Your Back Yard Shouldn’t Be a Fire Hazard
Hanging out in the backyard is already a great pastime, but when you add a nice warm fire, it makes for the perfect night. Roasting marshmallows, warming hot dogs and telling good stories can make memories your family won’t soon forget.
We use fire not just for time with the family, but to keep the pests at bay, to cook a meal, to clean leaves and to provide entertainment. Even if you think your fire is in control, though, it can quickly take a turn for the worse. According to the National Park Service 85% of wildfires are started by humans.
While our county’s risk of wildfires overall is low, Arkansas has seen plenty of forest and grass fires that grew out of hand quickly. In April, a forest fire a few hours from our neighborhood left families fleeing their homes and a total of 1,503 acres burned. We should never let our guard down when it comes to using fire outdoors.
Don’t think this means you can’t enjoy a fire in the comfort of your backyard. Grill your steaks, light citronella candles and enjoy some marshmallows, but keep up with regulations and warnings and put safety measures in place to lower your chances of things getting out of hand.
Open flames come with risks, but items such as grills, fire pits, fireworks and campfires are common ways that fires get started outside. Grills cause an average of 8,800 home fires each year when they are not used properly. Check the propane or gas before you light it, and stay near a hot grill even after you have turned it off.
When you are building a campfire, pick a spot that is a clear distance from homes or cars, and only use matches or a lighter to start the fire. Wood is the only fuel source you should use once your fire is crackling, and even after the chocolate has been eaten and the flames have burned down, you should keep an eye on the embers to watch for additional sparks.
Fire pits offer a nice alternative to a campfire, but they still need a lot of safety measures in place when you use them. Treating fire pits the same as a campfire and never placing a pit under an area with an overhang or onto a wooden surface will keep your fire where it belongs.
It might seem OK to dispose of waste or construction materials from your latest project by burning it in your pit, but stick to wood approved for burning only.
Fire and combustible materials are risky, but we still have a need for them. We know fall can mean a lot of leaves in Arkansas. If you don’t have a disposal option like curbside pickup, burning may be a way to clean up your yard.
Open burning of yard materials is allowed, but it must be at least 25 feet from the nearest structure and the nearest property line. Burning is only allowed an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset. Always check with city hall before you start a fire to ensure there are no current warnings.
Clearing your yard can help prevent wildfires, and together with landscaping laid out strategically it can actually provide protection for your home. Understand what to burn when before you start your fire and stay aware of all necessary safety measures to keep things in control.
Gas and combustible materials stored in a shed or garage should only be in approved containers and kept far away from kids. Gas should only be used for yard tools and other items that require it, which means you can’t use it to make the campfire glow a little brighter.
If you do experience a damaging fire, give us a call. SERVPRO is ready 24⁄7 to take care of every part of fire damage, and it is our hope and goal to restore rather than replace as much of your property as possible.
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.