Focus on fire safety to avoid backyard summer accidents and property damage from grills, fire pits, and candles
Summer is a fun time, family and friends gather for pool parties, and people take vacations, but Summer is also a prime time for home fires. This year as our community continues to endure the global pandemic and people are encouraged to entertain in small groups outdoors and with social distance, outside spaces will likely see more use. Much like every other type of property disaster, BBQ’s, fire pits, portable heaters, and other cooking or recreational flames can cause accidental damage.
Spring and Summer Fire Hazards can cause property damage in your backyard
Open flames are hazardous whatever time of year, the changing of the season to warmer weather brings outside spring and summer fire hazards to your backyard. Every year, there are between 350,000 and 400,000 home fires in the U.S. (according to the National Fire Protection Association). Your home is at risk of catching fire for a variety of reasons no matter what the season, knowing some common reasons for residential fire damage can be important to fire prevention. SERVPRO of Old Bridge/Cranbury has been providing property disaster cleanup and restoration service to fire damage victims for nearly 30 years, our IICRC certified fire damage restoration specialists arrive ready to rescue and recover your home and property following a fire, "Like it never even happened."
Common causes of residential fire property damage disasters:
Grilling: Nothing announces the arrival of summer like firing up the grill. In the summer months, many people grill outdoors for various holidays and barbecue dinners. In fact, 5,700 home grill-related fires occur each year.
Prevention tips: To prevent barbecue fires, check for gas leaks before use, regularly clean your barbeque, and try to create a dedicated safe barbecuing space that is free of clutter and away from children.
Fire pits/Heaters: On cool summer nights, kids and adults alike will enjoy a cozy place to gather and stay warm. Fire pits are known to be a great source of warmth and ambience. Unfortunately, due to the increase in popularity, the number of fire-related injuries and accidents is on the rise as well. The good news is that with the proper safety precautions, a fire pit can be safely enjoyed by the whole family.
Prevention tips: Before striking the match, never place a pit closer than 10 feet from anything flammable, including your house and overhead tree branches. Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the fire.
Electrical fires: About 2,300 residential air conditioners start fires each year. These fires are usually the result of inadequate wiring while having to deal with heavy electric loads, short circuits, or other electrical malfunctions. It’s not just the AC that catches on fire, if your AC heats up, flammable materials near your unit can catch on fire. Fires are most likely to occur when it’s hottest outside—between 2 and 8 p.m.
Prevention tips: Using fans may allow you to set your thermostat a degree or two warmer than you may have been able to stand otherwise—especially if you rotate the blades clockwise, which directs airflow downward and prevents hotter air from rising up and signaling the A/C unit to kick on.
Candles/Torches: A flickering flame is both comforting and exciting, they are guaranteed to elevate your backyard living space. Adding candles and torches can provide ambient lighting and fend off mosquitoes and other nighttime insects when used with citronella. Yet, like anything that involves a fire or open flame, it’s important to exercise caution when installing, handling, and storing these creative outdoor lighting options.
Prevention tips: It’s important to exercise caution with these lighting options, consider placement carefully, do not place torches under trees, overhangs or near other flammable materials. Position torches at least 6 feet away from the house or other structures. Never leave an open flame unattended, keep an eye on any flames and ensure they are entirely out before you go inside for the night.
Be aware of the risk of fires and prepare by checking the batteries in your smoke detectors and having functioning fire extinguishers. If you find yourself faced with a fire emergency this summer, we are here to help!
The Damage Caused by a Property Fire
To repair your New Jersey property after experiencing a damaging fire, you should seek the help of a professional team like SERVPRO. Fire damage is multi-faceted and to recover as much of your property as possible contacting professionals right away with experience, equipment and training will help avoid additional repairs and costs. Our New Jersey SERVPRO technicians know what steps to take to assess your property and possessions, they can look for hidden damages and quickly start to mitigate concerns to avoid further damage from smoke and soot, documenting damages and removing items for restoration.