Although summer is nearing an end, the risk of fires is not. Labor day is a big day for barbeques. Please follow these BBQ rules to keep your family safe. Remember, most fires can be prevented.
• Keep grills at least 10 feet from siding and eaves.
• Never use a grill in a garage or carport.
• Before using a gas grill, check hoses and connections for leaks.
• Check that the venturi tubes-where gas and air mix-are not blocked.
• Never overfill a propane tank.
• Consumers should only use propane tanks that have a three-pronged valve: this is a sign that there is an overfill protection device in the tanks.
• When lighting a charcoal grill, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add fluid after the fire is started.
• To dispose of hot coals, soak them with water and stir to make sure the fire is out.
• Never put coals in plastic, wood, or paper containers.
• Wear snug-fitting clothing when grilling.
Summer Fire Facts
• Barbecue grills caused about 900 home fires and 3,500 outdoor fires in 2002.
• Half of all grill-related home fires begin on a balcony or unenclosed porch.
• More U.S. fires are reported on the 4th of July than on any other day. Fireworks account for half of those fires.
• The tip of a sparkler burns at more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit-hot enough to cause third-degree burns.
Bonus Tip SMOKE ALARMS
While this may not seem like a novel tip, many people do not have enough smoke alarms in their house and do not check to see if they work. We typically forget the alarms are there, but if you need one, you better hope it works. So…
You should have working smoke alarms in the main rooms and hallways of your house. Pick a date, an easy one to remember, like Christmas or St. Patrick’s Day, to change the batteries. In case of a fire, smoke alarms will give you and your family time to get out of the house – but the alarms must be functional. You do not want dead batteries. Changing the batteries yearly is a great habit to get into. Then you can forget about the alarms until next year but feel confident that they will work in case of an emergency.