Avoiding Homeowners Insurance Claims During the Holidays

Posted by Jim Pietro on Dec 11, 2014 11:59:00 AM

 holiday decorations

It’s a wonderful time of year. The smell of fresh cut evergreens from the Christmas tree, the twinkling of strings of holiday lights, and the warm glow of candles on the mantle all make our holidays bright. But according to the Nation Fire Protection Association (NFPA) they also caused an average of 380 home fires per year in 2007 – 2011. Sadly, the fires caused by Christmas trees and holiday decorations are likely to be more serious, with an average of 15 deaths, 38 injuries and $26.7 million in property damage.

Facts about home holiday fires (from NFPA)

  • One of every three home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems.
  • Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. On average, one of every 40 reported home structure Christmas tree fires results in a death compared to an average of one death per 142 total reported home structure fires.
  • A heat source too close to the tree causes roughly one in every six of Christmas tree fires.
  • More than half (56 percent) of home candle fires occur when something that can catch on fire is too close to the candle.
  • December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 11 percent of home candle fires began with decorations compared to 4 percent the rest of the year.

 

What can you do to protect yourself and your family and avoid a homeowners insurance claim?

The Massachusetts Office of Public Safety offers 12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety:

1. Water Christmas trees daily

2. Turn off Lights (Consider switching to cooler LED lights)

3. Blow out candles

4. Stand by your pan; put a lid on it

5. Space heaters need space

6. Keep matches and lighters out of sight and reach of children

7. Know how to get out

8. Have working smoke alarms

9. Have working carbon monoxide alarms

10. Use extension cords wisely

11. Smoke outside

12. Drink responsibly

 

Here are a couple more tips for good measure:

Make an inventory of the contents of your home. If you have any collectibles or other high cost items, check with your insurance agent to make sure they are covered. Don’t forget any new items purchased for gifts!

If you are a tenant, make sure you have renters insurance to your personal property.

Have a happy and safe holiday season!

 

Topics: Holiday safety, Mid-State's Blog, renters insurance, home insurance

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