The summer months mean plenty of outdoor activities for every member of your family, including kids and pets. That means there are lots of opportunities to be active and enjoy the great outdoors – barbecues, roasting marshmallows and fireworks, for instance – and it also means there’s a greater opportunity for fire-related accidents and injuries. Does that mean you need to avoid having summertime fun and lock your kids and pets indoors? Not at all! It just means you always have to put safety first, keep an eye out for items and activities that could pose a fire hazard and practice proactive safety to avoid injury.
Here’s a list of simple tips that can help you and your family put safety first this summer:
- Citronella candles and torches: The scent of citronella can be a great deterrent to pesky mosquitoes, but one of the problems with citronella candles and torches is they need to be located near people in order for their scent to be effective – and as a result, their open flames can pose a serious fire hazard. If you use citronella candles or torches, never leave them unattended and be sure they’re located in places that aren’t easily accessible to pets and kids. In fact, especially if flames are low or torches are located in a central area of your yard, it’s probably a good idea to keep your pets indoors while they’re burning.
- Fireworks: Nearly 9,000 people were treated for fireworks-related injuries in 2012, and while setting off a few small fireworks may seem harmless, many injuries were related to the use of products that look pretty harmless. Plus, many areas have ordinances prohibiting the use of fireworks – even sparklers. Instead of risking your safety or the safety of your loved ones, enjoy a professional fireworks display and avoid using fireworks at home or at any non-professional event.
- Grills: Nothing tastes quite as good in the summertime as food cooked over a grill. Keep your grilling area safe by setting it off from the main activity area and keeping pets and kids away. Always keep a bucket of sand handy in case of a grease fire, and never leave cans of fire starter fluid where kids or pets can access them.
- Fire pits: Sitting around a fire pit is a relaxing way to spend a summer evening, especially if marshmallows are involved! Put safety first by making sure kids understand not to play in the area of the fire pit, and provide long forks designed for roasting rather than relying on flammable sticks or skewers. Always keep a bucket of sand on hand along with your garden hose in case of accidents.
Spending time with family is great, but you want to be sure everyone stays safe while they’re having fun. Just a little caution is all it takes to avoid fire hazard issues and put safety first this summer.
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