As the temperature rises, the more time we spend outside. Summertime is the perfect season for outdoor events and activities with friends and family. Everyone loves gathering around the backyard fire pit, pool, or other open space to celebrate.
While these gatherings can be a lot of fun, it’s important to stay safe. Fire hazards increase during the summer holidays. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 64% of American households own an outdoor barbecue or grill. Fire departments respond to an estimated 10,600 home structures and outdoor fires involving grills per year. Most accidents occur in July, followed by June, May, and August.
Outdoor Fire Prevention Tips
Fire sources such as grills, candles, portable outdoor fireplaces, patio (tiki) torches, and fire pits can start a fire in your backyard if they’re not used carefully. Here are some practical tips to prevent fires during your next outdoor gathering.
- Clean your grill prior to use. 29% of home fires start with a grill that hadn’t been cleaned, according to NFPA records.
- Always use tools like gloves, tongs, and brushes when cooking on a grill to avoid getting burned.
- Check for gas (propane) leaks regularly. Make a solution with one part water and one part dish soap and apply it to the line that connects the grill to the gas tank. If bubbles appear on the line when you turn on the gas, have the grill serviced immediately.
- Keep the grill at least 10 feet away from structures, and don’t turn on the gas with the lid closed.
- In order to always be alert to fire when cooking on a grill, drink responsibly, so you can act quickly if an emergency occurs.
- Grill in an open space. Avoid using spaces such as roofs, second-floor terraces, or the garage.
- Do not barbecue too much food at once. Although it seems time-efficient, cooking too much at once can cause excess fat to drip down onto the grill flames, potentially causing a small fire.
- Build a campfire in a fire pit to help prevent fire from spreading. Never leave the fire unattended, and keep a water source nearby.
- Be sure to check local fire regulations while camping. Many areas may be closed to all fires (including charcoal grills) due to dry conditions.
Candle and Portable Fireplace Safety
- If the scene is decorated with burning candles, use sturdy candle holders to help prevent candles from being tipped over.
- More than half of all candle fires start when objects that can burn are too close to candles. Keep flammable objects like paper plates and napkins far away from candles and any other open flame.
- Use battery-operated flameless candles and patio torches, instead of their more dangerous, open-flame counterparts.
- NFPA code requirements prohibit sky candles, so consider using something safer instead, such as kites or streamers.
- When a portable fireplace is burning, be present at all times, or designate another responsible adult to watch the fireplace. More portable fireplace safety tips can be found here.
When it comes to all outdoor fire activities, keep children and pets under supervision, and keep them at a three feet distance from flames. Maintain a safe distance between guests and the fire. For pits and grills, this should be at least 10 feet. After your event is over, make sure your heat source is completely out before leaving. This includes both the fire pit and any grills.
You may want to have an emergency plan in place in case the unexpected happens. Keep a garden hose, a bucket of water, or a fire extinguisher close by. Remember that most portable fire extinguishers have a range of just 6 to 10 feet and last for 8 to 10 seconds. Evacuate the property and immediately call 911 if the fire becomes uncontrollable.
For Fire Damage Restoration, Call PuroClean’s Remediation Experts
Follow these fire safety tips to enjoy a disaster-free summer season with your loved ones! If, however, a fire event occurs on your property, PuroClean stands ready to assist you. Our fire restoration technicians are prepared to deal with smoke cleanup and fire damage repairs of any size. Contact your local PuroClean office for speedy and professional fire damage restoration services.