When It Comes to Summer Fire Safety, It's All About Location, Location, Location: Local SERVPRO cleanup and restoration specialist offers tips to homeowners for a safe summer season
With the summer season in full swing, fire and water damage cleanup specialist Ryan Wolfe with SERVPRO of Lawrence, Owen, Greene & Martin Cos. reminds Bedford homeowners that popular summer activities - like grilling, setting off fireworks, and relaxing around a fire pit or campfire - can quickly turn from fun to flames, resulting in damage to property and structures, and even personal injury.
"Where you place your grill and fire pit matters," says Wolfe. "If you don't pay close attention to the location and environment, it could cause much more serious problems than just property damage. Even if the location of your grill or fire pit hasn't changed from past years, the setting may have changed and created a more dangerous situation with the addition of fallen branches, leaves or more combustible, aging decking materials."
To help avoid a potential fire disaster, you need to control the three factors that allow a fire to start and grow: fuel, heat, and air. When you do build an intentional fire, for cooking, warmth, or simple enjoyment, a key element to control is fuel. The U.S. Fire Administration, a division of FEMA, offers these guidelines to help keep your summer fire activities under control.
Grills. Place your grill well away from siding and deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. Do not store or use a grill on a porch or balcony. Use propane, charcoal and wood pellet barbecue grills outdoors only to avoid the risk of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
Chimineas, outdoor fireplaces, and fire pits. Use these items outdoors only and position them at least 10 feet away from your home or anything that can burn. Build campfires at least 25 feet away from homes, tents, shrubs and anything that can burn. Flying embers can start fires that are not in direct contact with flames.
Fireworks. If you want to see fireworks, consider going to a public show put on by experts. Even the simplest fireworks like "sparklers" can reach 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit and cause third-degree burns.
"A small spark can start a major fire," says Wolfe. "Leave the fireworks to the professionals and put some time and thought into where you set up your grill, chiminea and fire pit, including clearing away any combustible materials. Then spend your summer enjoying good times and great food, not dealing with the destruction and heartbreak of a house fire."
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