COLUMBUS, Ohio--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Cooking fires are, by far, the most common home-related fires, and they are more expensive to repair. Fires that start on the stove outpace appliance, fireplace, smoking, candle or furnace fires. According to claims data compiled by Nationwide Insurance, the average cooking-fire claim is more than $30,000, four times higher than the next most expensive type of homeowners claim.
“Fire Prevention Week is a great opportunity to make an emergency escape plan, check your smoke alarms, and identify your risks”
Nationwide is urging homeowners to observe “Fire Prevention Week,” which is October 6-12, 2013. Nationwide published a fire prevention infographic that provides tips for homeowners on what they can do to protect their homes and loved ones from fire-related losses.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), one in 22 households will have a cooking fire each year. Cooking is involved in an estimated 156,400 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments. These fires caused:
- 420 deaths
- 5,310 injuries
- $993 million in direct property damage
- 16 percent of home-fire deaths, 40 percent of home-fire injuries and 15 percent of direct-property damage in 2010.
- Never leave the stove unattended. Always keep what you are cooking in sight. Stay alert.
- Keep things that can catch fire away from a heat source, such as paper products and cloth.
- Never use water on a grease fire!
- Know what to do if you have a cooking fire. Practice your fire escape plan. Know two ways out of your home.
- Keep children and pets away from the cooking area.
- Install and use cooking appliances safely.
- Have working smoke alarms and test them regularly.
Protect your personal property
- Inventory your valuables, including approximate value and date purchased. Pictures or videos are great. Go to www.KnowYourStuff.org for more information and to download free software.
- Store mortgage and other important papers in a safe deposit or fire safe box— and do not store the box on your basement floor.
- Add your insurance company’s claims number to your contact list on your cell phone.
- Read and understand your homeowner and auto insurance policies, especially your deductibles. Talk to an agent to make sure you have the appropriate amount of insurance coverage to protect what matters most to you.
“Last year, 17 percent of all Nationwide Insurance residential fire insurance claims were caused by cooking,” said Pete Lore, associate vice president of claims, Nationwide Insurance. “We’ve learned a lot from our response to fires over the years. Having a plan and taking some small steps now can go a long way toward preventing the unthinkable.”
“Fire Prevention Week is a great opportunity to make an emergency escape plan, check your smoke alarms, and identify your risks,” added Lore. “You can never be too prepared for the unexpected.”
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides customers a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto insurance, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, pet, life insurance, farm, commercial insurance, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and specialty health services. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.