Recent Posts

Winter Heating Safety | SERVPRO® of Billings

1/25/2023 (Permalink)

a small electric heater in a living room Call SERVPRO of Billings if you experience any smoke, soot or fire damage.

While the official start of the winter season passed by in late December, we have been feeling the chill for some time now. Even with a few warmups in between our snow storms, there is a good chance you have had your heat on since October.

In our cold climate heating systems get a lot of work, but without proper preparations, they could create a fire hazard for your home.

With winter here lasting well into April, you deserve to stay warm and cozy for the long run. Take care of your heating equipment and prevent risks all season long.

Furnace Basics

Most of our homes likely have a furnace and HVAC system that is responsible for heating your space. Furnaces, like all other kinds of systems, require regular maintenance to function their best and last for their full lifespan. Hopefully you have already given your system a solid checkup this year, but if you have not, take a warm day to make sure it is clean and free of dust.

The air filter in your system is an important part of ensuring things are running correctly and keeping the air in your home cleaner, so change it regularly. A good standard is every 90 days, but if you have pets, you may want to change it more often. The start of a new season is a great reminder to perform this part of maintaining your system.

Fireplace Safety

Fireplaces can set the mood of a whole room and are often a focal point in homes. Wood, gas and electric fireplaces are all allowed in our area, with electric fireplaces becoming increasingly more popular. Some homes in our area may also have a wood-burning stove, as these were popular ways to add additional heat to spaces during our long winters.

No matter what kind of fireplace you have in your home, maintaining it is crucial to avoid fires. Most homes with a chimney should be inspected and cleaned every season.

If you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove, the chimney or pipes will need to be cleared of blockages and have soot and smoke stains removed. Fireplaces that have been converted to gas or electric should still be inspected to ensure there is nothing in the chimney that could spark a fire. Whatever you use to close off the front of your fireplace should be cleaned and dusted often, as should any removable logs.

Portable Heaters

Since we often deal with frigid temperatures, it is pretty common to add a few space heaters to our heating arsenal. These electric heaters are a great way to warm up a room quickly; however, they are also one of the leading causes of home fires when used improperly.

Run your space heater in an open space away from any materials. Turn it off at bedtime or any time you leave the house. Always plug space heaters directly into wall sockets that are designed to carry their electrical load and skip extension cords.

Put your space heater on a flat, solid surface where it isn’t likely to be knocked over. Modern space heaters have an automatic shut-off feature that kicks in when they are moved, so if yours does not, consider upgrading to a new one.

Make sure young ones in your home understand how to stay safe around all of your heating equipment, and install proper childproofing. A single accident is all it takes to create complete chaos in your home. Stay safe and pile on the blankets knowing your home is fire-ready.

If you experience fire damage this season, give us a call at SERVPRO of Billings for immediate assistance. We’re here 247 when you need us!

SERVPRO Is Ready to Handle Odor Removal | SERVPRO® of Billings

1/25/2023 (Permalink)

a SERVPRO crew setting up machines to clean a kitchen If you experience an odor or any other damage inside your home, call SERVPRO of Billings day or night.

Along with the restoration services that our network of experts all across the nation offers, SERVPRO can also handle professional cleaning needs in homes and businesses that have mold issues or damages from floods, fires or other disasters. While no two recovery processes will be the same, almost all of them will require some kind of odor removal, another thing SERVPRO is well-equipped to deal with.

Disasters are a worst-case scenario for all of us, and the recovery process can be stress-filled and complicated. In the midst of rebuilding your life, having to remove odors might not even make your restoration list.

Any time damage is done from water, a storm, fire or mold, there will be odors left behind that without proper and prompt remediation could linger for years. Even a home that looks very well-cared for could be harboring bad smells in hidden places.

If your nose turns every time you walk in a room and you just don’t know why, we are ready to help.

Odor Removal Techniques

Odors are caused by chemicals, gasses or other tiny particles that float through the air. Once the initial source of the smell is removed, a variety of products and the science of deodorization will be employed to get rid of the odor altogether.

The products used in this process might include:

Masking agents. These are products that are designed to cover the smell for a short amount of time in order to make the environment easier to work in. These don’t remove odors, but they do allow our experts to work through their plan to kick the smell out completely.

Filtration agents. Compounds with absorbing qualities work primarily on soft materials like furniture but sucking the smell out. These agents capture odors in the air and force them through filtration in order to create cleaner particles.

