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July is always a hectic month for the Fire Department, and this year appears to be no different.  There are a number of reasons that July brings an increase in call volume, from dry weeds and bottle-rockets to good times gone awry. 

With the warm weather and festivities of July, almost everyone likes to perform the age-old tradition of the backyard cookout.  According to a recent study, grill fires account for 18 percent of all home structure and outdoor fires.  Fire departments in the U.S. respond to an average of 8,200 home structure or outdoor fires involving grills, hibachis, or barbecues.  These fire incidents result in an annual average of 15 civilian fatalities, 120 reported civilian injuries, and $75 million in direct property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).  So to promote grill safety here are a few grill safety tips;

~Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.

~The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

~Keep children and pets away from the grilling area.

~Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.

~Never leave your grill unattended.

~You should never attempt to modify your grill or use it for a purpose it is not intended for.

Hopefully these tips will help keep your backyard get together fun and incident-free.

The anniversary of the day our country declared its independence is just around the corner, and in an effort to make it safe and enjoyable for all, here are a few fireworks safety tips:

1. Fireworks are for outside use only. Your average sparkler burns at about 1200 degrees, not really something you want in your house.

2. Be aware of your surroundings. Your fireworks show might get a little too exciting if you light it next to the neighbor’s dry-decorative bushes.

3. Obey state and local laws pertaining to fireworks. Idaho law states that the only fireworks permitted in this state for consumer use are non-aerial.

4. Always have water handy; a bucketful of water or a garden hose works great.

5. Never modify fireworks you have purchased from a vendor. They are designed to work the way they come and modifying them puts you at risk for injury.

6. Do not try to relight dud fireworks.

7. Keep a safe distance when enjoying your fireworks display and always step back after lighting the fuse.

8. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk or light fireworks drunk.

If you follow these tips your chances of having a fun celebration will be greatly increased.

That’s about it for this month, and until next time, don't forget to wave to the boys in the BRT.