No one is perfect, as most of us know, but when it comes to things that can cause fires, it makes sense to take the extra time to make sure you deal with it in the proper manner.
That means not throwing ashtray contents into the bin at the end of the night, making sure all candles are extinguished and space heaters are a safe distance from curtains or any other furnishings, to name a few. Especially in December, when we all have holiday decorations up, many people have pine trees in their living rooms that get increasingly dry (watch for our upcoming blog on Christmas tree safety!), and visitors over who are unfamiliar with our home, it is important to keep safety front and center.
In Laguna Hills this morning, seven units had to be evacuated in an apartment building, and a 21-year-old woman suffered minor burns. Luckily, no one was killed, but firefighters believe that candles caused the fire—candles that the injured woman had been using for light.
You may ask why she was using candles instead of lamps for light. Sadly, her electricity was cut off due to late payment, and her smoke detector was connected directly to the unit’s electricity source. The detector did not have batteries in it as a backup, and therefore the smoke detectors weren’t working when the fire was sparked. How easy is it to check the batteries in your smoke detector? Doing this one thing can really make a huge difference to your safety and the damage to your home if a fire starts.
The cost of the damage to the seven units is not yet known, but more importantly, where are the residents from those seven units going to live? Will they have a home for the holidays, or will they be in temporary housing somewhere?
Captain Marc Stone of the Orange County Fire Authority was quoted as saying: “This is our structure fire season.” He added that space heaters, candles and Christmas trees all add to the danger.
In Palm Desert, another fire severely damaged a home, leaving three adults without a home for the holidays. Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department was alerted in the small hours of Wednesday morning, and by the time they arrived, they found heavy smoke pouring from the back of the house. Luckily, no one was injured and the fire was contained within 30 minutes. It had been started by the matches that had been improperly discarded and burning incense.
Damage was estimated at $200,000—which is a large amount of money at any time of year. And this is not the time of year when you want to be homeless or have a deductible to pay on your insurance.
So please, be careful this holiday season, but if you do accidentally set your home or business on fire, we’re here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Just call us—we know how to deal with your insurance company efficiently, and we can get your house restored as quickly as possible. It will be like the fire never happened. For questions or an estimate, please call (877) 732-8471.