Don’t Get Burned this Summer

Every year, almost 10,000 Americans are injured by fireworks, and nearly 5,000 others are hurt by charcoal/wood-burning and propane grill fires (  Here are a few fire safety tips that will help everyone enjoy the summer’s vacations, camping, family reunions, and picnics.

Barbecue Safety

Before each time you use your grill, remember check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line.  The venturi tubes – where the air and gas mix – must not be blocked.  Do not overfill the propane tank, and do not wear loose clothing while cooking over an open flame.  Click here for the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Gas Grill Fact Sheet.

Be careful using lighter fluid. Do not add lighter fluid to an already lit fire – it can cause the flame to flash back up into the container and explode.  Keep all matches and lighters away from children.  Teach children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately.  Supervise children around outdoor grills. Dispose of hot coals properly – douse them with plenty of water, and stir them to ensure that the fire is out.  Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.

Never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas – carbon monoxide could be produced.  Keep grills away from sides of buildings. And, make sure everyone knows to Stop, Drop and Roll in case a piece of clothing catches fire.  Call 911 if a burn warrants serious medical attention.

Open Burning & Campfire Safety

Here in Avon, open burning is prohibited by ordinance.  However, campfires, including outdoor fire pits and chimneys, are permitted.  Please note, if smoke from your campfire bothers others, you can be required to extinguish it.

In special circumstances, open burning may be allowed, provided a permit is first obtained from the Fire Marshall.  An open burning permit is not valid during times when the State of Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Division of Forestry has rated the Forest Fire Danger as high, very high, or extreme and burning is within 100 feet of a grassland or forest (Forest Fire Danger updates and advisories can be found at  Please refer to The Code of Ordinances for the Town of Avon, Connecticut, Chapter 20, Article 3 (available at or by calling the Fire Marshall at 409-4390) for specific rules related to open burning.

When camping, be sure to follow the park’s rules for the use and extinguishing of campfires.  Build campfires where they will not spread, away from dry grass and leaves.  Maintain small campfires and don’t let them get out of hand.  Keep plenty of water and a shovel around to douse the fire when you’re done.  Stir it and douse it again with water.  Never leave campfires unattended.