LETTER: Spring Fire Safety Tips from the Watertown Fire Department

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Residents of Watertown:

As the weather is beginning to improve it is becoming apparent that spring is here! With the nice weather and people spending more time outdoors, I felt it was a good time to offer some spring and summer fire prevention and safety tips.

Grilling is a great way to prepare a meal while enjoying the nice weather, but there are a number of precautions that should be taken. Grills can only be used on a porch if it is a first floor porch with no roof or overhang and has an outdoor staircase to the ground or is at ground level. Grills cannot be within 10 feet of any structure; this includes, but is not limited to, sheds and fences. As always you should exercise caution when children are near.

One of the more popular questions I receive this time of year is about the usage of fire pits or chimineas. Watertown is one of 22 communities in the commonwealth where open burning is illegal. Due to the densely populated nature of our town, and the proximity of structures, it is unsafe to have any open fires that could produce flying brands or embers.

Gasoline is a tool that many of us use to operate tools around the yard. Extreme care must be taken when handling gasoline. Gasoline vapors can ignite at a very low temperature. When refueling approved gasoline containers be sure to place them on the ground and bring the nozzle into contact with the inside of the container. This will reduce the risk of a static shock igniting the vapors. When at home, store containers in a secure place away from living areas (such as a shed or detached garage) and away from any ignition sources.

Finally, leave the fireworks to the professionals. All fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts, even Class C fireworks which includes sparklers, party poppers, snappers, cherry bombs, firecrackers, and more. For reference, sparklers burn at 1800 degrees Fahrenheit.

For more information on spring/summer fire safety, please visit the Department of Fire Services website at www.mass.gov/dfs or contact my office directly at 617-972-6510.

Thank you and have a safe spring and summer, and please follow us on Instagram and Twitter @WatFirePrev for more tips, pictures and an inside look at your Watertown Fire Department.


Captain Ryan Nicholson
Fire Inspector
Watertown Fire Department

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