During the summer months fires are prevalent due to high temperatures and long dry seasons. It is important that you are aware of fire safety practices while enjoying your favorite summer activities such as grilling, campfires, and fireworks. Make sure to put the safety of you, your family, and friends first this summer by following these fire safety tips.
1. Practice Safe Grilling
Gas grills are a factor in an average of 8,900 home fires per year (NFPA). It is important to practice safe grilling to prevent these fires from occurring. Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outside of the house, never for indoor cooking. It is important to clean off any grease or build ups before grilling to reduce flammable substances on the grill’s surface. You should keep your grill a safe distance from your house, overhangs, or nearby trees. And lastly, you should never keep your grill unattended.
2. Use Campfire Safety
Campfires are a common summer activity but should be used appropriately. Always be sure to check your area’s rules and restrictions regarding campfires. Some areas prohibit people from lighting campfires due to dry vegetation or higher risk of wildfires. It is important to always check and clear your surroundings to make sure there is nothing that will catch on fire, such as overhanging trees or dry brush. It is best to use a fire pit to contain the fire to one small area. Never leave the fire unattended and be sure the flames are fully out before exiting the area. When hosting guests be sure everyone is aware of the stop, drop, and roll method in the event that their clothes catch on fire.
3. Execute HVAC Maintenance
HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) maintenance is something most people do not think to check for fire prevention. During the hot months of summer, homeowners tend to run one or multiple AC units for long periods of time. Running these systems simultaneously or for extended periods can lead to overheating, which can then cause a fire to start. Give your AC units a break from time to time to help prevent overheating.
It is important that you check your HVAC systems for build ups such as dust and for proper operations before the summer temperatures begin to rise.
4. Proper use of Fireworks
The best way to prevent fires from occurring due to fireworks, is by going to public firework shows done by professionals. Fireworks are dangerous and are only enjoyable if used properly. If you are using fireworks, be sure to keep a safe distance from buildings, dry vegetation, flammable liquids, and other people. Never attempt to re-light a firework that was not effective the first time.
5. Be Aware of Wildfires in Your Area
The season of summer is also the season of wildfires in various parts of the country. Be sure to know what to do if your area is prone to wildfires. Make an exit plan for you and your family to both safely exit the house and your area. Also be sure to have a fire safety pack in case you need to exit your home due to wildfires. Another way to protect your home is to clear your surrounding area of debris and dry vegetation to create a natural safety zone. Lastly, be sure to check that your house is clearly marked for your local fire department to easily find you in case of emergency.
Be Prepared for Unexpected Fire Outbreaks
If you are practicing these fire safety tips, then the risk of fire is greatly reduced, but not entirely eliminated. Be sure to know where your nearest fire extinguisher is in case of a dangerous fire outbreak to things like your grill, campfire, home systems, or fireworks. Follow NFPA guidelines and be sure to practice safe summer activities during the next few months.