path to risk reduction. An educational approach is beneficial to both sides in this issue.

Older Homes
Older homes typically bring additional fire threat in today’s device-driven world. Home builders at the time could never have predicted the sheer amount of electricity regularly consumed by today’s average homeowners. Older wiring and outdated breaker boxes can be a prime source of house fires. This is no small difference, with aluminum wiring alone being 55 times more likely to reach fire hazard levels according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Be sure to clearly state if insurance premium costs will be discounted or reduced for any wiring updates as this upfront information may be the tipping point in action by the insured. Encouragement and incentive to make the changes is too often left out of the conversation, leaving permanent risk for insurers and higher premiums for insureds who were unaware of an additional option.

Educating Your Customer
As mentioned previously, most individuals are aware of the dangers of smoking inside and leaving food or candles unattended. Other fire hazard issues are less common knowledge and it may be well worth it to inform insureds in some way, such as a checklist included in a welcome packet or flyer mailed home. Pertinent information to add includes:

  • Unplugging washers, dryers, and other appliances when not in use.
  • Avoiding running cords under rugs
  • Avoiding usage of grounding plug adapters
  • Using correct wattage bulbs to avoid fires.
  • Extension cord misuse
  • Device overload and outlet overcrowding
  • When it is important to call an electrician.

Fire risks can frequently be overlooked by homeowners when not related to a specific conscious activities such as cooking. While it may feel above and beyond the job of an insurer to provide such information, an educated customer means a potential preventable fire claim saved.

With fire damage ranking high on the list of insurance claims, any effort taken to reduce their prevalence for your customers is time well spent. An in-person insurance inspection will readily identify major fire safety risks and inform insureds of noted concerns. Beginning an educational campaign for insured homeowners by introducing the lesser known causes of house fires is the next step in preventable fire claim reduction.

Insurance Risk Services works with insurance carriers nationwide to deliver thorough, in-person insurance inspections. While working for you, we take the time to educate homeowners about all insurance risks found on their property. Contact Insurance Risk Services today to see how our complete insurance inspections can help to reduce the risk and cost from fire claims.