Fire Safety for the summer
SERVPRO of North Clay County/Oakleaf/Middleburg would like to share some tips on how a safe summer can be had by everyone in our local community. Summer weather means cookouts, Fourth of July fireworks, and all sorts of campfire fun as families across the country take advantage of the warm temperatures to get back in touch with nature.
It’s certainly relaxing to enjoy a beach bonfire with friends and loved ones, or roast marshmallows by the lake or in the backyard fire pit, but it’s also important to ensure that everyone stays safe by observing a few simple fire protection guidelines.
- Keep a bucket of water handy. If an ember floats out of your fire pit, or a log falls down from your bonfire stack and sets nearby foliage, paper, or other flammable materials aflame, you don’t want to be scrambling for a way to put the fire out. Having a bucket of water nearby is a great first response tool to keep a fire under control.
- Supervise all fireworks (if fireworks are legal in your state, of course). Sparklers and pinwheels might seem “low risk,” but the reality is that there aren’t any fireworks out there that are safe enough for kids to use without adult supervision. It’s also important to ensure that no one tries to re-light fireworks that don’t work properly the first time. Dump these in a bucket of water and move on to the next package.
- Don’t let barbecue grease build up. Whether you’re using a charcoal or a gas grill, it’s important to keep it clean to prevent accidental grease fires caused by all of the gunk that can accumulate on a grill over time.
- Inspect the area around your BBQ and campfire. You don’t want to grill or light a campfire anywhere near other flammable materials. This includes deck railings, overhanging branches, dry grass or that pile of dry wood and recycling sitting in the back corner of your yard. If you’re camping, clear out the area immediately around your BBQ or campfire spot to be sure that there’s no scrub or brush nearby that could ignite if a spark lands on it.
- When you’re done with the fun, put out the flames. While it might seem romantic to fall asleep in front of a campfire, you really should dump water and/or sand on those embers before catching some shut-eye. The same goes for BBQs – close your propane valve and the unit’s lid, as well as any vents on a charcoal grill once you’re done. Unsupervised BBQs can easily tip over in the wind. A breeze can pick up and carry coals and embers from that campfire, dropping them where they can ignite dry grass, branches, trees or deck planks.
Ready to Grill?
Grill Fire Safety
The weather gets warmer, more people use outdoor grills – and incidents of grill-caused fires go up. According to the National Fire Protection Association from 2014-2018, fire departments went to an annual average of 8,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year, including 3,900 structure fires and 4,900 outside or unclassified fires. Gas grills cause more home fires than charcoal grills, the association adds.
Regardless of the type of grill you own, here are 9 BBQ safety tips that we are sharing from Nationwide that will keep you safer during barbecuing season:
- Grill outside and away from structures
- Make sure your grill is stable
- Keep your grill clean
- Check for propane leaks on your gas grill
- If the flame goes out, wait to re-light
- Take care around the grill
- Be careful with charcoal starter fluid
- Wear the right clothing
- Be ready to put out the fire
These easy-to-follow tips will help you and your family to enjoy a safe summer barbecuing season.
Entertaining or Just Cooking on the Grill? Use these practices to ensure safety!
During these times of staying home more and cooking for the family..... make sure you use the following tips to keep your home safe.
Every year, 7,000 Americans are injured while using backyard barbecue grills. It's usually a case of good products used incorrectly.
1. Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house. Farther is even better. This includes portions attached to your house like carports, garages and porches. Grills should not be used underneath wooden overhangs either, as the fire could flare up into the structure above. This applies to both charcoal and gas grills.
2. Clean your grill regularly. If you allow grease and fat to build up on your grill, they provide more fuel for a fire. Grease is a major source of flare ups.
3. Check for gas leaks. You can make sure no gas is leaking from your gas grill by making a solution of half liquid dish soap and half water, then rubbing it on the hoses and connections. When you turn the gas on, with the grill lid open, the soap forms large bubbles, that's a sign that the hoses have tiny holes or that the connections are not tight enough.
4. Keep decorations away from your grill. Decorations like hanging baskets, pillows, and umbrellas look pretty AND provide fuel for a fire. To make matters worse, today's decor is mostly made of artificial fibers that burn fast and hot, making this tip even more important.
5. Keep a spray bottle of water handy. That way, if you have a minor flare-up you can spray it with the water to instantly calm it. The bonus of this tip is that water won't harm your food, so dinner won't be ruined!
6. Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill. And KNOW HOW TO USE IT. If you are unsure how to use the extinguisher, don't waste time fiddling with it before calling 911. Firefighters say many fire deaths occur when people try to fight a fire themselves instead of calling for expert help and letting the fire department do its job.
7. Turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed. NEVER do this. It causes gas to build up inside your grill, and when you do light it and open it, a fireball can explode in your face.
8. Leave a grill unattended. Fires double in size every minute. Plan ahead so that all of your other food prep chores are done and you can focus on grilling.
9. Overload your grill with food. This applies especially to fatty meats. The basic reason for this tip is that if too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up that could light nearby things on fire.
10. Use a grill indoors. People often think it will be safe to use a grill, especially a small one, indoors. NOT TRUE. In addition to the fire hazard, grills release carbon monoxide; a deadly, colorless, and odorless gas. That gas needs to vent in fresh air or it can kill you, your family, and your pets.
Know which type of fire you have had to enable mitigation cleaning to be successful!
Be sure to know which kind of soot you are mitigating so you don't cause MORE DAMAGE!
Did you know that there are four different types of smoke? Wet, Dry, Oily, and Protein
Wet smoke - Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke - Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Oily Smoke - Grease, Fuel Burning, and Burnt Plastics
- Easily smeared, resistant to wet cleaning
Protein Fire Residue - Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today - SERVPRO of North Clay County/Oakleaf/North Middleburg are ready to respond and answer your questions on how to tell which type your fire might have been and also clean. If you don't know which type soot it is, you can DO MORE DAMAGE by trying to clean yourself. You also have to know what kind of paint you have or you could do more damage as well. You can reach us at 904-861-8870 and we will be glad to assist you. We also cover the west side of Orange Park in Clay County, Macclenny in Baker County and Starke in Bradford County.