Fire prevention tips during hot weather - KPTV - FOX 12

Fire prevention tips during hot weather

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The Salem Fire Department is issuing a few reminders to help people beat the heat this summer.

Due to increased temperatures and lower fuel moistures, the risk of fire ignition and fire spread is magnified, officials said.  High heat can also impact the health of people and pets. 

Here are some key points to follow to "beat the heat" and be safe:

Fire Prevention

  • Dispose of cigarettes properly in non-combustible ashtrays or extinguish them in water or sand.  In Oregon, cigarettes start one in ten fires statewide.
  • When using barbeque grills, maintain clearance from combustible decks, fences, and vegetation.  Allow ashes to completely cool and then dispose of them in metal containers.  Barbeque ashes can maintain ignition temperatures for many hours, even if the surface is cool to touch.
  • Avoid using welding, grinding, or mowing equipment near dry weeds and grass.
  • Avoid parking vehicles in dry, weedy areas.  The temperature of vehicle exhaust components can easily ignite dry grass and weeds.
  • Don't overload electrical outlets with portable fans, air conditioners, or extension cords.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher, water hose, or bucket handy in the event a fire occurs.
  • Observe no-burn regulations.

Hot weather safety

  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.  Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic drinks, which promote dehydration.
  • Minimize direct exposure to the sun and wear sunscreen.
  • Limit exercise and exertion - rest frequently and pace yourself.
  • Wear temperature-appropriate and moisture-absorbing clothing such as cotton.
  • During the warmest parts of the day, consider indoor activities such as visiting Salem's libraries, a shopping mall, or a movie theater.  Consider scheduling outdoor activities during cooler time periods.
  • Don't leave children or pets in vehicles.  Check on family, friends, and neighbors who may be at higher risk to heat-related issues.

Being prepared and proactive can decrease the likelihood of fires starting and spreading.  Take time to review your family's fire evacuation plan and emergency preparedness supplies and also review the basic safety tips for staying cool.

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