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MortgagePoint » Your Trusted Source for Mortgage Banking and Servicing News 74 J O U R N A L April 2023 RISKY FIRE PRACTICES DECREASING NATIONWIDE T he Hartford Home Fire Index, pub- lished by The Hartford, a property and casualty insurance provider, has released its third index tracking the probability of home fires in the top 150 metropolitan areas, along with other data from the U.S. Census Bu- reau and the U.S. Fire Administration National Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). The index, which also polls adults about their fire safety practices, revealed that be- haviors known to cause home fines markedly declined since the months immediately preceding the pandemic including: » Leaving a lit candle near drapes or other flammable household items (75% decrease). » Falling asleep with a fire burning in a fireplace (64% decrease). » Leaving matches and lighters in the open with children present (55% decrease). » Overloading electrical outlets (45% decrease). The survey also noted that more respon- dents are taking proactive steps that can pre- vent or limit a fire should one occur than the last time the survey was conducted. Smoke detector use increased by 46%, regular bat- tery changes increased by 27%, and having a home escape plan increased by 16%. "While we are encouraged by the im- provements we have seen in fire safety and prevention, we know there is still work to be done," The Hartford's Chief Marketing & Communications Officer Claire Burns said. "The Hartford is committed to reducing the frequency and impact of home fires in the United States through marquee education- al initiatives like our Junior Fire Marshal Program that equips children with lifesaving lessons about fire safety. Children play a significant role in keeping homes safe from fire, and we are proud to provide parents and educators with the tools and resources they need to teach the next generation about reducing fire risk." According to the index, ranking the top 150 U.S. cities with the highest home fire risk, the top five cities are Modesto, California; Shreveport, Louisiana; Fresno, California; Montgomery, Alabama; and Memphis, Tennessee. This is the third Home Fire Index from The Hartford. Previous versions of the index were released in 2017 and 2020. Significant changes in the 2023 rankings compared to 2020 include: Market Trends

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