Certain types of house fires peak around the holidays. As you might guess, with all the cooking we do this time of year, kitchen fires top the list.
While your homeowners insurance will cover damage from fire, Nicholas / Tobin Insurance wants to share tips on prevention as well as what you should do in the event of a kitchen fire.
Almost half of all home fires start in the kitchen. While kitchen fires take place year-round, the largest percentage of cooking fires take place on Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
COMMON-SENSE PRECAUTIONS TO AVOID KITCHEN FIRES
- If you need to leave the room while cooking, turn off the stove. Most kitchen fires start when the stove is left unattended.
- Clear your cooking area of any type of flammable materials, like kitchen towels and oven mitts, wooden utensils, or even mail on the countertop next to your cooktop.
- Try to avoid wearing loose fitting garments that could catch fire if you lean too close to the cooktop.
WHAT IS THE MOST COMMON TYPE OF KITCHEN FIRE?
The most common type of kitchen fire is a grease fire. Grease fires start when cooking oil gets too hot. As mentioned above, you should never leave your stove unattended when you’re cooking. However, when you’re cooking with oil, you need to be especially mindful of this. Grease fires can get out of control very quickly, going from a small flame to an unmanageable blaze in 30 seconds.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A GREASE FIRE
- Oil smokes before it burns, so if you see that start to happen, turn the burner off immediately! If it has caught fire, DO NOT pour water on it…that will spread the fire.
- The best thing to do is cover the fire with a metal pot lid or a baking sheet to smother it.
- If it’s a small fire, you can try putting it out with baking soda or salt, but it takes a large quantity to put out most fires, so this isn’t your best option.
- Use a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher, if you have one handy. There are different types of fire extinguishers, so make sure you use the correct type or you could accidentally spread the fire.
- If you are unable to extinguish the fire quickly, get yourself and your family out of the house! Close the door and call 911 immediately. Do not return to your house until firefighters determine it is safe.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE POLICY WHEN YOU HAVE FIRE DAMAGE
In the event of a fire that damages or destroys your home, you will be covered by your homeowners insurance. However, it’s important to know what your policy covers.
Say your home and belongings are destroyed in a house fire. If your homeowners insurance policy covers Actual Cash Value, you’ll only receive what your home and the items destroyed are worth at that point in time. Furniture, clothing and electronics depreciate as soon as they are purchased, so you won’t receive the same amount of money that you spent originally. Likewise, you’ll only receive what your house is worth, not what it will cost to rebuild it the way it was.
Replacement cost will cover the replacement cost of the items as well as the cost to rebuild or repair your property. Most homeowners insurance policies offer Replacement Cost, and this is usually the better choice. If you’re not sure what type of policy you have, please check with us at Nicholas / Tobin Insurance, and we will be happy to review your policy with you!
Nicholas / Tobin Insurance, located in New Milford, Connecticut, provides its clients the highest quality insurance products and services available today to protect them, their families, and businesses. We offer homeowners insurance, renters insurance, car insurance, business insurance, travel insurance and more! Our commitment to service means our team of licensed insurance professionals is here to help with simple policy questions, consult with you to determine appropriate coverages and be available 24/7 when trouble strikes and you need assistance managing through the claim process.