Posts Tagged ‘public adjuster pen argyl’

Winter Fires from Heating Sources. What Homeowners Can Do to Stay Safe.

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Fires from heating sources is the second leading cause of winter fires in residential properties. An estimated 50,100 heating fires occur in homes in the United States each year. 87% of residential fires from heating are from a confined source such as chimneys, flues, or fuel burners. Why are these numbers so high? With the high cost of heating from oil, gas and electricity, homeowners are turning to alternative heating methods. Use of wood burning stoves, space heaters and fireplaces has increased. The elderly and low income homeowners are especially at risk when temperatures fall. I worked a fatal fire a few years ago in which the elderly gentleman had covered all windows with plastic and he was using his gas stove for heat to warm his hands. He was wearing a loose shirt and his sleeve caught fire.

What causes fires from these heating sources? Combustibles, using green wood, burning trash, creosote buildup in fireplaces, using the incorrect fuel and damage to the heater can all cause fires. As I mentioned in the case of the elderly gentleman warming his hands, wearing loose clothing around open flames from a stove or a fireplace can easily catch fire. Be sure rugs aren’t too close to heating sources such as fireplaces, baseboard heating elements and space heaters. Don’t store clothing or other items on your heater. Be sure heating sources are free of debris and are cleaned. If you have a wood-burning fireplace have a chimney sweep clean it annually. For oil heating systems, have your system on a service contract and have it serviced/checked at least annually. If you notice a funny smell or a smoky or dirty look to the inside of your home, be sure to contact your heating service right away so the system can be checked for malfunctions. Inspect your space heaters for cracks, damaged legs, doors, hinges etc. Make sure permanent heating sources are installed properly.

What else can I do to prevent fire or at the least increase the chance of my surviving if one occurs? Homeowners should have a few fire extinguishers and know how to use them. One extinguisher should always be in the kitchen. Smoke detectors should be installed and maintained. Batteries should be changed every 6 moths to one year. On a monthly basis test the smoke detector. Have a fire escape ladder and an escape plan. Make sure everyone in your family knows what to do in case of fire and practice your escape plan often.

Fires are devastating and scary. The claims process can be overwhelming especially if a loved one is lost in a fire. My role as a Public Adjuster is to help you. I handle your claim for you from start to finish. I ensure you receive a fair settlement from your insurance company. A Public Adjuster can take the burden and stress from you so that you can get back to what is most important..living your life and spending quality time with your family. When disaster strikes, know that you have someone on YOUR side to protect you.

I am Michelle Murphy, licensed and bonded Public Adjuster in the State of Pennsylvania. I have been working in this industry for four years in the Pocono, Slate Belt and Lehigh Valley regions. I am pleased to be a part of one of the largest companies in Pennsylvania, Citizens Public Adjusters, and look forward to helping people who have been the victims of fires. Feel free to call me at 570-730-8607 if you have any questions concerning fire damage to your home or business.  Come visit me and “Like” me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Michelle-Murphy-Public-Adjuster/186668698043821