null 4 ways to help prevent fires this summer

While the weather is certainly beautiful, the risk of both wildfires and house fires increases significantly during the summer months. Follow these tips to help prevent fires, keep your family and property safe, and enjoy every moment of the season!

1. Check fire risk conditions

Before you leave your home, check the degree of risk for a wildfire. A simple online search will inform you of regional fire risks and any outdoor burning regulations for the area you plan to visit. If you plan to build a campfire or launch fireworks in dry areas, always follow local fire restrictions and the warnings and evacuation orders issued by your provincial or municipal authorities.

2. Be careful when barbecuing

Propane and charcoal grills can be hazardous if not used and maintained properly. By following these grill safety tips you can help reduce the risk of starting a fire:

Never use a barbecue indoors

It may be tempting to pull your grill into a garage or shed during a rainstorm, but combustible materials near and above your grill can catch fire easily. Charcoal and gas grills also produce large amounts of carbon monoxide that can build up and lead to a life-threatening emergency.

Clean your grill regularly

To minimize the risk of a grease fire, clean your grill after each use and clear any food debris that may have accumulated inside your barbecue. If your grill has a grease tray, empty it regularly.

Never leave your barbecue unattended

Barbecues use open flames to cook food and can become a fire and safety hazard if left unattended. If you need to step away from the barbecue, ask another adult to watch the grill for you.

Keep the barbecue away from your home

Grills that are placed close to a house or other structure can heat up surrounding materials and start a fire. Put your grill at least 24 inches or 60 centimetres from any structure or overhangs. If you rent your home or live in a condo, it’s also important to familiarize yourself with any specific requirements put in place by your landlord or condominium association and comply with all requirements listed on your lease.

What to do in case of a fire

You should always keep a fire extinguisher nearby when grilling. If a fire starts, turn the burners on your gas barbecue off if you can reach the knobs safely and close the lid to starve the fire of oxygen. Avoid pouring water on hot coal as this could cause a steam burn.

3. Build safe campfires

An improperly built campfire can quickly get out of control and endanger people and the surrounding ecosystem. Keep it safe by following these tips:

Pick a safe location

Most campgrounds provide a fire pit where you can build a campfire. If you're in an area where campfires are allowed but a pit is not available, select a flat, open location away from flammable materials and overhanging branches.

Be sure to follow your municipalities’ rules before having an outdoor fire. Some parks and municipalities may require fire permits to build a campfire.

Keep water nearby

Don’t start a campfire without having a bucket of water or sand nearby to control embers and douse flames that jump outside the pit.

Pay attention to the wind

A sudden gust of wind can turn your campfire into a wildfire. Keep anything flammable, including tents and unused firewood, upwind of the campfire and well away from the heat.

Never leave a campfire unattended

Even if you need to leave the campsite for a short period of time, the fire must be completely extinguished. A gust of wind could easily spread the flames if you aren’t around to douse them.

Extinguish the fire completely

When you are done with your campfire, you must extinguish it properly. Douse the fire with at least one bucket of water, stir the ashes with a shovel or stick, then pour more water on the fire. The ash should be cool to the touch before you leave it.

4. Take precautions when using fireworks

Before purchasing fireworks, make sure to check and follow local regulations. Follow these tips to help avoid accidents when lighting fireworks:

  • Pick a clear area where you can safely set off fireworks.
  • If winds are too strong, don’t set off fireworks, as they can be blown off course and hit foliage or structures or hurt people.
  • Always have a bucket of water, garden hose or fire extinguisher within reach.
  • If a firework fails to light, do not attempt to relight it. Douse it with water and dispose of it.

If you live in an area prone to wildfire outbreaks, remember to regularly check local updates and follow all municipal and provincial regulations in order to take extra caution when fire is involved. By doing what you can to reduce the risk of a wildfire, you can help protect your community and its surrounding ecosystem.

For more on this topic, visit:

Get Prepared – Wildfires

Tips to protect your home and property from fires

4 ways to help prevent fires this summer

Outdoor entertainment is in full swing during the summer months – but if you love to host campfires, set off fireworks or barbecue for your family and friends, then you’ll want to brush up on your fire safety.

These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and The Personal cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.

Some conditions, exclusions and limitations may apply. The conditions of the coverages described are set out in the insurance policy, which always prevails.