It’s cookout time! It’s campfire time! It’s fireworks time! And most importantly, it’s Fire Safety Time.
Catastrophic wildfires are on the rise. The last few years in Oregon and California have been particularly devastating. Sadly, the trend shows no signs of abating anytime soon.
As individuals, we must be ever-vigilant about fire safety. All major fires begin with a single spark. Many deaths, lost homes, decimated forests, and displaced animals can be avoided by following a few simple tips.
1. Keep a Large Bucket of Water/Fire Extinguisher Nearby
A fire extinguisher is essential, but not always available in the woods or a park. If a fire starts from a floating ember or loose log, the last thing you want to be doing is looking for something with which to put the flames out. Fire spreads fast! Be ready and prepared with enough water to put any fire out immediately.
2. Never Leave Fires or Open Flame Unattended
This might seem obvious, but you might be surprised how often it happens! You can’t prevent a fire from spreading if you aren’t paying attention to it.
3. Keep Your BBQ or Campfire Area Clear
Make sure there are no flammable materials whatsoever near the perimeter of your fire. That includes firestarter, wood, overhanging branches, paper, deck railings, dry grass, etc. Don’t look at a potential fire hazard and think “It’s not that big a deal. What are the chances?” Keep the chances as close to zero as possible. Err on the side of caution, always!
4. Supervise All Fireworks
Again, this should be obvious, but many, many fires are still started every year from fireworks. First, only use fireworks if they are legal in your state. Second, clearly children should not be using fireworks, even with an adult present. Check the legal age for the use of fireworks in your state, but remember, legal or not, parents are liable for the damage caused by their children from the use of fireworks. Never use them in an area with dry grass or shrubbery nearby. Never use them in the house. And never try to re-light ones that have not exploded the first time. Dunk those duds in water to prevent any delayed injury or fire.
5. Don’t Let BBQ Grease Build Up
Grease fires can happen, and they are much more dangerous and difficult to put out than other kinds of fires. Remember pouring water on a grease fire will only make it spread. Use dirt, ash, or a fire extinguisher to put out grease fires.
6. Extinguish All Fires Immediately and Thoroughly After Use
As nice as it might sound to fall asleep next to burning embers, it is extremely dangerous to do so. Pour more water, dirt, sand on your campfire until you are positive there are no burning embers left. This often requires more than you think. And don’t try to take short cuts by leaving grills on for later. Unattended grills can tip over in the wind, something can fall into it, etc. If someone is not there to keep an eye on it the entire time, it should be all the way out and off.
Take care of yourself, your neighborhood, and your planet by being extra safe with your fire use this summer. And most importantly, have fun!
Portland Chimney Repair – Service Area
Located right here in Oregon, our Portland chimney sweep technicians provide the best in chimney repair, fireplace installation and dryer vent care in the Greater Portland-Metro area. From NE Portland down to SE Portland, Tualatin and Oregon City in the south, from Pleasant Valley in the east to Beaverton and Sherwood in the west – when it comes to your chimney, fireplace and vents, we hope you’ll call American Chimney & Masonry! We are the most trusted Portland Chimney Repair company!
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