Recent Community Posts

Fire safety for campfires / pit fires

6/29/2018 (Permalink)

Fire safety is no joke, and that goes for campfires as well. Whether you’re camping in the middle of the woods or lounging around a backyard fire pit, you need to exercise as much caution lighting a fire outside as you would with an indoor fireplace or wood burning stove. Failure to follow fire regulations can result in fines.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, an average of 915 brush, grass and forest fires are reported in the US every day, 10 percent of which occur right outside single-family homes. Don’t let careless use of your fire pit add to this statistic!

Whether your goal is to avoid a fine or prevent a house fire, abide by the following campfire safety tips.

Safe Fire Pit Placement

Build your fire pit at least 10 feet away from any surrounding structures, building overhangs or combustible materials. Also watch out for low-hanging branches and power lines.

Place the fire pit itself on a noncombustible surface, such as concrete, brick or stone pavers. If you want to place a portable fire pit on your wood deck, only use a pedestal-style pit, which is raised up on legs to ensure ample heat ventilation, and place a noncombustible surface below the fire pit for added safety.

Lighting the Fire

Before you strike a match, check the weather forecast. Skip the fire if it’s windy or high winds are in the forecast, as this could blow embers around and potentially start a fire outside the pit. Clear away any leaves, pine needles and twigs around the fire pit to help prevent any stray embers from starting a fire.

To get the fire going, place a crumpled piece of paper in the pit and light it with a match. Place small sticks on top, and when they catch fire, add larger sticks. Never pour lighter fluid or gasoline directly onto the fire to make it grow faster.

Maintaining the Fire

To improve fire safety, keep the blaze small. There’s no reason to light a roaring bonfire, and the bigger the flames, the greater potential for disaster. Cover the pit with a screen to help maintain a smaller fire and prevent sparks from escaping. If you have a gas fire pit, control the height of the flames manually with a keyed gas valve.

Only burn appropriate products such as dry firewood, paper, twigs and kindling. Don’t burn plastics or products with adhesives since these can send plumes of dark, chemically laden smoke into the air.

Putting Out the Fire

Keep a container of water or a garden hose nearby at all times in case the fire gets out of control. Use these products at the end of the night to douse wood burning fire pits. Make sure the ashes are cool before you leave, and cover them with dirt for good measure. Dispose of cooled ashes in a metal container with a sealed lid and store this container on a noncombustible surface in the shed, garage or elsewhere. For gas fire pits, simply turn the knob to shut off the gas at the end of the night.

Additional Safety Tips

  • Check with your local fire department for any restrictions on outdoor fire pits. In some cities, wood burning fireplaces and fit pits are illegal.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Carefully supervise children and pets around the fire pit and never leave them alone with the fire.
  • Only cook in your fire pit if you’ve installed one specifically designed for this purpose.
  • When not in use, cover the pit to protect it from rainwater, which can destroy porous ceramic components in gas fire pits, including simulated logs.
  • Check gas burners periodically and clean them with a soft brush to remove buildup and help ensure the gas burns cleanly and properly.

Fire Restoration Services

Despite your best efforts, fire pits still have the potential to get out of control. If your home has been damaged by a fire, Call SERVPRO of North Rowan County & Salisbury We’re here to help restore your home and get your life back on track.

Are you Prepared for a power outage?

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days. Depending on the nature of the disaster road conditions may prevent help from arriving in a timely manner. 

Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.  If the power goes out keep your pipes from freezing by shutting off the valve that allows water to come into your home. Then, open any drain valves and all faucets and let them run until the pipes are empty (it's helpful to identify these valves in advance). Next, flush all toilets and pour denatured alcohol into toilets and sinks to prevent water in the traps from freezing. Do NOT use automotive antifreeze in case there's trouble with your water system; you don't want the antifreeze to contaminate your drinking water. You may, however, use nontoxic antifreeze that's made for winterizing motor homes.

Be prepared for a power outage by keeping necessary items centrally located in your home. Take the time to ensure that everyone in your family is aware of the "kit." Periodically check your kit to see that batteries operate properly. The following is a list of items that are suggested to keep on hand:

1.     Flashlights for each family member

2.     Battery-operated radio and clock

3.     Extra batteries

4.     Containers of bottled water

5.     Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated food, powdered milk, baby supplies for infants

6.     Non-electric can opener

7.     List of important phone numbers

8.     First-aid kit

Following a disaster, there may be power outages that could last for several days. Stock canned foods, dry mixes and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation. Be sure to include a manual can opener and eating utensils. The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies. You may already have many of these on hand.

•Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.

•Choose foods your family will eat.

•Remember any special dietary needs.

•Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.

•Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content.

•Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener

•Protein or fruit bars

•Dry cereal or granola

•Peanut butter

•Dried fruit



•Canned juices

•Non-perishable pasteurized milk

•High energy foods


•Food for infants

•Comfort/stress foods

These and many other helpful tips are available at Here is the link to winter tips for before during and after a winter storm When winter weather strikes our area knowing what to do until SERVPRO of North Rowan County/Salisbury  arrives will make a difference.  Call us directly at 704-939-1944

9 Sizzling home safety tips

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of North Rowan County/Salisbury cares.

The official start to summer is just weeks away. That means it’s time for pool parties and backyard barbeques, but it’s also the season that’s hot for burglaries. In fact, more burglaries occur during the months of July and August than any other month.

Fortunately there are several easy things you can do to make your home less of a target. Below, we’ve listed 9 of them. Follow our summer safety tips, and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a crime free season.

1. Keep the garage secure.

In addition to storing a variety of goods burglars want, such as lawn equipment, bikes and other easily pawned items, your garages offer easy access to the rest of your home. Keep the garage door locked, and be sure to secure the door that leads from your garage into your home.

During summer you might be tempted to leave the windows of your car rolled down; but that’s a mistake. Burglars won’t hesitate to use the automatic opener sitting on the dashboard to access your garage. If you use an automatic garage door opener, make sure it’s not visible to a criminal peeking in car and be sure to keep the windows rolled up and doors locked.

2. Protect your valuables with a home security system.

Secure your home with an alarm system and there’s a good chance the burglar will choose an easier target. A home security system not only strengths your home’s defense against the bad guys, it can also alert your family to dangers like fire and carbon monoxide. At a minimum your home security system should include monition sensors, and detectors on all doors and window. Exterior cameras will add an extra layer of protection against burglars.

3. Remove window air units.

An air conditioning unit will save you from summer’s stifling temperatures, but it will also make your home vulnerable. Use a dowel to secure the window while the unit is in place, and be sure to remove the unit when you go on vacation.

4. Ask a neighbor to watch your home.

If you’re going to travel this summer, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your home. Burglars look for telltale signs that your home is vacant, including flyers and mail left near the front door, overflowing mailboxes and garbage cans left at the curb.

5. Don’t invite crime.

Summertime means kids are riding bikes and scooters, and they have a habit of leaving them lying on the lawn. But when they do, they’re extending an invitation to criminals. A thief will not only take the goodies they find outside, they’ll wonder what treats you have hiding in your home. Even if your child is just running in the house for a snack, caution him to put valuables in a secure place.

6. Don’t hide keys outside.

Homeowners often hide the key to their home under the front door mat, or in another obvious location that burglars are sure to look. Don’t hide your house key outside. Instead, give it to a neighbor or friend in case of an emergency.

7. Keep quiet about your plans.

If you’re looking forward to the vacation of a lifetime, you’ll want to share your excitement with everyone, but that’s a bad move. The guy installing your new dishwasher or the gal cleaning your home could moonlight as a burglar. And you never know who reads those brag posts you put on social media, so just don’t do it. Show off the photos when you’re back home instead.

8. Watch out for scams.

If a stranger approaches your front door, beware. Summer is the time that professional thieves travel the county offering to repave your driveway or re-shingle the roof of your home. While one person is distracting you with a sales pitch, another person is entering your home through the back door.

9. Snip the shrubbery.

The bushes around your home will flourish during summer, giving burglars the go-ahead to break into your home. Trim the overgrown bushes near your home so windows and doors are visible from the street.

We encourage you to follow our summer safety tips and always trust your gut. If you see someone acting suspiciously or their behavior concerns you, there’s probably a good reason why. Don’t hesitate to call the police.


SERVPRO of North Rowan County/Salisbury  hopes your summer is a safe and happy one.