Every year, Americans look forward to summer vacations, camping, family reunions, picnics, and the 4th of July. Summertime, however, also brings fires and injuries due to fireworks and outdoor grills.
Just under 8,600 Americans are injured by fireworks every year and almost 5,000 are injured by charcoal/wood-burning and propane grill fires. In 2010, 73 percent of fireworks injuries occurred between June 18 and July 18. The China Lake Fire Department would like to remind you that fireworks in any form are prohibited at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.
Barbeques may be allowed for use on Station in specific areas. A Heat Producing Device Permit from the fire department is required, in non-residential areas, prior to the day of use so that the barbeque can be inspected for code compliance. Turkey Fryers, including oil-less, are prohibited in all areas on Station except for residential areas.
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 protect your family is not to use any fireworks at home – period. Attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals.
If you ultimately decide to engage in this very dangerous activity, make sure fireworks are legal in your area and follow these safety tips:
â€¢ Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
â€¢ Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
â€¢ Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
â€¢ Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a devise does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ Supervise children around fireworks at all times; children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over, they may still be active.
â€¢ Before using a grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line. Make sure the venturi tubes – where the air and gas mix – are not blocked.
â€¢ Do not overfill the propane tank.
â€¢ Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbecue.
â€¢ Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately.
â€¢ Supervise children and pets around outdoor grills by declaring a three-foot kid-free zone.
â€¢ Dispose of hot coals properly by dousing them with plenty of water, and stirring them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.
â€¢ Never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas – carbon monoxide could be produced.
â€¢ 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.
Fire Pit Safety
In recent years, there has been a new concern for the Fire Service – fire pits. Fire pits are known to be a great source of warmth and ambience. But, with the popularity of fire pits increasing, fire safety has become even more important. There are many things you should consider while setting up and using a fire pit:
â€¢ Keep away from flammable material and fluids such as gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, and charcoal lighter fluid or vehicles while in use.
â€¢ Do not use flammable fluids such as gasoline, alcohol, diesel fuel, kerosene, and charcoal lighter fluid to light or relight fires.
â€¢ Exercise the same precautions you would with an open fire.
â€¢ Do not allow children to use the fire pit. Keep children and pets away.
â€¢ Do not wear flammable or loose fitting clothing such as nylon.
â€¢ Do not burn trash, leaves, paper, cardboard, or plywood. Avoid using soft wood such as pine or cedar that likely pop and throw sparks. Use of seasoned hardwood is suggested.
â€¢ Before starting the fire, make sure that the lid will still close to extinguish the fire in case of emergency. Do not overload.
â€¢ Before you light the fire, check the wind direction.
â€¢ Keep a fire extinguisher or garden hose nearby.
For more information please visit:
â€¢ United States Fire Administration Web Site: Holiday Seasonal Fire Prevention www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/focus/summer.shtm
â€¢ National Fire Protection Association Public Education Division www.NFPA.org/education