A home fire can be emotionally devastating and it can take a very long time to restore your home to its previous condition.

Prevention and preparation are your best tools. Follow these fire safety tips so you avoid fires and know what to do if they occur.

Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors are still the best way to gain time if a fire breaks out in your home. Unfortunately, according to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, almost 25% of fire deaths occur in homes without smoke detectors and another 12% of deaths occur in homes with inoperative detectors.

It’s simple to install smoke detectors and to check the batteries in existing units. Ensure you have detectors on every level of your home and in all bedrooms. Mark your calendar and test batteries monthly.

Add a Sprinkler System

If you’re renovating your home, consider installing a sprinkler system. They provide extra time for an escape if a fire starts, and they limit the damage to a specific area rather than letting the fire spread unchecked throughout your home. Insurers often offer substantial discounts for sprinkler systems too.

Pay Attention While Cooking

The U.S. Fire Administration reports 33.7% of home fires are cooking related. Unattended food, excessive heat, or dirty or neglected cooking equipment are the leading causes of kitchen fires.

Install a fire extinguisher close to the kitchen and know how to use it. Local fire departments often conduct free sessions so homeowners gain hands-on experience and understand when it’s best to abandon a fire.

Don’t leave flammable materials near cooking elements and don’t leave food unattended on a burner or in the oven.

Practice Your Escape

When fire erupts in a home, you often have very little time to escape. Consequently, everyone must know what to do, have an escape plan, and practice it until it is routine.

Establish primary and secondary routes in case smoke or fire blocks exits. Practice your plan at least twice a year and post a diagram in your home so everyone sees it regularly.

Decide Where to Meet

Fires create chaos, so family members need to know precisely where they should go once they’re out of the house. You don’t want to worry someone is still in your home, when they’re actually safe and sound.

Stay out of your house and call 9-1-1. Don’t return, even if it looks safe. Fire officials will tell you when it’s safe to return.

Review Insurance Coverage

Many homeowners renew their New Jersey homeowners insurance coverage annually without considering what might have changed. You’ve probably bought new items, plus the value of your home has probably increased.

If you haven’t done an insurance review recently, talk to a local independent insurance agency like ours. We can realign your coverage to protect your home and possessions well so you can recover quickly from a fire and minimize financial loss.