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R&R Insurance Blog

Christmas Trees Ignite in 2 Seconds!

Posted by the knowledge brokers

An estimated 30 million natural Christmas trees are sold anually in the United States. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that there is an estimated annual average of 210 home structure fires that begin with Christmas trees. Based on data from 2002 through 2005, these fires caused an average of 24 civilian deaths, 27 civilian injuries, and $13.3 million in direct property damage per year.

Forty-nine percent of Christmas tree fires spread beyond the room of origin.

The moisture content of each tree can play a dominant role in determining the fire hazard each tree represents. Properly maintaining a cut Christmas tree is important to retaining a high moisture content in the needles of the tree to limit accidental ignition and prevent rapid flame spread. A tree which has dry needles can readily ignite with a flaming source and generate heat release rates that are capable of causing flashover in residential scale rooms. Trees that have been watered properly, and maintain pliable, green needles are harder to ignite than dry trees with needles that break easily when bent and fall from the tree when the branches are shaken.

In addition to keeping the tree extremely moist by watering daily, The American Red Cross offers these common-sense tips to avoid holiday fires:

  • Decorate Christmas trees only with laboratory-approved lights
  • Unplug Christmas tree lights when leaving home or going to bed
  • Do not decorate metal trees with lights
  • Do not decorate trees with candles
  • Keep candles away from decorations and other combustible material
  • Place trees away from heat sources and exits
  • Make sure chimneys are inspected before the holidays and cleaned if necessary
  • Keep space heaters at least three feet away from bedding, clothing, furniture, drapes and anything else combustible. Use equipment that is approved for indoor use. Turn space heaters off if you are not available to monitor this equipment. Remember, children anywhere near space heaters must be supervised at all times.

Christmas trees that glitter with lights and tinsel symbolize the joyous spirit of the holiday season, but we must not forget the potential fire hazards that can be a tragic part of this time of celebration. Wisconsin residents, contact knowledgebroker Kori Cumley for fire safety tips or a quick quote on home and auto insurance.

Topics: Personal Insurance, christmas trees ignite, christmas tree, Fire Safety, holiday fire prevention, holiday fire safety, christmas tree fire prevention, christmas fire safety, fire prevention, tree safety, prevent fire

Is Your Sprinkler System Adequate?

Posted by John Brengosz

Many people think that if you’ve seen one sprinkler system, you’ve seen them all! While this may appear to be the case, these systems are highly engineered and should be designed specifically for what you are doing in your building. Here are some key points about sprinkler protection and why this issue could be costing you a lot of property premium dollars.

What was your sprinkler system originally designed for?
Sprinkler systems are supposed to be designed to put out a density of water that has been proven to control a fire. Do you need the same density to control a fire in a metal working shop as you do in a plastics warehouse? NO!!! The National Fire Protection Association has done a great deal of research to find out what sprinkler designs protect a given building occupancy. The process starts with a sprinkler contractor knowing what will be done in a particular building.

Problems arise when people move out of a building and a new tenant or owner comes in.
Other problems occur from a building owner or tenant doing something in the building that they weren’t doing when the sprinkler contractor originally designed their sprinkler system. The result? Your sprinkler system may not be able to control a fire in your building!

Why should I care about this?
First and most importantly, you should care because your entire facility may be at risk for a fire loss. The beauty of properly designed sprinkler systems is that fire is controlled in a relatively small area with minimized damage. If your sprinkler system design is inadequate, you may be looking at a total loss of the building and all its contents. You may be covered from an insurance standpoint, but is this something you want your company to go through?

Secondly, most insurance companies use preferred rates for those facilities rated as "sprinklered". If your system has an inadequate sprinkler system, you could be getting charged the same rate as a building having no sprinkler system at all. To get the sprinklered property rates you deserve, you can figure out an approximate pay back period for work needed to upgrade your sprinkler system.

Any Wisconsin business needing more information on property insurance, sprinkler requirements or any other casualty insurance information contact a knowledgebroker. 800-566-7007

Topics: National Fire Protection Association, Fire Safety, water sprinklers, Business Insurance, fire loss, water sprinkler designs, sprinkler system design, proper sprinkling systems