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Fire Safety & Insurance Tips & Resources

Updated: May 2

As a family, it's crucial to integrate fire safety measures into your everyday life. In an instant, tragedy can strike, reshaping your world dramatically. Sadly, dear friends and clients of the ILH team recently experienced the heartbreaking loss of their home to a house fire, thankfully no family member or pet were harmed. We've rallied to provide as much support as possible to this beloved Ohana! In light of this unfortunate event, we're committed to offering valuable resources to you and your family for ongoing fire safety education so that you are well prepared in the event of an unexpected tragedy.

Does Your Home Owners Insurance Cover Fire Damages?

Fire insurance is a component of homeowners insurance, it safeguards against the financial repercussions of fire-related damages and losses. This coverage extends to repairing or reconstructing your residence and replacing personal belongings like clothing, furniture, and appliances.

Depending on your insurance policy, your homeowners insurance may encompass loss of use coverage, which caters to additional expenses incurred if your dwelling becomes uninhabitable due to fire damage, necessitating temporary relocation for repairs. If your homeowners insurance policy offers personal liability coverage, it will shield you in the event of injury to individuals outside your household or damage to their property resulting from a fire originating in your residence.

Home insurance policies typically exclude coverage for certain causes of fires, such as negligence and fires intentionally set by the homeowner (arson). If the fire was preventable, such as inadequate maintenance of your home, like a poorly maintained chimney, the insurance provider may decline coverage for the damages sustained by the fire.

If you're unsure of what your home owner's policy covers, now is a great time to review it!

Fire Safety Tips In The Kitchen

  1. Never Leave Cooking Unattended: Stay in the kitchen while cooking, especially if you're frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you have to leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.

  2. Keep Flammable Objects Away: Keep anything that can catch fire—like oven mitts, towels, and curtains—away from the stove.

  3. Use a Timer: Setting a timer is a simple but effective way to remind yourself that you're cooking and to check on your food regularly.

  4. Wear Appropriate Clothing: Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. Loose clothing can easily catch fire if it comes into contact with a hot burner.

  5. Keep Kids and Pets Away: Children and pets should be kept at least three feet away from the stove at all times to prevent accidents.

  6. Clean Cooking Surfaces: Grease buildup on stovetops and in ovens can ignite. Regularly clean cooking surfaces to prevent grease fires.

  7. Handle Grease with Care: Dispose of grease properly. Let it cool before disposing of it in the trash to avoid starting a fire. In the event of a grease fire on the stove, keep a lid nearby to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding a lid over the pan and turning the stove off.

  8. Have a Fire Extinguisher: Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and know how to use it. Class K extinguishers are specifically designed for kitchen fires involving cooking oils and fats.

  9. Install Smoke Alarms: Make sure your home is equipped with working smoke alarms, and test them regularly to ensure they're functioning properly.

  10. Have an Escape Plan: In case of a fire, have a plan in place for evacuating your home safely. Practice the plan with your family regularly. Here is a sample escape plan for you and your family to do together.

Honolulu Fire Department Resources

One of our team members had the opportunity to briefly interview a Honolulu Fireman about fire safety. He also provided us these wonderful resources that are linked thoughout the blog.

Q: Where is the best place to charge your electric bikes, scooters, hoover boards and how does one know the device is safely charging?

A: When purchasing an electric device, make sure it has the "underwriters laboratories" mark, which shows that the product has been tested for safety. It is also best to always follow the manufacturer's instructional guide for charging and storing each device. Always use the cord and power adapter made specifically for that device. Never charge a device under a pillow, on a bed or near anything combustible. Batteries and devices should always be kept at room temperature, never placed directly in the sun. Storing batteries should also be kept away from anything flammable. Never toss loose lithium-ion batteries in the trash. The HFD reccomends contacting the Honolulu Department of Environmental Services Refuse Divisiion at 808-768-3201 for instruction on proper disposal.

Q: What is the best way to evacuate a house fire?

A: If it's applicable, always have two ways out of every room in your home and make sure to close doors behind you, so that the oxygen and/or wind does not fuel the fire and helps to control the spread of it.

Q: What are common items to catch on fire?

A: Unfortunately, there is no one physical item that is the sole cause of any house fire, however cooking fires in general are the leading cause to household fires.

Q: What is considered HHW (household waste) and where do we dispose of it?

A: Household Waste are products that are considered "flammable, corrosive and toxic." The proper disposable of any household waste item is dependent on the quantity of it. "Residential households with large quantities of any type of HHW must call the city's Refuse Division for disposal instructions. Residential households with small quantities of any type of HHW have different disposal options. Depending on the type of material needed to be disposed, residents can flush it down the drain, absorb the fluids and trash, directly trash or schedule a drop-off in one of the city's HHW drop-off events."

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