Disinfectants and sanitizers. These substances are used to kill bacteria and fungi growth that are common sources of odors after a disaster.

These are certainly not the only techniques our experts have in their tool belts, but they are common products that are used almost every time odor removal is necessary.

The Signature 4-Step Process

In order to work through the process of removing odors in your home or business, we follow four key steps:

1. Get rid of the source. Until the source of the odor has been located and removed, the smell will continue to spread. That is why this is always the first step in the process of kicking odors out of your space.

2. Clean residue. Once the source of the smell has been removed, any surface that was affected needs to be well-cleaned and deodorized in order to get rid of remaining residue. If surfaces are not properly cleaned, odor particles will continue to plague the air.

3. Recreate the conditions. Certainly this does not mean flooding your space; rather, it means employing deodorizer in the same way the odor was originally caused in order to penetrate all the same surfaces. As an example, odors lingering after smoke damage require “deodorizing smoke” for the best possible outcome.

4. Seal surfaces. After a major disaster, there may be items in your home that cannot be removed and will instead require sealing. This blocks odor-causing substances inside, keeping them out of the air. This process is used when other methods would be too costly or impractical to use.

As with all other restoration processes, timing matters when it comes to odor removal. If your home experiences a significant emergency, we are available to respond fast and put the process in place to lessen extensive damages. SERVPRO of Billings is located just around the corner, so add us to your contact list today.

If you experience an odor or other damage inside your home or business, call us at any time, 247. We have the training and equipment to quickly get your property back in operation.

How Water Can Seep Inside | SERVPRO® of Billings

1/2/2023 (Permalink)

a white ceiling showing signs of water damage from a leak If you experience any water damage inside your home or business, reach out to SERVPRO of Billings.

You may not notice it, but there could be water seeping into your home. If you have noticed a musty smell, stains on your wall or warped spots in the walls, you could have a leak that when left unattended could cause damage to your home’s foundation.

Extra moisture could also lead to rusty appliances. There are many different things that could indicate a moisture issue in your home, but the most obvious sign will be a puddle of water in the floor.

Any water intrusion can lead to extensive damages. Know what to look for and how to stop it in order to best protect your home.

Water Fixture Leaks

Sinks are a common source of water leaks. A hole or line of deteriorated caulk can lead to seepage and water spots near showers, toilets and bathtubs as well.

Make it a point to check around these areas during regular cleaning, and stop small leaks quickly before they can cause extreme damages. It only takes a tiny leak to waste thousands of gallons of water each year.

Water From Appliances

Large appliances are often sources of unknown leaks. A refrigerator that has a water line or an ice maker and a dishwasher are both at high risk for leaks that can cause serious damage to your floors and lead to a costly and extensive repair.

In order to check for leaks, unplug the appliance and move it away from the wall. Look for standing water and mold spots. If there is any sign of moisture, call us right away to correct the issue quickly and completely.

External Sources

Not all water damage will start inside the home. Weather related leaks can either cause slow moisture buildup or a flood that happens all at once.

Heavy rain and the Yellowstone River create a consistent threat for us throughout the year for flooding.

In the winter, we also contend with heavy snowfall and ice dams that create flooding when it melts. Wildfires that leave natural resources scorched create another hazard when the ground is unable to handle a drenching rain.

You can manage these outside water sources in order to protect your home. Prepare before a flood happens, and maintain those preparations year-round and you can rest assured your property will be safe.

The first step in preparing your home is taking care of your gutter, downspouts and roof. Overfilled gutters can lead to water spillage that may run through your ceilings, walls and into the foundation. Clear out leaves and debris regularly to keep water flowing exactly where it should be.

Check the seals around windows, doors and any other entry points as well. A loose or decayed seal allows water and moisture indoors that could lead to mold growth and damages.

The landscaping in your yard plays a big role in protecting your home as well. Create slopes away from your property to keep water flowing downhill and out of your basement. When you are prepared, you can rest easy knowing you are safe.

If you experience water damage inside your home or business, call us247. We have the experience and equipment to get your property back in working order fast.

When You Choose SERVPRO, You Choose Your Neighbors | SERVPRO® of Billings

12/19/2022 (Permalink)

a SERVPRO crew unloading cleaning equipment out of a green van No job is too big or small. Call SERVPRO of Billings today to schedule your estimate.

