Prevention & Preparedness
Holiday Tips
Prevention & Preparedness

Memorial Day Safety Tips to Prevent Fire Emergencies

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Memorial Day Backyard Fire

“Firetending, It’s a Man’s Duty” Photo ©Craig Howell, Creative Commons

This year Memorial Day is expected to be a fantastic 76 degrees with more than 60% humidity, but this does not negate our fire danger from drought conditions.

Here are a few tips to help keep you safe this Memorial Day:

Barbecues are involved in approximately 8,600 home fires per year. (The National Fire Protection Agency)

  • Place your barbecue at least three feet from your house, fence, or tree branches, and not on dry grass or other flammable materials
  • Don’t Barbecue in strong winds
  • Check the hoses for blockages
  • Clean your grill before using it; grease or dust can unexpectedly ignite


  • Get a permit so you know local rules
  • Make a 10 foot perimeter around your area clean of combustable materials like grass or sticks
  • Do not have a campfire in strong winds
  • Make sure your fire is cool to the touch before you leave it. Low smoldering embers can ignite fires long after you have left the area

Yard work

  • Take care when cleaning areas of your property that have not been irrigated. A lawnmower or tractor hitting a rock can create the spark that ignites a wildfire.


  • Be careful not to park on dry grass areas. The hot exhaust can easily ignite dry vegetation.

Stow your butts

  • Every year, almost 1,000 smokers and non-smokers are killed in fires caused by cigarettes and other smoking materials. (FEMA) Be thoughtful, stow your butts in a designated container.