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  • Writer's pictureJoe Lizza

Fire Focus with the Hammonton Fire Dept. Essential tips for summer fire safety: Protecting your home and loved ones

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As temperatures rise and the sun shines brightly, summer brings with it a host of outdoor activities, barbecues and family gatherings. However, it also increases the risk of fires, both indoors and outdoors. From grill mishaps to wildfires, summer poses unique fire safety challenges that require careful attention and preparation. Here are some essential tips to keep you and your loved ones safe during the summer months.

Grill Safety: Backyard barbecues are a quintessential part of summer, but they can quickly turn dangerous if proper precautions aren’t taken. Position your grill at least 10 feet away from your home, deck railings and overhanging branches. Never leave the grill unattended while it’s in use, and keep children and pets away from the cooking area. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for lighting the grill and never use it indoors or in enclosed spaces.

Campfire Safety: Whether you’re camping in the wilderness or roasting marshmallows in your backyard, campfires require careful supervision. Keep the fire contained within a designated fire pit or ring, and clear the area of any debris or flammable materials. Always have a bucket of water or a hose nearby to extinguish the fire completely when you’re done. Never leave a campfire unattended, and be sure to fully extinguish it before leaving the area or going to sleep. It’s important to understand the requirements of both the municipality as well as the State Forest Fire Service prior to engaging in any open burning.

Fireworks Safety: Independence Day celebrations often include fireworks, but they can be incredibly dangerous if not handled properly. If you have state approved fireworks and you choose to use them, follow all safety instructions provided by the manufacturer. Only light fireworks in open areas away from buildings, dry grass and other flammable materials. Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby, and never attempt to relight a “dud” firework.

Electrical Safety: Summer is a time for outdoor lighting, but be cautious when using electrical appliances and extension cords outdoors. Make sure all electrical cords and outlets are rated for outdoor use and keep them away from water sources. Avoid overloading outlets and never use damaged or frayed cords. When not in use, unplug outdoor appliances to reduce the risk of fire.

Wildfire Prevention: In many regions, summer brings an increased risk of wildfires due to hot, dry conditions. Take steps to protect your home by creating a defensible space around your property. This includes clearing away dead vegetation, leaves and other flammable materials from your yard and gutters. Keep flammable items like firewood and propane tanks at least 30 feet away from your home. Stay informed about fire danger levels in your area and follow any evacuation orders issued by local authorities.

Smoke Alarms and Fire Extinguishers: Ensure that your home is equipped with working smoke alarms on every level, including inside and outside sleeping areas. Test your smoke alarms monthly and replace the batteries at least once a year. Additionally, keep a fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location, such as the kitchen or garage, and make sure everyone in your household knows how to use it.

Emergency Preparedness: Finally, have a plan in place in case of a fire emergency. Make sure everyone in your household knows the escape routes and where to meet outside in case of a fire. Practice fire drills regularly so that everyone knows what to do in an emergency situation.

By following these essential tips for summer fire safety, you can enjoy the warm weather and outdoor activities while keeping your home and loved ones safe from the threat of fire. Remember, fire prevention is key, so stay vigilant and prepared throughout the summer months.

The Hammonton Volunteer Fire Department has been proudly and professionally servings the needs of the residents, business owners, and visitors of the town of Hammonton since 1896 by providing fire protection, suppression and prevention services.

Joe Lizza is the First Lieutenant and Public Information Officer for the Hammonton Fire Department.


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