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Summer means no school, sunshine, and plenty of time outside. Whether the homeowners in your neighborhood are enjoying their backyards or your community’s common areas, summer is a time for relaxation, celebration, and making good memories together.

Unfortunately, summer also means a heightened risk of fires and wildfires, especially in drier climates.

By remembering some key fire safety principles, you and your communities can enjoy a safe, fire-free summer. Here are some best practices to remember.

Grill safety

There’s nothing like grilling outdoors in the summer! This fun tradition can lead to lots of pleasant outdoor picnics, but irresponsible grilling could potentially lead to disaster. Stay safe by:

  • Placing community grills outdoors and on a stable surface, away from structures, hanging branches, or other combustible materials
  • Keeping grills clean and well maintained
  • Reminding community grill users to never leave grills unattended, and to make sure they are completely turned off (and flames put out) before leaving
  • Encouraging users to keep a water source or fire extinguisher nearby while grilling

Campfire/fire pit safety

Community fire pits are a great way to bring people together to enjoy warm summer evenings. Still, it’s important to take whatever steps necessary in order to make sure this activity remains safe.

  • Use signage to communicate to users the rules of the fire pit (time limits, instructions, etc.).
  • Keep the areas around the public fire pits free of debris.
  • Keep the fire pits clean and well maintained.
  • Monitor public areas and enforce rules as necessary.

Firework safety

Fireworks can add a lot to fun holiday celebrations on summer nights, but they also present inherent risks. While it can be difficult to enforce firework use on HOA property, it’s a good idea to remind your homeowners of the rules and regulations surrounding fireworks in your city and community.

  • Review city and state laws around fireworks, including dates they can be used and what types are legal for personal use. Remind residents of these regulations using email or other communication.
  • Remind residents to follow safe firework protocols, including purchasing from reliable sources, carefully reading and following instructions, lighting them in a safe outdoor area, and keeping them away from children.
  • If your community has a neighborhood watch, remind them to be on the lookout on days when fireworks may be in use. Egregious violations of firework policies or laws may justify police involvement, as they may pose a threat to property.

Get proper insurance coverage.

No matter the size or cause, fire can cause devastating damage in your community. Make sure you’re covered by having adequate insurance coverage. Most property insurance will also cover fire damage, but it’s important to speak with an HOA insurance agent to make sure you have the right insurance coverage for your specific needs. Working with an HOA insurance expert will help you rest easy knowing your association is covered in case of fire.

Summer provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun, but safety should always come first. Follow these tips to stay fire safe this summer and enjoy the season!