Fire safety tips for dry weather conditions

Recent dry weather has created elevated fire risk for Western Massachusetts

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The high and dry temperatures in Western Massachusetts are causing some concerns as 4th of July festivities get underway.

The recent weather might seem perfect, but it’s also created an elevated fire risk for all of Western Massachusetts.

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The National Weather Service sent out a statement Sunday morning, warning of the dry weather and low humidity which has caused an elevated fire risk for Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin Counties.

That means if you plan on taking out the grill for a 4th of July cookout, you’ll want to be extra careful. Every year, grill fires are responsible for nearly 9,000 house fires.

The National Fire Protection Association has some advice to help keep you and your family safe:

• Keep your grill a safe distance away from your house, deck railings, and branches
• Never add fluid to a charcoal grill after it has been lit
• Hot grill coals should be cooled and doused with water before discarding
• Keep water nearby in case something ignites
• Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before you light it
• Remove any grease or fat buildups from the grills and from the trays below

Fireworks are already illegal in Massachusetts, and the elevated fire risk also means they’re more dangerous than usual.

If you’re camping out for the 4th of July, we also have some advice to help you stay safe.

The National Fire Protection Association says if you’re planning to make a bonfire, you should make a fire safe zone around your house, which means removing anything near you that’s flammable, such as leaves and sticks.

You can also keep a metal bucket nearby for embers or ashes, which should be soaked them with water before they’re thrown away.

Lastly, you should always stay by the fire until it’s completely out.

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