LANSING — The Department of Natural Resources reminds residents and travelers that special care and vigilance are necessary while enjoying campfires and fireworks over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in a typical year more fires are reported on Independence Day than any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires.
NFPA also reported that campfires are the third biggest source of humancaused wildfire. “Times like those spent with family and friends during the Fourth of July are what make Michigan summers so enjoyable,” said Ada Takacs, DNR fire prevention specialist. “In order to keep these times fun, it’s important to take a few extra steps that will ensure safety for all.”
When preparing to use fireworks, the DNR suggests the following safety tips:
Only use fireworks in parking lots, driveways and gravel or dirt areas.
Keep them away from fields, grassy areas and buildings.
Follow instructions carefully, with close adult supervision.
Let fireworks cool, and then soak them in water before disposing of debris.
Keep a bucket of water, wet towel and a garden hose nearby.
While enjoying campfires, some important safety tips to keep in mind:
Never leave your fire unattended, even for a minute.
Keep campfires small.
Be sure to have water nearby.
When putting a campfire out, drown it with water then stir until it is cold to the touch.
“Keeping your family and property safe is vital to making Independence Day fun for everyone,” Takacs said. “Smokey Bear turns 70 this year. Let’s give him an early birthday gift by practicing his safety tips while having fun with fireworks and campfires this holiday. Always remember Smokey’s words of wisdom: ‘Only YOU can prevent wildfires!’”
More fire prevention and safety tips can be found on the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/preventwildfires. — G.G.