Summer is here and that means many Illinoisans will be outside enjoying summer activities. The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) wants to remind residents to be safe this summer.

State Fire Marshal Matt Perez says, “As Illinois residents begin to enjoy another beautiful summer, it is important to remember these tips that will allow them to do it safely and responsibly.”

Here are some tips to remember when using barbeque grills, fire pits and fireworks.

• Propane and charcoal grills should be only used outdoors. The grill should be placed away from the home or deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. Keep your grill clean by removing grease and fat build up from grates and trays below. Never leave your grill unattended!

• Children and pets should always remain at least three feet away from the grilling area!

• Before starting a campfire, make sure to check to see if it is permitted at the site. Clear away any dry leaves and sticks, overhanging low branches and keep fires at least 25 feet away from any structure or anything that can burn.

• Avoid burning on windy, dry days! Keep the campfire small making it easier to control. Watch children and pets closely while the fire is burning. Never let children or pets play or stand too close to the fire.

• Never leave a campfire unattended. It only takes a few minutes for it to spread and cause damage. 

• Always have a hose, bucket of water, or shovel and dirt/sand nearby and make sure it is completely out before leaving the site.

A big part of summer is the 4th of July and fireworks. It is important to remember fireworks are dangerous and should only be used by those who are licensed.

If fireworks are not used correctly they can cause accidental fires and injuries. On average, there are over 18,000 fires caused by fireworks per year. These fires and injuries are not only caused by commercial/consumer fireworks, but also by unregulated novelty fireworks that are sometimes purchased at local retailers.

Sparklers account for one-quarter of emergency room visits related to fireworks. A sparkler can burn at a temperature of 1,200° degrees Fahrenheit. To put this into perspective, glass melts at a temperature of 900° degrees Fahrenheit. Never allow children to use fireworks! All adults must have a permit to shoot consumer fireworks.

More information about fireworks safety and fire safety can be found by visiting the Office of the State Fire Marshal website.