November 22, 2010 06:01 ET

Home Fire Safety-Winter Protection

MARKHAM, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 22, 2010) -

Tips for home fire protection

As winter approaches homeowners should take time to think about home fire safety. By taking simple measures, home fire safety precautions can prevent the devastation of a house fire. According to Allstate Insurance Company of Canada's claims, reports of fire loss jump during the winter months. January alone accounted for 15 per cent of all fire losses reported in 2009. So make home fire safety a top priority.

Properly planned home fire safety can help prevent the majority of fire losses. This autumn, consider these home fire safety tips from Allstate Canada to help keep you, your family and your home safe this winter.

Home Fire Safety Step #1: Prepare

The first step in home fire safety is to be prepared! The best thing you can do to ensure safer winter months at home is to be proactive about your home's upcoming seasonal needs. A little time spent on home fire safety preparation will ensure that your family stays safe and comfortable this winter.

1. Inspect heaters every autumn to ensure they are in good working condition. If you have a gas heater, inspect the exhaust for carbon build up.

2. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned at least once a year if you have a woodstove or use your fireplace. This is an essential part of home fire safety, because creosote buildup can cause a chimney fire.

3. Install smoke detectors on all floors of your home. Take the time to sit down with your family and prepare a fire plan. It should detail escape routes and include a designated meeting place. This is an indispensable part of home fire safety preparedness.

Home Fire Safety Step #2: Prevent

An essential part of home fire protection is prevention! As you prepare for cooler weather and holiday festivities, make home fire safety part of your yearly routine.

1. Avoid overloading your outlets by using power bars for several small appliances. If you have a gas stove in your kitchen, keep rags, paper or anything that can catch on fire, away from open flames. This is an essential part of home fire safety, because many house fires are due to electrical fires and cooking accidents.

2. Inspect your home for frayed or damaged electrical cords and plugs, as well as fuses that regularly blow. Consider hiring a licensed electrician to inspect your home's electrical system to make sure everything is working properly.

3. Home fire safety is especially vital during the holidays. Christmas tree lights and electrical ornaments should be in working order with no wires showing or fraying. A pine tree that catches on fire can set an entire room ablaze in less than a minute.

4. Careless disposal of fireplace ashes can be a serious threat to any home. Ashes need four days to completely cool. Keep them in a can away from combustible materials until completely cool and then discard them.

Home Fire Safety Step #3: Insure

In addition to taking home fire safety precautions, another way to keep your family safe during the winter season is with high quality home insurance.

For the past 50 years, Allstate has been a dependable home insurance provider that customers can trust for excellent service, reliable home insurance and advice about matters such as home fire protection.

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