With the Fourth of July approaching and the summer months upon us, indulging in barbecues, holiday parties and swimming often top the list of activities to enjoy during the summer season. To help everyone do so safely, NFPA is reminding people about potential summer fire and electrical hazards, and providing tips and recommendations to minimize them.
Fireworks: Fireworks are festive and fun to watch but NFPA recommends that revelers refrain from using consumer fireworks and attend public fireworks displays put on by trained professionals. Did you know that on Independence Day in a typical year, fireworks account for nearly half of all reported U.S. fires, more than any other cause of fire? According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) 2017 Fireworks Annual Report, fireworks were involved in an estimated 11,100 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during calendar year 2016. So this year, reduce your risk for injuries and leave the sparklers, candles and spinners to the professionals!
Grilling fire safety: All types of grills pose a risk for fires and burn injuries. According to NFPA statistics, July is the peak month for grilling fires and roughly 9,600 home grill fires were reported per year. The leading causes of fire were a failure to clean the grill, using the grill too close to something that could burn, and leaving the grill unattended.
The following are tips for grillers:
- The grill should be placed well away the home or deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. The grill should also be a safe distance away from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic. Keep children and pets away from the grill area. Have a three-foot (1 meter) “kid-free zone” around the grill.
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease and fat buildup from the grates and trays below.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
Electric Shock Drowning (ESD): Electric Shock Drowning happens when marina or onboard electrical systems leak electric current into the water. The current then passes through the body and causes paralysis. When this happens, a person can no longer swim and ultimately drowns. Here are tips for swimmers and boat owners:
Tips for swimmers:
- Never swim near a marina, dock or boatyard, or near a boat while it’s running.
- Obey all “no swimming” signs on docks.
Tips for boat owners:
- Avoid entering the water when launching or loading a boat. Docks or boats can leak electricity into the water causing water electrification.
- Each year, and after a major storm that affects the boat, have the boat’s electrical system inspected by a qualified marine electrician to be sure it meets the required codes of your area, including the American Boat & Yacht Council. Make the necessary repairs if recommended.
You can find more information about electrical safety in pools, spas and hot tubs on NFPA’s “electrical safety around water” webpage. Find this and all related summer fire safety-related resources including videos, checklists and tipsheets at www.nfpa.org/publiceducation. Have a safe, fun summer, everyone!