Liberty Mutual Encourages Families To Be Fire Smart By Preventing Home Fires This Winter – The Most Dangerous Home Fire Season

December 3, 2009

BOSTON, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ — If the 2010 Farmers’ Almanac is an accurate prognosticator, three-quarters of the U.S. will shiver through below-normal temperatures this winter. As families combat the cold by turning up the space heaters, stoves and other sources of warmth, many are doing so unaware that about one-third of home fires and deaths happen in the months of December, January and February, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), most of them caused by heating equipment. And, according to past research by Liberty Mutual Insurance and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), there are other deep knowledge gaps when it comes to preventing home fires. To help families learn how to spot potential hazards and prevent fires in their own homes, Liberty Mutual created BeFireSmart.com as a go-to resource for parents and children to be fire smart.

In a 2006 national survey, Liberty Mutual and IAFF found that one in four adults consider space heaters to be “safe,” when, in fact, most home heating fire deaths (73 percent), injuries (43 percent) and half (51 percent) of associated direct property damage that same year involved space heaters, according to the NFPA. To help keep homes safe from fires this winter, Liberty Mutual’s Be Fire Smart Program offers the following fire safety tips:

  • Keep portable heaters at least three feet away from all combustible materials and never leave them unattended
  • Do not leave a stove or oven on unattended
  • Do not overload power strips
  • Turn holiday lights off when not at home
  • Never leave burning candles unattended or near combustible materials — home fires caused by candles have doubled in the past decade
  • If a fire alarm sounds, or smoke is visible, evacuate first and then call the fire department
  • Plan an escape route that shows two ways out of each room
  • Practice an escape plan — during the day and night — at least twice a year
  • Buy a fire extinguisher, mount it, and learn how to use it. Revisit the instructions every six months.

“At the start of the most dangerous home fire season of the year, families need to get the facts on fire safety and take extra precaution in protecting their homes,” said Greg Gordon, Senior Vice President of Consumer Marketing at Liberty Mutual. “Through the Be Fire Smart program and BeFireSmart.com, Liberty Mutual aims to arm people with the resources to effectively prevent home fires.”

Additional Liberty Mutual/IAFF survey findings indicate there is ample opportunity to improve upon our home preparedness:

  • 20 percent of Americans do not own a fire extinguisher
  • 27 percent of Americans do not have a fire escape plan
  • 7 in 10 parents report that their children are less than fully prepared to escape and survive a fire
  • Only 6 percent of adults know that having working smoke alarms in the home can more than double their chances of surviving a fire
  • Only 3 in 10 adults would evacuate their house first before calling the fire department

About BeFireSmart.com

There are vast resources for parents at www.BeFireSmart.com to help them prepare their families about fire safety and to prevent home fires from occurring. The site includes games, instructional videos, interactive fire safety quizzes and a tool to build your own fire escape plan. The fast and fun kids’ section also features a downloadable coloring book that tells a story about the importance of never hiding from a firefighter during a fire. The site also offers classroom lesson plans for teachers, and resources for firefighters.

About Liberty Mutual Group

“Helping people live safer, more secure lives” since 1912, Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group (Libertymutualgroup.com) is a diversified global insurer and fifth-largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2008 direct written premium. Liberty Mutual Group ranks 86th on the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. corporations, based on 2008 revenue. The company has over 45,000 employees located in more than 900 offices throughout the world.

The eighth-largest auto and home insurer in the U.S., Liberty Mutual (libertymutual.com) sells full lines of coverage for automobile, homeowners, valuable possessions, personal liability, and individual life insurance. The company is an industry leader in affinity partnerships, offering car and home insurance to employees and members of more than 12,000 companies, credit unions, professional associations and alumni groups.

SOURCE Liberty Mutual Group

Source: newswire

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