Home fires are all-too-common in America. Every 24 seconds, firefighters respond to a house fire in America, and house fires claim about 7 lives every day across the nation.
Electrical fires, in particular, are hard to deal with – because they can be hard to anticipate, and bring with them a whole host of insurance issues. In some cases, your insurance may even try to deny your claim, by saying that your home was not in compliance with local codes, or that the fire was set intentionally. This could devastate your finances, and result in the loss of your home.
In this guide, a electrical fire attorney will provide you with valuable tips about how to prevent electrical fires altogether – and how to safeguard your financial future in the unlikely event that your home is damaged or destroyed by an electrical fire.
- Prevention Is The Best Cure – Keep Your Family Safe
First things first, you need to focus on preventing home fires altogether, for obvious reasons. Unlike some other types of fires, like those caused by cooking or space heaters, the cause of an electrical fire may not always be obvious. That’s why you need to take steps, such as:
- Have your electrical systems checked regularly – Having an inspection every 5-10 years is a good idea, to ensure that there are no major faults or issues. In addition, new homeowners should have their systems inspected before they purchase a home.
You should also have your electrical system tested if you start noticing strange issues with your electrical circuitry. Dimming lights, inconsistent power, frequent circuit-breaker shut-offs, and other such things are indicators that something is wrong, and these signs should not be ignored.
- Don’t overload outlets– Don’t use multiple power strips or extension cords and “daisy chain” them together. The more power is running through a cord, the more likely there is to be a fault, which could lead to a house fire. If you need additional outlets, hire a professional electrician to install them, rather than just overusing a few outlets in your home.
- Don’t use plugs that are worn or frayed– Any cord or plug that is worn or frayed should be discarded immediately.
These simple tips can help you ensure that wiring faults and appliance issues do not cause an electrical fire in your home.
- Double And Triple-Check Your Insurance Policy
First, you should make sure you understand exactly what’s covered by your insurer. For example, your home may have full protection – but your garage, if it’s not attached to your home, may count as a “detached structure,” meaning it’s covered separately, and may not be insured for the same total amount of money.
You should also check your insurance for information about how much money you’ll get for the costs associated with living outside of your home, such as paying for hotels and lodging, and restaurant bills.
Understanding your coverage will help you get the money you’re owed, in the rare event that an electrical fire does occur.
- Keep A Record Of All Of Your Possessions In A Spreadsheet This may sound daunting, but it’s one of the best things you can do to safeguard your possessions and your finances – not just from electrical fires, but also other natural disasters, as well as burglary and theft, and anything else your insurance covers.
Go through your home, room-by-room. Catalog everything. Include the brand name, original purchase price, and the name of the product, if possible. Leave no stone unturned. The more specific you are about the possessions you have, the more likely you are to be compensated for their full value by your insurance company.
For example, if you just say “Couch” when making an insurance claim, the insurer could find the cheapest comparable couch, and pay you just a few hundred dollars. But if you write down “Couch, Pottery Barn, Sectional, Brown, Leather, $2,500” on your claim, they will be obligated to pay for a similar replacement.
Keep Your Financial Future Safe From Electrical Fires With These Tips!
By avoiding electrical fires altogether – and taking steps to understand your insurance and protect your possessions in case one occurs – you can ensure that you’re covered, even in the unfortunate event that your home is damaged or destroyed by an electrical fire. So take these steps now, and keep your family safe!