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Fireworks and grilling can present July 4th fire hazards

July 1st, 2011 · No Comments · Culture, Holiday

The US Fire Administration (USFA) and Safe Kids USA are encouraging families and individuals to prepare for a safe and memorable Fourth of July by practicing safe grilling and leaving the fireworks to the professionals.
“Independence Day is a major highlight of the summer and for many people there’s a lot of excitement around setting off colorful fireworks and starting up the grill,” said Deputy US Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines.
Meri-K Appy, president, Safe Kids USA, joins Gaines in urging Americans to have a fun and safe weekend. “We are reminding everyone of simple steps they can take to protect their children, who are most vulnerable to fire-related burns, injuries, and deaths,” Appy said.    
Fireworks
Many children and adults are fascinated by fireworks, which can be extremely dangerous. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) annual death and injury report on fireworks, approximately 40 percent of fireworks injuries occur to children under 15. In addition, CPSC received reports of three fatalities related to fireworks in 2010.
The best way to protect your family and friends is to not use any fireworks at home. Attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals.  
Fireworks safety tips:
Sparklers are not toys. They can reach temperatures hot enough to melt some metals.
Leave pieces of fireworks on the ground after an event.  Some may still be ignited and can explode.
Stand several feet away from the professionals lighting fireworks; fireworks have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction.
Grilling
Every Fourth of July, Americans look forward to picnics, camping, and other outdoor activities.  The holiday, however, also brings fires and injuries due to outdoor cooking.  By taking a few fire-safety precautions, you can ensure that everyone enjoys a safe Independence Day.
Grilling safety tips
Propane and charcoal barbecue grills must only be used outdoors. If used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces such as tents, they pose a fire hazard and a risk of exposing occupants to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas, and foot traffic. Grills should be positioned at least 10 feet  away from siding, deck railing, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
Keep, matches, lighters, and starter fluid out of the reach of children in a locked drawer or cabinet.
Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below the grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.
For more information, visit safekids.org.

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