Choosing SERVPRO as your restoration partner makes a lot of sense when you consider everything we have to offer. We can cleanup from any disaster, including water, fire or storms.

We can also handle mold remediation quickly in order to prevent damages to the structure of your home or business. We can even handle specialty cleanup, including graffitti removal or biohazard mitigation.

Even with all of these offerings, the best benefit we offer is that we are locally owned and operated.

3 Reasons Being Locally Owned Is a Difference-Maker

When you need restoration, you want to choose a company that is trustworthy and carries a good reputation. You should also look for someone that is nearby, because timing is crucial when it comes to recovery.

1. We Can Respond Fast

When you experience damage in a disaster, the last thing you want to do is wait to clean it up. If you delay the restoration process, things may get worse and you could be facing a costly and lengthy recovery.

Partnering with SERVPRO of Billings means that waiting is the last thing you will have to worry about. We are available 247 to start restoration right away.

2. We’re Prepared for Local Weather Conditions

We are your neighbors, and most of us have lived here all our lives. That means that we are watching the weather with the rest of you when storms are moving in. We are preparing ourselves and preparing resources so that we can get started with community recovery as soon as it is safe to do so.

Living in the community means that we know exactly what our weather can do and the damages it can cause. From summer thunderstorms and flooding rains to our drawn-out winters and heavy snowstorms, we have the experience to handle everything that comes our way.

3. We Know Billings Front and Back

There are restoration companies from area cities and even other states that travel in when you need a repair project completed, but they are often unfamiliar with the community and even the roads around our area.

We are familiar with how this community works and have firsthand experience working with the local government in order to keep your project moving forward at a steady pace. We also know how to get around the scenic routes and tourist drives and can navigate HWY 3 and HWY 87 well.

It is our goal to get you back into your home as quickly as possible.

An Extra Benefit

Most disasters our area faces can be handled with our onsite crew, but SERVPRO comes with the added benefit of being backed by a national brand.

When our community experiences a large-scale disaster, like some of our huge snowstorms we experience over the winter, we can call neighboring SERVPRO locations and have extra assistance in town within a few hours.

We have the experience and help to get our community back to normal fast.

When disaster strikes your home or your business, we’re the team you can trust—located right here, close to home. Get in touch today to get started!

Your Guide to Decorating Safely | SERVPRO® of Billings

12/19/2022 (Permalink)

a small Christmas tree in front of a burning fireplace Should a fire issue pop-up during this holiday season, SERVPRO of Billings will be on call ready to assist.

A chill in the air, the soft glow of lights, sweet smells of yummy favorites—what a beautiful picture! This time of year in Billings brings concerts, family nights and festivals

The holiday season is certainly a magical one, but it also brings an increased risk of home fires with it.

This season, you can decorate carefully to protect your home and your loved ones. When your home is safe, you can relax and enjoy the magic of the season without the worry of a disaster.

Top Seasonal Hazards

Fire departments respond to an average of 790 fires that start in a structure due to some kind of decorations.

Often to blame are decorations that are placed too close to a heating source like a space heater or fireplace. Candles and Christmas trees, both real and fake, are also common causes of house fires that can leave your home in complete disarray.

If you decorate with a live tree, be sure to water it often and to clean up loose needles. If an artificial tree is your preference, ensure you own or buy one with a fire-resistant tag. Limit the amount of items you are plugging into your outlets, and turn your decorations off at night and when you leave the house.

Take Preventive Measures

We all know that line from the holiday classic, “The stockings were hung by the chimney with care.” This should be your motto when you decorate: Take care to avoid creating a fire hazard by never placing any decorations near an open flame.

On an average day, candles are responsible for 20 house fires, so enjoy those warm winter scents a reasonable distance away from all other materials. If your home has a fireplace, have it inspected once a year and swept of buildup.

Anything placed outdoors should have the proper rating to handle the weather. Lights outdoors should be hung securely to avoid brush fires using outdoor nails. If your neighborhood has guidelines for outdoor decorations, be sure to keep those in mind while you get festive.

Take the time to check your smoke detectors and ensure there are working ones on each level of your home and near every sleeping space. Practice your fire emergency plan with your family, and add SERVPRO to your phone contact list so you can start restoration right away if your home is damaged during a fire.

Have smoke or fire damage in your house? Contact us today to get cleaned up fast.

