With summer officially here and the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions across the country, many people will be turning to grills, barbecues and other outdoor gatherings, including fireworks, to enjoy the warm weather. As July 4 approaches, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is providing important reminders and guidelines for safely enjoying these activities.
Make sure your gas grill is working properly
Leaks or breaks are primarily a problem with gas grills. Check the fuel tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.
If your grill has a gas leak detected by the smell or the soap bubble test and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, have the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
If you smell gas while cooking, immediately move away from the grill and do not move it. If the flame goes out, turn off the grill and gas and wait at least 5 minutes before relighting.
Never leave equipment unattended
Be sure to closely monitor the cooking of food on the grill. Turn the grill off quickly when finished cooking and allow it to cool completely before returning it to its original location.
For campfires, fireplaces and chimneys, always have a hose, bucket of water or shovel and dirt or sand nearby, and make sure the fire is completely out before going to sleep. or leave the area.
Keep equipment a safe distance from things that can burn
Place your grill a safe distance (at least 3 feet) from anything that can burn, including railings and overhanging branches; also keep them out of the eaves.
Keep portable grills a safe distance from lawn games, play areas, and foot traffic.
Keep children and pets away from any type of equipment being used.
In areas where campfires are permitted, they should be at least 25 feet from any structure and anything that may burn. Also be sure to remove dry leaves and sticks, low branches and overhanging shrubs.
Use fuel and fire starters correctly
If you are using starter fluid to light charcoal, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal or any other flammable liquid to the fire.
Keep liquid charcoal out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
Never use gasoline or other flammable or combustible liquids on fireplaces, chimneys or campfires.
For charcoal electric starters, which do not use a fire, make sure the extension cord you are using is rated for outdoor use.
If a fire breaks out, call the fire department
For any type of outdoor fire that cannot be extinguished quickly and effectively, call the fire department immediately for assistance.
Only attend public fireworks
After many public fireworks were canceled last year, many cities will host public fireworks for July 4 of this year. If you plan to incorporate fireworks into your July 4th celebration, the NFPA strongly recommends attending these public performances rather than using mainstream fireworks, which can cause injury and damage. serious due to their unpredictability.
An estimated 19,500 fires in the United States were started by fireworks in 2018, including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 exterior and other fires. The fires left five civilians dead and 46 injured and $ 105 million in property damage.
More than a quarter (28%) of the fireworks from 2014 to 2018 occurred on July 4. About half (49 percent) of all fires reported on July 4 are caused by fireworks.
In 2020, about 15,600 people were seen for fireworks-related injuries in hospital emergency departments, according to data collected by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. This is the highest estimate observed for over 15 years. For more fireworks facts and information, visit the NFPA fireworks page