House Fires and Home Insurance, What You Should Do

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments responded to 1,318,500 fires in 2018, only 1,000 fewer than in 2017. From the above figure,  499,000 fires occurred in structures. 363,000, or 73 percent of the structure fires reported in 2018 occurred in home structures, including one- and two-family homes, manufactured homes, and apartments. Fires can not only be destructive, but deadly. It is important that you know how you can help prevent them.

Fire Claims and How to Protect Yourself

Florida residents face an array of risks that could damage their homes every day. From natural disasters, to a break-in, there is no shortage of “what ifs” when it comes to your home. However, house fires are the one risk homeowners should be most concerned with. In 2018, nearly $8 billion of property damage was reported in home fires. Remember, it is not just the structure you have to replace after a fire; everything else in your home may be damaged as well. So, how can you protect yourself? Following these fire safety tips is a great start.

Smoke Alarms

Make sure your smoke alarms are functional. Be sure they are placed near every sleeping area and on every level of your home. If possible, make sure every alarm is interconnected, so if one alarm sounds, they all sound.

Fire Extinguishers

Your home should be equipped with portable fire extinguishers that are easily accessible.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

These alarms should be placed outside each sleeping area, on every level of your home and other locations that local laws, codes, or standards may require.

Escape Plan

Every household member should know the safe way out of the home in the event of a fire. All doors and windows leading outside should be able to open. It would be best if you also designated a safe spot outside the house that is in a safe distance away.

Educate Younger Residents

Be sure everyone in the home, no matter their age (if they can dial), knows how to call 911. 

Keep Pathways Clear

Make sure pathways in the home and outside are clear of tripping hazards for a safe exit.

Check Your Clutter

Stovetops should remain clear of any fire starters such as towels, rags, paper, or curtains. Your electrical outlets should also be free of multiple cords.

How to File a Florida Homeowners Claim

Even if you have taken all the necessary precautions, accidents happen. As your Florida fire damage lawyer, we recommend contacting us before you file your homeowners claim, we can help ensure it is appropriately handled. And you get the appropriate assistance that you need.

  1. Take photos of all the damage, whenever it is safe to do so.
  2. If possible, take the necessary steps to prevent further damage.
  3. Contact your insurance company right away or call us to help you with your claim and we will contact them.
  4. Read your policy to make sure what coverage is there, such as coverage for temporary housing while your home is repaired. (We can help)
  5. Be sure you have all the information you need for the insurance company. This could be a list of your belongings, fire department report, home inventory, or other vital household data.

What Happens Next

Finding yourself in a situation where your Florida insurer denies or undervalues your fire insurance claim can be devastating. If you are struggling to find an agreeable solution, please do not hesitate to contact us right away. As your fire damage lawyer, our experts at Louis Law Firm will do their best to get you the compensation you are owed for your damages.

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