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Firework Fires in Utah

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Firework Fires in Utah

The 4th of July is right around the corner.  You know what that means — Fireworks! Fireworks are a fundamental part of the celebrations of our freedom.  But that doesn’t mean we are free of potential hazards.

Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires every year! These fires have lead to an average of $43 million in direct property damage every single year. Last year, 2018, in the Salt Lake City area alone there were 45 calls, generating 85 responses from the Salt Lake City Fire crews.  We know that these fireworks are an integral part of the holidays, but we need to make sure we are exercising caution! Below are a few reminders to hopefully bring down that number of fires we had last year!

Make sure to Obey Local Laws

If fireworks have been listed as illegal in a certain area, this is for a reason! The state is not trying to spoil your fun by limiting the areas where you can light off your fireworks.  They are trying to ensure that those areas which are drier and more susceptible to fire are protected.

Keep Buckets of Water

Make sure that you keep buckets of water on hand at all times.  It is great to be able to throw sparklers or other hot fireworks into a body of water to cool them down rather than throwing them into a trashcan or on the ground where they may catch something on fire.

Don’t relight “dud” fireworks

It may be a little disheartening to spend large chunks of money on fireworks only to have them not go off after lighting them.  Do not attempt to relight a “dud”. You should wait 15-20 minutes and then soak them in the previously mentioned bucket of water.  These are not to be messed with.

Do not Alter or Make Homemade Fireworks

Fireworks should not be altered or combined with other fireworks in an attempt to make them bigger, louder, more powerful, etc.  In addition, you should never try to create your own homemade fireworks or explosives. These can be very dangerous and are the number one cause for fires during this time!

Ensure that you are being safe, wearing shoes, and using common sense and you shouldn’t have any issues.  Make sure that you are only using fireworks in the areas where they are legally allowed. Following these simple rules should allow you to safely enjoy your holiday celebrations and firework shows!

Top 5 ways to prevent house fires

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Top 5 ways to prevent house fires

 

1- Make Sure Your Smoke Alarms Are Working Properly

37% of deaths related to house-fires came from homes which did not have smoke alarms.  23% came from homes which had smoke alarms, but that were not working properly. We get it, sometimes when the battery is low and your fire alarm starts making that annoying BEEP it can be tempting to just take out the fire alarm until you have time to replace the battery.  While it may seem tedious, it is worth it to make sure that your Smoke Alarm is working properly at all times.

 

2- Pay Extra Attention to the Stove and Cooking Equipment

Leftover food particles can get too hot and cause a fire, whether left on the stove or on a pot for too long.  It’s important to watch these surfaces and make sure they are cleaned regularly. Similarly, it is important to make sure that nothing else is left on these surfaces! A paper towel or dish rag left haphazardly on the stove, or curtains too close, can easily get too hot and start a fire!

 

3- Watch Your Electrical Equipment and Wiring

Frayed cords or faulty wiring can spark and cause a fire.  Check your cords before plugging them in to make sure that they are not frayed or broken in any way.  Pay attention to your outlets as well and ensure that you are not overloading them. Some extension cords can cause fires as well with overuse of electricity going through them.  If you notice that some circuits are shorting frequently, or lights are dimming when you use another piece of electrical equipment in your home, this may be a sign that you are at a greater risk for a fire.

 

4- Ensure that Bedrooms Also Have Smoke Alarms

Many people believe that most house fires start in the kitchen. While the kitchen is a very likely place for a fire to start, bedrooms are also a high-risk area! Curious kids may experiment with matches or lighters in their bedrooms so it is important to keep those out of reach for young ones.  Many people will light candles in their bedrooms as well which increases the risk of fire! Smoking is another thing which is commonly done in bedrooms but is best left away from the carpeted bedrooms. In any case, it is smart to make sure that all bedrooms also have their own smoke alarms!

 

5- Keep a Fire Extinguisher on Hand and Have a Safety Plan

A fire extinguisher is your best weapon when a small fire first breaks out so ensure that you have AT LEAST one in your house at all times, but preferably to have one in any room with a higher potential risk of fire.  It may be worth your time to make sure that everyone in the family knows how to properly handle the fire extinguisher as well, in case something happens while you are not home. We recommend having a fire safety plan as well.  Include training on “STOP, DROP, and ROLL”, safety evacuation plans, and practice drills with your family to avoid any questions they may have in case of a fire.