ALL DECKED OUT: Fire Prevention Tips for your Outdoor Deck & Patio
While entertaining outside, summer or winter, a deck is an ideal location for your gatherings. Cooler weather does not mean a fire will not start easily outside on our decks. Let's make fire prevention apart of our menu.
Barbecue grills (BBQ): With several "practice safe grilling" techniques available, we will focus on just a few suggestions. Any open flame cooking on combustible decks can create an emergency situation as it could be a potential danger. Each grill comes with its own manufacturer's instruction of fire safety "how to's". Keep your manual in an accessible place for review.
- Never keep your grill directly next to your home while you are using it, including under the eaves and close to deck railings. Unexpected flare ups can happen spreading the fire.
- Use caution that you are not too close to an air in-take of your home for another reason. Grills may cause toxic fumes that may leach into your home. Dangers may be dizziness and even death.
- Light your grill with the lid open as to not have the propane accumulate inside. The lid could blow off when it is ignited and cause harm to both you and your property.
- When you are done grilling, turn off the valve of propane tank as well as the burners. One never knows when a leak will develop.
- Do not store a spare propane tank near your grill.
- Never use gasoline to light your charcoal grill.
- Do not add lighter fluid after the coals are already hot.
- Please keep children & pets away from the grilling area.
- Do not wear loose clothing near grills or any open flame.
- It is wise to keep a fire extinguisher nearby just in case.
- Watch for sparks, especially when windy, as there may be dry leaves or other flammable matter around. Never leave any fire unattended.
Outdoor Smoking: Several places are going smoke free and more smokers are moving outside. Whether this is in your back yard, your deck or place of employment when it is time to extinguish cigarettes there are more cases of individuals using planters. Planters, especially on decks, are usually placed close to the structure. With their dried plants, mulch and other organic matter this allows it to work much like a peat fire when ignited. Once the fire grows it may travel straight up in to the attic, depending on the structure, and quickly spread. Always dispose of your cigarettes properly and double check for safety's sake.
Fire Pits: Fire pits are becoming more popular. If you chose to add a fire pit to your outdoor entertainment, place it on a fire proof surface such as patio pavers well away from the structure of your home, furniture, shrubs and trees. People are tempted to place fire pits directly on their deck with a few patio pavers underneath. Don't do it. Wind happens, sparks will fly allowing your deck to become kindling.
Now you are all decked out on fire safety so enjoy responsibly!