CLEVELAND - Just days before many Independence Day celebrations get under way, the Ohio Department of Commerce and state fire marshal are issuing a high fire risk warning.
Under the warning, people are advised to take extra caution when using grills, open fires, and firework—including novelties like sparklers.
In such hot and dry weather conditions, the state marshal said these items can spark fires that quickly get out of control.
To help prevent these fire hazards, the state fire marshal has issued the following guidelines for the Fourth of July holiday:
• Do not discard lit cigarettes outside, or along the roadways.
• Leave fireworks to the professionals. They are trained to take precautions and control the exhibit.
• For cooking or recreational fires, keep buckets of water, a hose and a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency.
• If an outdoor fire occurs, call 911 immediately. Move people from the area. Try to safely extinguish small fires with a water hose or buckets of water if able.
• Have a garden hose, fire extinguisher or buckets of water at the ready.
• Keep grills clear from overhanging branches, grass and other dry or flammable areas and materials. Also keep children and pets at least three feet away.
• Keep all matches and lighters away from children and dry grass and other areas.
• Never grill under a tent, canopy or in a garage.
• Never leave the grill unattended.
Fire Pit Safety:
• If in a public area, know and follow all of the local rules.
• Wear well-fitted clothing. Loose articles and flammable material such as nylon should be avoided.
• Dig a pit in the dirt and circle it with rocks. The fire area must be 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height.
• Remove all grass, twigs, leaves and extra firewood within a 10-foot diameter of the fire.
• Never leave the fire unattended.
• Extinguish thoroughly. Allow all wood to burn to ash, douse every ember in water and stir them with a shovel. Make sure everything is cool and wet to the touch.
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