Heating up: Tips to help prevent wildfires this summer

Gretchen Pahia

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By Gretchen Pahia / NewsBreak Pinal County, AZ

(Pinal County, AZ) Summer isn’t even here yet, but wildfire dangers are very high across Arizona. So far this year, we’ve already witnessed hundreds of wildfires across the state.

Generally, wildfire season doesn’t start until late May or early June, but it is never too early to start thinking about things we can do to prevent fires in desert surroundings, at home and beyond.

Queen Creek Fire Inspector Casey Wood, along with his counterparts in Pinal County, want to make sure homeowners and residents in the area stay safe all summer long.

Wood shares useful and important steps homeowners should take to ensure they and their loved ones make it through another hot summer without any fire dangers lurking.

· Gas Grills:

o Make sure connections between grill & tanks are secure

o Do not overfill propane tanks

o Keep grill at least ten feet away from house, overhanging structures, or awnings

o Never grill in enclosed areas

o If you are using a charcoal grill, make sure to dispose of hot coals properly by dousing them with a lot of water. Never put in any wooden or plastic containers

· Fireworks:

o Make sure you're using legal fireworks safely. Never leave children unattended around fireworks

o Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass

o Always have a bucket of water or fire extinguisher nearby

o If firework does not go off do not stand over it to investigate, douse it with water and move on

· Air Conditioning Units:

o Fires can be caused by inadequate wiring while having to deal with heavier electrical loads, short circuits, or other malfunctions

o Inspect your air conditioner wiring system every year to prevent fires

o Have your system serviced regularly to check for things such as faulty motors or loose belts

· Lawn Mower (including weed eaters, grinders, and torches):

o Replace your fuel line every year to help prevent electrical issues

o Add fuel stabilizer every time you fill up

o Do not store tools until they are completely cooled down

Fire season isn’t entirely preventable due to the hot temperatures and dry nature throughout much of the region. However, there are many steps residents can take to help prevent fires from starting and to help keep the community safe. For more information on fire safety, building campfires outdoors, and more check out the website.

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Gretchen has immense media and public relations experience, is an award-winning television news producer and has been published in a number of publications. Native to Arizona and is a graduate of Northern Arizona University.

Peoria, AZ

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