Fire and traffic safety tips for Independence Day and the summer

Monroe firefighters respond to a crash in May after a distracted driver hit a parked trailer where a contractor was working, flipping the vehicle over.

About the author: Kevin Catalano is chief of the Monroe Volunteer Fire Department. 

The Monroe Volunteer Fire Department wishes all residents an enjoyable and safe 4th of July weekend and summer season. The following are some tips to help keep the community safe and some local examples of what can go wrong.

In Connecticut, aerial fireworks are illegal for nonprofessional or non-certified users, so it’s best to watch an organized fireworks display conducted by professionals. Only sparklers and fountains are permitted but those too can cause serious burns if mishandled.

Fireworks inside a trash bin caused this Monroe fire.

What can go wrong? A home in Shelton was recently destroyed when fire broke out and fireworks stored inside detonated. This put the lives of the residents, neighbors and responding firefighters in great danger and led to the complete loss of this home.

Similar to handling fireplace ashes, if using fireworks and related materials, ensure they are soaked down and stored outside in a noncombustible container located at least 10 feet from the home.

What can go wrong? Last year, a fire broke out inside the attached garage of a Monroe home when fireworks that were still hot were placed inside a combustible trash bin.

When grilling, don’t leave the grill unattended and ensure it is located at least three feet from the house, deck railings, overhangs, trees and shrubs. Regularly clean the grill to reduce the risk of a grease fire. If a grease fire occurs, if it’s safe to do so, close the lid, shut the burners, and turn off the propane supply.

What can go wrong? Thanks to the diligence of Monroe residents, we have seen a continued decline in grill fires in town. However, there are several examples of grill fires in our region leading to vinyl siding melting off the back of a home or scorch mark damage because a grill caught fire that was too close to the home.

Educate children and keep kids and pets a safe distance away from outdoor fire pits, portable chimneys and camp fires. Make sure children visiting your home also know of the danger. Have a garden hose accessible, which can reach the area of your burn and thoroughly douse the fire when done.

What can go wrong? There are several examples where Monroe residents discovered outdoor fires had rekindled later in the evening or even the following day due to recreational fires that were not fully extinguished or when hot ashes were discarded near leaves or other combustibles.

Keep in mind there is no open/controlled burning in Monroe from June through September, even with an annual permit. Camp fires are allowed during the summer, with a proper permit from the Fire Marshal’s Office located at Town Hall that outlines burning procedures and safety considerations.

On the roads, stay alert to increased walkers and runners, bicyclists, children playing, and landscaping trailers parked on roadways. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of vehicle collisions in Monroe, including some caused by distracted driving and unanticipated conditions.

What can go wrong? In May, a vehicle flipped over in Monroe after striking a parked trailer where a contractor was working. Fortunately no one was significantly injured.

All respectful comments with the commenter’s first and last name are welcome.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog

The Monroe Sun covers all of the news of Monroe, CT

Follow Us

© Copyright 2023, The Monroe Sun LLC