As July 4th fast approaches, NFPA Offers Critical ﬁre and Electrical Safety Reminders
With the Fourth of July fast approaching and the summer months upon us, indulging in barbecues, holiday parties and swimming often top the list of activities to enjoy during the summer season. To help everyone do so safely, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is reminding people about potential summer ﬁ re and electrical hazards, and providing tips and recommendations to minimize them.
“By knowing where potential ﬁ re and electrical hazards exist during the summer months and taking the needed steps to prevent them, people can enjoy activities such as grilling, swimming and celebrating the Fourth of July while keeping their families, guests and homes safe,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of NFPA’s Outreach and Advocacy Division.
Following are NFPA’s summer-related safety statistics and tips:
Fireworks: NFPA recommends that revelers refrain from using consumer fireworks and attend public ﬁ reworks displays put on by trained professionals.
Fireworks annually cause devastating burns, injuries, ﬁ res, and even death, making them too dangerous to be used safely by consumers. On Independence Day in a typical year, ﬁ reworks account for nearly half of all reported U.S. ﬁ res, more than any other cause of ﬁre.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) 2017 Fireworks Annual Report, ﬁ reworks were involved in an estimated 11,100 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during calendar year 2016. There were an estimated 900 emergency department-treated injuries associated with sparklers and 400 with bottle rockets. Sparklers were the most common type of ﬁ reworks causing injury to pre-schoolers, and 400 of the 900 sparkler injuries were related to children under ﬁ ve years old. Young adults 20 to 24 years of age had the highest estimated rate of emergency department-treated, ﬁ reworks-related injuries in 2016.
Grilling ﬁ re safety: All types of grills pose a risk for ﬁ res and burn injuries. According to NFPA statistics, July is the peak month for grilling ﬁ res followed by May, June and August. Roughly 9,600 home grill ﬁ res were reported per year. The leading causes were a failure to clean, using the grill too close to something that could burn or having things that could catch ﬁ re too close to the grill, and unattended grill use. Leaks were the leading cause of gas grill ﬁ res. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, 73 percent of consumers grill on the Fourth of July and 58 percent grill on Labor Day.
The following are tips for grillers:
- The grill should be placed well away the home or deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. The grill should also be a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot trafﬁc. Keep children and pets away from the grill area. Have a three-foot (1 meter) “kid-free zone” around the grill.
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease and fat buildup from the grates and trays below.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
Here are tips for swimmers and boat owners:
- Never swim near a marina, dock or boatyard, or near a boat while it’s running.
- Obey all “no swimming” signs on docks.
Tips for boat owners
- Electric Shock Drowning (ESD): Electric Shock Drowning happens when marina or onboard electrical systems leak electric current into the water. The current then passes through the body and causes paralysis. When this happens, a person can no longer swim and ultimately drowns.
- Avoid entering the water when launching or loading a boat. Docks or boats can leak electricity into the water causing water electriﬁcation.
- Each year, and after a major storm that affects the boat, have the boat’s electrical system inspected by a qualiﬁed marine electrician to be sure it meets the required codes of your area, including the American Boat & Yacht Council. Make the necessary repairs if recommended.
More information about electrical safety in pools, spas and hot tubs can be found on NFPA’s “electrical safety around water” webpage. Find this and related summer ﬁ re safety-related resources at www.nfpa.org/publiceducation.
For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.