Nothing beats Colorado summers. BBQ grills are fired up, outdoor activities are abundant, and pools are filled with kids at play. However, these fun summer activities come with a fair share of safety hazards. North Metro Fire Rescue District encourages families to follow these tips to ensure a safe summer.
Fire up the grill, not your house
Every year, North Metro Fire crews respond to home fires resulting from improper use of a backyard BBQ pit or grill. In fact, July is the peak month for grilling-related fires (National Fire Protection Association). To protect your patio and home from catching on fire, remember these tips when grilling out.
- Make sure to put some space between your grill and your house. This includes grilling out in the open and not under an eave or in a garage as well as keeping the grill away from flammable items such as low-lying tree branches and furnishings.
- Check your propane. Hoses can erode over time, so be sure to check your propane tank for any leaks. Sometimes you can smell a propane leak, but you should also try applying a soap and water solution to the hose and looking for bubbles released. If there’s a leak, turn off the gas and have your grill serviced by a professional.
- Let your charcoal chill. We love the taste of a burger cooked over charcoal. However, when you’re finished grilling, allow the coals to cool, and then dispose of them in a metal container.
- Never leave your grill unattended and keep children at least three feet away.
Beat the heat
As the temperatures rise, it’s important to stay hydrated and protected from the sun. Drink plenty of water while enjoying your hikes and outdoor activities. Also, make sure to use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater, applying it every couple of hours or more often when swimming or sweating. In addition to sunscreen, encourage your children to wear a hat and sun-protective clothing, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
A great way to cool off during the summer is with a quick dip in the pool. Unfortunately, pools claim the lives of numerous young children each year. Of those involved in a home drowning, 77 percent were only missing for less than five minutes when they were found in the pool (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
Designate a watcher to keep an eye on the pool when having people over to visit or when visiting a neighborhood pool with no lifeguard on duty. Protect your pool with a fence and a gate that can be locked when not in use. Also, keep toys out of the pool when it’s not in use because they may entice small children to reach for them and accidentally fall in.
Technology has come a long way and can help alert residents when someone is in the pool. There are floating alarms that detect waves on the surface, underwater sensors that detect waves under the surface, and wristband alarms that a child can wear that sounds when exposed to water.
Stay cool. Stay safe.
North Metro Fire wants all families to have a safe and fun-filled summer. Follow the tips above, and help keep your family safe.