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Small fire pit for grilling food

Summer Fire Safety Tips

Nothing says summer like a late-night bonfire or a BBQ cookout with your friends and family. However, summertime is a peak time for grilling-related fires and injuries from other leisure activities. According to the the National Fire Protection Association, July is the peak time for fires from grilling, followed by May, June, and August.

As summer simmers down, now is the perfect time to safely host a barbecue party or bonfire at one of these great locations to end this sunny season on a high note!


The following fire safety tips are from The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):


Summer BBQs:

  • Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors.
  • Keep children and your furry friends at least 3 feet away from the grilling area.
  • Clean your grills! Remove any grease, fat and buildup from the grill and trays.
  • Do not leave your grill unattended.

Propane Grills:

  • Make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
  • If you smell gas while grilling, do not move the grill. Instead get away from the grill and call the fire department.
  • If the flame goes out, turn off the gas and grill and wait at least 5 minutes before re-lighting.

Charcoal Grills:

  • If you use starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid.
  • If you use an electric charcoal starter, use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals cool before disposing in a metal container.

For a complete list of fire safety tips, download the NFPA’s free safety tip sheet.

Summer Campfires:

  • Make sure that campfires are permitted. You can check with the local fire department.
  • Campfires need to be at least 25 feet away from anything that can burn.
  • Never leave the fire unattended. It only takes a few minutes for the fire to grow.
  • Keep the campfire small so it’s easy to control.
  • Have a bucket of water, hose, or a shovel and dirt or sand nearby to put out the fire.

For a complete list of fire safety tips, download the NFPA’s free safety tip sheet.

To Avoid Summer Wildfires:

  • Keep your garden hydrated and maintained. Remove dead vegetation and dispose of them quickly.
  • Clear leaves and other debris from roofs, gutters, porches, and decks. Gardening with your kids is a great way to keep the family busy and active before school starts!
  • Remove flammable materials, such as wood piles and propane tanks, within 30 feet of your home.
  • Maintain and prune trees so the lowest branches are 6 – 10 feet from the ground.
  • Replace or repair shingles or roof tiles to prevent ember penetration.

For a complete list of fire safety tips, download the NFPA’s free safety tip sheet.

Beach Bonfires in San Diego:

  • All bonfires are restricted to designated fire rings.
  • Glass and alcoholic beverages are not permitted at any time.
  • Fires are not allowed between midnight at 5 AM.
  • Only wood, charcoal or paper products may be used as fuel. The burning of trash is prohibited.
  • Before leaving the beach, the fire must be extinguished completely.


Before starting up your grill or lighting your campfire, it’s important that you are well informed about fire safety tips. In addition, before summer is over and school is back in session, make a doctor’s appointment for your little ones. Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups doctors are right around the corner and ready to care for your family.


CATEGORIES: Healthy LifestylesLocal ActivitiesParentingSeniors & Caregivers


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