As we enjoy the summer sun and try not to melt from the Tampa heat, we should also make sure we are protecting our homes from fire damage Tampa residents have experienced in years past. Often, our fun summer activities lead to an increase in emergency calls to Tampa area fire departments and then to fire restoration Tampa companies like us. While you can’t always prevent a fire event, there are some steps you can take to protect your home and family.
Check Your Alarms and Fire Safety Tools
The most important summer fire prevention tip is making sure you check your smoke alarms and fire safety tools to make sure they are working. For example, your smoke alarm batteries should be changed once a year. It’s a good idea to write the day on your calendar to make sure you don’t forget to change them annually.
Additionally, you want to make sure your fire extinguisher will still work properly in case of an emergency. Sometimes fire extinguishers don’t have expiration dates, but that doesn’t mean they will last forever. You should check the pressure gauge to make sure the needle is still in the green.
Watch Your Grill
Did you know the summer months (May through August) are the peak months for grill fires? We love grilling out hamburgers and hot dogs on hot summer days, but grill fires account for a large number of summer fires. According to the Sandy Spring Volunteer Fire Department, “Gas grills contribute to a higher number of home fires overall than their charcoal counterparts. A failure to clean the grill was the leading factor contributing to the fire in one –fifth of all grill structure fires (19%). In 17%, something that could catch fire was too close to the grill.”
Now that you know the risk of summertime grilling, here are some prevention tips to ensure your safety:
- Grills should be used outdoors only.
- Check for leaks in the hose.
- Clean your grill and make sure there isn’t any grease build-up.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
- Keep the grill a good distance away from your home and make sure there are not any overhanging branches or anything that can burn nearby.
- Only use charcoal starter fluid.
Summer Firework Safety Tips
Even though the Fourth of July is over, it is common for people to enjoy fireworks during the summer. But, this is dangerous. Since many local fireworks displays were canceled due to COVID-19, many people have been doing fireworks at their homes on their personal property. First things first, make sure it is legal to shoot off fireworks on your property. They have laws in place for a reason. For example, the U.S. Fire Administration explains that even those we deem “safe” are pretty dangerous – “Sparklers can reach 1,200 F and cause third-degree burns.” Should you choose to use fireworks anyway, be sure to keep a bucket of water and a hose nearby. After the firework has finished burning, soak it in water before you throw it away.
Be Careful with Campfires and Bonfires
Another popular summer pastime is sitting around a campfire, bonfire, or fire pit. While these are all different sizes, the same prevention tips apply.
- Check the weather. You should not have an outdoor fire burning when the conditions are windy.
- Clear the area of any vegetation or dry materials that may catch fire and burn.
- Don’t keep flammable liquids near the fire.
- Keep the fire small. With larger fires, it is harder to control embers blowing away and landing on other areas.
- Never leave the fire unattended.
- Only burn wood. Some materials may be flammable or toxic.
- When you are finished enjoying the fire, put it out completely.
Perform Regular Maintenance on HVAC
It’s important for homeowners to perform regular maintenance on their HVAC units before the summer. During the summer in Tampa, you are likely to run multiple cooling units, which may cause them to overheat. If your HVAC units haven’t been cleaned, maintained, or inspected, there may be potential fire hazards. Unfortunately, fire damage in Tampa FL relating to HVAC units catching fire is a real issue.
Store Gas Correctly
If you have a propane gas container, you should not store it inside your home. Heat and high temperatures can cause them to explode. Instead, keep them away from direct sunlight in a well-ventilated area outdoors.
What to Do If There is a Fire
We hope you never face a fire, but if you do, contact Dririte. We provide fire damage Sarasota restoration services, as well as Tampa area fire damage services. We are ready and able to help restore your property after the fire department leaves. We have the tools needed to remove smoke and soot from your property and belongings.