Fourth of July Safety

Keep your loved ones free from danger.

With Independence Day around the corner, families and friends are getting “fired up” for summer with BBQs, campfires and other fun seasonal outdoor activities. While these are all great ways to bring folks together, safety needs to remain the number one priority. Especially since 30 percent of all grill fires occur during June and July. Here are the top summer fire safety tips for you and your clan.

1. Grill safely. Always use your barbecue outdoors, keeping it away from siding and deck railings. For gas grills, check the gas supply line for damages and replace it, if needed. If you are using charcoal, use an electric or chimney lighter that allows you to use newspaper rather than lighter fuel. Always wait until your grill cools completely before putting it away, especially if you use a grill cover.

2. Leave fireworks to the professionals. When it comes to fireworks, you are literally playing with fire. The best choice is to pack a picnic basket and catch some of the amazing displays hosted by professionals in your community. Or, enjoy professional fireworks on TV from the comfort of your own home. If you do choose to use consumer fireworks, ensure they are legal in your area.

3. Dress in proper attire. Avoid bare skin or loose clothing if you are near fireworks. Always use sparklers and such away from buildings, overhead branches, trees, dry grass or combustible fuels. Keep a water hose or fire extinguisher in reach and know how to use it.

4. Be careful with outdoor fireplaces and candles. Make sure that there are no structures or other flammable overhead obstructions near your tiki torches, candles or campfire. Set up fires away from dry grass and leaves, and at least ten feet away from anything else that can burn.

5. Keep kids and pets away from flames. Kids and pets should stay away from campfires, fireworks, candles, matches and lighters. Avoid playing games with flying objects, like baseballs, basketballs or plastic discs, anywhere around the grill, torches or candles.

6. Don’t leave any flame or fire unattended. Whether you’re grilling, using a fire pit or toasting s’mores around the fire, never leave any flame unattended. Also, put out any fire before you leave it.