Birmingham, AL – August 1, 2016 – The state of Alabama has a new reason to take fire prevention seriously. State Farm, the state’s largest home insurer, ranks the state 5th in the nation for the most fire claims paid in 2015. State Farm paid $55.3 million for 1,735 fire claims (structure only, personal and commercial property) in Alabama during 2015. The top month in 2015 for fire claims in Alabama was July with 260 paid claims. Neighboring state of Georgia led the nation in the top spot.
The Top 5 states for paid fire claims in 2015
- Georgia – 3,086 fire claims
- Illinois – 2,231 fire claims
- California – 1,924 fire claims
- Texas – 1,922 fire claims
- Alabama – 1,735 fire claims
*The average amount paid per fire claim in Alabama (in 2015) was $31,919.
“These figures serve as another reminder for Alabama families to have a safety plan in place in the event of a fire and to take steps to reduce the likelihood of fires,” says State Farm spokesman Roszell Gadson. The following fire-prevention steps can help keep your home and family safe:
- Avoid the sun. Flammable products such as paint thinner and lacquer can be ignited by heat sources around your home—even by sunlight streaming through a window. Always keep flammable products in a cool, dark place and in their original containers.
- Control candles. Keep lit candles away from materials that could easily catch fire, such as curtains. Never light candles when you're feeling drowsy—accidentally falling asleep plays a role in 12 percent of all candle fires. Opt for battery-operated candles if you want a little bedtime glow.
- Enjoy your fireplace safely. The National Fire Protection Association recommends making sure your fireplace has a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room. Also, allow fireplace and wood/pellet/coal stove ashes to cool before disposing in a metal container.
- Keep your stove company. Never leave the kitchen when you have food cooking on the stove. If you must leave the kitchen for any reason, remove the pan from the heat and turn the burner off.
- Care for your cords. Electrical cords can produce heat, so make sure they have room to "breathe." Never trap them tightly between a piece of furniture and the wall or run them under a rug. Check the condition of cords regularly. Frayed wires or those damaged by pets are potential fire starters.