Did you know that almost 30% of all grill fires will occur during June and July? Did you know that during the Fourth of July thousands of people will visit the emergency room due to injuries received while using consumer fireworks? Summer is here, and with the Fourth just around the corner, families and friends are getting “fired up” for summer with BBQs, campfires and other fun seasonal outdoor activities. While these are all great ways to bring folks together, safety needs to remain the number one priority.
Whether it be barbequing, enjoying fireworks, cooking s’mores or using candles to keep the bugs away, here are the top five summer fire safety tips to enjoy a safe and fun summer.
- Grill safely: Always use your grill outdoors, keeping it away from siding and deck railing. For gas grills, check the gas supply line for damages and replace it, if needed. If you are using charcoal, use an electric or chimney lighter that allows you to use newspaper rather than lighter fuel. Always wait until your grill cools completely before putting it away, especially if you use a grill cover.
- Leave fireworks to the pros: When it comes to fireworks, you are literally playing with fire – and in many states, you may even be breaking the law. The best choice is to pack a picnic basket and catch some of the amazing fireworks displays hosted by professionals in your community. Or, enjoy professional fireworks from the comfort of your own home, such as this year’s Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, which will air on CBS on July 4th at 10 p.m. If you do choose to enjoy consumer fireworks, make sure they are legal in your area. Dress smart – no bare skin or loose clothing if you are near fireworks. Always use fireworks away from buildings, overhead branches or trees, dry grass, or combustible fuels. Keep a water hose or fire extinguisher in reach and know how to use it.
- Be careful with outdoor fireplaces and candles: Make sure that there are no structures, low tree branches or other flammable overhead obstructions near your tiki torch, candle or campfire. Keep fires small, away from dry grass and leaves, and at least 10 feet away from anything else that can burn.
- Always keep kids and pets away from fire: Keep kids and pets away from campfires, fireworks, candles, matches and lighters. Avoid playing games with flying objects like baseballs, basketballs or plastic discs anywhere around the grill, torches or candles.
- Never leave any flame or fire unattended: Whether you’re grilling, using a fire pit, or toasting s’mores around the fire, never leave any flame or fire unattended and put out any fire before you leave it.
Tom Harne is a Property Risk Field Manager with Liberty Mutual Insurance and Volunteer Firefighter.