Water Damage Can Hold Your Business Back | SERVPRO® of Billings

10/25/2022 (Permalink)

a zoomed in view of a wooden floor showing signs of water damage SERVPRO of Billings is your local commercial restoration company. We will always be here to help clean up and get you back in business.

A water intrusion in your commercial building can be devastating for business.

Flooding can start inside due to a plumbing issue or a leaky roof that results in lost inventory, closed-off floors or even the need to shut down for a while.

Natural causes of flooding are also a huge area of concern, too. Yellowstone River is a consistent source of flooding, just as the rainy season and snowmelt season are.

With so many risk factors for our area, it is essential to know what to do before flooding happens so that you can prevent and protect your business as much as possible. The more you are able to do before a disaster, the faster and safer you will bounce back afterwards.

Know Your Building’s Layout

One of the first steps you should take to prevent extensive damages to your property is learning the layout of your building. Find the shutoffs for the sprinkler system and the main water line so that you can turn water off quickly in the event of a failure or a leak.

Educate your staff or the businesses that rent your space with this information and make sure there are designated people in your emergency plan to handle shutting water off as needed.

Know the Types of Water Involved

If you do experience a flood or leak, understanding the kind of water you are dealing with is crucial in keeping everyone in your building safe.

White water. This is a common kind of water intrusion and typically originates from plumbing. This water is not considered contaminated and can be handled on your own when it is in small amounts.

Gray water. Gray water comes from sinks or toilets when they overflow. While this water is considered contaminated, it is not dangerous.

Black water. Flooding from storms or a sewage backup are considered black water, a form of flooding that is toxic and requires a professional cleanup response.

Take Action Quickly

Timing will always matter when it comes to water damage, so the sooner you can locate the source of water and shut it down, the better.

Once you have the initial water flow stopped, open windows and doors to get as much air flowing as possible. Let everyone in the building know to avoid the area.

Take pictures and note damaged areas as much as you are able to ease your insurance claim process. This documentation can also serve as indicators for where your building may need to be shored up during the restoration process.

Remember to Be Patient

Water damage is harder to see than you may think. Once the initial area is dry, there may be hidden damages such as wet wall studs, moldy framing and buckled floors. Keep an eye out for these signs of deep damages so you can address any issues quickly.

After water does intrude, call SERVPRO of Billings as quickly as possible. We will create a plan and walk with you through the entire process of drying out and restoring your business.

Sanitation and drying can take up to a week or more depending on the severity of the flooding, so stay patient throughout the process.

Our team has the experience, training and equipment to get your business up and running as fast as possible. We will have you back to normal before you could even imagine.

When disaster strikes your commercial property, we’ll be there to help clean up and get you back in business quickly. Reach out 247 to get started!

Different Kinds of Storm Damage | SERVPRO® of Billings

10/3/2022 (Permalink)

a large lightning strike off in the distance of a dark sky When you suffer storm-related damage to your home or business, make SERVPRO of Billings your first call.

When you own a home, you likely always feel a twinge of fear when severe weather is rolling through. While homes are typically built to withstand a good deal, when a crazy storm hits, any property could suffer damages.

Strong winds that can carry debris across entire communities, winter storms, freezing rains and even just a mild thunderstorm are all a threat to your property throughout the year. These events can sometimes be so strong the very structure of your home is affected.

Each weather system presents a different level of risk to your home, but there are other factors to consider as well. The geographic location of your property, your landscaping and the strength of the building materials are all indicators of how much damage you may or may not receive. Even with every consideration, sometimes weather has a mind of its own and how you fare in a storm simply comes down to luck.

While we have just about every variety of weather here in Billings, we commonly see thunderstorms that can drop large hail in the summer and intense snowstorms in the winter. This past July, several counties endured a storm that came with baseball-sized hail and left a wake of damages. Preparing our homes and our lives for these weather extremes is incredibly important.

If your home is damaged in a storm, make sure you seek a professional opinion when you decide to stay or go. While most storm damage is pretty obvious, sometimes the structure of your home could be unstable with little outward evidence.

Preparing for the most common kinds of storm damage will always be the best way to mitigate your risks and ensure your safety. “The more you know,” right?

Wind

Wind damage can happen quickly, particularly when violent sustained winds batter an object at a high velocity. Tornadoes and hurricanes will always come with extreme winds, but even a mild thunderstorm can produce gusts of up to 100 mph and induce damage.

Winds at this strength can fling debris into your home or vehicles and topple trees. If you are sheltering in place during a storm, make sure you are in an interior room away from exterior walls and windows. When limbs and rocks are picked up, they can pierce walls and break glass, so stay inside and stay safe.

You can take preventive action and avoid some damages caused by strong winds. Pick up and dispose of loose limbs on a regular basis, and make sure large rocks are far away from your home.

If you have furniture outside, find some way to secure it so that it can’t go flying. Trim trees and remove any that are dying before they can fall over. The less loose items a storm can pick up, the less damage you will receive.

Water

Water is one of the most common forms of damage that occurs across the United States. Even in an area that is not flood-prone, a heavy rain can cause accumulating puddles or flash floods that can enter through doors and windows.

If an extreme amount of water gathers, it can actually seep through your foundation, which over time will lead to structural damage. As our weather warms up late in spring, snowmelt can lead to ice dams and overflowing bodies of water that pose a risk to the properties in our area.

Fortunately, the area outside of your home can play a key role in protecting your property. Be strategic with your landscaping to ensure there is a slope away from your house so water flows where you want it.

You can also consider installing a rain garden that not only will add curb appeal to your home, but is also very effective in absorbing moisture before it has a chance to intrude into your property.

Keeping your gutters cleaned is another way to ensure that water flows away from your home without pooling up. When water is unable to flow cleanly, your gutter system can quickly become overwhelmed, which can lead to water entering your home through your roof. This can mean damage to every level of your home.

Impact

When a tree falls onto your home or other property or a piece of debris flies into something, it is considered “impact damage.” This kind of damage can bring down entire buildings and can be completely catastrophic.

The best way to prevent impact damage is trimming and removing trees that are no longer healthy or that have grown too close to your home. While this can be costly and time-consuming, it can also be life-saving.

In 2021 alone, weather caused nearly $145 billion in damages across the nation. The more you prepare yourself and your property, the more you can lower your overall risk and rest easy knowing your home is a safe environment no matter what Mother Nature throws your way.

If your home is damaged in a storm, call SERVPRO of Billings as soon as possible. Our professionals are available 247 and come with years of experience and top-of-the-line equipment. It is our primary goal to get your home back to exactly as it should be as fast as possible.

When you suffer storm-related damage to your home or business, it’s important that you know who to call! Contact us today to get your storm damage restoration started faster.

Flooding Protection for the Inside & Outside of Your Home | SERVPRO® of Billings

10/3/2022 (Permalink)

A group of residential homes with major flooding in back yards Experienced water damage in your home? Call SERVPRO of Billings to get the restoration process started right away.

Regardless of where you live, it is important to make sure you are protected from floods. As little as an inch of water can cause damage and cost any property owner quite a bit in repairs.

If you do not live in an area that has frequent flooding, you may not qualify for a lot of financial help through insurance or other sources. This means that every preventive measure you can take is crucial.

Flooding is a fairly common occurrence for us in Billings and our surrounding areas. In the warmer seasons, the rivers around us are consistently challenged by heavy rains. This makes it essential to know your risks so that you can properly prepare your home and ensure your family’s safety.

Protecting Your Home From the Outside

Flooding cannot always be anticipated with a great deal of time to prepare. Pop-up storms can dump huge amounts of water in a short amount of time that causes puddles to form around your home and overwhelms your gutter systems.

Protecting your home starts with preparing from the outside.

Clean gutters are crucial in ensuring water flows away from your home. With the heavy rains we can frequently experience in June and July, adding an extended downspout to your gutter system could be helpful to prevent overflow and puddling.

You can also use landscaping to protect the bottom level of your home. Gardens pull water down into soil and roots, which means heavy rains are absorbed faster and puddles are avoided.

Organic materials like mulch are also helpful when added to the area immediately outside of your home. Create a slope with these materials to force water away and avoid wet basements or bottom floors.

There are a few upgrades you can consider to protect your home in extreme weather as well, including elevating electric outlets and anchoring fuel tanks if you use one. While those may seem like high-end additions, adding an inexpensive rain barrel that catches water directly from one of your downspouts can be a helpful way to prevent water gathering. And bonus: It means saving money when you water all your beautiful plants!

Flood Protection From the Inside

Two of the best ways to protect the inside of your home are sealing your basement and tackling any cracks in your foundation.

