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Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Fire pit safety tips
Advice for a safe winter season
By: John J. O’Brien, East Meadow Fire Department

The fall season is now upon us. Ask any East Meadow firefighter about nuisance fire calls and among them would be the many smoke investigations from backyard fire pits this time of year.

Common in the cooler season, fire pits have become the norm for residents across the United States. With a warm fire and soft crackle, there are not many better settings than the great outdoors. But, there are many things that your East Meadow volunteers want you to know about your fire pit for the safety of our community and those who protect it.

In nearly every case, the safety measures listed below are the result of what your East Meadow firefighter has seen right here in the past few years.

First and foremost, a certain degree of respect must be given to an open fire. Here are some important rules to live by:

No. 1, your fire pit must be kept under control at all times similar to

the rules of a campground. Never leave your fire pit unattended. Never have it in close proximity to combustible materials such as a brush, sheds, your home or garage.

No. 2, your pit should be situated on a non-combustible surface such as a stone patio. Never put your fire pit on or near a wood deck.

No. 3, if your fire pit is fed by natural gas, paying careful attention to the distance of the tank is important. Remember, like your gas grill, raw gas presents an immediate danger in an uncontrolled state. Should you have a gas leak, immediately contact the fire department. Our professionals are ready to handle the situation.

No. 4, never bring your fire pit indoors. Even an extinguished, but smoldering fire can still give off deadly gases such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide.

No. 5, never burn any non-ordinary materials like plastic, rubber and synthetics. These materials can take on an odor, creating concern during a fire department response.

No. 6, read all documentation that accompanies your newly purchased fire pit. A manufacturer may have specific requirements to keep your family safe.

No. 7, never leave a fire pit to the play of children. Such a danger can result in serious injury.

No. 8, alcohol and fire pits do not go together. Intoxication commonly causes poor judgment and blatant disregard for safety,

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