Discover Your Home’s Top 10 Danger Zones

front door with yellow danger tape

Preventative Measures

Fires are one of the costliest disasters that can strike your home, and water damage caused by leaks or plumbing problems is among the most frequent triggers for insurance claims. Here are 10 common problem areas that could lead to catastrophe—along with a few simple precautions you can take to keep trouble at bay.

1. Cooktop

The Hazard:

About 40% of fires start in the kitchen, and the cooktop is the most common culprit.

How to avoid it:

Never leave burners unattended when in use, and store combustibles such as paper towels or pot holders a safe distance away.

2. Smoke detectors

The Hazard:

Dead or missing batteries are the leading causes of malfunction.

How to avoid it:

Change the batteries at least once a year. Replace models that are more than 10 years old (see How to Prepare Your Home for Emergencies for the kind to get).

icicles hanging off of roof 3. Roof

The Hazard:

A roof that’s too warm in wintertime melts snow, creating runoff that freezes when it meets the gutter. There it forms an ice dam that forces water beneath the shingles.

How to avoid it:

Add attic insulation and venting to keep the roof cool.

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