Fourth of July weekend brings family and friends together to celebrate our country’s independence and freedom. You might also get a little lax on fire safety at a time when it may matter most. It’s important during this holiday to keep in mind that open flames are not the only possible source of a house fire; anything hot enough can start one including fireworks and grills. Let’s look at some specific risks and how to protect yourself and your guests during the holiday:
Grilling – Cooking outdoors is a tradition, but according to the National Fire Protection Institute, grilling causes an average of 8,900 house fires each year. However, you can minimize your risks by following a few simple steps:
- Keep the grill at least 10 feet from the house and any wooden deck railings.
- Clear the area around the grill of flammable debris.
- Make sure the cover is open when lighting a grill.
- For propane grills, use the lighting button or a long-handled lighter.
- Always turn the grill off at the propane tank first.
- For charcoal grills, never spray fluid into the grill onto an open flame.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby.
- Designate someone to man the grill after it’s been lit.
- Keep other activities away from the cooking area.
Fireworks – The most obvious source of house fires over the Fourth of July weekend is fireworks. They’re usually the highlight of the evening and what everyone is waiting for, so make sure they’re legal in your county by checking your local municipality’s regulations before using. In addition, you can make sure they’re handled safely with these tips:
- Always put a sober adult in charge of handling and lighting fireworks.
- Never allow children to light fireworks.
- Use fireworks away from buildings, trees, and debris.
- Light only one at a time and keep clear once it’s lit.
- Leave big fireworks to the pros.
You can find even more safety tips on the National Council on Fireworks Safety’s website.
Fire Pits – Outdoor fireplaces are perfect for relaxing after the fireworks show or just for a nice evening in the summer. Keep everyone safe by following these easy safety tips:
- Use fire pits on concrete or sand and keep well away from buildings and debris.
- Start the fire using paper or twigs instead of lighter fluid.
- Keep all wood completely inside the fire pit.
- Burn only properly-seasoned wood.
- Have water ready to handle problems before they get out of control.
- When you’re done for the night, ensure the fire is completely quenched.
Find more fire pit safety tips at This Old House.
A fire due to carelessness ruins the Fourth of July weekend for everyone. By following these common sense tips, you can ensure safer fun for all and no damage to your new Trumark home.