MEMPHIS, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ServiceMaster Restore, one of the largest disaster restoration companies in the United States and a ServiceMaster (NYSE: SERV) company, is encouraging homeowners to exercise caution when grilling this summer.
“Summertime cookouts with family and friends are a tradition that we all look forward to, but firing up the grill can be dangerous and costly if you don’t plan ahead,” said Peter Duncanson, a 30-year ServiceMaster Restore veteran. “We work with thousands of homeowners each year who have had their homes and belongings damaged or destroyed due to fire. It’s heartbreaking to think that some of the situations could have possibly been prevented.”
Research from the National Fire Protection Association shows that every year an average of 9,000 home fires involve grills, hibachis or barbecues. To prevent a fire disaster, Duncanson recommends these expert tips for a safe grilling season:
- Keep a distance: Set your grill up at a safe distance away from structures and overhangs, including your main building, shed, garage, trees and other potentially flammable objects. Don’t set up your grill under a tent, outdoor awning or carport, even if it’s raining. Also, be sure to light your grill using special long-length lighters or long matches to avoid getting burned.
- Be prepared: Keep a fire extinguisher or water hose nearby to put out any embers that may float away, but remember to put your safety first. Depending on wind, brush, and other factors, sparks can easily turn to flames, which can quickly spread to neighboring areas, including the interior of your home. If this happens, keep a safe distance and immediately call for help.
- Always keep an eye on your grill: Never leave an actively burning grill unattended. Wait until it has completely cooled off before you cover, store or walk away from it. If children are near, be sure to keep all ignition sources out of the reach from them to ensure no one gets hurt.
Using a charcoal grill? Duncanson shares advice for handling charcoal, lighter fluid and ashes:
- Limit how much charcoal you use: Don't pile too much inside since it makes it easier for sparks to become airborne.
- Don’t use starter fluid: Ditch the starter fluid and opt for a charcoal chimney and newspaper. Put the newspaper in the bottom of the chimney, then fill it with charcoal and light the paper to ignite the charcoal. Using this approach allows for more evenly distributed ignitions and reduces the risk of flare-ups from starter fluid.
- Dispose of your ashes properly: Make sure they have fully cooled and never store or dispose of them in a garbage can or leave them on a deck. It's best to dump them on garden soil or place in a metal receptacle for proper disposal.
If you’re using a gas grill, keep these three safety tips in mind:
- Check the grill's gas line and tank fittings for leaks: Brush soapy water around these areas. If you see bubbles emerge, there could be a leak. Check the fittings to ensure they’re tight, and if needed, replace any damaged or leaking parts before use.
- Before anything else, open the grill lid: Opening the lid before lighting is important as this allows propane to escape and reduces the risk of fire or a potential explosion.
- Turn off your grill correctly: Always turn off your grill using the controls first; then close off the gas line at the tank. This will help any excess gas to escape safely.
If you experience a fire, exercise extreme caution with cleanup and work with a trained professional. The residue left behind can be hazardous and may cause problems if not taken care of correctly and thoroughly. Our experts don’t recommend attempting to clean up your home on your own, as you may unknowingly cause more damage. Experts with the right training and tools can assure the job is done properly.
For more expert tips and information on how to enjoy a safe grilling season, visit ServiceMasterRestore.com or visit us on YouTube or Facebook. For immediate assistance and clean-up, call a live ServiceMaster Restore operator 24/7 at 1-800-RESPOND.
About ServiceMaster Restore
With approximately 2,000 franchised and licensed locations around the world, ServiceMaster Restore and ServiceMaster Recovery Management (SRM) serve customers through a global network of franchises available 24/7/365 to provide residential and commercial restoration services resulting from damage caused by water, fire, smoke or mold. SRM is the large-scale commercial catastrophic disaster restoration unit of ServiceMaster Restore. ServiceMaster Restore is a business unit of Memphis-based ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SERV), a leading provider of essential residential and commercial services. For more information, go to www.servicemasterrestore.com or http://www.srmcat.com/. ServiceMaster Restore is the Official Disaster Restoration Specialist of Minor League Baseball™.
ServiceMaster (NYSE: SERV) solves the homeowner’s dilemma. Every day, we visit more than 75,000 homes and businesses through our extensive service network of expert professionals. Our well-recognized brands include American Home Shield (home warranties), AmeriSpec (home inspections), Furniture Medic (furniture repair), Merry Maids (residential cleaning), ServiceMaster Clean (janitorial and residential floor cleaning), ServiceMaster Restore (disaster restoration) and Terminix (termite and pest control). Like, follow or visit us at facebook.com/ServiceMaster, linkedin.com/ServiceMaster, twitter.com/ServiceMaster, or www.servicemaster.com. ServiceMaster is the Official Home Services Provider of Minor League Baseball™.