Why Vacant Homes Have High Risks Of Fire Damages

24 May 2018
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If your house is going to be vacant for some time, then you should know that it will be facing a higher risk of fire damage than it does when it is occupied. Here are some of the reasons for this increased risk:

Arsonists

Arson is described as the crime of deliberately setting fire to properties such as real estate, vehicles or even wild lands. Many arsonists do their dirty work as a thrill rather than for the pursuit of economic gain, but there are also those who do it as part of insurance fraud. Most of those who engage in arson as an illicit thrill target abandoned or vacant buildings where the risk of getting caught is low.

Accidental Fires from the Homeless

Some homeless people also contribute to vacant home fires. They don't do it deliberately as arsonists, but by accident. For example, some homeless people seek out abandoned buildings during the night or during the cold season where they build fires to keep warm. Some also do makeshift cooking in abandoned homes. Such things lead to fire outbreaks because the homeless may not have the know-how or motivation to build safe fires or put them out once they are done with cooking or warming themselves. 

Poor Maintenance of Systems and Installations

It is a well-known fact that vacant homes are not as properly maintained as occupied homes, and this can also lead to vacant home fires. Here are some of the ways in which poor maintenance can lead to fire outbreaks in vacant homes:

Poor Maintenance of Heating System

If a vacant home has a furnace or any type of heating system, it is easy for the heating system to fall into a state of disuse because no one will be there to service it regularly as required. Such systems can easily break down and cause fire outbreaks.

Poor Maintenance of Electrical System

The deterioration of an electrical system can easily lead to a short-circuit incident and eventually an electrical fire. An example is when the insulation cover of electrical wiring deteriorates and cracks, the electrical wire is exposed to moisture and a short occurs.

Poor Maintenance of Smoke Detectors

Most homes have smoke detectors that are properly maintained as long as the homes are occupied. This allows fast response to fire outbreaks before they can spread and cause serious fire. This changes when the homes fall vacant and the smoke detectors' batteries even die. In such cases, even small fires that are easy to put out quickly spread and cause serious damage as a result of the delayed response.

This is one of the reasons home insurance companies require you to notify them if your house is going to be vacant for some time. Depending on the duration of the vacancy, you may be required to purchase additional coverage for your house. Contact a company, like Fulshear Insurance, for more help.