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Homeowners Safety Tips - Fire Prevention

Fire Prevention Tips to Keep in Mind as the Florida Summer Season Heats Up

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 SERVPRO reminds 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 Rick Isaacson Executive Vice President of Servpro Industries Inc. "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 15500 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:

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 Protection Association (NFPA) reports fire departments in the U.S. respond to an average of 8200 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 Isaacson. "Prevention is still the best way to protect your home your family and your investment."

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