Take Precautions to Keep Backyard Fires Under Control | SERVPRO® of North Fort Worth
Relaxing by a fire in your own backyard is a wonderful way to spend a summer evening. Hot dogs, s’mores and scary stories are just a few of the fun outdoor activities you and your family can do together.
These backyard fires serve us in many ways. We use them for entertainment, to make food, to keep away bugs or as a way to get rid of debris or trash, but all fires come with their own set of hazards, even the ones we consider to be safe. The National Park Service states that nearly 85% of wildfires are man-made.
Wildfires are particularly common in Texas, since conditions can get very dry. From 2013 to 2018, Texas experienced around 10,000 wildfires, and since this number is only increasing, it’s crucial to understand how to protect your Fort Worth home.
Of course, you can still burn your yard trimmings, light your tiki torches, toast your marshmallows and grill your hot dogs, if local laws permit. If you make sure to take precautions every time you burn, you can minimize your risk of accidental fires and still enjoy a backyard campfire.
Recreational Fire Hazards
Any kind of open flame can be hazardous, but grills, campfires, fire pits and fireworks are responsible for many outdoor fires each year. Around 8,800 house fires are started by grills each year, usually due to human error. Always make sure the propane tanks and gas lines that fuel your grill are in good working order before starting it, and always keep an eye on the food you’re cooking over the flame.
When making a campfire, locate it in a safe area away from buildings or vehicles, and only use a match or a lighter to light the fire. Once your campfire is lit, only use wood to keep it burning and make sure to watch the embers even after you’re all done making your s’mores.
Fire pits are a simple way to create a campsite feel in your own backyard, but you should use this equipment with the same caution as a normal campfire. If your fire pit is portable, place it in a safe area away from overhangs and wooden decks.
While burning may seem like an easy way to get rid of construction or household waste, you should only use approved firewood.
Other Outdoor Fire Hazards
Fire and flammable substances still have a purpose even with their hazards. If your yard accumulates a large number of leaves in the fall and you don’t have a garbage disposal system or a street pickup service, burning your debris could be the only option to keep your yard tidy.
Before burning anything, ensure local authorities allow burning, to begin with. Keep an eye out for burn bans and request a permit if needed. In Fort Worth, there is currently a burn ban in place that prohibits open burning, but you are still able to enjoy and use fires as long as they are contained.
Eliminating dead leaves or plants is a smart way to protect your home from wildfires, along with strategic landscaping to slow down fires before they approach your house. Knowing what is safe to burn and following fundamental rules of fire safety can keep any fire you start from becoming out of control.
We all keep gas for our vehicles and yard tools in a shed or garage, but poor storage can have disastrous effects. Use only gasoline-safe containers, and keep your containers out of children’s reach. And when you’re having trouble lighting a fire, you shouldn’t grab for the gas can, because gas should only be used for its intended purpose.
Before lighting any fire outside, be aware of local regulations and weather forecasts. If it’s a very windy day or conditions are dry, save the s’mores for another day and reschedule that bonfire.
And if your home is damaged by fire, our team at SERVPRO can be on the scene as soon as you need us. Our skilled team is equipped to manage every aspect of fire damage, and we strive to promptly and thoroughly repair as much of your property as we can.
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.