Preventing Residential Fires

There are more than 1,000 residential fires per day resulting in $7 billion in direct property damage each year according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). A PHLY study found that the leading causes of residential fires among its policyholders were electrical issues, smoking, and cooking. To address these causes, PHLY recommends the following tips and resources to help you and your organization reduce the chances of a fire incident:

Electrical Fire Safety

  • Have the entire electrical system inspected by a qualified electrician prior to building purchase or occupancy
  • Have your electrical system inspected at least every 10 years by a qualified electrician
  • Have an infrared scan of your electrical system with a thermographic camera every three to seven years to identify hot spots
  • Tighten or replace components where hot spots exist to help prevent electrical fires and for possible savings in electrical consumption
  • Visually inspect key electrical components, like breakers and switches, on an ongoing basis, making sure they are clean, dry, and tight
  • If your facility has aluminum wiring or Federal Pacific Stab-Lok breakers, these are known fire hazards; contact PHLY Risk Management Services for guidance

Smoking Fire Safety

  • Make your facility smoke-free
  • If you cannot have a non-smoking building, create a safe smoking area at least 20 feet away from the building with a non-combustible, non-tipping receptacle for ash and butts

Cooking Fire Safety

  • Implement cooking fire preventative devices, such as stovetops that sense unattended cooking or limiting the temperature of the cooking surface
  • Implement cooking fire reactive devices that expel an extinguishing agent in the event of a fire

Residential fires are unfortunately common, with 93% of all deaths from structure fires occurring in residential buildings, according to the NFPA. Preventing fires is a joint effort by building owners, building managers, and residents. A reasonable investment of time and resources by all three parties can help keep people safe and protect real estate investments.


Philadelphia Insurance Companies is one of the many insurance carriers the Members 1st Insurance Services Team works with to provide our members with the best rates and coverage. To view this post in its original setting, click here
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