Fireworks over a cityWe have all heard the saying “if you can’t stand the heat stay out of the kitchen” well when it comes to fire safety during this season of BBQ’s and fireworks it’s not quite that simple.

With the increase of outdoor activities during the hot summer months also comes the increase of several risk factors that can contribute to injuries, loss of property and in some cases loss of life. 

In a report released this year by the U.S Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) it is reported that last year there were 4 recorded deaths related to fireworks with an average of 7 deaths occurring per year since 2001.

And what about those Hot Dog and Hamburger cook outs. It has been reported that an average of 8,800 home fires occur every year as a result of grilling with July being the peak month for grill fires. The unfortunate aftermath of these types of incidents can be devastating to families, leading many to ask what can be done to avoid this from happening.

Well following some simple steps can greatly reduce the risk of having a firework or grill fire event. 
For fireworks here are some of the tips offered by the CPSC are:

  1. Never allow children to handle a firework device.
  2. Check local laws and only use legal, consumer-grade fireworks.
  3. Leave professional fireworks to the professionals.
  4. If using consumer fireworks, make sure you keep a bucket of water or a hose handy.
  5. Don't try to relight a firework that turns out to be a dud.

In addition CSTC recommends 

  1. Keeping an ABC rated fire extinguisher in your home and knowing how to use it should the need arise.
  2. Use tongs or other long reach device when picking up duds or spent fireworks for deposit into a bucket of water.
  3. Be aware of potential traffic on your street and avoid lighting any fireworks unless it is safe to do so. 

When if comes to your grills:

  1. Only use proper charcoal starter fluid, never flammable or combustible fluids.
  2. Store starter fluid out of reach of children, and well away from heat sources.
  3. Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited.
  4. Before the first use of your Gas BBQ for the season and each use thereafter, check your hose for leaks, cracks, bubbles or any other questionable conditions and replace immediately before use if any of these exist.
  5. You can use a mixture of soap and water either sprayed or poured on the sealing area and hose to determine if there are leaks
  6. If you suspect a leak by smell or bubbles shut of the propane valve and get away from the are allowing the gas to dissipate before attempting to service.
  7. If you smell gas and the grill is already lit DO NOT approach it get away and call the fire department.
  8. Ensure the areas where you store and use your propane tanks are well ventilated
  9. Keep all flammable and combustible materials at least 25 feet away from ignition sources such as grills

Please remember fun with family can quickly turn to tragedy, think ahead when preparing to enjoy the summer months by taking steps to prevent accidents.

From all of us here at CSTC - Have a Great, Fun and Safe 4th.