With America’s day of independence set to be celebrated this week Columbia Richland Fire is once again asking area residents to exercise caution while using fireworks.
“The Fourth of July holiday is about getting together with our friends and loved ones for food and fun,” said Columbia Richland Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins, “Unfortunately that fun can be shattered if celebratory fireworks are used improperly. Too often our firefighters have had to respond to property fires and emergency medical calls due to fireworks.”
“This year we are once again stressing that area residents read all instructions carefully and take every precaution possible to prevent fireworks-related mishaps,” Jenkins added.
According to the National Fire Protection Association fireworks start an average of 18,500 fire per year and have caused up to $43 million in property damages. In 2017, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 12,900 people for fireworks related injuries.
CFD is encouraging everyone to put safety first when using any fireworks by following these safety tips.
- Attend a professional show instead of holding your own.
- Always read and follow directions on each firework.
- Only use fireworks outdoors, away from homes, dry grass, and trees.
- Keep a bucket of water, a fire extinguisher or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Always have an adult present when shooting fireworks.
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
- Never re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks.
- Wear protective eye glasses and gloves.
- Never hold a lit firework item in your hand.
- Adults should always handle fireworks and not children.
Also, if your plans for the July 4th holiday include a cookout, please keep these tips in mind for outdoor grilling:
- Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
- The grill should be placed at least 10 feet away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
- Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
For charcoal grills:
- There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
- If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire
- Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
- There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.