Personal Insurance Account Executive
The holiday season may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it's almost among the most dangerous.
It's no coincidence that the rate of house fires spikes each December. In addition to being sources of light, warmth and beauty, candles, fireplaces and Christmas trees pose a risk of house fire, especially when safety precautions are overlooked.
According to the National Fire Protection Association:
- December is the peak time of year for home candle fires.
- More than half (56 percent) of home candle fires occur when something that can catch on fire is too close to the candle.
- One of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.
- Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious.
- On average, one of every 31 reported home structure Christmas tree fires results in a death compared to an average of one death per 144 total reported home structure fires.
- A heat source too close to the tree causes roughly one in every four of Christmas tree fires.
Watering your tree can make a tremendous difference, as evidence by this video from the National institute of Standards and Technology:
As a Sylvia Group account executive, I'm responsible for providing clients with insurance programs that protect them when something bad happens. I also advise clients on how to reduce the chances of something bad happening in the first place, and that includes practicing fire safety. While the cost of a major house fire can be incalculable, even a small fire can be costly in the long as well as short terms, with expensive claims leading to higher home insurance premiums.
This season, be merry and bright. Follow the holiday safety tips in this FEMA infographic:
- Burn within a one-foot circle, free of anything flammable.
- Never leave them burning unattended.
- Always extinguish after use.
- Use a non-combustible saucer or candleholder.
- Keep candles out of reach of children and pets.
- Consider switching to battery-operated flameless candles.
- Inspect flues and flue pipes regularly for damage.
- Clean them of debris before use.
- Do not use lighter fluid.
- Wet ashes before disposing of them.
- Water them at least once a day.
- Keep them at least three feet away from heat sources.
- Dispose of them shortly after Christmas or as soon as they become dry and brittle.
- Make sure smoke detectors/fire alarms are in proper working order and equipped with charged batteries.
- Keep working, ABC-designation fire extinguishers easily accessible.
- Have an escape plan including multiple options for exit, and arrange a meeting place a safe distance from home.
To help you manage the cost of risk and have a safe, happy holiday season, we've compiled these additional resources:
- guide to fireplace safety from Houselogic.com
- holiday season fire safety statistics and tips
- Consumer Product Safety Commission safety tips regarding ladders, trees, lights and other decorations, fireplaces and, yes, candles.
Have a happy and safe holiday season. If I can help you with your insurance needs, please contact me.
About Gorete Cadieux and Sylvia Group
With more than three decades of experience serving the personal insurance needs of Sylvia Group clients, Gorete Cadieux works with multiple companies to find the best available coverage at a price that makes the most sense for your budget. Using SPS — the Sylvia Protection System — she takes a consultative approach to working with clients, enabling them to make informed, educated decisions about their insurance policies.
Sylvia Group helps businesses and individuals protect their future by designing insurance, benefits and financial planning programs. We’re a locally owned agency known for our commitment to our clients and our community, as well for our industry expertise. Founded in New Bedford, MA, in 1950, headquartered in neighboring Dartmouth, and serving businesses and individuals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island and beyond, Sylvia Group is certified as a Woman Owned Business Enterprise with the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office and has the distinction of being the first six-time recipient of the Five Star designation awarded by the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA) for all-around agency excellence.