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News > Think fire safety when enjoying warm, summer weather
Think fire safety when enjoying warm, summer weather

Posted 7/1/2010   Updated 7/1/2010 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Bryan Hoover
316th Civil Engineer Squadron

7/1/2010 - JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- It's that time of the year again; the sun is shining, swimming pools have opened up, motorcycles are out and the old grill makes its appearance for another season of burgers, hot dogs and steaks. But, let's not forget there are things to consider while enjoying this wonderful time of the year.

During the summer, Joint Base Andrews Fire and Emergency Services respond much more than you would expect than the winter or hazardous weather conditions. Many individuals tend to relax more, spend time enjoying much needed time off in the gorgeous weather, that some activities go overlooked, therefore the potential for a grave disaster increases. Let's take the time to talk about a few issues before going out and participating in all of these exciting, fun and relaxing activities.

Not many people are going to make it out to the pool or any summer event without thinking about dragging the grill with them. Maybe you want to invite the squadron over for a barbeque at your house for a night to relax. Grilling can be dangerous if you don't take the necessary precautions before you begin to cook.
- Play it safe by never adding flammable liquid to a fire already underway, and never use gasoline, paint thinner, alcohol or similar liquids as a starter.
- Always ignite charcoal briquettes in a sheltered area, out of the wind and preferably with an electric igniter as opposed a charcoal lighter fluid.
- Never dispose of used charcoal briquettes on the ground, particularly in flower beds, where they can become a source of ignition for bark dust or similar mulch. Better yet, leave them in the barbecue. By shutting off the air supply after use, the briquettes will stop burning and may be used a second time.
- Barbecuing should be done outdoors. Never barbecue indoors as an enclosed area can cause asphyxiation, to say nothing of the fire hazard.

The summer months often create local competitions, such as who can grow the best lawn. Lawn care requires the use of many gas powered machines such as lawn mowers, weed eaters, edger's, etc. These machines can generate various hazards if you do not take the time to prevent them. In regards to gasoline, please consider these common mistakes:
- Use an approved safety container with a self-closing lid so vapors cannot escape and never bring gas inside your living quarters.
- Don't smoke while handling gas.
- Don't use gas near sparks, flames, hot surfaces and sources of static electricity.
- Don't use gas to start a fire.
- Don't use gas to clean paintbrushes.

In addition, remember to try hard to follow safety signs, labels, stickers and caution decals. Only a user knows what they can or cannot do, and experts give good, solid advice for a reason. Moderation is the key to good health, so listen to your body and what it is telling you. Watch out for critters and bugs. Monitor the bites, scrapes and bruises to ensure infection doesn't set in. The use of repellent whenever outdoors is highly recommended.

For more information, call 301-981-6977 or e-mail

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