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Police in Rhode Island are investigating the death of a woman who fell into a fire pit. According to Portable Fireplace Safety Tips SheetWCVB-TV in Boston, South Kingstown, Rhode Island, police say they responded to a 911 call Sunday afternoon stating a woman had fallen into a lit fire pit at a home. Police, fire and EMS officials discovered the woman's body had been pulled out of the fire in the homes' backyard before crews arrived.
      
Police say it is unclear how she got into the fire pit. The state fire marshal and state medical examiner's office are investigating. NFPA's safety tips sheet on portable fireplace safety advises maintaining a three-foot distance from indoor and outdoor fireplaces as a general rule and includes additional tips for maintaining safety.

Fire Engine Dead

In less than two weeks, summer will officially be here. I’ve compiled my summer reading list and the “hottest” choice at the top of my night table stack is a light mystery called Fire Engine Dead. It’s part of the publisher’s “Museum Mystery” series. The synopsis on the back of the book is enticing: "Nell Pratt, president of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society in Philadelphia, has to spark her intuition to find an arsonist/murderer whose identity is veiled in smoke. Valuable pieces in storage from the Fireman's Museum go up in flames and a guard is killed in the blaze.”

Now here’s your challenge: How many fire-themed novels can you come up with that feature “Fire,” “Flame,” or “Smoke” in the title? Click on the “comments” link below to respond. I just might add your titles to my list.

Last weekend, firefighters in Southeast Portland (Oregon) responded to a house fire started by a grill. According to officials quoted in The Oregonian, the grill was left unattended on the back deck. The fire then spread to the side of the home and into the attic. Thankfully, no injuries were reported but family members now have to find alternative housing because of the extensive damage to the home.

Grill FireEach year an average of 8,800 home fires are caused by grilling, and the summer months are the time when grilling fires happen most often, with July being the peak month followed by May, June and August.

We know cookouts and BBQ's are some of the best events to host, but they can also be dangerous. This story in Portland is a serious reminder about what can happen when we don't take the necessary precautions and put safety first. Before your next outdoor event, take a few minutes to review some grilling fire safety tips from NFPA including our latest videos that tackle the following:

* The correct way to turn your grill on and off safely

* The steps you need to follow when your grill won't ignite

The tips are simple but effective; the videos are short. Both resources will go a long way to making your cookouts safe and fun for you and your guests. Share them with friends and family before your next get-together. You'll be glad you did.

Over the next few months, play it fire safety smart. Then relax and enjoy a wonderful grilling season all summer long!

Photo courtesy of Dick Harris, Portland Fire Photographer in The Oregonian

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