A sump pump in the basement that kicks in when water enters can also be a helpful tool in keeping your home dry. If you live in a high-risk area, a battery-operated pump might be the best idea so you are ensured it will work even if the power goes out.

For flooding that doesn’t start outside, there are a few ways to protect your home with basic home maintenance.

Plumbing is one of the biggest sources of water damage inside the home, particularly pipes that are aged or failing. If you have a leaky faucet, get it fixed quickly and make checking all of your plumbing a regular habit so that other leaks don’t start.

You can also consider adding a leak sensor that will tell you if water is suddenly somewhere it shouldn’t be. Home security systems will sometimes offer this as an add-on or upgrade, so if you were considering having a new system put in, spring for this addition and rest a little more peacefully.

No matter where it comes from, water will damage paper goods and photographs immediately. Store irreplaceable items on high shelves or in a water-tight container.

Make sure you also know where your emergency contacts are stored, and consider adding SERVPRO to the list. The faster you call us, the sooner your recovery starts.

Experienced water damage in your home? Call SERVPRO today to get your restoration completed faster.

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your home

10/3/2022 (Permalink)

IICRC Emblem We are an IICRC Certified Firm

SERVPRO of Billings is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Billings

SERVPRO of Billings specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Staying Safe When You Have a Backyard Fire | SERVPRO® of Billings

9/27/2022 (Permalink)

a close up view of a bright campfire burning at night If you have experienced fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO of Billings.

Sitting around the fire telling scary stories and roasting marshmallows is a backyard pastime that everyone loves. Gathering the family around means family memories you won’t soon forget.

We use fire for multiple reasons, including clearing out yard debris, controlling the bugs and cooking our dinner. Even what we consider the safest of fires, though, can quickly become dangerous. The National Park Service recently found that 85% of wildfires are started by humans.

Across the state over the last two years, we have seen Montana’s fire risk growing. 2021 saw some of the most destructive fires our state has ever seen, and 2022 is predicted to have a fire season well above average. Now more than ever, we need to be as fire-aware as possible.

That doesn’t mean you have to skip the pastime all together—you can still grill, roast and toast as regulations permit. Take the time to put safety measures in place each and every time you burn and enjoy your backyard memory making safely.

Recreational Fire Hazards

Open flames will always carry risks, but grills, fire pits and fireworks are some of the top ways that outdoor fires can start. Each year, an average of 8,800 home fires are started by grills that are used improperly. Check your propane tank or gas line before you turn your grill on, and never leave a hot grill unattended, even after you are done cooking.

When you build a campfire, locate a spot a safe distance away from structures or vehicles, and only light the fire with a match or lighter. Once the campfire is going, stick with wood as your fuel source, and keep watch even over the embers after you have extinguished all the flames and eaten all the chocolate.

Fire pits have become a backyard standard over the last few years, offering the camping feel in the comfort of your own home. This piece of equipment should still be used with the same cautions as a regular campfire, and even if it is portable, you should never place one on a wood deck or any area with an overhang.

Your fire pit may seem like an easy way to get rid of excess construction materials or household wastes, but you should only burn approved firewood.

Fireworks are banned in Billings city limits, but you have lots of options to enjoy public shows throughout most of the summer. If you are outside of city limits, ensure you have plenty of room to light fireworks away from structures and trees. Fireworks can still ignite a fire even after they have exploded, so ensure they are landing in an area free of dry grasses and debris.

Other Outdoor Fire Hazards

Despite the risks that exist, backyard fires still serve several purposes. When the maple leaves start falling, burning them may be one of your only cleanup options if you are in an area that does not offer street pickup.

Don’t start a debris fire before first checking burn regulations. Permits are required, and open burning is only allowed during daylight hours. There is a slight cost for permits in some areas, and your city office should be notified prior to starting.

Cleaning your yard up is essential in the fight against wildfires along with landscaping in order to protect your home. Make sure you understand what is safe to burn and follow all guidelines for fire safety.

If you keep gas or other combustible materials in your shed or garage, make sure you store them in approved containers and away from young hands. Gas should only be used for its intended purpose, which means making that campfire just a little bigger is a no-go.

Before you light any kind of flame outdoors, make sure you check the weather and local ordinances. If the winds are high or we have had a long stretch of dry weather, skip the fire and save the marshmallows for better conditions.

If you do experience fire damage to your home, call us. SERVPRO is trained to handle every aspect of fire damage, and we make it our goal to restore rather than replace as much of your property 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.