FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: FOURTH OF JULY AND 100% PROBABILITY OF IGNITION

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By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

June 28, 2021 (San Diego) -- We have not seen significant rain in several months. Fuel moisture content is at 0%. We are at what we call 100% probability of ignition. This means the tiniest spark can start a fire.

The Fourth of July can be a fun time with great memories. But before you, your family & friends celebrate, make sure everyone knows about Fourth of July safety. Since Fireworks are illegal in San Diego County, there are still safety precautions to provide safety while celebrating.

Travel Safety: Give yourself plenty of time. Drive defensively, thunderstorms are in the forecast, have your mechanic check windshield wipers, tires, brakes. Please put the cell phone away and do not text and drive.

Barbecue Safety: Keep grills away from anything that can burn, such as your house, combustibles or dry vegetation. Don't leave the grill unattended while it's cooking. Keep children and pets away from the grill. For charcoal grills, only use starter fluid designed for grills; Never use gasoline or other accelerants. Do not add lighter fluid to an already lit fire. Before using a gas grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel. Make sure coals are completely extinguished and cold before disposing of themNever wear loose clothing when cooking. Never barbecue indoors.

It will be warm outside: Don't get dehydrated - consume lots of water. Make sure your pets have lots of water. Keep them inside as loud noise will scare them. If outside they may run away. When outdoors, stay in the shade as much as possible - avoid the direct sun. Avoid severe sun burn by applying sun block.

Water Safety: Never swim alone. Never leave children alone in the pool. Make sure they wear UL approved life safety devices. Pool fences have self closing devices. Check with your local fire dept for additional water safety tips.

If hiking, boating, surfing, paddle boarding are what you will be doing, make sure you let some one know what time, where and when you plan on departing and returning.

For additional Fourth of July safety information or to see if fireworks are allowed in your city, contact your local fire department.

As a fire chief, my advice, plain and simple: leave it to the professionals!

Be Safe and Happy Fourth of July!

Note: The information in this article was compiled from various sources. These suggestions are not a complete list of every preventative or loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace additional safety manuals or the advice of another qualified professional(s). We make no guarantee of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.