Every year Americans look forward to summer vacations, camping, family reunions, picnics, and the Fourth of July. Summertime, however, also brings fires and injuries due to fireworks and outdoor grills. Annually more than 8,000 Americans are injured by fireworks and grill fires. More than half these injuries occur during the first week of July.
USFA's National Fire Data Center estimates that yearly outside cooking grills cause more than 6,000 fires, over 5 fatalities, more than 170 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. Gas grills alone cause over 2,700 fires, 80 injuries, and $11 million dollars damage. Most of the gas grill fires and explosions were caused by gas leaks, blocked tubes, and overfilled propane tanks.
In addition to outdoor cooking, improper use of fireworks causes more than 6,000 fires and more than $8 million in damage.
Families also enjoy camping in the summer. It is important to follow the park's rules for the use and extinguishing of campfires.
Summertime should be a time for fun and making happy memories. Knowing a few fire safety tips and following instructions will help everyone have a safe summer.
- The best way to enjoy fireworks is to visit public fireworks displays put on by professionals who know how to safely handle fireworks.
- If you plan to use fireworks, make sure they are legal in your area.
- 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.
- Always read the directions and warning labels on fireworks. If a devise is not marked with the contents, direction and a warning label, do not light it.
- Supervise children around fireworks at all times.
- Before using a grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line. Make sure the venture tubes - where the air and gas mix - are not blocked.
- Do not overfill the propane tank.
- Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbecue.
- Be careful when using lighter fluid. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire because the flames can flashback up into the container and explode.
- Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately. Supervise children around outdoor grills.
- Dispose of hot coals properly - douse them with plenty of water, and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.
- Never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas - carbon monoxide could be produced.
- 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.
- 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.
Helpful fire safety information links:
Cooking Safety, Home Escape Planning, Smoke Detector Help, and more from NFPA Public Education: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education
National Weather Service Tornado Safety: https://www.weather.gov/safety/tornado
Chimney Safety Institute of America: https://www.csia.org/
Before lighting an outside fire, check the level of fire spread risk in our area: https://glff.mesowest.org/map/#/c4524,-8831,6/g1/mc/vadjc/s/n/zt
Michigan's DNR Fire Safety Website: https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-350-79135_81057_81058---,00.html