Somewhere out there, just behind those clouds, summer is lurking. (On paper, at least, if not in practice). And when summer does eventually pay a visit, fire season will be right behind it. To that end, here are some summer fire prevention tips from the men and women of Lantzville Fire Rescue.
Finish your yard work: With pruning, landscaping and general yard work, organic debris can build up pretty quickly. When that material dries out, it becomes a fire danger, so make sure you remove, compost or otherwise dispose of brush and debris quickly.
Refrain from torching the place: A ‘tiger torch’ or propane torch is a quick way to eliminate weeds, unwanted vegetation, or, as happened to someone here in early June, a cedar hedge and the neighbour’s truck. Keep open flame away from combustible material, including dried organic matter and coniferous trees. There’s very little difference between a thirsty cedar and a twenty-foot candle.
Where there’s smoke there’s fire: Make sure cigarettes are completely extinguished. For extra safety, place butts in a metal can equipped with a lid and keep any such can at least one metre from your house.
Watch where you put that BBQ: Always keep your BBQ well away from siding, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. Don’t use or store on a porch or balcony. Radiant heat from a BBQ can easily set siding on fire, and flames can reach branches or soffits and threaten your entire house. Also make sure to periodically remove any grease or fat build-up from BBQs to reduce the threat of a flare-up.
For charcoal BBQs resist the urge to douse bricks in lighter fluid. Used properly, electric or solid starters are much safer. When finished, let the bricks cool completely before placing in a dedicated metal container. Never empty coals directly into the trash.
For gas barbeques make sure your fittings are tight and leak-free (spread a small solution of dish soap and water on connections/hoses to check for leaks). If you smell gas while cooking attempt to turn off the fuel supply only if it can be done safely and quickly. If not, immediately move away from the grill, call 911 and ask for “Fire”. We’ll come over and help you out.
Finally, if you’re cooking indoors while enjoying a little quiet time on the patio, don’t forget you were cooking indoors! Distractions are easy to find outside on a nice day, so remember when you’ve got something on the stove. Enjoy the summer!