MEMPHIS, TN--(Marketwired - November 03, 2016) - The end of daylight savings time, Nov. 6, means more than turning back the clocks. ServiceMaster Restore, one of the largest disaster restoration companies in the United States and a ServiceMaster (NYSE: SERV) company, is reminding people that this is also the time of year to change the batteries in your smoke detectors and ensure that you and your family are following best fire safety practices this holiday season.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the majority of house fires are caused by cooking, which tends to increase during the last few months of the year when it's cooler and people are spending more time indoors prepping for the holidays. In an effort to keep families safe during the holidays, Peter Duncanson, director of system development with ServiceMaster Restore and chairman of the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), is sharing expert tips to ensure a disaster-free season.
"Fall Back" Into Fire Safety
Change batteries in every smoke detector and test them to make sure they are working. This is also an important time of year to ensure your fire extinguisher is in working order. Too often they are kept tucked away and it's easy to forget to inspect them. Check for corrosion, missing pull-pins and changes in the pressure gauge.
Practice Makes Perfect
Develop an emergency evacuation plan, keep a map of it in plain sight, and practice an evacuation drill with the entire family, including your pets. Assign one person (an adult or parent) to keep track of the cat or dog, so that everyone isn't looking for a beloved pet during an emergency.
Multiple Exits Out of Every Room
Identify two ways out of each room in your home and have the necessary tools on hand to evacuate through a window, if necessary. If there are multiple exits out of your home, make sure they're all clear of furniture and clutter.
Go Easy on Surge Protectors
Surge protectors are meant to protect your electronics from surges, not give you the opportunity to overload an electrical outlet, which can spark a fire. Also make sure that no cords are frayed or cracked.
Layer Up Before Turning up the Heat
Temperatures in the fall vary, so many avoid turning on the heat by starting a fire in the fireplace or turning on a space heater. Before cozying up by a fire, make sure your chimney has been inspected -- and before turning on a space heater, make sure there's nothing (and no one) within three feet of it. It's better to bundle up than put you and your family at risk with a premature fire or ill-placed space heater.
Duncanson has spent nearly 30 years in the disaster restoration business with ServiceMaster Restore, recovering and professionally cleaning salvageable items, as well as clearing homes and businesses of damaged items that remain.
"One of the most common problems we see with people who have dealt with a house fire is lack of preparedness," says Duncanson. "Everyone learns basic fire safety in school and at work, but few are practicing it at home with their loved ones. And when people do have a house fire, many don't know what to do after it. Fortunately, that's where ServiceMaster Restore comes in."
For more expert tips and information on how to prevent and recover from a fire, 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 1,800 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 or smoke. SRM is the large-scale commercial catastrophic disaster restoration unit of ServiceMaster Restore. ServiceMaster Restore is a business unit of the Memphis-based ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SERV), a leading provider of essential residential and commercial services. More information can be found at www.servicemasterrestore.com and www.servicemasterrecoverymanagement.com.
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. Technology powers our trusted experts to engage with customers so they can order, buy and receive services when, where and how they want them. Our well-recognized brands includes 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 servicemaster.com.