Spring and summertime present the return of several seasonal fire hazards, with activities shifting outdoors.
The most common problems involve cooking grills, wooden decks, and use of gasoline and other flammable liquids.
Where to put grills and propane tanks
Ted Pisciotta, Shelton assistant fire chief for fire prevention, encourages everyone to consider the following:
— Locate grills and any propane tanks/cylinders a safe distance from buildings, wooden decks and other combustibles. Never store propane indoors.
— Check to make sure propane gas hose connection is tight and check hoses carefully for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
— Inspect and clean the venturi tubes and burner (check the owner’s manual) of gas grills, where spiders and small insects may make nests or spider webs. This could lead to a fire. Frequent inspection and cleaning is typically necessary before use.
— Only use charcoal starter fluids designed for grills and do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
Move dry leaves from under decks
— Eliminate dry leaves, combustible storage, or other debris from beneath wood decks. Avoid putting trash and other combustible materials on the deck.
— Remove dead brush and leaves from adjacent to the home and from the area of air conditioning units.
— Avoid smoking on a wood deck. If you permit smoking, use suitable disposal containers/ashtrays. Never use paper or plastic cups, napkins, etc.
Watch where store gas
— Store gasoline and other flammable liquids in a structure separate from the house or place of residence, such as a secured shed. Never store such liquids or propane cylinders within an attached garage or basement. Always keep out of reach from children.
— Use gasoline only for its intended purpose, as a motor fuel. Handle gasoline outdoors only.
Check smoke alarms
Finally, have working smoke alarms installed on every level of your home, test them monthly, and keep them clean and equipped with fresh batteries at all times.
Make sure everyone in the household knows when and how to call 9-1-1 for emergency help. And remember to practice your home escape plan.
For more information, the public can call the Shelton Fire Prevention Bureau at 203-924-1555 or go to “Public Safety” at the city’s website, www.cityofshelton.org.