Greenville Fire Department urges fire safety in summer months

GREENVILLE – With warm weather fast approaching, and with it the opportunity for yard maintenance and outdoor cooking, the Greenville Fire Department urges community members to become familiar with the laws and regulations which govern open burning.

Protect yourself, your neighbors, and your wallet by knowing the rules – where and what you can burn. The Ohio Fire Code and the EPA have specific regulations concerning open burning, so it is important to understand the restrictions that apply.

Within the city limits of Greenville, the only legal outdoor fire allowed without a permit is a recreational fire. A recreational fire is defined as a campfire or cooking fire less than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet tall. The following list or rules as stated in the Ohio Fire Code pertains to the regulations for open burning/recreational fires:

• Fire must be attended at all times

• There must be some form of extinguishment present (garden hose, fire extinguisher, etc.).

• Burn only clean wood.

• Recreational fires, in approved containers, must be at least 15 feet from any structure. All other recreational fires must be at least 25 feet from any structure.

Open burning is never allowed with:

• Garbage: Any wastes created in the process of handling, preparing, cooking or consuming.

• Materials made of plastic, manufactured wood products, materials containing rubber, grease and asphalt or made from petroleum (such as tires), yard waste including leaves, etc.

• Open burning is not allowed when air pollution warnings, alerts or emergencies are in effect.

• Smoke generated from fire cannot obscure visibility for roadways.

• Fires that are offensive because of smoke or odor emissions are prohibited.

Few things are more enjoyable than an outdoor barbecue on a summer evening. Like any type of fire, however, outdoor cooking can be dangerous if handled carelessly. For your safety and the safety of those around you, the Greenville Fire Department offers you the following suggestions:

Gas grills

• Clean your grill at least once a year, paying special attention to the venture (the tubes through which the gas flows). Spiders often build webs in these, blocking the gas flow.

• Always check for gas leaks (using a soapy solution) after re-connecting your tank.

• When lighting the grill, always keep the lid open to prevent a build-up of gas.

• If the burner fails to light or goes out during operation, turn the gas off; keep the lid open and wait five minutes before trying to light again.

• Never cook inside an enclosed are due to carbon monoxide build up.

• Always store gas cylinders outdoors in an upright position.

• Never transport a cylinder in the trunk of your vehicle or enclosed space where excessive heat is present.

Charcoal grills

• Do not add fire starter after you have started your barbecue. The heat from the coals could ignite the stream of liquid and burn back to the container, causing it to explode.

• After cooking, soak coals with water and allow to cool before disposing in a metal container.

In all cases, keep children away from outdoor cooking devices and never leave the fire unattended. Call 911 of a fire begins to burn out of control. It is our hope that these common sense tips will help avoid unnecessary incidents, leading to a safe summer season for you and your family.