Celebrating July Fourth? Check out these safety tips!
National Grilling Month kicks off in the US on July Fourth! But before you throw on the burgers or light that sparkler, here are some grilling and fireworks safety tips to help you enjoy the holiday weekend even more.
Practice Good Grilling Habits
- Keep a distance: Set your grill up at a safe distance away from structures and overhangs, including your main building, shed, garage, trees and other potentially flammable objects. Don’t set up your grill inside, under a tent, outdoor awning or carport. Doing so can pose a serious fire hazard and potentially cause carbon monoxide poisoning if you’re using a gas grill. Also, be sure to light your grill using special long-length lighters or long matches to avoid getting burned.
- Always keep an eye on your grill: Never leave an actively burning grill unattended. Wait until it has completely cooled off before you cover, store or walk away from it. If children are near, be sure to keep all ignition sources out of the reach from them to ensure no one gets hurt.
- Keep your grill clean: Be sure to regularly maintain your grill and clean thoroughly as this will reduce flammable buildup inside.
Be Aware of Proper Charcoal Grill Safety
- Limit how much charcoal you use: Don’t pile too much inside since it could cause ashes and sparks to become airborne, possibly catching nearby objects or even your home on fire.
- Use starter fluid only as necessary: Be sure that your starter fluid is specifically designed for charcoal. Only apply it to cold coals before you grill. Do not add extra fluid once the grill is lit as flames could get too high, resulting in possible burns or an uncontained fire.
- Dispose of your ashes properly: Empty your used ashes only when they have fully cooled and never store or dispose of them in a garbage can or leave them on a deck. It’s best to dump them on garden soil or contain them in a metal receptacle for proper disposal.
Use Your Gas Grill Wisely
- Before anything else, open the grill lid: Opening the lid before lighting is important as this allows oxygen to escape and reduces the risk of fire or a potential explosion.
- Check the grill’s gas line and tank fittings for leaks: You can do this regularly by brushing soapy water around these areas. If you see bubbles emerge, there could be a leak somewhere. Be sure to replace any damaged or leaking parts and make any other needed repairs before using the grill.
- Turn off your grill correctly: Always turn off your grill using the controls first; then close off the gas line at the tank. Doing so will help ensure that any excess gas can escape safely.
Firework Safety for Kids
- Supervise children: Do not let children light their own fireworks or play near fireworks alone. Always remind children to tell an adult if they see another child breaking the rules as this can result in an accident.
- Point sparklers away: Hold sparklers away from the body and away from other people.
- No touching: Do not let children touch firework pieces on the ground, even after they explode.
Pet Fireworks Safety
- Prepare ahead of time: Prepare a cozy crate or room where you can close the door and know they’re safe during fireworks. Also, be sure your phone number is visible on a tag and keep your pets microchipped with updated information in case they do get scared and manage to run away.
- Play before the party: It’s a good idea to play with your pet ahead of time that way, they’re ready to relax when it’s time to crate them.
- Do not disturb: Tell any guests not to disturb your pets, their crate or their room. Put a sign on doors as a reminder.
- Ask a vet: Consult your veterinarian if you need options to sedate your pets if you know they are high-strung.
Additional fireworks safety tips are available through here.
Peter Duncanson is ServiceMaster Restore’s Disaster Restoration Expert.