Every year Americans look forward to summer vacations, camping, family reunions, picnics, and the Fourth of July. Summertime, however, also brings fires and injuries due to fireworks and outdoor grills. Annually just under 8,600 Americans are injured by fireworks 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 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:
- Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
- Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
- Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
- Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
- 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.
- Supervise children around fireworks at all times.
- The city of Glendale does not allow the discharge of fireworks within the city limits.
- 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.
- Do not overfill the propane tank.
- Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbecue.
- Be careful when using lighter fluid. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire because the flame can flashback up into the container and explode.
- Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately. Supervise children around outdoor grills.
- Dispose of hot coals properly - douse them with plenty of water, and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.
- Never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas - carbon monoxide could be produced.
- Make sure everyone knows to Stop, Drop and Roll in case a piece of clothing does catch fire. Call 911 if a burn warrants serious medical attention.