Outdoor Fire Safety
- When selecting a barbecue site, be sure there is nothing hanging overhead and that it is a safe distance from trees, buildings and other combustibles.
- When using charcoal grills, use only the lighter fluids designated for use with charcoal grills when starting your fire.
- Never use gasoline to start or quicken a fire. Immediately after using the lighter fluid, place the fluid container in its storage location. Do not set it down by the grill.
- Don't add a charcoal starter fluid to the fire after it has begun. Flames can travel up the fluid stream, back to the can, and cause an explosion.
- Always keep starter fluids in containers with child-resistant caps, and keep them out of the reach of children.
- Don't wear loose clothing or robes around charcoal grills.
- Flaming grease can ignite clothing. Keep a small spray can of water handy to douse flaming grease. A spray bottle filled with water, such as used for sprinkling clothes, is excellent for this purpose.
- The liquefied petroleum gas used to fire a home barbecue, is contained under pressure in a steel cylinder. Its contents, vaporized and in a confined area, has the explosive force of several sticks of dynamite. The wise user of LPG will be aware of the dangers involved and take precautions.
- Read the manufacturer's instructions and be sure to thoroughly understand them.
- Do not transport LPG cylinders in the trunk of a passenger vehicle.
- A filled LPG cylinder should always be transported in an upright position on the floor of a vehicle with all windows open.
- Remove the LPG cylinder from the vehicle as soon as possible. Never leave a cylinder in a parked vehicle.
- Using the proper size wrench, make sure that all connections are tight.
- Remember that fittings on flammable gas cylinders have left-hand threads, requiring effort in a counterclockwise direction to tighten.
- Make sure that grease is not allowed to drip on the hose or cylinders.
- Never allow children to use a gas-fired barbecue.
- Don't be tempted by a rainy day to take outdoor cooking equipment inside - not even in a garage or on a porch or balcony. Never use a gas-fired barbecue inside any structure.
- If using a butane or propane barbecue, be sure there are no leaks from the tank or plumbing. If t a leak is suspected, spray a soapy solution of water and dishwashing detergent over the tubing, hoses and fittings. If bubbling is found, turn off the supply at the tank and call a repairman.
- When using a butane or propane barbecue, be sure to light a match first and place it in the ignition hole before turning the gas valve on.
- If the gas is turned on first, before the match is lit, flammable gas will build up inside the barbecue. When a lighted match is finally placed near the barbecue, an explosion may result.
- When done cooking, turn the gas valve off to the barbecue and shut off the supply valve at the tank.
- Never store any liquefied petroleum gas cylinder - attached to the barbecue, or spares - inside any part of a structure, including porches and balconies. Store cylinders, including those attached to barbecues, outdoors in a shaded, cool area out of direct sunlight.
- Power lawnmowers make the job much simpler than hand propelled mowers. If not used with caution, power lawnmowers can be dangerous.
- Gas-powered mowers or gasoline-powered tools such as a chain saws, should have the condition of the muffler checked at the beginning of the season.
- Spark arresters on mufflers should be considered in areas where dry grass is common. Hot gasses from defective mufflers will ignite dry grass, and grass is often dry in Southern California.
- Never refuel power tools when the engine is running and never refuel it inside a tool shed or a garage. Refuel only outside, in well-ventilated areas.
- Once the engine has been fueled, wipe up gasoline spills because the vapors can travel along the ground. Starting the motor may ignite the standing fuel or vapors. For this reason, move at least 10 feet away from the fueling spot before starting the motor.
- Cool the motor before refueling.
- Never smoke when using gasoline. Invisible fumes from the gasoline can seek out a spark or flame from as far as 50 feet away.
- Keep away from cigarettes, water heater pilot lights and any flames if you're handling gasoline.
- Store gasoline in a ventilated area in tightly closed cans away from children, sparks or flame source.
Boating enthusiasts look forward to getting their craft in the water and may forget that fire hazards exist on boats, too.
- Never smoke at fuel docks or while fueling boats.
- Make sure to have a Coast Guard-approved fire extinguisher on board your vessel and know how to use it.
- Always make sure that bilge fans are functioning to remove fuel fumes prior to starting the boat's engine. Those fumes have caused explosions.
- After painting and refurbishing operations, safely discard all oily and paint-filled rags. Never store these rags on board your boat as they can generate heat spontaneously and may self-ignite.