Fire risks increase in the summer months as we start grilling, having bonfires, and setting off fireworks. Enjoy these things safely by keeping these fire safety tips in mind. Don’t let disaster spoil your summer activities and celebrations!


  • Keep your grill at least 3 feet from your house or deck
  • Never use a grill on a porch or balcony
  • Create a 3-foot safe zone around your grill to keep kids and pets safe
  • Open gas grills before lighting them
  • Never leave a lit grill unattended
  • Clean your grill after each use to remove grease that may start a fire
  • Dispose coals once they’ve cooled into a metal trash can


  • Fireworks are a beautiful show of patriotism, but they are also a danger to people, pets, and property
  • Your property is especially at risk when conditions are hot and dry
  • The best way to stay safe from fireworks it to avoid using them
  • Instead, attend a public firework display put on by professionals


  • Build campfires at least 25 feet away from any structures, trees, plants, and shrubs
  • Fire pits and outdoor fireplaces should be at least 10 feet away from your house
  • Use a metal screen over wood-burning fires to keep sparks from flying out
  • Keep a close eye on children and anyone who may be intoxicated around a fire
  • Extinguish fires before leaving them
  • Keep matches and lighters out of children’s sight and reach

Backyard Burns

  • When burning sticks and other vegetation, keep the pile small and manageable
  • Check local regulations before burning, as you may need a permit
  • Don’t burn when conditions are dry and/or windy
  • Choose a burning site that’s away from powerlines, trees, buildings, vehicles, and equipment

Other Fire Risks

Air Conditioners

  • Each year, thousands of fires are started by air conditioners due to short circuits and electrical malfunctions
  • Portable and fixed local AC units are much more likely than central AC systems to start fires due to inadequate wiring for heavy electric loads during a summer heat wave
  • Avoid this by having your AC unit professionally inspected every year


  • Smoking is the leading cause of fatal fires year-round
  • Avoid smoking while drowsy, as these fires are often caused by the smoker falling asleep with a lit cigarette
  • Improperly discarded cigarettes are also a primary cause of house fires
  • Avoid discarding cigarettes on the ground, especially when conditions are dry and windy


  • If you know lightning has directly struck your home, call the fire department right away, even if flames are not immediately apparent
  • Power surges and shock waves can also occur with a lightning strike, damaging your home’s electrical and structure
  • Have an electrician check for surge damage that may become a fire hazard, and have your home’s structure assessed for damage as well