Stay safe when cooking outdoors

During the summer months, a lot of outdoor cooking with barbecues/gas grills, and campfires is done.
Children should never be allowed to start barbecues/gas grill fires or campfires. Adults should start these fires using the following recommended safety guidelines.
Note: This list is not comprehensive. It is meant to assist you in taking steps to prevent injuries.
When using a barbecue:
•Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbecue;
•Barbecue/gas grill is a safe distance from anything that might catch fire;
•Keep matches and lighters away from children. Teach children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately. Supervise children around outdoor grills;
•Never pour barbecue lighter fluid on a burning fire. The flame can flashback up into the container and explode;
•Children should never be allowed to play near a barbecue/gas grill;
•Have a mean of extinguishing the fire readily available;
•Never take a barbecue/gas grill indoors. Asphyxiation may occur;
•Never use gasoline to start a charcoal fire; and
•Gas cylinders and grills should be stored outdoors!
When dealing with camp fires:
•Children should never build a fire;
•When building a campfire make sure it is a safe distance from tents, bedding, people, and natural fuel, including subsurface fuel . . . clear the area well;
•Never use flammable liquids to start or fuel a fire;
•Never leave a campfire unattended;
•When you break camp, drench the fire thoroughly with water. Next, stir the ashes or coals and drench the fire with water again. Smother them with sand or dirt. Be sure every spark is completely out!
Remember, if you never need what you learn about personal safety, you have lost nothing. But if you never learn what you need, you may lose everything . . . your family and your life!
Safety . . . it starts with you!
Tyler J. Moffitt is a first aid instructor, and served 15 years as a volunteer firefighter and emergency responder.

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