Don’t Get “Burned Out” This Holiday Season!

One out of three major losses caused by fire

HARTFORD, Conn. – December 10, 2002 – Fire is the second most frequent cause of large homeowners property claims, according to a recent analysis of claims incidence at Travelers Property Casualty (NYSE: TAP.A and TAP.B). “In our experience, one of every three losses over $10,000 is fire-related,” says Peter McMurtrie, Vice President, Claim Services.

Overall, fire is the cause of one out of every 25 homeowners property claims at Travelers, demonstrating that fire results in some of the most extensive losses. “In the winter, and especially at holiday time, people tend to increase their use of candles, fireplaces, wood stoves, and electrical decorations that can lead to fires in the home,” adds McMurtrie. “We'd like to remind everyone of a few simple precautions they can take to protect their families and homes from a fire-related loss.”


  • Be aware of the placement of candles, keeping them away from walls, window treatments, papers and other flammable materials. Place candles on heat-resistant surfaces.
  • Check the label on each candle for proper usage. For example, it is often recommended that candles not be burned for more than a few hours at a time, and that candles be extinguished when the wick is within a half inch from the base.
  • Before lighting, trim the wick to approximately one-eighth of an inch.
  • Store matches and lighters in a secure location, out of the reach of children.
  • Do not leave lighted candles unattended; they should be within your sight at all times.

Fireplaces/Wood Stoves

  • Be sure that ashes are completely cool before removing them from your fireplace. Use a metal pail or can to transport ashes. Where available, use the clean-out chute located in the fireplace to dispose of ashes.
  • Have your chimney professionally cleaned once each year.
  • Before lighting a fire, check that the flue is open to avoid smoke damage.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher or bucket of water nearby.

Holiday Decorations

  • Check all electrical decorations for potential fire hazards such as frayed wires or loose connections.
  • Do not overload outlets, extension cords or surge protectors.
  • Check location of lights to ensure they are not in contact with flammable materials.
  • Carefully read decoration instructions regarding maximum voltage.
  • Use UL-approved electrical decorations and accessories.
  • Regularly water fresh Christmas trees that are placed in the home.

At Anderson Insurance Brokers we have a wide variety of Home insurance products to so you have peace of mind in the event of a loss.  Call us at #630-681-8000, #773-588-3500, #866-681-8700 (toll free) or visit our website at for an instant quote on-line.

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