For Immediate Release:
October 10, 2022
Get Ready for Fire Prevention Week:
Prepare Your Home This Fall Season
By Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready
After a long summer of fun in the sun, the fall season has finally arrived in Oklahoma. Fall brings cool, crisp weather and beautiful colors. It also brings new hazards and risks along with falling leaves and cooler temperatures. While it’s nice to warm up next to a fire or with a heated blanket, it’s important to understand the risks involved. Home fires and related injuries increase in the fall with the use of candles, space heaters, stoves for cooking and fireplaces to keep warm.
As we ease into the colder months and get ready for Fire Prevention Week, now is a great time to make sure your home heating system is working properly, and that you understand the importance of seasonal inspections. Proper maintenance protects your family from avoidable fire dangers and protects all of Oklahoma from fire disasters and increasing insurance rates. Last year, insurance companies paid out over $1.3 billion in claims for fire-related damages nationwide.
During Fire Prevention Week, I’d like to share helpful reminders to Oklahomans on fire safety. Here are a few simple tips to help you protect your family and property as you crank up the heat.
Inside Your Home
- Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.
- Clean fireplaces and chimneys.
- Install fire extinguishers in your home.
- Keep flammable objects away from furnaces, fireplaces and other heating units.
- Never leave burning candles or items on the stove unattended.
- Never use a range or an oven as a supplemental heating device. Not only is it a safety hazard, but it can also be a source of potentially toxic fumes.
Outside Your Home
- Remove dead leaves and other debris around the house and from the roof.
- Clean or replace the furnace filter and clean the entire furnace area to remove debris.
- Have heating units inspected by a licensed contractor.
- Never discard hot ashes near the home. Place them in a metal container outside and well away from the house.
Many fire departments, including Oklahoma City and Tulsa, offer free smoke detectors, batteries and installation to residents who request it. It’s a product that can save your life, so I strongly encourage you to get it installed. After learning these safety tips, I hope we can all remain safe and healthy while enjoying the fall season without any fires.
If you have questions about other insurance issues, please contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071 or visit our website at www.oid.ok.gov.