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Have fun this summer without getting burned

Last Modified: 5/22/2018

Assistant Chief Jim Murua, Fire Marshal, Fort Wayne Fire Department shares these important safety tips for summer’s familiar flames.

Every season brings with it its own unique activities and fun, but also its own safety hazards. Summer is no exception. In addition to the risks associated with an increased use of air conditioners, electrical appliances, and gasoline for mowers and other lawn equipment, campfires and barbecues add a hazardous element to warm-weather gatherings. Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself and your loved ones.

So, dive into summer and enjoy it safely by taking the following precautions:


  • Never grill in enclosed areas, as carbon monoxide could be produced
  • Position grills well away from siding, deck railing, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches
  • Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area
  • Do not wear loose clothing while grilling
  • Use long-handled grilling tools to give plenty of clearance from heat and flames
  • Periodically remove grease/fat build-up
  • If using propane, check all the connections and hoses for leaks before using the grill
  • If using a gas grill, follow all recommended manufacturer’s instructions
  • If using a charcoal grill, follow all recommended manufacturer’s instructions
  • If using charcoal grills, purchase the proper starter fluid and store it out of the reach of children
  • Never add additional charcoal starter fluid after coals or kindling have been ignited, and never use any flammable or combustible liquid other than charcoal lighter fluid
  • Dispose of hot coals properly – douse them with plenty of water and stir them to ensure the fire is out. Do not place them in a combustible container

Recreational Campfires

  • Campfires should be no greater than 36 inches in diameter with the fuel load not to exceed 24 inches in height
  • Have a garden hose connected to a water supply, buckets, shovel, fire extinguisher or other approved fire extinguishing equipment readily available at the burn site
  • Only burn wood – not leaves, paper or trash
  • Never leave campfires unattended
  • The fire should be at least 25 feet away from any structure, fence, or right of way
  • If the burning creates a smoke nuisance, or a hazardous condition exists, extinguish the fire
  • Keep campfires away from dry grass and leaves
  • Always properly extinguish the fire before leaving the area

(Bonus summer safety tip: Remember to maintain those lawnmowers and to never refuel a hot mower.)

For more safety tips and precautions, visit the National Fire Protection Association, United States Fire Administration, Indiana Department of Homeland Security or the Fort Wayne Fire Department.



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