Fire safety can lead to reliable electricity

Summer fun for Americans often means using fire outdoors—and that can lead to brushfires.

Brushfires can cause power outages.

If you’re grilling on a charcoal grill, building a campfire or setting off fireworks, take extra care to extinguish them completely before leaving them unattended.

Along with endless other safety concerns, heat from brushfires can damage electrical lines and equipment, causing major power problems. Even smoke and ash can cause a high-voltage transmission line to trip, leaving sections of the power grid without power.

Summer dryness increases the chance of wildfires, but so do unsafe practices. During Fourth of July celebrations, use only legal fireworks and sparklers, and use them on concrete or pavement rather than dry grass. Never let children handle fireworks; they can burn.

When making a campfire, keep a bucket of water nearby to control a spreading fire. Make a fire pit surrounded by rocks, not wood, and clear away leaves and other flammable materials that quickly spread flame. Never leave a campsite with a burning fire. Quench the fire with water to ensure the damp ashes cannot re-light.

Snuff the burning coals in your charcoal grill by placing the lid on the grill and closing its vents. Most grills have a vent both on the lid and under the kettle. Leave it closed up for 48 hours.

Keep the power going and the community safe by practicing fire safety this summer.