When the heat of summer comes, we typically hear about the precautions to take when outdoors or camping to prevent forest fires – and they are essential! But did you know that your potted plants can also be fire hazards? As can your barbeque, which you should inspect every year. Here are a few pointers to enjoy the hot summer temperatures with peace of mind.
Keep a safe patio
It can be tempting to put out a cigarette in a flower pot. After all, it’s just dirt, so it can’t be dangerous. Wrong! In recent years, it has actually become increasingly hazardous to put a lit cigarette stub in the soil of your flowers and plants. “We have had major losses due to fires caused by cigarettes butted out in flower pots. Because of fertilizers contained in the soil, or wood chips, the risk of fire is very, very high!” says Abdelmoughit, an expert at belairdirect.
Wood chips, fertilizers, peat moss and the chemical products contained in soils can catch fire. Plus, a cigarette can burn away for over three hours and combust at any time. So be vigilant!
Even if you’re a non-smoker, these tips may still apply to you. When you’re hosting, planning ahead for guests can save you plenty of hassle!
A few tips to avoid fires in your planters
- Make sure you have an ashtray that’s deep enough and place it on a flat surface away from the wind. A mason jar filled with damp sand or water does the trick.
- Water all the planters often, as they dry out faster than the garden. When the mercury rises, get out the watering can.
- It’s best to use clay planters, because they’re not flammable and they keep moisture in well.
- Keep bags of potting soil out of the sun and in a safe place.
The basics for a well-maintained barbeque
Once you’ve watered the plants and flowers, it’s time to start up the barbeque! But before you grill up the year’s first munchies, it’s best to follow some basic tips.
- Ensure that your barbecue is kept in a safe place, meaning at least three metres from doors and windows and at least one metre from furniture – and far away from potentially combustible materials (planters, furniture).
- Before you first light it up for the season, clean your barbecue to get rid of old deposits that may catch fire (dead leaves, grease, etc.) and do a complete inspection of the grill, burners and connections.
- With a gas barbeque, each time you set up to start cooking, check that there’s no propane leak.
Precautions to take outdoors
If you’re heading out on a camping trip or outdoor adventure, keep in mind these pointers to be as safe as possible and minimize the risk of dangerous forest fires!
- Consult the SOPFEU website to find out if campfires are permitted in your area.
- Never put out a cigarette in nature.
- Pick up and remove your glass bottles, as their magnifying lens effect can cause dry plant matter to catch fire.
Finally, you can learn more about how forest fires start and how to prevent them in this article by our meterologist.
Have a great summer!