Many Fourth of July celebrations include a tasty barbecue and an exciting fireworks display. While these events are great fun, it's important to practice safety around the grill and around fireworks. The following are safety tips from the Philadelphia Fire Department and the U.S. Fire Administration.
BBQ Grill Safety Tips:
- Propane and charcoal 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.
- Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas, and foot traffic. Grills should be at least 10 feet away from siding, deck railing, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- BBQ grills are not allowed on apartment building balconies or decks.
- BBQ grills are allowed on porches and decks of one and two family houses.
- Never store spare propane cylinders under or near a grill or inside the home.
- Do not transport propane cylinders in the trunk of a passenger vehicle.
- Keep matches, lighters, and starter fluid out of the reach of children in a locked drawer or cabinet.
- Children should never be allowed to start outdoor cooking equipment.
- Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
- Do not wear loose fitting clothing while cooking.
- Use long BBQ mitts and long-handled grilling tools to protect the chef from heat and flames.
- Always turn off valves when not in use.
- Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below the grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.
- To guard against the possibility of damage or explosion, burners, tubing and piping should be clean and free from insects, dust and debris.
- When purchasing a grill, select one that bears the approval mark of an independent testing laboratory.
Fireworks Safety Tips:
The best way to protect your loved-ones is not to use fireworks at home. Attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to professionals. In Pennsylvania, sparklers are the only fireworks legal to purchase without a permit. However, just because they are legal does not mean they can't be dangerous. Keep the celebration safe by following these tips:
- Be careful, sparklers can reach temperatures of up to 2000 Fahrenheit.
- Light them away from dry leaves or grass.
- Avoid the use of sparklers in crowded areas.
- Only allow children to handle sparklers under adult supervision.
- Pour water on all used fireworks before disposal.
- Treat any that did not ignite as if they are still lit and extinguish with water.
- Instead of firecrackers, use a cap gun to make some noise.
- Leave pieces of fireworks on the ground after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode.
- Stand several feet away from professionals lighting fireworks; fireworks have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction.