Holiday and Summer outdoor parties are some of the best events of the year.
The recent warm nights, cooking on the grill, friends and family spending quality time together in the backyard or around the pool create wonderful memories that last a lifetime. But, hosting outdoor events also means there’s an increased risk of home fires!
Fortunately, following some simple safety tips and guidelines can help ensure you and your guests stay safe. Consider the following when you host your outdoor events this weekend and all summer:
- Always have an adult present when using a fire pit or portable fireplace.
- Use sturdy candle holders and tiki torches that won’t tip over easily.
- Keep anything that can burn, as well as children and pets, at least three feet away from open flames.
- Use battery-operated flameless candles and solar-powered patio (tiki) torches in place of an open flame. Flameless candles come in all colors, shapes and sizes, and many are scented. Flameless candles look and feel like the real ones, and add a beautiful soft glow to any outdoor event.
Now the warm weather is here, there’s nothing better than the smell of food on the grill.
Seven out of every 10 adults in the U.S. have a grill or smoker*, which translates to a lot of tasty meals. But it also means there’s an increased risk of home fires.
In 2011 – 2015, fire departments nationwide responded to an annual average of 9,600 home fires each year involving grills, hibachis or barbecues, including 4,100 structure fires and 5,500 outside or unclassified fires.
- July is the peak month for grill fires (17%), including both structure, outdoor or unclassified fires, followed by May (14%), June (14%) and August (13%).
- In 2012-2016, an average of 16,600 patients per year went to emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills.** Half (8,200 or 49%) of the injuries were thermal burns.
- Children under five accounted for an average of 1,600 or one-third (35%) of the 4,500 thermal non-fire grill burns.These burns typically occurred when someone, often a child, bumped into, touched or fell on the grill, grill part or hot coals.
- Gas grills were involved in an average of 7,900 home fires per year, including 3,300 structure fires and 4,700 outdoor fires annually. Leaks or breaks were primarily a problem with gas grills.Twelve percent of gas grill structure fires and 24% of outside gas grill fires were caused by leaks or breaks.
- Charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were involved in 1,300 home fires per year, including 600 structure fires and 700 outside fires annually
- NEVER use a charcoal or propane grill on a wood or other combustible deck, porch, or a balcony.
- Always dispose of ashes in a non-combustible container, and only after you are sure they have cooled. Never place the ash container inside your house, garage or shed.
(Source: NFPA’s Research, Data & Analytics Division, NFPA Grilling Safety
*Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA)
**Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, queried in April 2016)
Outdoor entertaining by the numbers
- Outside fireplaces or fire pits caused nearly 3,700 grass and brush fires.
- Total outdoor patio heater or fire pit injuries has nearly tripled in six years (1,330 to 3,608) from 2006 – 2012.
- More than half of all candle fires start when things that can burn are placed too close to the candle.
- An average of 8,800 home fires involved grills, hibachis, or barbecues each year.
- In 2012, sparklers, fountains and novelties accounted for 25% of emergency room fireworks-related injuries..(Source: Fireworks Annual Report, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 2012)
The Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Co. hopes that you have a fire safe and injury free summer season! If you need any additional information on these or any fire and life safety topics email us at firstname.lastname@example.org