Fire is one of the major causes of outright insured losses in South Africa, yet it is also one of the most underestimated and underinsured risks. Taking the necessary precautions to prevent a fire from starting is foremost, as is insuring your fixed and moveable assets for an outright loss should the worst occur. Aon South Africa provides a handy check list of what you need to know about fire risks and insurance:
#1: Faulty Wiring and Appliances
Faulty wiring and appliances are the leading cause of fires at homes. That is why it is crucial to always utilise the services of a qualified electrician to ensure that any electrical work is done correctly according to standards and that you get a certificate of compliance for any work done.
#2: Overloading and unattended appliances and fireplaces
- Overloading sockets with too many adaptors and/or extension cords can potentially cause a fire. Hair styling tools such as flat irons also pose a risk. Always make sure that you unplug these devices once done and use a heat proof mat.
- Never leave electrical devices such as ovens, heaters and fans on and unattended in your home.
- Always check to see that switches and devices are turned off during loadshedding so that when power does return, you don’t have any devices coming back on that could be a fire risk.
- Candles and fireplaces are a significant fire risk and should never be left unattended. Keep all flammable items away from any open flames and never leave unattended.
#3: Gas Safety in and around your home
The inclusion of gas appliances in our households such as fireplaces, heaters and ovens are becoming very popular. It also means that we’re storing more gas-filled bottles on our properties. According to SANS regulations, the following amount of gas is allowed in and around your property:
For flats, townhouses and cluster homes:
=< 9kg gas bottle can be stored inside a building.
9kg gas bottle must be stored outside a building.
=< 19kg gas bottle can be stored inside a building.
19kg gas bottle must be stored outside a building.
Many of us store a back-up bottle of gas in the garage and the most crucial part to note is that if your garage adjoins your home, then the limitations set on indoor gas storage includes your garage.
#4: Clean out the clutter
Minimise your home’s risk of fire by cleaning out the clutter – or fire fuel – to rid your home of unnecessary flammable materials such as leaves, dead branches and trees, boxes, leftover paint, chemicals and the like. Give your garden shed and garage a regular clean out and make sure that any chemicals are stored safely.
A fire has the potential to destroy everything in your home. A professional assessment arranged through your broker is an invaluable exercise to get to an appropriate insured value to ensure that your most prized possession is correctly covered, no matter what comes your way.
*Content provided by AON