State Fire Marshal Larry Flowers has issued a Warning of Extreme Fire Danger and is urging Ohioans to take extra safety precautions this Independence Day holiday.
“Any spark is a danger right now,” says Marshal Flowers. “These hot, dry conditions and the forecasted 25 mile per hour wind gusts is a recipe for danger. A spark, on dry grass, fanned by winds, can quickly get out of hand and put lives and property at risk.”
To ensure safety at your backyard cookout or gathering at a park or farm field, the Marshal provides the following advice:
• Do not burn for any reason except cooking/grilling or recreational fires.
• Keep recreational fires contained in a designated fire pit, outdoor fireplace or confined to seasoned hardwood in an area 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height.
• Be careful when using lighter fluid. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire – the flame can flashback into the container and explode.
• Supervise children around outdoor grills. Announcing a three-foot ‘safety zone’ around the grill is an effective way to keep both children and pets at a distance.
• Dispose of hot coals properly – douse all of them, not just the red ones, with plenty of water and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.
• Leave the matches to the adults and the fireworks to the professionals. That means teaching children to take any matches to adults. Do not light fireworks.
In average weather conditions, over half of outdoor grill fires occur between the months of May and August. In addition, outdoor grill fires are estimated to cause approximately 10 deaths, 100 injuries and $37 million in property damages, according to the United States Fire Administration.