The Chief’s Corner

Stay Safe This Summer Season

By Robert W. Seltzer, BSEE, EFO, MPA Chief Smithfield Fire Dept.

The temperatures are rising and the days are getting longer. Summertime is soon upon us. Home fire safety does not stop at the door. There are many fire risks outside the home. You may have these in your backyard. Here are some ways you can keep your home safer from outside fire.

Grilling: Make safe outdoor cooking a priority.

Move the grill away from siding, decking, and other things that can catch fire.
Keep grills 3 feet away from your house and anything that can burn.
Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill when it is hot.
Stay with the grill the entire time you are cooking.
Keep your grill clean so leftover grease and fat will not catch on fire.

Fireworks Safety: Warning: Fireworks are dangerous to people and pets. Using them puts your property at risk.

The best way to stay safe from fireworks is to not use them. Instead, attend a public fireworks display handled by professionals.

Backyard Fire Pits: Permanent and portable fire pits bring fire danger to your home. You can prevent fire or burn injury with these simple steps:

Make sure the fire pit is at least three feet away from your house and anything that can burn.
Closely watch children when the fire pit is in use.
Use a metal screen over wood-burning fires to keep sparks from floating out.
Turn off or put out fires before you leave the backyard.
Store matches and lighters out of children’s sight and reach.

Although the fire department does not advocate the use of backyard fire pits, we are aware they are out there and we want our residents to be safe with them.

Home Protection: Remember, outside fire prevention is important, but also make sure you and your home are protected.

Put working smoke alarms on every level of your home and inside and outside sleeping areas.
Test your alarms each month.
Create and practice your home fire escape plan at least twice a year.

Learn more about fire prevention: