How Safe Is Your Mattress? Replacing Your Mattress Could Save Your Life and Your Bank Account
By Krista Farmer
Fire safety is probably the furthest thing from your mind as you drift off to sleep each night. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 360 people die each year from mattress fires. Considering that statistic, you might want to re-think your current sleeping arrangements and re-visit your insurance policies.
Beginning July 1, mattress manufacturers must meet a federal fire resistant standard that could save your life and/or the lives of your loved ones. The new mattresses will meet a strict performance regulation that will make them more resistant to fires started by open flames from matches, lighters, candles, etc.
While the mattress regulations will not eliminate fires, the new performance standards will buy consumers valuable time in the event of a fire. It only takes a few minutes for flames to engulf a mattress, then destroy a room. Mattresses manufactured under this regulation will burn much more slowly, adding to the time victims can escape injuries or death.
Recognized as a leading cause of death for children, mattress fires can be caused by a number of things, which is why it is necessary to take strict safety precautions.
1. Don’t smoke in bed. This habit is a major source of accidental fire deaths in homes. If your mattress was manufactured after 1973, it was required to resist cigarette ignition. The standard set on July 1, 2007 will resist open flame ignition.
2. Be watchful of decorative candles.
3. Don’t fall asleep while candles are burning.
4. Don’t allow children to play with candles, matches or lighters. Warn them of the dangers of fire.
5. Install a functioning fire alarm in every bedroom.
6. Test smoke alarm batteries every month and change them at least once a year.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 270 deaths and 1,330 injuries will be prevented every year once this mattress flammability standard is in place. While you can’t predict when or if a fire will occur in your home, you can prepare for it.
In addition to taking safety precautions, it’s also important to be sure you have insurance that will cover damages and/or injuries caused by smoke or fire. Following safety guidelines can reduce your risk factor, but they will not eliminate the possibility of the unexpected. Insurance is for the unexpected. Take time now to prepare for these unpredictable events.
Damages or injuries from fire or smoke can drain your bank account if you are not prepared. Thoroughly review your insurance policies to be sure you are covered for these perils.
If you haven’t done so, talk with your local insurance agent to consider your risk factor and discuss your insurance policy.
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*Please note that this article is not a professional consultation. This article is for general information only. Always seek specific information from a licensed insurance professional.*