Keep Your Backyard Fire in Control | SERVPRO® of Spring Valley/Jamul
Sitting in the backyard with your family and a toasty fire makes for one of the best nights you could ask for. Roasted hot dogs, gooey s’mores and stories shared are memories your whole family will smile about.
Fire serves a lot of purpose for our day-to-day lives, including cooking our meals, controlling pests while we play and cleaning up the yard after a storm or in the fall. That small fire in the fire pit might seem safe and without hazards, but in an instant it can ignite the dry grass nearby and create a real disaster.
The National Park Service notes that 85% of wildfires are started by humans.
Most of our area falls into what is considered a fire hazard severity zone, which basically means we are all at risk from wildfires. We know that bordering so much wildlife means that we need to stay fire-aware not just during fire season, but throughout the year.
This shouldn’t put a damper on your outdoor fun, though. When you follow proper local safety regulations and maintain a good personal fire plan, you can roast and toast to your heart’s desire.
Lighting a flame outside will always have risks, but campfires, fire pits and fireworks are common outdoor fire starters. Grills cause an average of 8,800 home fires each year when they are used improperly.
Just last year, two homes in Spring Valley were destroyed in a fire when a grill was left unattended. Always check your propane tank or gas line before you start cooking, and never walk away from a hot grill.
When you plan your next backyard campout, pick a location far from your home and cars to start the fire. Get the flames going with matches or a lighter only, and stick to firewood as additional fuel throughout the evening. Just a few embers can spark into flames, so hold off on the chocolate coma until the fire is completely out.
Fire pits are a fun part of backyards these days, giving you the opportunity to feel like you are camping without all the setup. These pits still carry a lot of dangers, however, and should be treated with the same safety measures as a regular campfire. If your fire pit is movable, never place it on a wood surface or an area that has a roof or overhang.
Getting rid of your construction leftovers or some household items in your pit might seem safe, but only firewood approved for recreational burning should be used.
While there are certainly risks, fire can still be a helpful tool when used properly. If you have a lot of trees that lose leaves and limbs, burning may be a viable cleanup option when there isn’t another way of disposing vegetation.
Permits are required for open burning, and there are quite a few restrictions on getting them. You will need to check with the city and have a flexible plan if you are cleaning your yard with a vegetation fire.
Keeping your yard clean of dead plants and leaves is an essential part of our already required defensible zone landscaping regulations that is in place to help protect and prevent against wildfires. Knowing what is safe to burn and isn’t when the regulations allow for it is essential in keeping your fire in control.
If you have power tools or yard tools stored somewhere, you probably have gasoline to fuel them. Improperly storing gas can result in a real disaster, so be sure your containers are approved for storage and keep it out of the reach of any children that might access your space.
Only use gas for its intended purpose as well—it isn’t safe or smart to spark the fire with a squirt of gasoline no matter how low the flames are.
If you are going to light anything outside, check the weather and local warnings first. If there are bans or it’s a red flag warning day, if the winds are high and we haven’t seen rain in a while, skip the flames and roast marshmallows another day.
If you do experience any damages from a fire, call SERVPRO. We are ready day or night to tackle the extensive damage left behind from a fire, and we want to restore your property as fast 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.