Sunday, July 21, 2024

Fire safety tips for summertime in Texas

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Since summertime is upon us, extreme temperatures and heat are soon to come as well. With temperatures already beginning to rise, people will often gather outdoors, whether that be for vacations, boating, camping, or holidays.

Summer is a time when the risk of wildfires and house fires increase due to dry conditions and growth of outdoor activities.

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, “Unfortunately, sometimes outdoor activities can spark a wildfire, and about 90 percent of wildfires in Texas are human caused, which means 90 percent of our wildfires could be prevented with some simple actions.”

There are many ways to enjoy summer in Texas, but it is important to do so with the proper precautions.

The Texas A&M Forest Service has provided tips regarding summer safety in Texas.

Debris Burning: Check local burning restrictions and burn bans before lighting any outdoor burn piles; keep debris piles small and manageable; keep a water source, such as a hose or bucket nearby; clear vegetation and flammable material at least 10 feet away from your pile; avoid burning under overhead obstructions like trees, power lines, and structures; never leave your fire unattended; always fully extinguish your fire before leaving; and choose alternatives to burning when feasible.

Campfire Safety: Check for any burn bans, local ordinances or campground restrictions before building your fire; always obey local burn bans and outdoor burning restrictions; keep your embers contained by using a fire ring or fire pit; check for overhanging branches, power lines, or other hazards that could catch fire; keep your campfire to a manageable size; keep a water source, such as a hose or bucket, nearby; be mindful of kids and pets around campfires; and never leave your cooking or campfire unattended.

Grilling Safety: Never leave your grill unattended; ensure your grill is kept clean of excess grease to prevent flare-ups; place your grill in an open space away from tall or dry grass, shrubs, woodpiles, or other flammable materials; after you are finished grilling, allow time for the coals in your grill to completely cool; never travel with a lit or smoldering grill in the back of a truck or trailer; residents should monitor weather conditions and avoid grilling with wood or charcoal on hot, dry, windy days.

By following the proper fire prevention procedures, you can help reduce the risk of fires and ensure a safer summer season for you and your family.