Hot Summer Nights
Make your cookouts and get-togethers fun and safe
June 8, 2009
Summer is in full swing—mosquitoes bites and all. It’s time for barbecues, roasting marshmallows and relaxing with friends by the fire pit. It’s also the perfect time for fires and injuries. With a few fire safety tips, offered by the U.S. Fire Administration, you can be sure that everyone has a safe summer.
- Fill your propane tank a little less than the maximum level. When the tank heats up, the gas expands. If it’s too full, gas can shoot out causing a fire. For added protection, use only three-pronged valve tanks.
- Wear form fitting clothes. Loose clothes can easily catch fire.
- Keep grills in an open, well ventilated area and away from the house.
- Make sure that matches and lighters are properly stored after using (putting used matches in cold water is the safest route). Also, keep new matches out of the reach of children.
- Properly dispose of hot coals—douse them with water and stir to make sure the fire is out.
- Use appropriate materials for burning. Ceramic and metal chimineas can withstand different heating thresholds and require specific materials. Check your owner manual to see which is right for yours.
- Start with a small fire and add wood as the fire gets going. Do not use lighter fluid or other fire enhancers.
- Keep your chiminea off of the deck or wood surfaces. Make a fire pit away from your home in an area free of dry leaves or debris that may catch on fire quickly.
- Put the fire out with water before calling it a night.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby as a receptacle for used sparklers.
- Read directions and warning labels.
- Supervise children at all times.
- Wear form-fitting clothes.