Summer fire safety: kick off summer safely!

Summer fire safety: kick off summer safely!
Posted on 06/07/2013

Memorial Day has become synonymous with the beginning of summer, and people celebrate with barbecues, outdoor cooking and camping trips. As summer begins, the Office of the State Fire Marshal would like to remind everyone to be careful with any activity that could trigger a wildfire. It doesn’t take much for a small fire to turn into a large blaze. Knowing a few fire safety tips will help everyone have a fire safe summer.

Campfire Safety

  • It is important to follow campground rules for the use and extinguishment of campfires.
  • Build campfires where they will not spread. A 5- to 10-foot circle around the fire should be cleared of all flammable materials and your tent should be at least 15 feet away.
  • Keep campfires to a reasonable and manageable size, no larger than three feet by three feet. Do not let them get out of hand.
  • Thoroughly drown the fire, stir it and douse it again with water. Do not leave a fire until it is out COLD.

Barbecue Safety

  • Always inspect your grill at the beginning of the season, checking all connections and supply hoses.  Make sure the venturi tubes that deliver gas to the burner are not blocked.
  • Do not overfill the propane tank.  Always store tanks outside in a well-ventilated area.
  • Keep grills five to 10 feet away from your house or other flammable material. Never barbecue in enclosed areas as carbon monoxide could pose a danger.
  • Do not add fluid to hot coals. The flame can flash back up into the container and explode.
  • Dispose of hot coals properly. Douse them with plenty of water and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.

General Fire Safety

  • Ensure that children and pets are kept well away from fire. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately.
  • Make sure everyone knows to stop, drop and roll in case a piece of clothing does catch fire. Call 911 if a burn warrants serious medical attention.
  • Never leave a fire unattended and keep plenty of water nearby.
  • Do not wear loose clothing while tending a fire, and tie back long hair.