Keep These Fire Safety Tips in Mind to Prevent Outdoor Fires | SERVPRO® of Biddeford-Saco
There’s nothing better than relaxing by the campfire in your backyard on a warm summer night. Hot dogs, s’mores and scary stories are just a few festivities you can enjoy by the fire.
We light a fire in our backyards and campgrounds for recreation, a meal, pest control or as a way to clear out debris, but even the safest fire has its own set of hazards. The National Park Service states that around 85% of wildfires are started by humans.
Maine has experienced its fair share of wildfires, and while some are caused by weather or climate, the vast majority are caused by humans. Because Maine is primarily forested, it’s good to understand what hazards a backyard campfire can produce if it gets out of hand.
If local rules allow, you can still burn your leaves, light your tiki torches, roast your s’mores and barbecue your burgers. Keeping safety precautions in mind every time you burn can allow you to enjoy your backyard fires and minimize your risk of flames.
<h3fire-hazards">Recreational Fire Hazards
Any kind of fire poses hazards, but grills, campfires and fire pits are common culprits of outdoor fires. Grills are responsible for approximately 8,800 home fires each year, mostly due to improper usage. Before lighting up the grill, check your gas lines and propane tanks and never leave food that’s cooking left unsupervised.
When preparing your campfire, find a safe place away from any buildings or vehicles, and to start your flame, only use a match or lighter. Once your campfire is lit, only use wood to keep your fire burning, and keep an eye on your fire even after you are done enjoying your s’mores.
Fire pits are a simple way to create a flame similar to a campfire, but even though this equipment is easy to use, you should still use the same caution as a regular campfire. If your fire pit is portable, make sure not to light it on a wood deck or near any overhanging trees.
While it might seem like an easy way to get rid of any trash or debris, you should only burn approved firewood.
<h3outdoor-fire-hazards">Other Outdoor Fire Hazards
Even with their hazards, flames and flammable items can still be utilized. If you live somewhere that collects lots of dead leaves in the fall and you don’t have a way to dispose of them, burning these leaves can be the most effective way to cleaning up your yard.
Before you burn anything, understand your area’s local burn laws to ensure you’re able to burn any debris. Be aware of burn bans, and consider applying for a permit. When you have a permit in Biddeford, you are able to burn debris 50 feet away from any structures at any time between 9 a.m. and 12 midnight.
Burning dead leaves and plants is a great way to protect your property from wildfires, and planning your landscape in a strategic way can stop fires before they get close to your home. Knowing what you can burn and understanding the general fire safety recommendations can help keep backyard flames at bay.
You may store gas in a shed or garage to fuel your yard equipment, but poor handling can have disastrous consequences. Be sure to store gas in approved containers and place these containers where your kids can’t reach them. Gas should be used safely and as intended, too—so, if you’re having difficulties starting your campfire, don’t turn to gasoline for support.
Any time you start a fire outside, be aware of our area’s weather conditions and local guidelines. If it’s a dry or windy day, save your marshmallows for another occasion and light your fire at another time.
Give SERVPRO a call if an outside fire causes damage to your property. Our team is trained to tackle any kind of fire damage no matter how severe. Our goal is to restore as much of your property as we can and as quickly as we are able.
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.