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Summer Fire Safety Reminder

Posted on 6/30/2016

Summer activities often revolve around fireworks, barbeques, and campfires and it is important to know the laws and techniques to keep you and your family safe this season.

Many cities do not allow fireworks within city limits. Check with local emergency management authorities to find out what laws apply in your area.

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is through public displays conducted by professional pyro-technicians.

Fireworks can be legally sold June 27th through July 5th (NDCC 23-15-01).

Summer Fire Facts
According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA):
Fireworks cause an average of 9,500 injuries each year.
Approximately 70 percent of fireworks-related injuries occur between June 23 and July 23.

  • Fireworks cause an average of 30,100 fires each year.
  • Grill fires on residential properties result in an estimated average of 10 deaths, 100 injuries, and $37 million in property loss each year.
  • Over half (57 percent) of grill fires on residential properties occur in the 4 months of May, June, July, and August.

Fireworks Safety
  • Make sure there is no burn ban and that fireworks are legal in your county.
  • Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
  • Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby and know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
  • Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
  • Stand several feet away from lit fireworks.
  • If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate. Instead put it out with water and dispose of it.
  • Always read the directions and warning labels on fireworks.
  • Supervise children around fireworks at all times.

Barbecue Safety
  • Before using a grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line.
  • Make sure the venturi tubes - where the air and gas mix - are not blocked.
  • Do not overfill the propane tank.
  • Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbecue.
  • Be careful when using lighter fluid. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire because the flames can flashback up into the container and explode.
  • Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately. Supervise children around outdoor grills.
  • Dispose of hot coals properly - douse them with plenty of water, and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.
  • Never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas - carbon monoxide could be produced.
  • Make sure everyone knows to stop, drop and roll in case a piece of clothing does catch fire. Call 911 or your local emergency number if a burn warrants serious medical attention.
  • Keep grills a safe distance away from siding, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

Campfire Safety
  • When camping, be familiar with the campground rules for the use and extinguishing of campfires.
  • Build campfires at least 15 feet away from tent walls, shrubs or other materials that burn.
  • Build campfires where they will not spread, away from dry grass and leaves.
  • Keep campfires small, and don't let them get out of hand.
  • Keep plenty of water and a shovel around to douse the fire when you're done. Stir it and douse it again with water.
  • Never leave campfires unattended.

Wildfire Danger Awareness

Major causes of urban fires include:
  • Electrically related structural and vehicle fires
  • Incendiary-arson
  • Unattended cooking fires
  • Smoking materials
  • Heating devices
  • Fuel systems
  • Sparks
  • Hazardous material spills
  • Spontaneous combustion

Major causes of wildland fires include:
  • Lightning
  • Inadequate measures for controlled burns
  • Smoking
  • Sparks from farm machinery and trains

Fires in areas of high fuel content, if not quickly detected and suppressed, can rapidly flare out of control, threaten lives and cause major damage to habitat, crops, livestock, wildlife and structural property.

For more information visit www.nd.gov/des/get/summer-fire-safety/ or

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This site updated as of 5/24/2019.