By the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York
As vaccinated New Yorkers begin to gather for nicer weather, many will be hosting barbecues and parties for the upcoming Fourth of July. These holiday celebrations can pose serious safety hazards due to an increase in firework use and outdoor cooking. The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) offers some key safety tips for your friends and family to follow this Fourth of July.
“The warmer weather will motivate New Yorkers to break out their grills, BBQs and enjoy Independence Day activities as more people venture outside,” FASNY President John P. Farrell said. “Home fire safety doesn’t stop at the door, since there are still many fire risks outside the home. We want all residents to stay safe as they celebrate this Fourth of July. We also remind everyone to continue to follow applicable social distancing rules to keep their families and guests, safe.”
Fourth of July celebrations can cause a great number of emergencies. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), from 2014-18, an average of 19,700 patients per year went to emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills. Gas grills were involved in an average of 10,600 home fires per year, including 3,900 structure fires and 4,900 outdoor fires annually.
Additionally, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission 2020 reported fireworks caused an estimated 10,000 injuries and 19,500 fires annually. Between June and July 2019, 7,300 firework-related injuries were treated in hospital emergency rooms with sparklers accounting for almost one-quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries.
“Rather than take the risk of having you or a loved one get hurt, FASNY is urging New Yorkers to either attend a professional fireworks display in their town or county or watch a televised one,” Farrell said.
You can also help keep everyone safe by following the important tips below:
Tips from the NFPA and FASNY:
√ Propane and charcoal barbecue grills should only be used outdoors;
√ The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under leaves and overhanging branches;
√ Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the grill area;
√ Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill;
√ Never leave your grill unattended while in use;
√ Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it; and
√ Always use food-approved fire starters for wood grills and smokers.
√ Attend a local, professional fireworks show;
√ Livestream a virtual fireworks show;
√ Use glow sticks instead of sparklers;
√ Resist the temptation to get close to the firing site – the best view of a professional fireworks display is from a quarter of a mile or more away;
√ Do not possess or shoot off fireworks on your own. Besides risking injury to yourself and the crowd watching the demonstration, you will be breaking the law; and
√ Do not pick up or attempt to relight used or “dud” fireworks – they may still cause serious burns or injury.
Founded in 1872, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York represents the interests of the more than 85,000 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel in New York. For more information, visit www.fasny.com.