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Fire prevention tips for the summer

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Every year Americans look forward to summer vacations, camping, family reunions, picnics and the Fourth of July. Summertime, however, also brings fires and injuries due to fireworks, outdoor cooking, and of course the recent wildfires. Knowing a few fire safety tips and the following instructions will help everyone have a safe summer.

Fireworks
The best way to protect your family is not to use fireworks at home - period. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends attending public fireworks displays and leaving the lighting to the professionals. Don't forget, fireworks are prohibited on base, including base housing. They are also prohibited in Colorado Springs, so be sure to follow city and county burn ban/restrictions, which include fireworks. Additional information is located on their websites.

A special study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that fireworks were involved in an estimated 9,600 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments in 2011. Fireworks are dangerous!

Outdoor Cooking Safety
· 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.

Campfire Safety
· 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.
· Campfires are prohibited on base, including base housing. If off-base, be sure to follow city and county burn ban/restrictions located on their websites.

For more information and safety tips, contact the base fire prevention office at 556-4242.

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