Why Fire Safety Practices Are Vital During COVID-19 in Order to Prevent Fire Damage
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Crowley and South Johnson County explains how homeowners can practice proper fire safety in order to prevent fire damage from the increased house fire risks presented by COVID-19.
At SERVPRO of Crowley and South Johnson County, the team understands that a house fire can be the most traumatic event in the life of a family since fire damage and smoke damage affect every room of a home. The expert technicians are skilled in restoring customers’ valuables with care and thoroughness. The SERVPRO office staff helps customers navigate the process of restoring the home and personal property back to normal. The caring professionals at SERVPRO of Crowley and South Johnson County assist homeowners and businesses through the fire damage restoration process until the job is finished.
Fire prevention advisors recognize the recent spike in house fires and associate the cause with certain aspects of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The COVID-19 situation has resulted in many localities recommending or requiring people to ‘self-isolate’ and, in some cases eliminate all social movement except for critical needs (going to the doctor, getting groceries, etc.).”
The analysis continues: “The fact that many more people are in their homes for longer periods of time can present enhanced risks due to increased cooking, increased use of heating equipment and increased consumption of smoking materials inside as well as alcohol use. These activities, although they may be thought of as routine, can turn disastrous if not exercised with an attitude of prevention…. In addition, the “normal” risks associated with target populations, notably the elderly and children, are still present.”
Anecdotal evidence points to a rise in house fires during the COVID pandemic as more people self-quarantine, work remotely, and do school from home. Here are five critical areas that contribute to this increase in fire damage disasters in homes, not only in Crowley and South Johnson County but also across the United States.
- More home cooking is taking place
According to an article at Food and Wine magazine, “The issue is also reportedly tied to more than people just cooking more meals at home. Importantly, more novice cooks may be trying their hand at cooking out of necessity, boredom, or both, which can cause more mistakes. And speaking of boredom, people may also be trying new cooking techniques they’re less familiar with.”
Tips to avoid causing a cooking fire include:
- Never leave an item cooking on the stove unattended. Turn off the burner and remove the pot or pan from the burner. Be careful of seemingly insignificant distractions such as a knock at the door, a phone call, or posting on social media.
- Keep an appropriate fire extinguisher and a supply of baking soda handy in case of a grease fire. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire.
- Keep fresh batteries in all smoke detectors.
- Virtual work and school overloading circuits with devices
The pandemic has sent millions of workers and students home to continue work and school on laptops or desktop computers. Home offices and home classrooms are stressing electrical circuits to the max. As a preventive safety measure, schedule an inspection by a certified electrician to assess needs based on consumption with the aim of making appropriate and sufficient upgrades at the panel box.
- Use of home space heaters
Compact space heaters are an efficient and economical way to customize a work or study space to individual needs. Users should be aware of load usage and avoid overloading electrical circuits. Space heaters should never be used to dry wet clothing. Keep young children and pets away from space heaters at all times. Never leave an operating heater unattended. Keep heaters and all electrical equipment away from water and moisture.
- Increased fireplace usage to heat homes in order to save money
Fireplace use has skyrocketed during the pandemic. Make sure to have a CO detector near the fireplace, along with the appropriate fire extinguisher. Burn the more efficient well-seasoned hardwoods in fireplaces and wood stoves. If usage is heavy, call in a chimney sweep for an inspection and cleaning at least twice a year. Be informed of fireplace safety tips and follow them carefully.
- Grill usage is up, presenting an additional fire concern
Outdoor spaces, especially outdoor kitchens, have become ever more popular during the pandemic as grill masters fire up the grills to exercise their culinary skills in the safety of the outdoors. Gas grills cause more house fires than briquette-type grills.
Basic grill safety should start with a clean and well-maintained grill. Position the grill at least ten feet away from any structure. Avoid grilling under an awning or overhang. Take proper precautions when lighting the grill. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby, and never leave the grill unattended, especially if children or pets are in the area. To avoid personal injury while grilling, use implements that are designed and approved for grill usage.
SERVPRO of Crowley and South Johnson County is ready to respond immediately when a home or business needs fire damage restoration services. Since even small house fires cause extensive fire, smoke, and water damage, enlisting the services of a restoration company that has knowledgeable, experienced, and well-trained technicians certified across many areas is the homeowner’s best option. The SERVPRO team is available 24/7 and can have resources and personnel mobilized on scene and in action in minutes, not hours. Count on SERVPRO of Crowley and South Johnson County for fire damage restoration to your home in Cleburne, TX or surrounding areas.
For more information about fire damage restoration, contact the office by phone at (817) 297-8588 or by email at office@SERVPROcrowley.com.