Fire Safety Tips For Summer Fun

During the hot and sticky days of summer there’s a lot of fun to be had—including Fourth of July fireworks, grill-dominated barbecues and candlelit evenings on the patio.

 

To ensure your friends and family have a (figurative-only) blast at summer gatherings, follow these safety guidelines:

 

Fireworks

Around the Fourth of July, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports more than 200 people go to the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries. Although it might be tempting to put on a private display, the safest choice for people (and pets) is to attend public displays and leave the lighting to the pros.

 

And keep in mind that even though sparklers might seem harmless, they burn at temps of 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals.

 

If you do decide to celebrate with fireworks at home:

  • Always have an adult supervising

  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that haven’t fully ignited

  • Never point or throw fireworks at someone else

  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy

  • After fireworks have finished burning, douse the device with plenty of water before discarding

 

Grilling

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) suggests that when firing up the grill to cook:

  • Only use propane and charcoal grills outdoors

  • Ensure the grill is at least three feet from siding, deck rails, eaves, children and pets

  • Use long-handled barbecue tools

  • Never leave the grill unattended

  • Clean your grill after each use to remove grease that can start a fire

 

Outdoor fires

For an outdoor summer celebration, candles, torches and fire pits can help extend the revelry after the sun goes down. Whether using portable fireplaces or patio torches, the USFA recommends:

  • Building fires at least 15 feet away from structures, tables and shrubs

  • Keep a three-foot safe zone around the fire

 

The National Fire Protection Association adds:

  • Try using battery-operated flameless candles and solar-powered tiki torches

  • Never leave kids alone with burning candles or torches

  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children

 

First aid

The American Burn Association says that kids under five are more than twice as likely as the general population to suffer burn injuries that require emergency medical treatment. Young adults ages 20-29 are 1.5 more likely to have a burn injury.

 

With any young people exposed to the risk of burns, the best thing to do is follow these simple steps to be prepared:

  • See your doctor if the burn is larger than your palm

  • Place the burn in cool water for three to five minutes

  • Cover the burn with a clean, dry cloth

 

In addition to fire-related injuries, it’s also important to be mindful of heat-related illness during the summer months. Check out prevention tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a guide to help kids beat the heat.