Whether you own or rent, learn how to reduce the risk of fire in your home. Here are the four most frequent causes of fire in home insurance and easy ways to avoid them.
This year, the theme for fire prevention week is kitchen fires. The reason being, most fires in the home start in the kitchen! Even if some fires are started by faulty electrical appliances, most are caused by human error and can easily be avoided.
Luckily, by adopting good habits, it is easy to avoid most kitchen fires. Here’s where you can start:
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Always keep a pan lid handy in case you need to smother an oil or grease fire
- Avoid wearing loose clothing, which can catch fire
2. Smokers’ materials and candles
After kitchen fires, smokers’ materials are one of the main causes of residential fires.1 According to the Quebec City fire department, smokers’ materials cause 30% of all residential fires.2 That’s a lot! If you smoke, take extra precautions by adopting these good habits:
- Keep smokers’ materials, like matches and lighters, out of the reach of children
- Never smoke in bed; you could fall asleep and drop your cigarette, causing a fire
- Avoid emptying ashtrays into the trash
- Never leave lit candles unattended and never carry a lit candle
3. Electrical appliances
Did you know that most building fires occur in January, February and March?3 This is when the most electricity is used.4 It goes without saying that, between these two phenomenon, it is important to think about electrical fires. Stay vigilant when using extension cords and electrical outlets. Remember, to stay safe, it is important to follow these basic rules:
- Avoid plugging several extension cords together
- Never use extension cords in a permanent fashion
- Never staple or nail wires and extension cords to walls; instead, use nylon straps
4. Clothes dryer
If you are the lucky soul who is in charge of laundry, you probably know the basic rules: separate brights from whites, wash dark clothing in cold water to avoid fading, etc. But do you know the risk of fire your clothes dryer represents? It’s a little-known fact that many fires start in the laundry room and are caused by the clothes dryer. To prevent a fire, follow these rules:
- Have the clothes dryer installed by a professional
- Remove lint from the filter after each use; an accumulation of lint could cause a fire
- Never run the clothes dryer when you leave your home or when you are sleeping
For increased safety, draw up a home evacuation plan
We invite you to take the time to draw up an evacuation plan for your home. This will help your family evacuate quickly and safely in the event of a fire. Go to the public safety website to learn how to create your home evacuation plan.
Get together as a family and discuss the evacuation plan and fire safety instructions. If you have young children, you can approach this topic using educational games.
We would also like to remind you that despite your best prevention efforts, there is always a risk that a fire could break out. Whether you own or rent, it is important to buy a home insurance policy so that you have help in the event of a fire.
1 Source: Sécurité publique du Québec (French only)
2 Source: Ici Radio-Canada (French only)
3 Source: Sécurité publique du Québec (French only)
4 Source: Hydro-Québec