The Houston Fire Department wishes everyone a happy holiday weekend and offers some simple safety tips to make sure it doesn’t turn into a tragic weekend.
When enjoying a possible Easter egg hunt and outdoor play this weekend, the HFD reminds citizens about the importance of taking safety measures when outdoors to avoid heat-related medical emergencies as well as pool and water safety.
Heat Related Medical Emergencies
- Before conducting outdoors activities and feeling thirsty, drink plenty of water and electrolyte-replacement beverages. Avoid beverages or food sources with caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar because these can actually result in the loss of body fluid.
- Most popular sodas contain high levels of sugar and should be avoided when conducting strenuous activity.
Pool and Water Safety
- Active, focused, adult supervision is the most important safety measure to prevent a water-related tragedy involving a child. The vast majority of children who drown in pools do so in the backyards of their own homes or of relative.
- Designate responsible adults to take shifts to watch the pool or water area and make sure there are no distractions such as a cell phone.
HFD also recommends the following safety tips when cooking or barbecuing:
- Remember to use a moderate cooking temperature, don't overfill the container, and if you must leave the kitchen, turn the burner off.
- Turn pot handles away from the front of the stove. Curious children may reach up and grab the handle, pulling the hot contents down on themselves.
- Wear short sleeves or tight fitting long sleeves when cooking to reduce a clothing fire hazard and make sure pot holders are not too close to the stove.
- If there is a fire in the oven - Turn off the oven and keep the oven door closed.
- Always, have a working smoke detector!
- Over half the people attempting to extinguish a kitchen fire are injured. Never try to move the pan, don't throw water on it, and don't put flour on it.
- If you attempt to extinguish the fire, it is best to use a class ABC multipurpose fire extinguisher. Stay back 6 to 8 feet and be careful not to spray the grease out of the pan. Baking soda can also smother the fire.
Barbecue Grill Safety Tips
- Portable barbecue pits, charcoal grills and other open-flame cooking devices outside of a building should not be operated on combustible balconies or within 10 feet of combustible walls or roofs or other combustible materials.
- When igniting the barbecue charcoal, use a charcoal lighter, not gasoline.
- A fire extinguisher or charged garden hose should be handy while the fire is burning.
- Check the pit frequently to insure that it is okay.
- Never leave children unsupervised near a hot grill.
- Hot ash and coals from barbecue pits and charcoal burners should be placed in a non-combustible container until cooled or thoroughly saturated with water, before being disposed of.