Don't Get Burned This Fourth of July

State Farm® reminds consumers to have a fire extinguisher on hand because fireworks can happen too at the backyard BBQ

Jun 30, 2010, 09:56 ET from State Farm

BLOOMINGTON, Ill., June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- According to recent National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) data, more than 18,600 patients are seen in the emergency room as a result of injuries involving grills. Children under age five accounted for almost one-quarter of those injuries. Adults age 20 – 35 had the second most incidents.

Case in point, Illinois Wesleyan University senior Ted Richards.  After a close call while grilling, Richards resolved to locate his fire extinguisher and learn how to use it.

"I was taking potatoes off the grill and some of the olive oil dripped down," said Richards. "Next thing I knew, flames were shooting up towards my face." It was at that moment Ted realized he wasn't sure if there was a fire extinguisher in his house. If there was, he had never used one.

Fire extinguishers are a life and property saving tool but only if used properly. Whether you're grilling outdoors, lighting sparklers or camping, having a fire extinguisher available and knowing how to use it could be the difference between an enjoyable holiday weekend and a disastrous one. According to NFPA:

  • Locate the fire extinguisher in your house.  It is recommended to have at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of your home and in plain sight. The most important places to have a fire extinguisher are in areas that are most susceptible to fire – the kitchen and the garage.
  • Inspect the fire extinguisher to ensure that it is fully charged and operational.  It is recommended that you inspect your extinguishers on a monthly basis. A professional fire equipment supplier or fire department should periodically inspect the extinguishers to verify they are still operational.
  • Make sure you know what type of fire extinguisher is in your home. All household extinguishers are classified on the label to indicate which types of fires you can use them on.
  • Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher and become familiar with its parts and operation before a fire breaks out. Contact your fire department to see if they offer hands-on training.

For additional information about fire safety visit State Farm's website at and check out our You Tube video.

SOURCE State Farm