You may not think about it, but rising waters might lead to fire. During times of flooding, your risks of experiencing a structural fire increase.
Floods often damage structures, and can compromise the safety of many different appliances. With these damages, there comes a fire risk. Fires could easily cause extensive property damages.
If you carry property insurance and flood insurance, you might be able to cover damages from flood-related fires. However, standard property insurance doesn’t usually cover flood-related damages. This may include fires triggered by flooding. Nonetheless, some property coverage may exclude water damages, but still cover fire damage resulting from floods. This factor often depends on the wording of your policy.
Even flood insurance itself may still not cover damages from fires caused by floods. Insurance may require proof that you took reasonable steps to prevent fires during flooding. When you get a flood insurance policy, talk to your insurance agent. Ask if the policy covers fire-related damages. Also ask if you bear any burden of responsibility to prove a claim.
Common Fire Threats in Floods
Take stock of your property before a flood threatens to reduce fire risks. Doing so can potentially reduce damages.
- If water threatens to enter your property, shut off your electrical source beforehand. Doing so can stop all electrical currents into your home. This reduces the risk of surges, sparks and electrocution.
- Unplug all electrical appliances in your property and shut off your HVAC system. If you can move these items to flood-proof areas, do so to reduce damage risks. Do not leave any items plugged in, especially if water threatens to enter the property.
- Clear flammable substances out of harm’s way. If they spill or leak into flood water, they could seep throughout the home and combust in the right circumstances, even when wet.
- If you have a gas system in your home, shut it down completely.
- Make sure any emergency equipment like camp stoves and generators function properly. These items could catch fire if they malfunction.
- Be on the lookout around your home for damaged power lines or electrical wiring. If exposed to water, these items could spark, and cause a fire to spread into your home.
- If you decide to burn candles or other fires during a flood, follow strict safety precautions. Isolate the flames and never leave them unattended.
- If evacuating, leave your home in a cold state. Turn off all appliances and electrical systems.
After a flood, completely dry and clean affected areas before re-introducing electricity or flammable items. Also check your home for other damages to the foundations, wiring or utility systems. Even though the home is now dry, unseen damages could cause a fire to start later on.
All About Insurance can help you get a flood insurance policy that protects your home. Call us at (817) 589-0006 for more information.