SUMMER FIRE SAFETY

Summer is fast approaching, even though it may not seem like it at times. There are many activities to participate in to enjoy the nicer days to come. There are also a lot of dangers! I will cover these dangers and give tips to help you enjoy an incident free summer.

GRILLING

It's the time of year to dust off the old grill and enjoy some burned hamburgers. Before you start this activity you should be prepared.

1. Check your grill, either gas or charcoal, before lighting it up. Make sure everything works as it should, i.e., hoses are intact and not leaking (you can check the connections using soapy water), burners work correctly, lids close properly and grates in the proper position. Another tip is to check for bee's nests, especially if you are allergic to bee stings. Nothing makes bees angrier than having their homes disturbed.
2. Keep distances to houses and decks in check. Never place grills where the heat could damage the siding and/or eaves, or catch them on fire. Also be careful placing them close to railings of decks, etc.
3. Always shut off the gas tank after use! A leak could develop and the gas could cause an explosion.
4. When using a charcoal grill, be extremely careful in lighting it. Only use enough charcoal lighter fluid (nothing else such as gasoline) to soak the coals. Avoid pooling of the fluid in the bottom of the grill. Use a long lighter or match to light it. NEVER add more fluid after the coals have been lit.
5. One of the more important duties is to supervise the grill while in use and while it is cooling down. Keep children and pets well away from the grilling area.
6. Keeping a fire extinguisher near, and knowing how to use it, is always a prudent safety precaution.
7. And when you are having a few cold ones, to beat the heat, let someone else do the grilling. Never operate a grill when impaired.

OPEN BURNING

IT'S ILLEGAL!!

Don't clean up your yard and burn the debris! The only fires you can have, except for certain special exceptions, are for cooking for human consumption. If you do decide to have a cooking fire the following must be done.

1. Clear vegetation and place the fire in a ring surrounded by rocks, etc, no bigger that three (3) feet across.
2. You can only burn clean dry wood; no leaves, paper, garbage, etc. Never burn treated lumber. The smoke given off is very toxic!
3. The fire must not be close to any structure, not less than fifteen (15) feet. The farther away the better!
4. The fire must be supervised at all times. And extinguished after use. Do not let it "burn down" for the evening. It may not be the only thing that burns down!
5. Before you have a cookout, be sure to call the fire department to let us know. You can call 330-833-1051. They will ask you questions and will answer any that you may have.
6. Penalties for not following the rules can be fines up to $500.00 and jail time up to sixty days or both.

FLAMMABLE STORAGE

Never store flammable liquids or gasses in the home. Store gasoline, kerosene, propane, etc. outside or in a properly vented garage or shed. Only store small amounts. Don't purchase all of the gasoline for the lawn mower for the entire season at once. Use original containers or approved safety containers. Never store gasoline or the like in any glass containers. Remember the vapors are highly flammable and a little spark can ignite them.
Always let mowers and other gas powered machines cool before refilling or putting them away and be careful not to over fill.

FIREWORKS

Let the professionals handle them! Use of fireworks is illegal in Ohio except by certified firework exhibitors. Stay safe, stay away!

KEEPING COOL

Have your air conditioners checked each year prior to use. Whole house units should be checked by a professional, and don't forget to check the filters. If using window units, plug them straight into the wall outlets. If you must use extension cords, use the size and type recommended by the manufacturer. Also never run cords under doors, rugs, etc.
If you are using fans, make sure they are in good working order. Check the wires and covers. Never place anything on or near them that could block the flow of air. They can catch fire.

Have a safe and happy summer.
Jerry R. Layne, Captain
Fire Prevention Bureau