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Summer Fire Safety: Tips to Play it Safe

From poolside grilling to roasting perfect marshmallows, summer fire safety plays an important role in how we handle fire during one of the most social seasons of the year. To brush up on important tips for summer fire safety, we asked the highly trained fire restoration technicians at SERVPRO of Cape May & Cumberland Counties for their help.

Here are four categories of tips to keep in mind.

Summer Fire Safety Tips


From smoky barbecue to flame-grilled burgers and dogs, your grill is probably the all-star appliance of summer. Just be sure you’re following these summer fire safety rules.

  •  Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from structures. Whether you’re using a gas or charcoal grill, always keep your grill away from buildings and structures, such as carports, garages, sheds, awnings, overhangs, and—of course—your home.
  • Never turn on the gas while the grill lid is closed. If you’re using a gas grill, always open the lid before turning on the gas, says SERVPRO. A closed lid can cause a buildup that can result in an eruption of fire.
  • Clean your grill regularly. A buildup of fat and grease on your grill is the perfect fuel for a fire (and not the kind you want). Be sure to regularly clean your grill to minimize the risk of flare-ups.

Fire Pits

In the spring, summer, and fall, fire pits are a magnet for social activity, great conversation, and competitiveness over who can build the perfect smores. But they aren’t without hazard.

  • Never use gasoline or lighter fluid to get things burning. One little spill outside of the pit, and you could have a roaring fire lighting up your property.
  • Stick to harder woods. According to SERVPRO, softwoods like cedar and pine tend to produce more crackles and cast more sparks. For solid, slow-burning wood, stick with oak.

 Put out the fire properly. Try to allow your wood to burn down to ash and spread out any remaining wood with a shovel or stick. Douse the fire with water and stir around the ashes until they are soaked.

Tiki Torches

Tiki torches are a summer staple for barbecues, pool parties, and campsites. Just make sure you’re following these summer fire safety tips the next time you host a gathering or decide to “turn on the lights.”

  • Keep children away from torches. At social events, children may be running, playing, and having a ball. Flimsy torches can get knocked over and create a big problem.
  • Store torch oil properly. Tiki torch oil is highly flammable and should be stored in the right conditions. SERVPRO reminds us to keep oil in a cool, dry place and to never leave it near an open flame.
  • Secure your torches. Freestanding torches aren’t always the most secure. Be sure to plant them in the ground firmly and check to make sure they won’t easily topple.


Professionals go to great lengths to ensure the safety of fireworks for the public. The same can’t always be said for at-home displays.

  • Observe your surroundings. The site of the launch should be clear of any buildings, structures, or foliage. Check the label for the required safety distance for each unit.
  • Designate a sober, responsible adult. Fireworks and alcohol don’t mix. Ensure a responsible adult will be handling the fireworks and be sure they wear safety glasses, as face and eye injuries can be common.
  • Have water ready. Have a hose or a supply of water ready when lighting fireworks. Firefighters often respond to small grass fires or fires in trash bins where units were unsafely disposed.

 Have you experienced a fire at your property and need a cleanup crew to restore your residence? SERVPRO of Cape May & Cumberland Counties is faster to any size disaster and offers 24-hour emergency service. Their highly trained fire restoration specialists can help restore property damage. Contact them today: 609-624-0202.