Local Restoration Business Says Changing Seasons Can Mean an Increased Risk for Home Fires

Each year, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) shines a spotlight on the importance of fire prevention with their annual Fire Prevention Week, celebrated this year from October 7ˆ13. October‚s selection for this campaign is no accident. Days are getting shorter and cooler, holiday decorating plans are ramping up, and indoor entertainments are on the rise. All of these seasonal changes can increase the chance of a house fire, according to Jason Smith of PuroClean Emergency Restoration Specialists, a local property damage restoration specialist.

“The change in seasons brings a change in our daily routines,” said Smith. “We use more lights and we turn them on earlier in the day. We set up decorations for Halloween or Thanksgiving or the winter holidays. We cook big family dinners and entertain friends. We burn candles. We use portable heaters to stay cozy. All of these changes can increase the risk of a house fire.”

Smith offers the following tips and facts about fire prevention for three common causes of house fires related to these seasonal changes, based on information provided at http://www.nfpa.org.

Electrical Fires
The Facts: Between 2005 and 2009, firefighters in the U.S. responded to an average of 43,900 fires each year involving electrical systems and appliances.
Watch for warning signs like discolored or warm wall outlets or flickering or dimming lights that could signal electrical problems that could result in a fire. If a homeowner suspects an electrical problem, he or she should contact a licensed electrician to investigate immediately.

Kitchen and Cooking Fires
The Facts: Unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires in the kitchen, and most kitchen fires involve the stovetop.

Smith reminds home cooks never to leave the house with foods simmering on the stovetop and to keep flammable materials – and children – away from heat sources. Keep a lid handy to smother small grease fires, and then turn off the stovetop. For an oven fire, turn off the oven and leave the door closed. If more than a small, contained fire breaks out, leave the house, close the door behind you and call 9-1-1 or the fire department.

Candle Fires
The Facts: On average, U.S. fire departments receive a report of a fire started by a candle every 40 minutes. More than one-third of these fires start in the bedroom and more than half start when candles are left to burn too close to flammable objects.

One sure way to avoid fire hazards from candles is to use today’s flameless candles, according to Smith. But, if only the “real thing” will do, then practice good „candle sense‰. Don‚t leave candles burning when you go to bed or to sleep. Use sturdy holders and blow the candle out before it burns down to the holder. And keep candles and matches away from children.

“Lots of great fact sheets and safety tips are available on the NFPA website and related sites that can help educate you and your family about fire danger in the home,” said Smith. “In addition to preventing fires, it’s important to have a plan in place to ensure that everyone can escape your home if fire does break out. We encourage all Stevensville-area homeowners to take the time to evaluate their home for fire dangers, create and practice a fire escape plan, and then settle in for a warm, cozy and safe season with their families.”

If property is damaged by a fire during the fall and winter seasons, or any time, it is important to call a restoration professional immediately. On call 24 hours a day, even on holidays, Smith of PuroClean Emergency Restoration Specialists says the faster the response to a property damaged by fire and smoke, the greater the chance of saving property and possessions and minimizing claims.

For more information about PuroClean Emergency Restoration Specialists, please contact Jason Smith at 410-919-4275 or smithj@puroclean.com. For more information about PuroClean, please visit www.puroclean.com.

About PuroClean
PuroClean is a property damage restoration company that offers emergency clean up, restoration, and repair services including fire and smoke damage restoration, water damage restoration, flood water removal, and mold and mildew removal. PuroClean has earned the trust of property owners, insurance professionals and home service providers throughout the United States and Canada since 2001. Backed by a comprehensive network of nearly 300 franchise offices and a national training and business support center, each PuroClean office responds promptly to property emergencies, demonstrating a high degree of professionalism and compassion. PuroClean certified technicians are thoroughly screened, insured and trained in utilizing the latest in mitigation technology and procedures throughout the remediation process while operating under a strict code of ethics. In addition to serving the needs of property owners, PuroClean offers hundreds of continuing education classes each year to insurance professionals and property service providers nationwide. In 2011, PuroClean trained over 10,089 insurance professionals nationwide, helping them earn their continuing education credits. For more information on PuroClean, please contact 800-775-PURO or visit www.puroclean.com.