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Fire Risk Goes Up the Minute the Heat Goes On


At just a month into Fall, some Wisconsinites already shoveled snow, many are past the first frost, and most are firing up their heaters to offset the falling temperatures.

It is the start of fire season.

The Hard Truth

Each year, home heating ranks as the second-leading cause of all house fires, behind cooking. According to the National Fire Protection Association, these fires leave:

  • 55,000 homes destroyed
  • 480 people dead
  • 1,470 people injured
  • $1.1 billion in property damage

Which Heat Source is Most Dangerous?

Most can guess correctly that space heaters cause 43 percent of all house fires. Did you know space heaters also cause 85 percent of all home heating fire deaths? Unfortunately, very few of these tragedies are due to equipment malfunction, but rather to a lack of attention when in use.

Dirty chimneys cause another 28 percent of home heating fires. Creosote, created from burning solid fuels (wood, coal, etc.), builds inside the chimney. If not professionally cleaned each year, the risk of a chimney fire is extreme.

Still, the leading source of home heating fire danger is the people using the heat. Leaving things too close to a heat source, or placing a heat source to close to things that can burn, accounts for 53 percent of all home heating fire deaths.

Tips to help keep you and your family safe

With fire season starting now, and cresting from December to February, following some simple tips can help you and your family stay warm and safe:

  • Keep anything that could ignite — toys, furniture, newspaper, curtains, clothing, etc. — at least three feet away from anything that produces heat.
  • Teach children to stay far away from registers, space heaters, and anything that produces flame. Again, three feet is a good rule of thumb.
  • Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to sleep. Better yet, unplug them. Never leave a portable heater unattended while it’s on.
  • Never heat your home with your oven.
  • Make sure stationary space heaters, water heaters, and central heating equipment are installed by a professional, and that the installation adheres to local building codes and manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Hire a qualified professional to inspect and maintain your heating equipment and clean your chimney every year.
  • Install smoke alarms outside bedrooms and on every level of your home. Test them every month.

The risk is real

As public insurance adjusters, we talk to people every day who’ve suffered severe fire damage. Some things we hear:

  • I was only out of the room for a minute.
  • I fell asleep.
  • I forgot to turn the space heater off when I left.
  • I didn’t see any problems when I looked up my chimney.
  • It happened so fast.

Make safety your top priority

It takes less than three minutes to go from a small flame to flashover — the point where everything in a room combusts. In those three minutes, smoke and toxic fumes build rapidly and can overtake anyone in the home, making escape impossible.

Take every precaution you can to prevent a fire at your home. If a fire starts:

  • Get everyone out of the house
  • Keep everyone out of the house
  • Call 911

We can help you replace your insured property, but only if you’re alive.


David Miller
David Miller
My name is David Miller and I am the proud owner of Miller Public Adjusters. With years of experience in the fire and water restoration industry, my passion is to help homeowners and business owners who've suffered a loss, because I know what's it like to have a personal fire loss and an insurance company that doesn't want to pay the claim. Feel free to comment or ask a question. We are here to help in anyway possible.

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Client Name: Amanda W.

If I could provide one crucial piece of advice to anyone dealing with a major loss due to fire, water damage, etc. – it would be to contact Miller Public Adjusters!

Client Name: Gayle S.

“Excellent experience. I had a major fire which destroyed my business. My Insurance company was hostile and adversarial at best. I hired Miller Public Adjusters. They did everything. I never had to have another conversation with a elusive and hostile insurance company. If I hadn’t hired Miller Public Adjusters to represent me, I would’ve lost everything.”

Client Name: Erica F.

“Dave is super knowledgable on the process as he’s not only been in the industry for years but he has also had personal experience with his own fire-damaged home. No matter how trivial you may think your question is Dave and his staff will take the time to make sure your questions get answered and you understand the ramifications. His expertise on the matter quickly turned what seemed to be a hopeless uphill battle into a more manageable playing field.

Client Name: Manny V.

“Top-notch service would recommend Miller Public Adjusters service to anyone. Dave thank you much. The process was great.”

Client Name: Phyllis M.

“David and his staff are outstanding and worth their weight in gold. If you need help with any insurance claim, hire them; you’ll be glad you did! If I could rate them 100 stars, I would!”

Client Name: Sharal D.

"Champions. Warriors. Heroes. Lifesavers! That’s exactly what David Miller and his fantastic team at Miller Public Adjusters are! There really are no words to describe what his team has done for me and my family. We are extremely grateful, and they are WORTH EVERY SINGLE PENNY you pay them for their services and then some!"

Client Name: Michele K.

“Thankfully, the restoration company referred us here. From that point on, David at Miller Public Adjusters reassured us that he would do everything in his power and knowledge to prove that our homeowners insurance should cover the damages. In the end, we won the case and the claim was paid. I can’t thank David at Miller Public Adjusters enough!”

Client Name: Todd L.

We never would have been able to navigate the confusing world of a total loss claim without their help, guidance and expertise,” Todd stressed. “I would recommend Miller Public Adjusters to anyone who is faced with a traumatic claim that involves dealing with ‘Big Insurance.’ They will absolutely help to alleviate much of the pain.

Client Name: Christine S.

They were successful at getting the maximum settlement from the insurance company. My family and I are always praising Miller Public Adjusters to people who ask us about the fire. We can’t thank them enough.

Client Name: Debbie G.

“Miller Public Adjusters knows what they are doing and stood firm against the insurance company. Miller Public Adjusters got us everything we were entitled to, and even more than we thought, in a matter of months. We did not have to deal with our insurance company and also did not have to purchase anything and turn in receipts for reimbursement. What a time-saving relief. Miller Public Adjusters are knowledgeable, understanding professionals, and we highly recommend them to all our friends and family.”


Fire Risk Goes Up the Minute the Heat Goes On

At just a month into Fall, some Wisconsinites already shoveled snow, many are past the first frost,

Fire Risk Goes Up the Minute the Heat Goes On

At just a month into Fall, some Wisconsinites already shoveled snow, many are past the first frost,

Fire Risk Goes Up the Minute the Heat Goes On

At just a month into Fall, some Wisconsinites already shoveled snow, many are past the first frost,