Home Safety: SERVPRO of Rockford offers fire prevention tips

June 6, 2012

Staff Report

Safety is important all the time, but each year the National Safety Council designates June as National Safety Month to help focus the public’s attention on critical safety issues. In support of this national awareness event, Charles Hare, owner of SERVPRO of Rockford in Rockford, reminds local homeowners to review all of the safety tips from the National Safety Council, including tips on preventing home fires.

While most homeowners take at least the basic steps to protect against a fire,” said Hare, “there are fire sources in homes that are frequently overlooked. For National Safety Month, we want to shine a spotlight on some of the causes of home fires associated with the coming summer season.”

Clothes dryers

According to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), these everyday appliances are responsible for about 15,500 home fires every year, causing an average of 10 deaths each year, and more than $84.4 million in damage. Summer’s warmer weather and outdoor activities can create additional laundry. Help prevent dryer fires by doing the following:

1. Controlling lint buildup — on the lint filter, the back of the machine and in the venting system.

2. Replacing plastic or vinyl vent hoses with a rigid or flexible metal venting system.

3. Drying only items that are approved and safe to be put in a dryer (not foam-backed rugs or athletic shoes).

Fire pits

These outdoor fireplaces add a warm touch to the season’s al fresco entertaining, but they need to be handled with respect and caution. In their Seasonal Safety Tips, Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) recommends that homeowners keep the glow confined by:

1. Keeping these fireplaces at least 10 feet from any structure or flammable items.

2. Placing the unit on a solid surface, in an open area, away from overhanging trees or rooflines.

3. Never leaving the fireplace unattended.. Keep a fire extinguisher close at hand, avoid using lighter fluid to start or restart the fire and ensure any embers are completely extinguished before going inside.

Gas grills

The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) reports fire departments in the U.S. respond to an average of 8,200 grilling-related fire calls per year. Five out of six of these fires involved gas grills. As summer grilling season heats up, SERVPRO recommends that outdoor chefs keep these tips from UL in mind:

1. Position the grill outside, at a safe distance from the house. Never grill inside a garage or enclosed porch or under a breezeway, awning, carport or overhang that might catch fire.

2. Check the grill’s propane hoses for cracks and brittleness, then trickle soapy water over the hoses and fittings. Look for bubbles that would indicate a propane leak, and address the problem before using the grill again.

3. Never light a gas grill with the lid closed. Keep a spray bottle filled with water handy to suppress flare-ups and a fire extinguisher close by for emergencies.

House fires can happen anytime, in any season, so it’s important to understand all the possible sources for a fire in your home,” said Hare. “Prevention is still the best way to protect your home, your family and your investment. But if a fire does damage your home, SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide immediate response and advice that helps limit secondary damages and potential health risks.”

SERVPRO of Rockford specializes in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services, helping to remediate fire damage, making it “Like it never even happened,” for both commercial and residential customers. SERVPRO of Rockford also offers wind and water damage mitigation, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning and other home-maintenance and restoration services.

For more information about severe storms or other emergency situations, visit the FEMA website at www.ready.gov. For more information about SERVPRO of Rockford, contact Charles Hare at (815) 964-0599 or servpro9249@tds.net or visit www.SERVPRO.com.

SERVPRO

Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO Franchise System is a national leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO’s professional services network of more than 1,600 individually owned and operated franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million-dollar large-loss situations. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.

From the June 6-12, 2012, issue

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