BBQ Safety Tips

There are three types of grills on the market:

Propane gas grills which use propane tanks. Natural gas grills which use gas piped in from your house. Charcoal grills which use charcoal briquettes and lighter fluid.

CAUTION: Propane and Natural Gas grills are not interchangeable. Make sure all fittings are tight, and there is adequate ventilation.

Ten Safety Tips for the BBQ:

Read all instructions before using your grill. Note safety, operation and handling instructions. Clean grill thoroughly before and after using. This is to avoid grease build up that can cause flare-ups and/or fire.NEVER put lighter fluid directly on flames!Keep all grilling activities away from buildings, houses and garages. Use all grills outdoors. Never grill inside houses, garages or on wooden porches. Store all lighting fluids away from children. Have a multipurpose A-B-C fire extinguisher, a garden hose, bucket of water or sand nearby. Keep all children and pets away from grilling area (at least 5 feet in all directions). Never leave cooking unattended. Use proper grilling utensils for safe handling. Use only fluids recommended for charcoal grilling, and dispose of charcoal properly in a metal container dowsed with water. Check cooking area for proper extinguishment.

Dry Season

Southwest Florida Dry Season Safety Tips

According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, homeowners should take a few key steps to protect their homes from wildfires:

Keep a "defensible space" of 30 feet around your home free of dense groups of trees and other potential fire fuel. If you don't have 30 feet, work with what you have. Keep roof gutters clear of dried leaves, pine needles, branches and other debris. Store combustibles such as gasoline a safe distance from the home.

• Remove vines attached to your home that could carry fire to the roof.

• Remove flammable plants such as palmetto, wax myrtle and melaleuca from within 30 feet of your home.

• Use fire-resistant material for your roof, including tile or metal.

• Keep your yard well-trimmed and watered.

• Install water sprinklers on your roof.

• Trim tree branches so they're at least 10 feet from the ground.

Space Heater Safety

It's no secret: Space heaters are too hot to handle!

As the weather cools off, many people will use space heaters to supplement, or even completely, heat their homes and offices. The list of potential dangers from the use of space heaters is long, and the best advice may be not to use them at all. However, observing some simple precautions can minimize the risk associated with the use of space heaters, including:

Maintain a three-foot clearance on all sides of the heater. Do not get dressed near heaters. Do not hang clothing on the heater to dry. Do not allow lint and dust to accumulate on the heater. Do not store flammable liquid near the heater. The heater should have proper guards, grates, grills or glass shields covering the heat source. Both electric and kerosene heaters must be equipped with automation shut-off switches designed to turn the heater off if it tips over. Use the right type of fuel for fuel-burning heaters. NO SUBSTITUTIONS!Never refill the fuel tank indoors. Do not overfill the heater. Fuel oils can expand, overflow and flare up after the unit warms up. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, vent the heating unit to the outside. Fuel-burning heaters deplete the oxygen and produce carbon monoxide. If possible, keep a window or door slightly open, and be sure to keep the heater clean.

How to Use Your Fire Extinguisher

Generator Safety Tips

Never use a generator indoors, including in homes, garages, screened porches and otherenclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation such as an open garage door.

Follow the instructions that come with your generator. Locate the unit outdoors and away from doors, windows, and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. Install battery-operated carbon monoxide alarms according to the manufacturer's installation instructions. Test them frequently. Keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions. To protect from moisture, operate it on a dry surface under an open, canopy-like structure. Dry your hands if wet before touching the generator. Plug appliances directly into the generator. Or, use a heavy-duty, outdoor-rated extension cord that is rated (in watts or amps) at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads. Check that the entire cord is free of cuts or tears and that the plug has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin. Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet, a practice known as "backfeeding." This is an extremely dangerous practice that presents an electrocution risk to utility workers and neighbors served by the same utility transformer. If you must connect the generator to the house wiring to power appliances, have a qualified electrician install the appropriate equipment in accordance with local electrical codes. For power outages, permanently installed stationary generators are better suited for providing backup power to the home. Even a properly connected portable generator can become overloaded. This may result in overheating or stressing the generator components, possibly leading to a generator failure. Never store fuel for your generator in the home. Before refueling the generator, turn it off and let it cool down. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.

Remember the acronym, "P.A.S.S."

P -Pull the Pin

A -Aim the extinguisher nozzle at the base of the flames.

S -Squeeze trigger while holding the extinguisher upright.

S -Sweep the extinguisher from side to side, covering the area of the fire with the extinguishing agent.

Remember...Should your path of escape be threatened, Should the extinguisher run out of agent, Should the extinguisher prove to be ineffective, Should you no longer be able to safely fight the fire, LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY! NEVER HESITATE TO CALL 911