A house fire is one of the worst things that any homeowner can experience, and while you can lean on your insurance company during this trying time, it's best to do all that you can to lessen the risk of a fire; after all, to make an insurance claim after a fire of any size, you'll need to pay the cost of your deductible. The good news is that many different types of house fires are preventable and, with a little bit of effort and some simple changes to your home, you can significantly decrease the risk of experiencing a fire. Here are some fixable things that could increase your fire risk.
Barbecue Positioned Too Close To The House
While it's certainly convenient to have your barbecue immediately outside your patio door, there's a risk to this close proximity. Flames on a flaring-up barbecue could easily reach your siding and heat it to the point at which it catches fire — and leads to a home insurance claim. The simple solution to this dilemma is to move the barbecue away. Ideally, this cooking tool should be kept at least 10 feet away from your residence. The 10-foot buffer helps to protect your home in the event of a barbecue flare-up at the same time as a gust of wind, as the flames could easily travel a few feet.
Wiring That Is Too Old
In an older home, the wiring may have issues that could potentially lead to a fire. Sometimes, you'll get signs that the wiring is problematic; for example, the lights could flicker or you could get a mild shock upon touching a wall outlet. In other cases, there will be no symptoms to experience. You can get peace of mind — and lower your risk of a preventable house fire that requires you to pay your insurance deductible — by having a licensed electrician visit your home and assess the condition of the wiring. He or she can then replace any problematic areas.
Dryer Vents That Aren't Cleaned
When the lint builds up in your dryer vent, there's a risk of a fire, given the heat that this appliance creates. The simple solution to avoid this risk — and the insurance claim and deductible payment that would come as a result — is to clean your dryer vents regularly. This job can be a little labor intensive for the average homeowner, so it's worthwhile to hire a contractor who specializes in this work. He or she can also estimate how often you should have the job done.