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Fire Safety Tips for Summer

Written by Nick Brinkerhoff

Summer is fast approaching, and we want to make sure you and your family are safe to enjoy fun activities that the season has to offer. In partnership with FOX’s new show, FIRST RESPONDERS LIVE, we wanted to share a few fire safety tips to ensure you and your neighbors are prepared and ready in case of a fire emergency.

First, make sure you are signed up and receiving alerts from Nextdoor. Neighbors often serve as critical first responders in the earliest days of any emergency– as evident during the wildfires that swept across California the last couple years. Neighbors turned to Nextdoor to share information about evacuation routes and shelters, collect money and donations for displaced families, and offer shelter to those who lost their homes.

Once you are connected to your neighborhood on Nextdoor, you can hear directly from local fire departments who post urgent alerts and share tips through the app. This becomes especially important during times of crises. Additionally, you can stay apprised of conversations about fire readiness to ensure you and your neighbors have a game plan if disaster strikes.

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Check out some additional tips from FOX’s FIRST RESPONDERS LIVE fire experts below.

  1. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home- inside bedrooms and outside of sleeping areas to make sure the entire house is within earshot. Although a smoke alarm won’t prevent a fire, it is one of the simplest ways to keep you and your family safe in the event of a fire emergency.
  2. In addition to installing smoke alarms, make sure to test them on a regular basis. Once a month you should make sure all the smoke alarms in your home are working, and replace batteries as needed.
  3. Create a fire escape plan with your family or roommates, and practice that plan twice a year. This is especially important if you have young children or family members who might need extra assistance getting out of the house quickly.
  4. Speaking of kids, teach them basic fire safety! Practice stop, drop, and roll- and show them how to test a door knob to see if it is hot, because if it is, they shouldn’t enter that room. Additionally, show your children how to crawl on their hands and knees if the air is smoky, and make sure they know to never hide under a bed or in the closet in the event that a fire takes place in your home.
  5. Although you most likely won’t need them during the summer, avoid using portable and fixed space heaters in your home, especially when sleeping, as they are one of the leading causes of home fire deaths.
  6. If a fire occurs- get out, stay out, and call for help! Calling 9-1-1 or your local fire station should be one of the first things you do if there is a fire incident. The most important thing is your safety, so make sure you are safe before calling first responders and don’t go back inside!  

We plan on spending all kinds of time outside, enjoying the weather, so let’s talk about fire safety tips for the outdoors:

  1. When it comes to chilling and grilling, make sure that any propane or charcoal grills are only used outdoors. Place them away from the home, deck railings, and out from under eaves or overhanging branches.
  2. Keeping the grill clean isn’t just for looks. Grease and fat residue can cause large fires, so make sure that you clean the grill as well as the trays beneath that may catch bits of food and grease after every use.
  3. Never leave food cooking unattended, especially on deep fryers or outdoor grills. And with your gas grill- make sure the lid is open before lighting it so that you don’t trap the gas inside and cause an explosion.
  4. Always maintain a defensible space on your property in case of wildfire. Make sure to remove all dead plants, weeds, and trees from within 30’ of your home, as well as any dried leaves or trimmings that may be on the ground.

Above all else, check in with your local fire department on what they recommend for you. The first responders and firefighters that work to keep us all safe every day are the experts in prevention, and we can make their jobs a little easier with these ten tips. Here’s to a fun-filled, fire-free summer season!

FIRST RESPONDERS LIVE premieres this Wednesday, June 12th at 9/8c on FOX. Tune in to watch first responders in action! And to stay up to date on more tips and tricks for building a strong, local community, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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