Summer is here and is a good opportunity for IAFF members to raise awareness for burn prevention and safety in their communities.

As families have fun firing up their grills, using fireworks or enjoying a campsite fire, it’s the perfect time to stress that safety always comes first.

The IAFF offers numerous resources for affiliates interested in burn safety campaigns. For more information, contact Tom Flamm, IAFF Burn Coordinator.

In the meantime, here are some tips to share in your local community on how to have a safe and burn-free summer.


Did you know that on average, 7,100 home fires per year involve gas grills? Or that another 1,200 home fires involve charcoal or solid-fueled grills every year? (source: Washington Post)

  •        Never add starter fluid to hot or warm coals while grilling. This can result in an uncontrollable and dangerous fire
  •        Make sure grills are kept away from anything that is combustible
  •         Make sure coals are completely cool before disposing of them
  • If you use a propane grill, leave the fuel valve shut when it is not in use


Fireworks are entertaining, but can also cause serious injuries. In 2010, there were approximately 15,000 reported fires, 60 civilian injuries and $36 million in property damage all caused by fireworks. Tom Flamm, IAFF Burn Coordinator and former retired Chicago Local 2 fire fighter, says, “Leave the fireworks to the professionals.”

  •         Remind people that sparklers can’t be used indoors
  •          Wear long sleeves when burning sparklers, and make sure it’s clothing that will not easily catch fire.
  •          Keep a bucket of water or sand handy in case of fire

Camp Fires

When camping, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of building and disposing of a camp fire.

  •   Camp fires should be built downward. Poorly managed fires are the frequent cause  of forest fires
  •   Do not add flammable liquids to the fire
  •  Never leave a camp fire unattended – this a common mistake that ultimately puts people in great danger
  •   When extinguishing your camp fire be sure to use lots of water to make sure the embers are fully out. One way to tell is when the hissing sound stops as you pour water on the fire
  •   If you don’t have any water, substitute sand or dirt and stir them in with the embers and ashes

Burn safety is very important and should be taken seriously. The most common burns are scald burns. These painful burns can be prevented by installing anti-scald units in bath tubs and turning down water heaters.

If the unthinkable happens and if your clothes catch fire, remember to…

Stop – don’t run, protect your face

Drop – Get down on the floor

Roll – Protect your face and roll over and over