Outdoor Safety

No matter what your doing outside; cooking, hiking, working or just having fun.  Your Phoenix Fire Department wants you to be safe!

Boating Safety

Fire Safety
When establishing a site for a barbecue, be sure there is nothing hanging overhead and it is a safe distance from trees, buildings and other combustibles.

  • When using charcoal grills, use only the lighter fluids designated for use with charcoal grills when starting your fire. 
  • Never use gasoline to start your fire. Immediately after using the lighter fluid, replace the fluid container in its storage location. Do not set it down by the grill.
  • Never use gasoline to quicken a charcoal fire. Don't add a charcoal starter fluid to the fire after it has begun. The flames can travel up to the can and cause an explosion. Always keep starter fluids in containers with child-resistant caps, and keep them out of the reach of children.
  • Don't wear loose clothing or robes around charcoal grills.
  • Flaming grease can make clothes catch fire. Keep a small spray bottle of water handy to douse flaming grease. A spray bottle filled with water, such as used for sprinkling clothes, is excellent for this.
  • Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) when used to fire a home barbecue, is contained under pressure in a steel cylinder. The contents of an LPG cylinder, vaporized and in a confined area, have the explosive force of several sticks of dynamite. If you use LPG,  be aware of the dangers involved and the precautions that must be taken.
  • Read the manufacturer's instructions and be sure you thoroughly understand them. Do not transport LPG cylinders in the trunk of a passenger vehicle. A filled cylinder should always be transported in an upright position on the floor of a vehicle with all windows open. Remove the cylinder from the vehicle as soon as possible.
  • Never leave a cylinder in a parked vehicle.
  • Never store any LPG cylinder - attached to the barbecue, or spares - inside any part of a structure, including porches and balconies. Store cylinders, including those attached to barbecues, outdoors in a shaded, cool area out of direct sunlight.
  • Using the proper size of wrench, make sure that all connections are tight. Remember that fittings on flammable gas cylinders have left-hand threads, requiring effort in a counterclockwise direction to tighten.
  • Make sure that grease is not allowed to drip on the hose or cylinders.
  • Never allow children to use a gas-fired barbecue.
  • Don't be tempted by a rainy day to use outdoor cooking equipment inside - not even in a garage or on a porch or balcony. Never use a gas-fired barbecue inside any structure.
  • If you are using a butane or propane barbecue, be sure there are no leaks from the tank or plumbing. If you suspect a leak, spray a soapy solution of water and dish washing detergent over the tubing, hoses and fittings. If bubbling is found, turn off the supply at the tank and call a repairman.
  • When using these types of barbecues, be sure to light a match first and place it in the ignition hole before turning the gas valve on.
  • If you turn the gas valve on first, and then waste time looking for a match, flammable gas will build up inside the barbecue. When a lighted match is finally placed near the barbecue, an explosion may result.
  • When you are through cooking, turn the gas valve off to the barbecue and shut off the supply valve at the tank.

Yard Tool Safety

Power lawn mowers make yard work much simpler than hand-propelled mowers. But, if not used with caution, these lawn mowers can be dangerous.

  • If you own a gasoline-powered mower or gasoline-powered outdoor yard maintenance tools such as a chain saw, check the condition of the muffler at the beginning of the season.
  • Spark arresters on mufflers should be considered in areas where dry grass is common. Hot gasses from defective mufflers can ignite dry grass. 
  • Never refuel power tools when the engine is running and never refuel it inside a tool shed or a garage. Do so only outside, in well-ventilated areas with the engine off.
  • Once the engine has been fueled, wipe up gasoline spills. And, since gasoline vapors can travel along the ground and be ignited by a nearby flame, move at least 10 feet away from the fueling spot, and the vapors, before starting the motor. If you must refuel, cool the motor before doing so.
  • Never smoke when you use gasoline. Remember that the invisible fumes from the gasoline can seek out a spark or flame from as far as 50 feet away. Once the fumes meet the spark, you, your clothes and skin could be engulfed in flames. Keep away from cigarettes, water heater pilot lights and any flames if you're handling gasoline.