Clothes dryers, fire pits among leading fire causes

Gordon Wilson, swner of SERVPRO® of East Brown County in Green Bay, reminds local homeowners to review all of the safety tips from the National Safety Council, including tips on preventing home fires.

“While most homeowners take at least the basic steps to protect against a fire” said Wilson, “there are fire sources in homes that are frequently overlooked. For National Safety Month, we want to shine a spotlight on some of the causes of home fires associated with the coming summer season.”

Clothes dryers

According to U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), these everyday appliances are responsible for about 15,500 home fires every year, causing an average of 10 deaths each year, and more than $84.4 million in damage. Summer’s warmer weather and outdoor activities can create additional laundry. Help prevent dryer fires by:

1. Controlling lint buildup on the lint filter, the back of the machine and in the venting system.

2. Replacing plastic or vinyl vent hoses with a rigid or flexible metal venting system.

3. Drying only items that are approved and safe to be put in a dryer (not foam backed rugs or athletic shoes).

Fire pits

These outdoor fireplaces add a warm touch to the season’s al fresco entertaining, but they need to be handled with respect and caution. In their Seasonal Safety Tips, Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) recommends that homeowners keep the glow confined by:

1. Keeping these fireplaces at least 10 feet from any structure or flammable items.

2. Placing the unit on a solid surface, in an open area, away from overhanging trees or rooflines.

3. Never leaving the fireplace unattended. Keep a fire extinguisher close at hand, avoid using lighter fluid to start or restart the fire and ensure any embers are completely extinguished before going inside.

Gas grills

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports fire departments in the U. S. respond to an average of 8,200 grilling-related fire calls per year. Five out of six of these fires involved gas grills. As grilling season continues, SERVPRO® recommends that outdoor chefs keep these tips from UL in mind:

1. Position the grill outside, at a safe distance from the house. Never grill inside a garage or enclosed porch or under a breezeway, awning, carport or overhang that might catch fire.

2. Check the grill’s propane hoses for cracks and brittleness, then trickle soapy water over the hoses and fittings. Look for bubbles that would indicate a propane leak, and address the problem before using the grill again.

3. Never light a gas grill with the lid closed. Keep a spray bottle filled with water handy to suppress flare-ups and a fire extinguisher close by for emergencies.

“House fires can happen anytime, in any season, so it’s important to understand all the possible sources for a fire in your home,” Wilson said. “Prevention is still the best way to protect your home, your family and your investment. But, if a fire does damage your home, SERVPRO® is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide immediate response and advice that helps limit secondary damage and potential health risks.”

SERVPRO® of East Brown County specializes in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services, and helping to remediate fire damage for both commercial and residential customers. SERVPRO® of East Brown County also offers wind and water damage mitigation, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning and other home-maintenance and restoration services.

For more information on severe storms or other emergency situations, visit the FEMA Web site at more information about SERVPRO® of East Brown County, please contact Gordon Wilson at (920) 499-7050 or MWilson726@aol.comor visit

Founded in 1967, SERVPRO® has more than 1,600 individually owned and operated franchises responding to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multimillion dollar large-loss situations. Providing coverage in the U. S. and Canada, the SERVPRO® System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.