Sweet summertime! Are you looking forward to lighting up the grill for some easy, delicious meals? Or, maybe you’re heading outdoors and ready for s’mores over a campfire. And 4th of July fireworks are right around the corner as well. While these seasonal pastimes sound even better after a long pandemic, it’s important to take summer fire safety seriously.
Campfire, grilling, and fireworks accidents cause thousands of burn injuries each year. Below, we provide fire safety tips to keep things safe, fun, and injury-free!
First things first: Make sure all members of your family know how to Stop, Drop, & Roll.
- Check local regulations and always follow campfire rules.
- Build campfires downwind and away from tents, chairs, hammocks, and shrubbery.
- Prepare the site: clear away all vegetation, dig a pit, and surround it with rocks to prevent the fire from spreading.
- Keep fires small and manageable. Skip using gasoline, liquid fire starter, or any other type of flammable liquid and store those items well away from the fire.
- Keep plenty of water and a shovel nearby to use in an emergency.
- Campfires should never be left unattended. When you’re done, put the campfire out with water and then use a shovel to bury the fire with dirt. Also wet down the area around the fire so it does not rekindle.
- Move the grill away from siding, decking, and other things that can catch fire, such as overhanging branches.
- Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill when it’s hot.
- Stay with the grill the entire time you’re cooking.
- Wear short sleeves (or roll them up) and use long mitts and long-handled grilling tools to avoid burns.
- Keep your grill clean so leftover grease and fat won’t catch on fire.
Fireworks are best left to the professionals. Refrain from buying or lighting consumer fireworks. Instead, attend a public fireworks display to enjoy the spectacle safely.
Even sparklers require safety precautions. Never run with or throw a lit sparkler, and don’t hold more than one at a time. Hold the sparkler at arm’s length and wear closed toe shoes to prevent foot burns.
If you do suffer a minor burn this summer, follow these basic first aid steps.
Place the burn in cool water for three to five minutes, and loosely cover the burn with a clean, dry cloth. If the burn blisters or is bigger than your palm, visit Gateway Family and Urgent Care. It’s important to see a doctor if a burn is showing any signs of infection. If a burn is life-threatening, call 9-1-1 or go straight to the ER.