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Fire & Safety Tips

Home Insurance fire & safety tips for your family.

Fire & safety tips to protect your home

In California fire losses are a particularly painful reality. Each year the hills seem to rage with fire, resulting in many families being displaced and suffering economic losses.

In addition to the brush fires, more conventional fire claim millions in personal property each year and hurt orginary people.

When a fire happens, it’s normally to to know you have good home insurance protection. But before the horrible happens, we can make a difference by learning what can be done to mitigate against fire hazards.

Take few minutes to review these fire & safety tips, the information below will help you know how to mitigate your exposure to fire losses at home.


Each year nearly 100,000 fires begin the in the kitchen. These
fires create tremendous personal loss, result in fatalities, and displace families. By working these few recommendations, you can help prevent fire in your home.


  • Do not leave cooking unattended – 40% of all deaths from home cooking fires result from unattended cooking.
  • Keep your cooking area clean – Avoid grease build-up be keeping you appliances and cooking surface clean.
  • Do not keep flammable objects near the stove – Any items that can catch fire easily should not be near your flame. Items like pot holders, curtains, packaging and towels.
  • Turn pot handles toward the center of the stove – This prevents you from knocking them off the stove, or young children from pulling them down.
  • Wear short sleeves or tight fitting clothes – Avoid wearing clothing that can easily come in contact with the burners.
  • Heat cooking oils slowly – Heating cooking oil too quickly could set it on fire. Never leave hot oil unattended.
  • Teach children to cook safely – Young children should be kept over three (3) feet away from the stove while you are cooking. Older children should only cook with adult supervision and/or permission.


  • Put a lid on the pot or pan – Spatter from hot cooking oil can ignite items close to your cooking area. Keep a lid on your pots and pans while you’re cooking.
  • Keep stove or microwave closed of fire starts – Turn off the heat. If flames do not go out immediately, call the fire department.
  • Learn the proper use of your fire extinguisher – Not all fire extinguishers are alike. They are designed for specific types of fire. Make sure you have a clear escape route and the fire department has been called before attempting to extinguish a small fire.
  • Never put water on a grease fire – Never pour water on a grease fire. Water causes grease fires to spread.


Putting water on a grease fire can be deadly. If a grease fire begins in your kitchen know the proper steps, and do not through water on the fire. Please review this video to see the proper way to approach a grease fire.

TIP: Know your emergency contact phone numbers!


California is confronted with wildfires annually. Your home could be at risk, so you need to take measures to reduce your exposure to this real hazard by creating a fire safe landscape and building out a defensible space. This is extremely important and can help save your home


  • Create zones – California law requires that you maintain 100′ of defensible space broken out into two zones. Zone 1 is the area closest to your home or other structures (e.g. detached garage). This is your immediate perimeter of a space and begins approximately 30′ from the edge of your structure. Zone 2 extends out 70′ from Zone 1. If you own a larger property, you should consider a third zone and property trim trees or remove latter fuels in this area as well.
  • Reduction of plant fuels – Remove dead or excess plants from your defensible space as they act as fuels during a fire. Also, replace more flammable varieties of plants and shrubs with less flammable ones. You can consider using more native species of plant. Also, when selecting plants and shrubs for your landscape, consider the waste they create, try to select plants that create the least needles, leaves or other waste. Visit your local nursery and speak with a grower.
  • Incorporate fuel breaks – Weave hardscaping into Zone 1. Consider stone, brick or even gravel walkways in the first 3′ – 5′ of Zone 1. This will provide both a safe and attractive path surrounding your home for visitor, as well as fire protection.
  • Placement and size if plants and trees – Break-up continuity of growth between the plants and trees you decide to incorporate into your landscape. Groupings of similarly short or tall plants increase the opportunity for flames to transfer from one plant or tree to another. Keep your trees well trimmed and at least 6′ to 10′ off the ground. Also, be aware that fire moves much faster up slopes, so you will want to pay greater attention to placement in these areas and place more distance between plants.
  • Trees should not have direct contact with your home – In Zone 1 you need to make sure that all your trees are well trimmed and that the branches do not make contact with roofing or siding.
  • Maintenance and clean-up – It is always important to keep your landscape well maintained, this includes the following: 1) Keep it well irrigated, 2) Mow, trim, and prune regularly, 3) Check and clean your gutters regularly, 4) Get rid of dead debris promptly, 5) Place woodpiles outside of Zone 1.


You can’t prevent all the hazards that lead to home fires, but you can work to reduce the risks around and inside your home to better protect your family, your pets and your property. If you want to discuss your home insurance protection with an IronPoint Insurance Services agent, please complete the contact form below or give us a call.

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