- Keep grills far away from anything that can burn --
your home, cars, dry vegetation, etc. Supervise the grill when
lighted, and keep children and pets well away from the area. If
lightning appears, stop grilling, seek shelter and wait for the
storm to pass. When barbecuing, protect yourself by wearing a
heavy apron and an oven mitt that fits high up over your
forearm. If you get burned, run cool water over the burn for 10
to 15 minutes. Never put butter or a salve on burns because
these seal in heat and can damage the tissue further. If you
receive a serious burn (with charred skin, for example) seek
medical attention promptly. Barbecue grills must never be used
inside the home. In addition to the fire hazard indoor grilling
presents, it can easily cause carbon monoxide poisoning. New
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulations now
requirement cautionary measures, hazards and consequences of
indoor grilling on revised labels of all charcoal packaging sold
in the U.S.
For charcoal grills, only use starter
fluids designed for grills - NEVER USE GASOLINE. Use a limited
amount of starter fluid before lighting the fire. If the fire is
too slow, rekindle with dry kindling and add more charcoal if
necessary, but NEVER ADD LIQUID FUEL to re-ignite or build up a
fire, as flash fires can result. Soak the coals with water
before you discard them.
For gas grills, always store the gas
cylinder outside - away from structures - and turn off the
valves when not in use. Check frequently for any leaks in
connections by using a soap-and-water mix that will show bubbles
where gas escapes. When purchasing a gas grill, select one that
has been tested and bears the mark of an independent testing
laboratory. Use the grill according to the manufacturer's
instructions and if needed, have it repaired by a trained
- Pyrotechnic devices (illegal in this area), designed to
burn and explode, are a leading cause of injuries in the U.S.
Fireworks used by amateurs cause thousands of injuries serious
enough to require emergency room treatment every year. In 1994,
more than 12,000 people suffered fireworks injuries in the
United States, including burns, lacerations, amputations, and
blindness. All fireworks -- including legal devices -- should be
used only by trained professional pyrotechnicians. Even
sparklers, often considered safe, burn as hot as 1200 degrees
Fahrenheit. Leave any area where amateurs (adults included) are
using these devices, and do not pick up or touch found
fireworks. Attend an outdoor public display put on by
professionals -- the safest way to enjoy fireworks.
- Trim tree limbs so they don't hang over your roof, and keep
eaves and gutters free of leaves and other debris that burns
easily. Clear weeds, brush and other flammable vegetation at
least 30 feet away from your home, and store firewood away from
Lawnmowers and Other
Store gasoline outside the home, preferably a locked, detached
shed, and store just enough to power your gasoline-fueled
equipment. Keep gasoline up high, inside a clearly marked can
that's labeled and approved for gasoline storage. Make sure
gasoline and all flammable liquids are well away from any heat
source or flame.
Use gasoline as a motor fuel only -- never
as a stain remover or for other purposes. To transport gasoline
in an automobile from the filling station, place a sealed,
approved container in the trunk with the trunk lid propped open
and drive directly to the fueling site. Never store gasoline in
Don't smoke when using gasoline or
gasoline-powered equipment. When fueling, take the equipment
outside and move it away from combustibles. Wipe up any spills
immediately and move the equipment at least 10 feet away from
the fueling area to start the engine. Before re-fueling, turn
off the equipment and let it cool completely.
Pool - Liquid and solid chlorine-based oxidizers are
commonly sold for home pool care as hydrogen chloride products.
These chemicals can spontaneously combust if contaminated by
organic materials (such as body fluids, acid rain, etc.) or
hydrocarbon liquids such as fuel or motor oil. This type of fire
will result in toxic fumes that can be extremely dangerous, and
require resident evacuation. Store and use pool chemicals
according to the manufacturer's recommendations, and always
store them outside the home, away from any heat source or flame.
Keep the containers in a dry place, well away from other items.
If the container is punctured or otherwise damaged, properly
dispose of the chemicals and replace.
For more information on proper storage of
other hazardous chemicals or flammable and combustible products,
contact your local pool supplier.
Boating- Before fueling your boat, make sure to extinguish
smoking materials and shut down all motors, fans and heating
devices. Be sure the fueling nozzle is grounded to the fuel
intake and don't fill to capacity -- leave room for expansion.
Wipe up fuel spills immediately and check the bilge for fuel
leakage and odors. After fueling and before starting the motor,
ventilate with the blower for at least four minutes.
Pitch your flame retardant tent well away from your campfire.
Only use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns inside the tent
or any other closed space, as opposed to liquid-fueled heaters
or lanterns. In addition to the fire hazard posed by
liquid-fueled devices, carbon monoxide poisoning can easily
result in unvented spaces.
Build your campfire downwind, away from
your tent, clearing away all dry vegetation and digging a pit
surrounded by rocks. Look for signs that warn of potential fire
hazards in national forests and campgrounds, and always obey
park service regulations. Pour water over or cover the fire with
dirt before going to sleep or leaving the campsite. Store liquid
fire starter -- NEVER use gasoline -- away from your tent and
campfire and use only dry kindling to freshen a campfire - not
By following these quick and simple
steps, we can all keep our activities fun and fire-safe.