Put #FireSafety on Front Burner during Holidays, Say Disaster Experts from ServiceMaster Restore

Four simple strategies for staying safe while cooking, decorating and
more this holiday season

MEMPHIS, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ServiceMaster
Restore
, one of the largest fire and disaster restoration companies
in the United States and a ServiceMaster (NYSE: SERV) company, is
encouraging homeowners to keep fire safety top of mind as the holiday
season approaches.


“As heartbreaking as house fires are, it’s even worse when a homeowner
realizes how easily it could have been prevented,” said Peter Duncanson,
a 30-year ServiceMaster Restore veteran, who says he has lost count of
the number of fire-damaged homes he has helped restore during his
career. “Safety doesn’t happen by accident. It’s intentional, and it’s
important.”

A recent ServiceMaster Restore survey revealed one-third of American
homeowners do not have a fire extinguisher and a shocking one-in-five do
not even have a smoke detector, two items that are essential to staying
safe in the event of a fire.

According
to the National Fire Protection Association
, Thanksgiving is the
busiest day of the year for cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and
Christmas Eve. To prevent fires during the upcoming holiday season and
beyond, Duncanson says there are four safety steps that every homeowner
should know and take:

  • Cook with caution: The best way to deal with a cooking-related
    fire is to prevent it. Never leave the stove unattended. If the oven
    or stovetop is on, someone should always keep an eye on it. “Set it
    and forget it” recipes sound great, but “forgetting” is what puts
    people and property at risk. Keep a working fire extinguisher under
    the counter to immediately put out kitchen fires.
  • Deck the halls – carefully: While they seem harmless, two
    of the most common fire culprits are candles and Christmas trees. When
    lighting candles, make sure to keep them in sight and put them out
    when you leave a room. Or, invest in battery-operated candles. Some
    even come with remote controls so you can safely wow your guests. As
    for the Christmas tree, make sure it is at least three feet away from
    heat sources and does not block any exits. If it is a real tree, keep
    it hydrated and dispose of it as soon as needles start to dry and
    fall. Stick to quality, indoor string lights that don’t show any signs
    of wear and tear.
  • Prep your fireplace: There is nothing more enchanting than
    gathering around a crackling fireplace to open gifts, but make sure to
    inspect the chimney each season before you use it. If you see black
    and flaky creosote deposits, use a wire brush to scrub them away. Use
    a flashlight to peek inside and make sure there are no loose bricks,
    blockages or debris.
  • Sound the alarm: Be sure you have enough smoke detectors and
    they’re installed in the right locations in your home. At a minimum,
    experts recommend one on each floor, and one outside each sleeping
    area. Replace batteries and test the alarms at least twice a year –
    monthly is even better. Have a pre-designated area away from the home
    where family members will gather in the event of a fire, and when you
    test the alarms, make sure that everyone knows what to do and where to
    go.

“For all of the fun the holiday season brings with celebrations, family
gatherings and great food, it’s also a time for increased house fires,”
said Duncanson. “If you’re not intentional about practicing good fire
safety habits, you could easily have a holiday you’ll never forget – and
not in a good way. Taking simple steps, like having an escape plan –
something a whopping 66 percent1 of Americans do not have –
can make a world of difference in keeping your family safe.”

Should you still find yourself facing a home fire this holiday season,
remember to put personal safety first. As tempting as it may be to try
and gather gifts or memorabilia before leaving, don’t. You and your
family members’ safety is far more valuable. Evacuate as soon as
possible and leave it to the experts to extinguish the flames. Even if
it seems like the fire is contained, wait for clearance from the
firefighters before re-entering.

For more expert tips and information on cleaning up smoke, soot or fire
damage in your home or business, 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 and SRM have operations and
consulting experience on countless disasters, including clean-up after
Hurricane Katrina and the Pentagon after September 11, 2001.
ServiceMaster Restore is a business unit of 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 http://www.srmcat.com/.
ServiceMaster Restore is the Official Disaster Restoration Specialist of
Minor League Baseball™.

About ServiceMaster

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.
ServiceMaster is the Official Home Services Provider of Minor League
Baseball™.

About the Survey

The 2017 ServiceMaster Weather Emergency Survey presents the findings of
an online survey conducted by Toluna from April 18-20, 2017 among a
sample of 1,555 American homeowners 18 years of age and older. The
margin of error for a sample of this size is ± 2.5 percent at a 95
percent level of confidence. Some numbers may not add up to 100 percent
due to rounding.

1 2017 ServiceMaster Weather Emergency Survey conducted by
Toluna from April 18-20, 2017 among a sample of 1,555 American
homeowners 18 years of age and older

Contacts

ServiceMaster Restore
Alison Bishop, 901-827-6956
Alison.bishop@servicemaster.com
or
Ana
Senior,
617-939-8346
asenior@conecomm.com