Fred A. Mitchell Jr., Fire Chief
47 Central Street
Georgetown, MA 01833
For Immediate Release
Monday, May 15, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Georgetown Fire Department Provides Water and Grilling Safety Tips for Summer
GEORGETOWN — With warm weather approaching, Chief Fred Mitchell and the Georgetown Fire Department would like to provide essential safety tips to help residents enjoy the warm summer months safely.
“As temperatures rise, it appears so do injuries from summer activities like grilling or swimming,” Chief Mitchell said. “Most importantly, I want to stress to everyone to keep an eye on children, near the pool and the grill. We want all residents to enjoy their summer but remain cautious while doing so.”
According to the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services (DFS), Massachusetts fire departments responded to 431 fires involving grills, hibachis and barbecues between 2011 and 2015, the most recent statistics available. These fires caused 20 civilian injuries, three firefighter injuries and $3.5 million in property damage.
In order to prevent grilling fires and keep residents safe while cooking outdoors, Georgetown Fire recommends the following tips provided by DFS:
- Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors.
- Place grills away from the house, siding, and deck railings and out from under leaves of overhanging branches.
- Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grilling area.
- Never leave a burning grill unattended.
- Make sure the lid of a gas grill is open when you light it. Propane can build up inside and when ignited, the lid may blow off.
- Check that all connections are tight before turning on the gas.
- Clean the grease trap every time you grill.
- If you smell gas while cooking, turn the grill off and move away from it. Call 911 from a safe location. Do not move the grill.
- Store propane cylinders upright in an outdoor, shaded area. Cylinders should not be used, stored or transported where they can be exposed to high temperatures.
- Use only charcoal starter fluid. Never use gasoline or kerosene to start a fire in a grill and never add lighter fluid to burning briquettes or hot coals.
- Always use charcoal grills in a well-ventilated area. Charcoal briquettes give off carbon monoxide, which can be deadly.
- Properly dispose of grill ashes. Allow the coals to burn out completely and then cool for 48 hours before disposal. If you must dispose of ashes before they are completely cooled, thoroughly soak them in water before putting them in a metal container.
For those with their own pools, the Georgetown Fire Department suggests that the community follow safety tips outlined by the American Red Cross:
- Per Massachusetts law, have at least a 4-foot-high barrier that encloses the pool and an access gate that self-closes, locks, and opens outward from the swimming area (even if you don’t have children).
- Fasten a safety cover over the pool when it is not in use and remove ladders to further prevent access into the pool. For added safety, install a pool alarm that will sound if anyone enters the water.
- Never leave children unattended while they are near or in a pool they should be accompanied by an adult in the water. Young or inexperienced swimmers should always wear a life jacket or inflatable arm floats.
- Make sure children stay away from pool drains, pipes, or any other openings to avoid getting trapped or hurt. If a child is missing, always check the pool first.
- Set safety instructions and share them with family, friends, neighbors, or anyone else who uses the pool. Advise children to stay away from pool deep ends, and to always walk, never run near the pool.
- Take a CPR course for adults and children to be prepared if an emergency situation occurs.