It seems the world is on fire.

Many states including California and Utah are ablaze with life-threatening, home-threatening flames. It's a common scenario for the season. Unless, those fires are hitting close to your home.

Protecting a home from the perils of fire is a very hot topic today.

The first three recommendations I would like to make are these:

  • 1. Get insurance
  • 2. Get insurance
  • 3. Get insurance

On the morning news I watched a man interviewed by probing reporters as he stood in the midst of his once beautiful 20-acre paradise. His charred home was a pile of rubble and the trees surrounding him grim silhouettes still smoldering in the grey morning chill. He didn't have any homeowner's insurance. He was mad. He was very, very angry that the fire had been allowed to consume his home. "They told me that it would never happen. It happened," he said shaking his head. He appeared to be in a mild state of shock.

Sometimes despite best efforts by safety experts, fires get out of control.

Homeowner's insurance will protect you and your lifetime investment in the unlikely event of a fire. Check your policy for fire coverage. Make sure your personal belongings are included in the policy. Purchase "replacement value" insurance to assure your insurance company will pay to replace your home (and not just pay what is owed on it).

You might never cash in on the cost of homeowner's insurance premiums. Consider including the premiums in your entertainment budget because knowing you have insurance will help you relax more and more often than any vacation ever will!

Do Your Part to Protect Your Home from Fire

It is important to consider fire safety at every stage of buying or building a home. When choosing a building lot, be completely aware of the surroundings. Wooded lots are lovely, but they do pose an increased risk of fire due to the fuel that surrounds them. Look for other safety considerations and make a plan for how you will physically protect your home and property.

When building a home, take into consideration the many fire-retardant materials available on the building market today. Build fire safety into your plans with plenty of accessible exits, and recommended windows to allow easy escape. Contact your local fire station for other recommendations specific to your area.

In an existing home, double-check smoke detectors and change the batteries regularly. Create a family escape plan. Avoid heavy build up of newspapers and trash in and around the home. Never store flammable liquids near the home. Make a sweep through your garage at least once a week to check for potentially dangerous chemicals.

Keep trees, shrubs and other vegetation surrounding your home trimmed. Yard debris should be removed as soon as possible including dry leaves and pine needles.

There are many, many ways to protect your home from a potentially devastating fire. Fires throughout the nation are great reminders to consider fire safety and review the precautions you have taken to protect yourself.

Fire happens. Don't let it happen to you.