Staying Safe When You Have a Backyard Fire | 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.
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.
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.