Columbus, OH - State Fire Marshal Larry Flowers has announced that the Warning of Extreme Fire Danger that he issued last week is still in effect.
"Conditions continue to be very dry, even after the rainfall in many parts of the state in recent days," Marshal Flowers said. "High temperatures are predicted for the next several days and Ohioans should not let their guard down. A spark, on dry grass, fanned by winds, can quickly get out of hand and put lives and property at risk."
To ensure safety at your backyard cookouts or gatherings at a park or farm field, the Marshal provides the following advice:
- Do not burn for any reason except cooking/grilling or recreational fires.
- Never use a grill under a tent, canopy, or in a garage.
- Keep recreational fires contained in a designated fire pit, outdoor fireplace or confined to seasoned hardwood in an area 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height.
- Be careful when using lighter fluid. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire - the flame can flashback into the container and explode.
- Supervise children around outdoor grills. Establish a three-foot "safety zone" around the grill to keep both children and pets at a distance.
- Keep a water source nearby – either a garden hose or buckets of water.
- Dispose of hot coals properly – douse all of them, not just the red ones, with plenty of water and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.
- Leave the matches to the adults and the fireworks to the professionals. That means teaching children to take any matches to adults. Do not light fireworks. Visit a local professional fireworks exhibition.
Many Ohioans are using generators for power in the aftermath of the storm. Fire Marshal Flowers encourages Ohioans to:
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines.
- Place the generator on a firm, concrete pad or driveway. Do not place generators on dry, grassy areas.
- Use a generator in well-ventilated locations outside -- away from all doors, windows and vent openings.
- Never use in an attached garage, even with the door open.
- Use appropriate-sized and type power cords to carry the electric load. Overloaded cords can overheat and cause fires.
- Never run cords under rugs or carpets where heat might build up or damage to a cord may go unnoticed.
- Never connect generators to another power source such as power lines. The reverse flow of electricity or 'backfeed' can electrocute an unsuspecting utility worker.
- Turn the generator off and let it cool down before refueling. Never refuel a generator while it is running.
"Generators can be a great source of power in an emergency. However, if not properly used, the odorless carbon monoxide fumes can quickly overwhelm those indoors," Marshal Flowers said. "Take the necessary precautions to ensure the safe use of generators and install carbon monoxide alarms."
In addition, Marshal Flowers encourages Ohioans to use battery-operated lighting sources such as flashlights rather than candles.
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