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Friday, June 21, 2013

Fire Safety at the Beach

Summer is here, the weather is beautiful and you're at the beach...  sounds like a perfect time to fire up the grill and then light up the night sky with legal-in-South-Carolina fireworks, right?  There's no question that flame-grilled local seafood or steaks, bottle rockets and sparklers are big parts of most Garden City and Surfside Beach vacations; however, failure to take proper precautions can turn your family's dream vacation into a very costly nightmare.
Each year, our area sees a number of close calls when it comes to fires, and occasionally the "close call" becomes a "five alarm."  A large oceanfront house in Long Bay Estates was badly burned last year to the point of being uninhabitable, and two of our rentals narrowly escaped the same fate this spring.  Fireworks acocunted for two of these (including the most serious,) while the other was attributed to an outdoor cooking accident.

How can you avoid this happening to you?  Well, for starters, never grill on decks, porches or underneath any part of the house or condo complex. Make sure all cookers or grills are at least 10 feet from any structures or landscaping (especially mulch or pinestraw!)  Make sure the heat source is extinguished or turned off before leaving the area, and never leave a grill or cooker unattended.  It is always important to have a hose handy in case something ignites, unless you're cooking with oil (deep frying, for example.)  In that case, NEVER extinguish an oil fire with water... only use an approved dry-source extinguisher. Most importantly, always be aware of your surroundings and keep children and anything flammable away from all heat sources.

Fireworks are a whole different ballgame, but the same general rule applies: always be aware of your surroundings.  NEVER light or shoot fireworks from porches, beach walkways or the sand dunes.  Most incidents we've seen have come from violations of this policy, and it's serious enough that we can (and will) evict you from your property if we catch you doing it.  If you're using fireworks with a "launcher" or "box" that remains after the fireworks themselves have been shot, always douse it with water prior to disposing of it.  (One of the worst incidents we've seen occurred when a guest carried a spent and seemingly cool launcher back under the house from the beach by hand, only to have it smolder overnight and light one of the pilings of an oceanfront house on fire.)  Always be aware of the wind, and wait for another night if the it's blowing off the water and back towards land.   Remember to always follow local ordinances and rules, copies of which can be found inside the Dunes Realty binder in your property.  Doing this (and using some good-old fashioned common sense) will keep your family safe and ensure a great vacation.

Fire Safety at the Beach

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer is here, the weather is beautiful and you're at the beach...  sounds like a perfect time to fire up the grill and then light up the night sky with legal-in-South-Carolina fireworks, right?  There's no question that flame-grilled local seafood or steaks, bottle rockets and sparklers are big parts of most Garden City and Surfside Beach vacations; however, failure to take proper precautions can turn your family's dream vacation into a very costly nightmare.
Each year, our area sees a number of close calls when it comes to fires, and occasionally the "close call" becomes a "five alarm."  A large oceanfront house in Long Bay Estates was badly burned last year to the point of being uninhabitable, and two of our rentals narrowly escaped the same fate this spring.  Fireworks acocunted for two of these (including the most serious,) while the other was attributed to an outdoor cooking accident.

How can you avoid this happening to you?  Well, for starters, never grill on decks, porches or underneath any part of the house or condo complex. Make sure all cookers or grills are at least 10 feet from any structures or landscaping (especially mulch or pinestraw!)  Make sure the heat source is extinguished or turned off before leaving the area, and never leave a grill or cooker unattended.  It is always important to have a hose handy in case something ignites, unless you're cooking with oil (deep frying, for example.)  In that case, NEVER extinguish an oil fire with water... only use an approved dry-source extinguisher. Most importantly, always be aware of your surroundings and keep children and anything flammable away from all heat sources.

Fireworks are a whole different ballgame, but the same general rule applies: always be aware of your surroundings.  NEVER light or shoot fireworks from porches, beach walkways or the sand dunes.  Most incidents we've seen have come from violations of this policy, and it's serious enough that we can (and will) evict you from your property if we catch you doing it.  If you're using fireworks with a "launcher" or "box" that remains after the fireworks themselves have been shot, always douse it with water prior to disposing of it.  (One of the worst incidents we've seen occurred when a guest carried a spent and seemingly cool launcher back under the house from the beach by hand, only to have it smolder overnight and light one of the pilings of an oceanfront house on fire.)  Always be aware of the wind, and wait for another night if the it's blowing off the water and back towards land.   Remember to always follow local ordinances and rules, copies of which can be found inside the Dunes Realty binder in your property.  Doing this (and using some good-old fashioned common sense) will keep your family safe and ensure a great vacation.