Fire Safety Advice from Fire Restoration Professionals
How many times have you heard of a forgotten a pizza in the oven or turned a burner on with a plastic bowl or Tupperware sitting on the stove. Or, my personal favorite, a former employee who made ramen for lunch and forgot to add water. Fire, smoke, and water damage can happen anytime, anywhere, to anyone.
SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is an industry leader in fire and water restoration. The past 18 months our office have helped 38 homes and businesses in northwest Iowa after a fire loss. Here are some of the most common causes of fire, smoke, and soot damage to homes and businesses...
- Cooking equipment – Cooking is one of the leading causes of fire. When cooking with oil or grease, the extreme temperatures can easily spark a flame as they spill onto the cooktop. Holiday cooking are reported to be the highest call volume days for our local fire departments. From juggling the cooking and entertaining duties, our concentration levels aren't always where they should be. With family get togethers also means the likelihood of requiring additional roasters and other cooking appliances. Oftentimes too many kitchen appliances lead to overloaded circuits and increased fire risk.
- Candles – We all want our home or business smelling nice, and what better way than burning a candle. Candles, when placed too close to a wall, can start fires due to prolonged exposure to heat in addition to soot damage on walls. They also become problematic when left unattended and pets are in the home. They can unintentionally knock the candle over leading to much larger fire damage concerns.
- Smoking – If a cigarette or cigar is not completely put out, the embers could still be a risk to ignite a fire. Just last year our crew helped restore an apartment complex after a fire caused by a cigarette poorly disposed of outside of the building. That put every tenant looking for a new or temporary place to live until the property could be properly repaired.
- Barbeque – During the summer months we all enjoy some outdoor cooking. Things to remember when cooking outdoors are to have your grill, smoker, etc. far enough away from your home or garage so if a fire sparks due to grease falling into the flames. Keeping those away from structures also prevents melting of vinyl siding and potential soot damage.
- Wiring – When it comes to the wiring in your home, you don’t want to take any short cuts. It should be up to date, and installed by a professional. Overheating or faulty wiring can quickly spark a fire inside your home or business.
- Christmas tree – The Christmas tree is everyone’s favorite, whether it’s a real tree or artificial. If it’s a real tree, you want to make sure that the stand is full of water so the tree doesn’t dry out. With both artificial and natural trees, placing them too close to a heat source (such as a fireplace or baseboard heater) can be a fire hazard.
- Heating Equipment – During cooler months, it is common practice to use a space heater. It is critical that all heating elements are kept a safe distance from any combustible materials. A minimum of 6" should be kept between a heat source and any other materials.
While fires may be accidental, take some extra steps to help prevent any major damage to your home or business.
Remember when disaster strikes, call the team that's Faster to Any Disaster...SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. With the help of our dedicated reconstruction team, we can truly make it "Like it never even happened."