COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The Columbia Fire Department is encouraging a summer of safety starting Memorial Day weekend. Columbia-Richland Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins is reminding residents to think of safety when celebrating the weekend through grilling, using fireworks, or being out in the heat.
Jenkins offers these suggestions for grilling safely:
- Neveroperate grills and other open flame cooking devices on balconiesand decks or within 10 feet of a structure
- Set up thegrill in open area away from low hanging tree limbs, dry leaves, and brush
- Checkhoses and propane tanks for leaks
- Make thearea around the grill a no play zone
- Avoidwearing long, hanging clothes
- Never grillinside of garages and carports
- Do notuse deep fryers on decks
- If youuse a charcoal grill, use the proper starting fluid.
- If youmust dispose of the ashes before fully cooled, soak them completely in waterbefore putting them in a non-combustible container.
The Columbia-Richland Fire Department discourages residents from using consumer-grade fireworks, but if you do, remember these safety measures:
- Light them outdoors away from dry grass
- Always read and follow labeled directions
- Have an adult present at all times
- Never allow kids to play, hold, or light fireworks
- Only buy from licensed dealers
- Always have water close (a garden hose and a bucket)
- Keep fireworks that are not being used covered to protect them from fallout from the fireworks display
- Never throw or point fireworks at other people
- Never re-light a "dud" firework
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket
To avoid medical problems from heat exposure, Chief Jenkins offers these suggestions:
- Stay inside during the hottest hours of the day. If possible, stay inside an air-conditioned building
- Supervise kids. Tell them when to come inside, when to drink water, and what clothes to wear
- Drink plenty of water
- If your house doesn't have air conditioning, keep blinds closed from morning until late afternoon to block extra direct heat from sunlight
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- Never leave a child or pet in a car
For more information or if you have any questions about keeping your family safe, contact the Columbia-Richland Fire Department at 545-3700.
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