Summer Fire Safety Tips
Valhalla, NY - Summer is a time for outdoor family activities. It is also when barbecue grills and fireworks can cause devastating residential fires and serious injury to children.Westchester Safe Kids and Blythedale Children’s Hospital urge parents to practice these safety tips recommended by the United States Fire Administration (USFA) to reduce the risk of a residential fire or a trip to the emergency room.
According to the USFA, each year almost 5,000 Americans are injured by charcoal/wood-burning and propane grill fires. Enjoy your grill safely this summer by following these tips.
- Only use the grill outdoors; position the grill well away from siding, deck railings, out from under eaves and overhanging branches and a safe distance from lawn games, play areas, and foot traffic.
- Keep children and pets away from the grill area by declaring a 3 foot “kid free zone” around the grill.
- Be careful when using lighter fluid. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire because flames can flashback up into the container and explode.
- Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at the grill.
- Use long-handled grilling tools to give plenty of clearance from heat.
- Keep all matches and lighters away from children.
- Dispose of hot coals properly - douse them with plenty of water and stir them to ensure that the fire is out.
- If you smell gas while cooking on a propane gas grill, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.
- Never store propane cylinders in buildings or garages. If you store a gas grill inside during the winter, disconnect the cylinder and leave it outside.
- Make sure everyone knows to Stop, Drop and Roll in case a piece of clothing does catch fire. Call 911 or your local emergency number if a burn warrants serious medical attention.
According to the USFA, nearly 9,000 people are injured by fireworks annually - children under 15 years old account for 39% of the estimated fireworks injuries. In 2009, 67% of firework injuries occurred between June 19 and July 19. The National Fire Protection Agency reports that sparklers, which are typically viewed by parents as relatively harmless fireworks for children, cause serious burn injuries and account for one-third of the injuries to children under five.
- The best way to enjoy fireworks is to visit public fireworks displays hosted by professionals who know how to safely handle fireworks.
- In New York State, all consumer fireworks, even sparklers, are illegal.
- Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
- Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
- Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
- Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
- Closely supervise children around fireworks at all times.
Be safe when creating memories around a campfire this summer.
- Build campfires where they will not spread, away from dry grass and leaves.
- Keep campfires small, and don't let them get out of hand.
- Keep plenty of water and a shovel around to douse the fire when you're done. Stir it and douse it again with water.
- Never leave campfires unattended.
Gasoline-powered equipment keeps outdoor living spaces trim and beautiful. Keep your family safe when using this fuel.
- Never use gas to light a fire.
- Keep gas out of reach of children. Out of sight isn’t enough, for any age. Store your gasoline where children cannot access it in a well-ventilated area outside your vehicle and living space. Consider a detached garage or outdoor storage shed.
- Use gasoline containers with a spout and automatic shut-off feature that will prevent overfilling of fuel tanks.
- Never use soda bottles or other makeshift containers to store gas; children may think it is a beverage and drink it.
- Keep gas away from any source of heat, spark or flame. Even common household appliances like water heaters and clothes dryers can ignite gas vapors.
Blythedale Children’s Hospital is the Westchester County coalition leader for the National Safe Kids Campaign. For more information about Blythedale’s injury prevention and safety programs, please call Lena Cavanna, Director of Community Relations at 914-831-2410. For additional information about summertime safety, visit the Safe Kids USA website at www.safekids.org.
For more information about Blythedale Children’s Hospital, visit http://www.blythedale.org.
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