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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Staying Fire-Aware in the Backyard | SERVPRO® of Sioux Falls

7/21/2022 (Permalink)

a close up view of a bright campfire burning at night If you have experienced fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO of Sioux Falls.

Sitting around the fire with your family is the perfect summer memory maker. Roasting hot dogs, toasting marshmallows and embarrassing your teenagers with stories of your childhood lead to an unforgettable night.

Fire serves us in many ways around our home, including grilling our dinner, keeping the bugs at bay and cleaning up the yard. You may feel like that small brush fire you started is completely in control, but in an instant, it can grow to a dangerous size. The National Park Service found that 85% of wildfires are started by humans.

Like the rest of our state, we have experienced high risk of grassland fires for most of spring and summer this year. The combination of dry grounds, low humidity and high winds created red flag warning days throughout March.

2021 was a very difficult year for wildfires as we watched so much land burn throughout the state. It is important that we are consistently fire-aware in order to keep our homes safe.

This does not mean you have to stop all of your fun. Follow local safety regulations when they are in place, make sure your own safety measures are ready to go and use your backyard as you wish. And don’t forget the chocolate.

Recreational Fire Hazards

Open flames will always come with a risk, but grills, campfires and fireworks are three common ways that fires are started outdoors. Grills are actually to blame for an average of 8,800 home fires each year, mostly due to improper use by the operator. Check your gas line or propane tank before you start your grill, and stay nearby once the grill is hot.

If you are planning a backyard campout, choose a location a fair distance from your house and any outbuildings. Start your fire with matches or a lighter only, and once the flames are going stick to firewood for additional fuel. Flames can start back from just a few embers, so keep a close eye on your fire even if you ate way too much chocolate.

Fire pits are a great accessory to have in the backyard, but they carry the same risks as a regular campfire. While you enjoy a camp-like feel, take safety measures to keep the flames in check. Never place a portable pit on a wooden surface or under an area that has any kind of roof or overhang.

Burning leftover supplies from your last DIY project or other household waste items in your fire pit might seem like a safe and viable option, but only approved firewood should be utilized.

Other Outdoor Fire Hazards

Despite the risks, we still want and need to use fire and other fire related materials around the home and yard. For those of us with lots of trees that lose their leaves, burning the excess might be the best way to clean up the yard when another waste disposal option isn’t available.

Burn permits are required if you plan to burn vegetation and other yard waste, so be sure to check with the city before you start your fire. You will also need to pay close attention to burn bans and be flexible with your dates.

Maintaining an uncluttered yard is essential in wildfire prevention, and when combined with landscaping with defensible fire safety zones in mind, it can actually protect your home. Make sure you follow regulations and only burn what is safe.

If you have yard tools, you likely have a gas can or two laying around as well. Improper storage of gasoline can create a disaster, so ensure your cans are approved containers and stored well out of the reach of any kiddos that may access your storage space.

It is also important to only use gas as intended—so even if the fire does look a little low or is slow to light, don’t reach for the gasoline can.

Before you light any kind of flame outside, check the weather and current local regulations. If there is a burn ban or the weather has been dry and windy, skip the fire and save the s’mores for a better day.

If you do experience fire damage to your home, call SERVPRO right away. We are available 247 with the knowledge and tools to handle every complicated aspect that comes along with fire recovery. It is our goal to restore as much of your property as possible and get your life back on track faster.

Burn safely outdoors. And save some chocolate for us! If you have experienced fire or smoke damage, contact us today to get restoration started faster.

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