With more people staying home to celebrate the Fourth of July this year, Southwest Gas and the Phoenix Fire Department want to share tips for staying safe when enjoying fireworks and grilling. It is important to remember to not use any type of fireworks near a natural gas meter or appliance. Additionally, do not sit, stand on or lean against any natural gas infrastructure.
The Phoenix Fire Department recommends the following for fireworks safety:
- Use only permitted fireworks, including cylindrical and cone fountains, illuminating torches, wheels, ground spinners, flitter sparklers and ground sparkling devices.
- Stay vigilant. More than half of the injuries suffered while using fireworks include hands and fingers, heads, faces, eyes and ears.
- Young children should not play with fireworks under any circumstances.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies during your festivities. Keep a hose with a shut-off nozzle nearby, too.
- Make sure people are out of range before lighting fireworks, and never place any part of your body directly over a device while lighting. Wear protective eyewear as well.
- Sparklers should only be handled by children older than 12. Make sure those holding sparklers stay 10 feet apart. Put all used sparklers in a water bucket.
“Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully. Light fireworks one at a time and then move back quickly,” said Phoenix Fire Department Public Information Officer Rob McDade. “More than 240 people on average go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday!”
Before firing up your natural gas grill, be sure to check gas hoses for holes, cracks, brittleness and leaks, and make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing. Grills made for outdoor use should never be used indoors. In addition, it is important to remember that modern gas grills include features like pilotless ignition – no matches or lighter fluid are required.
A natural gas leak can be detected by a distinct sulfur-like odor, similar to rotten eggs, even if it is faint or momentary. Unusual hissing or roaring coming from the ground or an above-ground pipeline, bubbling water and discolored plants or grass surrounding a pipeline can also be signs of a leak. If you suspect a natural gas leak in the area, do not light fireworks and move to a safe location to call 911 and Southwest Gas at 877-860-6020.
Southwest Gas Corporation provides natural gas service to over 2 million customers in Arizona, California and Nevada.