It's that time of year again. Memorial Day weekend, a time when families begin spending more time outside camping, grilling and having a good time. But each year, 10,000 Americans are injured in incidents involving fireworks and 5,000 are injured in grill fires. In 2009, in Ohio alone 19 people died and 207 people were injured in fires during the summer months.
And with that in mind, the Division of State Fire Marshal has released some information to help people prepare for fire safety this summer in case of an emergency. Interim State Fire Marshal, Donald Cooper, issued the following statement, "Summertime should be a time for fun and making happy memories with vacations, reunions and picnics. Taking a few simple precautions, knowing fire safety tips and following instructions will help everyone enjoy a safe summer."
So, how can you ensure a safe summer for yourself and your family? First of all, remember that the only fireworks that can legally be discharged in the sate are trick and novelty devices that smoke, sparkle, snap, and snake. Children should never handle fireworks and any adult in charge of handling the fireworks should be familiar with the different types and understand the hazards. Reading the instructions is an absolute must.
When it comes to sparklers, light only one at a time and hold it away from your body. Sparkler wires can burn up to 1800 degrees and will remain hot after burnout. They should be placed in a bucket of water. If someone is burned, hold the wound under cold water for a few minutes and if necessary seek medical help.
When it comes to building campfires, it's important to build them away from dry areas of grass and leaves where they can easily spread. Also, keep them away from overhanging trees. Keep your campfires small and keep water and a shove around for dousing or putting out a fire when you're finished. Never leave your campfire unattended. If you're in a park, make sure you know the official park rules for extinguishing campfires.
One of the most popular summer activities is grilling, which makes grilling safety a top priority. Before getting started make sure the connection between the gas tank and fuel line is okay and never overfill your gas tank. Never wear lose clothing around a grill and be careful when using lighter fluid. If your fire is already burning don't add more lighter fluid. Keep lighters and matches out of the reach of children and teach your children that in the event they do spot either of those items, they should report it to a trusted adult immediately. Also, make sure your kids know how to "stop, drop, and roll," as well as call 911 in the event of an emergency.
When it comes to charcoal make sure you douse hot coals with water when you're finished cooking and never place them in a container made of plastic, paper, or wood. Grilling in an enclosed area is something you should never do because of the production of carbon monoxide.
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