Summer Fire Safety Tips
The following information is provided to help you make your home as safe as possible. Please call us if you have questions about anything not addressed here.
Outdoor Fireplaces - Outdoor fireplaces, fire pits and chimineas are becoming increasingly popular. When used safely and within manufacturer’s guidelines, they can be very enjoyable. Please be aware of the following guidelines when using one of these devices:
- They must not be used on apartment balconies.
- They must be located at least 10 feet from any structure or combustible material
- The fire must be constantly monitored until extinguished
- Fire extinguishing equipment must be available.
- A protective screen shall be in place to prevent scattering of sparks.
- Only clean, dry firewood shall be used for fuel.
Please remember that if your device creates smoke or odors that are objectionable to others, it must be extinguished.
Outdoor Cooking - Everyone enjoys the time we spend around our barbecues and grills with our families and friends. They are a big part of our Summer. To ensure that these times remain enjoyable, please observe the following tips:
- No grills may be placed or used on apartment balconies.
- Grills must be located at least 10 feet from any structure or combustible material.
- NEVER use a grill inside a closed space. They produce large quantities of carbon monoxide, a poison invisible and odorless gas that can rapidly cause death or serious illness.
- Make sure that your grill is level and steady.
- Grills must be constantly monitored until extinguished and cold.
- The safest means of lighting a grill are cake-formed chemicals or an electric starter.
- Never add liquid fire starter to hot coals. Heat from the coals could cause the starter to ignite, resulting in serious burns.
- Keep a hose or fire extinguisher close by.
- Keep small children and pets away from your grill.
When finished cooking, soak the coals in water. Dispose of them in a sealed metal container outside the home. Do not store them on a wooden deck. Many fires start from ashes that are improperly disposed of.
Fireworks - No fireworks that produce heat or require any ignition source are legal within the City of Norfolk. Please take advantage of the many public displays scheduled for the summer so that we can enjoy fireworks safely and without risk of fire or injury.
Pool and Swimming Safety - There's nothing like a dip in the pool to cool off during the Summer months. To avoid injuries during this pleasant pastime, please review the following tips:
- Place a fence around your pool or spa. The fence should be at least 5 feet high and the gate through the fence should automatically latch. Never block the gate open. Lock the gate when not using the pool area.
- Do not leave furniture or other items near the pool that a child can climb on to enter the pool.
- Whenever children are near the water, ensure that an adult is present, watching carefully. Do not let distractions interfere with watching.
- If you have non-swimmers in the home, enroll them in an approved swimming program taught by a qualified instructor.
- Never swim alone. Even adults should ensure that someone knows they are in the pool.
- Learn First Aid and CPR. Ensure anyone who has "pool duty" is qualified to provide aid if it becomes necessary.
- Keep rescue equipment, such as a ring buoy and a rescue pole, near the pool. Also, have a cordless or cellular phone present when the pool is in use.
- Post emergency numbers and CPR instructions near the pool.
- Advise everyone, especially children, where the pump suctions are located and to remain clear of them. Small children becoming trapped by pool suctions under the water cause several drownings each year.
- Use plastic instead of glassware in pool areas to prevent cuts. Broken glass in the pool can be almost invisible resulting in risk of cuts.
Consider purchasing a pool alarm to let you know if someone falls into the pool. Subsurface alarms are more effective than surface alarms and cause fewer false alarms.
Keep spas and hot tubs covered when not in use. This helps keep them clean and hot as well as reducing the chance that children can fall in. Completely remove covers before anyone enters the spa or tub.
We want everyone to enjoy a safe and happy Summer season. A few precautions taken now can reduce the possibility of accidents or injuries, resulting in a better time for us all.