The warm balmy nights, food cooking on the grill, friends and family spending quality time together in the backyard or around the pool create wonderful memories that last a lifetime. But, hosting outdoor events also means there’s an increased risk of home fires.
The Bedford Hills Fire Department reminds all that following some simple safety tips and guidelines can help ensure you and your guests stay safe. Consider the following when you host/attend your next outdoor event:
• Use sturdy candle holders that won’t tip over easily
• Keep anything that can burn, as well as children and pets, at least three feet away from open flames
• Consider using battery-operated flameless candles and solar-powered patio (tiki) torches in place of an open flame.
• Grills should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
• Never leave your grill unattended.
• Be safe. Do not use consumer fireworks. If you want to see fireworks, go to a public show put on by experts.
In the event of an emergency, DIAL 911 and provide the ADDRESS of the emergency, your NAME and PHONE NUMBER.
Outdoor entertaining by the numbers
• Outside fireplaces or fire pits caused nearly 3,700 grass and brush fires
• Total outdoor patio heater or fire pit injuries has nearly tripled in six years (1,330 to 3,608) from 2006 – 2012
• More than half of all candle fires start when things that can burn are too close to the candle
• An average of 8,800 home fires involved grills, hibachis, or barbecues each year
• In 2012, sparklers, fountains and novelties accounted for 25% of emergency room fireworks-related injuries
Grilling by the numbers
• In 2014, 16,600 patients went to emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills
• July is the peak month for grill fires (17%), including both structure, outdoor or unclassified fires, followed by May, June and August
• A failure to clean the grill was the leading factor contributing to the fire in one –fifth of all grill structure fires (19%). In 17%, something that could catch fire was too close to the grill
• Leaks or breaks were the factor in 11% of grill structure fires and 23% of outside and unclassified grill fires
• Gas grills contribute to a higher number of home fires overall than their charcoal counterparts
Fireworks by the numbers
• Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage.
• In 2015, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,900 people for fireworks related injuries; 51% of those injuries were to the extremities and 41% were to the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for one-quarter (26%) of the estimated 2015 injuries.
• Keep children under active supervision at all times. Stay in arm’s reach of young kids.
• Have young or inexperienced swimmers wear appropriate floatation devices.
• Never allow anyone to swim alone or under the influence of alcohol.
• Establish and enforce rules and safe behaviors, such as “no diving,” “stay away from drain covers,” “swim with a buddy” and “walk please.”
The Bedford Hills Fire Department would like to wish everyone a very happy and safe Holiday!