With summer here, thoughts turn to grilled pork chops, fireworks displays and road trips. Did I mention pork chops? All are super fun activities. But there are dangers involved with summer fun. Proper fire safety is extremely important in summer, when people spend lots of time outside even as high heat and drought provide fuel for flames, which is good for cooking pork chops but not so good for safety.
Carelessness and human activity in the summer is a major contributor to seasonal wildfires. In Texas the wildfire season got started early and has burned three million acres and counting.
For many families, summer is the time to dust off the barbecue and grill pork chops. But if used improperly, the grill can turn from friend to foe. Here are some grilling safety tips:
- Margaritas go good with seared meats. But use care whenever you mix drinking and cooking. You should remain ever mindful of fire-related danger and be careful to exercise common sense. I prefer to stick to water straight from my bowl or the toilet bowl.
- Check gas or propane hoses and connections for cracking or leaks. A new hose and regulator costs around $20 and is not only safer but will produce a better flame.
- Squirting lighter fluid may be fun. But it’s also inherently dangerous. Consider using a chimney-starter. They will produce hot coals without the nasty chemical taste.
- Don’t barbecue indoors or in enclosed areas such as patios that have multiple walls and solid roofs. Enclosed fire lead to carbon monoxide gas buildup.
- Regular cleaning of grease and food particles will reduce the chance of flare ups and charring, which will also make food tastier. This is especially true when it comes to grilling pork chops.
Fire Safety on the Road:
- Don’t use signal flares to notify others of emergency situations. Flashing emergency LED lights and reflective signage are better choices.
- Watch the temperature gauge on your car. If it spikes high, you need coolant or should have the vehicle checked by a mechanic.
- Avoid parking a hot car near dry leaves or pine straw. Overheated cars can ignite surrounding areas. Personally, I recommend traveling on your own two (or four) feet!
- Don’t throw cigarettes out of the window. Just another reason to quit the habit is to eliminate the risk of starting a massive fire!
Fireworks are an integral part of summer celebrations. However, it’s always best to leave the show to professionals. In amateur hands or paws, fireworks are accidents waiting to happen. In fact, in the United States, the CDC reports thousands of fireworks-related ER visits each July. If you insist on launching bottle rockets and lighting sparklers yourself, follow a few simple safety rules:
- Keep young children away from fireworks. They are not coordinated enough to manage sparklers and other fireworks which can cause serious eye injuries.
- High quality safety goggles can prevent eye damage.
- Don’t light fireworks indoors or near dry brush.
- Keep a fire hose or large buckets of water available for emergencies.
- Don’t shoot fireworks into the woods. This tip might seem obvious. But if you can’t see where the bottle rockets land, you won’t know for if they landed safely or started a brushfire.
- To handle the risks of accidental fire, common sense is always the best ally. Be aware of your surroundings and use good judgment so you don’t put yourself and others in danger.
- Build campfires where they will not spread, away from dry grass and leaves.
- Keep campfires small so they are less likely to get out of hand or paw.
- Make sure you have immediate access to emergency water supplies and a shovel to douse flames. Stir the coals to disperse the heat from the coals and then douse it again just to be safe.
- Don’t ever leave a campfire (or a pork chop) unattended.
When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact RJ Westmore, Inc. Our new Version 2.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit RJWestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.