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Woman sets up holiday lights around her Tampa home

Are you doing everything you can to prevent potential fires in your home? Our Insurance expert Adam Talley goes on Tampa Home Talk to discuss fire safety tips With Pasco County fire rescue officers, Corey Deirdrorff and Lisa Negron. Make sure that you don’t miss any of these important tips that can protect your home and your family in the coming year.

How Do You Handle a Grease Fire in Your Kitchen?

Unfortunately, this type of fire is quite common. people are cooking something on the stove and they get distracted; they go sit down, they get on their phone, or they even fall asleep. All of a sudden they’re dealing with a serious situation. it’s a grease fire! What do you do?

As both Cory and Lisa note, the one thing you should not do is try to douse the fire with water. This is not going to produce the desired effect and it can make the matter even worse. remember that a fire needs oxygen in order to survive, so what you need to do is stifle the grease fire. These Pasco County fire rescue officers recommend covering the fire with a sheet pan or a lid in order to take the oxygen out of that fire.

Fire Safety Tips for Your Holiday Lights

Do you like to dazzle your family and neighbors with an extravagant light display during the holidays? If you’re planning on putting up a bunch of holiday lights, there are some fire safety tips that you should keep in mind in order to protect your family and your home.

Review the UL Recommendations for Your Lights

On the end of the light chords you are going to be able to see what is called the UL recommendations. What does tells you is how many strands of lights can be safely strung together. Essentially, you need to read the tag!

The outlets that you will be plugging these lights into on the outside of your home should be GFCI outlets. If you come home and noticed that your lights are continuously popping, that’s because there’s just too much voltage running through them. You really don’t want to let things get to this point. This becomes a potential fire hazard for your home in Tampa.

According to the Pasco County fire rescue officers, this is what you want to do. First, make sure that you are not connecting more than four to five strands of lights to one single outlet. Next get wind of those safety covers that you can use for electrical outlets and slide them on the end in order to prevent any moisture from getting up into the back side of your lights.

If you are concerned about how many strands of lights that you can string together safely after reading the UL recommendations then do a Google search for more information. Also Lisa notes that you need to be careful about how many extension cords you are connecting to a single power outlet. this is another common mistake that many people make during this time of year and it could have disastrous results for your home.

How to Spot a Loose or Worn Bulb

Lisa notes that it is extremely important to inspect your holiday lights before you plug them in. Keep an eye out for any loose wires, missing rubber on the outside of the string, or any other noticeable defects. The fire rescue officers also recommend watching out for any of those classic lights that bubble in the middle. These tend to be a significant fire risk. Do you know which ones we’re talking about? Here is a picture:

Old Christmas lights in a home in Brandon

Recommendations for a Christmas Tree & Space Heaters

Corey recommends placing your Christmas tree and decorations at least three feet from any significant heat source. If you plan on using a space heater when the temperature gets a little colder, you need to be very careful. Corey and Lisa see a lot of home fires get started during this time of year due to space heaters.

Make sure that you take extra caution when using space heaters and that you have purchased one that is up to date. The latest models have extra safety features built-in. For instance, they will shut off if they tip over or if they become too overheated. And you also never want to use an extension cord with a space heater. This is extremely important!

What Should You Do if There is a Fire in Your Tampa Home?

Not surprisingly, the Pasco County fire rescue officers recommend that you call them as soon as you notice a fire in your home. Corey notes that it takes his fire team about 5 to 7 minutes to get to your home. After the 911 call has been processed, his team is dispatched and they make their way to the source of the fire rapidly.

Granted that in those five to seven minutes, a fire can grow exponentially. So that is why they recommend having a plan of action in place within your family in case of a house fire. Once the Flames have been seen, have someone call 911 and have another person help family members out of the home immediately. Do not wait to act even in the case of a fairly simple cooking fire. in action during this situation can lead to significant damage to your home and put yourself and your loved ones in danger.

Don’t ever hesitate to call 911 and get in touch with the local fire department. They would much rather have to cancel on route to a home then not be called at all and have that home burn down.

Insurance Risks If You Don’t Have Central AC in Florida

Furman Insurance perspective, it is pretty important to have a central AC system for your home. So for instance let’s say someone has a wall unit instead of central AC. This type of situation represents a significant risk and can be really difficult for insurance agents to ensure on your home insurance policy. During the warmer summer months, not having a central AC unit can also lead to significant mold growth in your home.

Smoke Detectors and Carbon Dioxide

Volume might not be able to get a discount on your home insurance for ensuring that you have smoke detectors in the most critical places of your home, however you can get a discount for having smoke alarms that will alert the fire department in the case of a detected fire.

Corey also recommends that you should be checking your smoke detectors every 6 months. Make sure that you are replacing the batteries and not waiting until it’s chirping at you.

Conclusion

Well, we hope that you learned a thing or two today from this discussion on fire safety tips for your home during the holidays and beyond. This is an extremely important topic and one that’s not talked about enough. if you have any questions about the fire safety tips that were discussed here or how certain factors might impact your homeowners insurance policy please don’t hesitate to contact the insurance experts at Charles D. Talley Jr Insurance Inc.

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