COLUMBIA, SC The Columbia Fire Department reminds citizens to stay safe when it comes to grilling, fireworks and staying cool in the summer heat this Fourth of July.
· Never operate grills and other open-flame cooking devices on combustible balconies and decks or within 10 feet of a structure
· Set the grill up in an open area away from low hanging tree limbs, dry leaves and brush
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· Check hoses and propane tanks for leaks
· Make the area around the grill a no play zone
· Avoid wearing long, hanging clothes
· Never grill inside of garages or carports
· Purchase the proper starting fluid if you use a charcoal grill
· If you must dispose of the ashes before fully cooled, soak them completely in water before putting them in a non-combustible container
· Light fireworks outdoors and away from dry grass
· Always read and follow labeled directions
· Have an adult present at all times
· Never allow children to play, hold or light fireworks
· Only buy from licensed/permitted dealers
· Always have water close (a garden hose and a bucket)
· Keep unused fireworks covered to protect them from accidental fallout from the fireworks display
· Never throw or point fireworks at other people
· Never re-light a “dud” firework
· Never carry fireworks in your pocket
· Stay indoors during the hottest hours of the day, and stay inside an air-conditioned building if possible
· Supervise children; children rely on adults to tell them when to come inside, when to drink water and what sort of clothing to wear. It doesn’t take long for a child’s small body to become overheated.
· Drink plenty of water
· Never leave a child or pet in the car unattended