State fire marshal issues summer safety tips

“It doesn’t take much for a small fire to turn into a large blaze,” said state fire marshal Charles LeBlanc. With warm weather approaching and summer fun on the horizon, here are a few tips to stay safe, courtesy of the state fire marshal’s office:

Campfire safety

It’s important to follow campground rules for the use and extinguishment of campfires. Build campfires where they will not spread and maintain a 5-to-10-foot circle around the fire that’s clear of all flammable materials; your tent should be at least 15 feet away. Keep campfires to a reasonable and manageable size, no larger than 3 feet by 3 feet, and do not let them get out of hand. Thoroughly drown the fire, stir it and douse it again with water; do not leave a fire until it is out cold.

Barbecue safety

Always inspect your grill at the beginning of the season, checking all connections and supply hoses. Make sure the tubes that deliver gas to the burner are not blocked. Do not overfill the propane tank and always store tanks outside, in a well-ventilated area.

Keep the barbecue 5 to 10 feet away from your house or other flammable material and never barbecue in enclosed areas, as carbon monoxide poisoning could result. Do not add fluid to hot coals as the flame can flash back up into the container and explode. 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.

General fire safety

Ensure children and pets are kept well away from fire. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately and make sure everyone knows to stop, drop and roll in case a piece of clothing does catch fire.

Call 911 if a burn warrants serious medical attention. Never leave your fire unattended and keep plenty of water nearby. Do not wear loose clothing while tending a fire and tie back long hair.

For more information, visit

Courtesy of the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

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