Sixteen years ago spring time was trying to make its grand entry. Three year old Poncho’s mother Twilia had just acquired a job at a local nursing home. She dropped Poncho and his older brother Rogue off at the babysitter. The sitter’s name was Charity.
Charity’s four year old daughter Monique (pictured to the right) and the boys were playing upstairs later that morning when it happened.
Like most things you learn, you need to review the lessons periodically. The great thing is fire safety isn’t complicated. Spring is upon us and outdoor activities will soon be in full swing.
Here are some safety tips to review with your family:
* Before using a grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line. Make sure the venturi tubes – where the air and gas mix – are not blocked.
* Do not overfill the propane tank.
* Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbecue.
* Be careful when using lighter fluid. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire because the flame can flashback up into the container and explode.
* Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately. Supervise children around outdoor grills.
* Dispose of hot coals properly – douse them with plenty of water, and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.
* Never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas – carbon monoxide could be produced.
* Make sure everyone knows to Stop, Drop and Roll in case a piece of clothing does catch fire. Call 911 or your local emergency number if a burn warrants serious medical attention
* Build campfires where they will not spread, away from dry grass and leaves.
* Keep campfires small, and don’t let them get out of hand.
* Keep plenty of water and a shovel around to douse the fire when you’re done. Stir it and douse it again with water.
* Never leave campfires unattended.
Go watch a public display. Leave the lighting of fireworks to the professionals.
Remember, it’s always easier to prevent than to cure.