July is the peak month for grill fires. Roughly half of the injuries involving grills are thermal burns.

  • Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.
  • Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles.
  • If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill.
  • If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
  • If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 15 minutes before re-lighting it.

• 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 at least three feet away from the grill 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.
• Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.


Almost 2,500 people die in home fires every year in the United States. Most of these people live in homes that do not have working smoke alarms. Smoke alarms save lives. Keep your family safe. Put working smoke alarms in your home. Keep them working.

Put Smoke Alarms in Your Home to Keep Your Family Safe

  • Smoke is poisonous. It can kill you
  • Smoke alarms make a loud noise when there is smoke in your home
  • Smoke alarms wake you up if you are sleeping
  • Put a smoke alarm on every level of your home and outside each sleeping area
  • Put a smoke alarm inside every bedroom Smoke goes up
  • Put smoke alarms on the ceiling or high on the wall

Make Sure Your Smoke Alarms Work

  • Your family is not safe if they can’t hear the smoke alarms
  • Test your smoke alarms. Push the test button.You will hear a loud noise. If you don’t hear the noise, you need a new battery or a new alarm. Fix this immediately.
  • Make sure the smoke alarm always has a good battery. Most alarms will need a new battery every year.
  • Smoke alarms with long-life batteries will work for up to 10 years. You do not change the battery.
  • Smoke alarms do not last forever. Get new smoke alarms every 10 years.

Know What to Do if Your Smoke Alarm Makes a Loud Noise

You have about three minutes to get everyone outside and safe.

  • Make an escape plan.
    • Tell your family what to do if they hear the smoke alarm.
    • Make an escape plan so everyone knows how to get out fast.
    • Pick a meeting place outside your home where everyone will meet.
    • Some children and older adults cannot hear the smoke alarm when they are sleeping. Make a plan for how to wake them up and help them get out.
    • Practice your home escape plan with everyone in your family two times each year by having family fire drills.
  • Use your escape plan if there is a fire.
    • Go to your outside meeting place immediately.
    • Call 911 or the fire department from outside.
    • Never go back inside a burning building.

LOCK BOX Requirements

The Town of Harwich requires any home or business owner to install a lockbox on any property that has an alarm system that is monitored remotely. This includes medical alert buttons and fire alrm systems. These lockboxes are a safe and secure way to provide the Fire Department a key to the property in case of alarm activation. These lockboxes are opened by a special key that ONLY the fire department carries. These lockboxes are different than the ones distributed by the Harwich Water Department. Contact the HFD for more information at (508) 430-7546.

Click here to download the NEW 2013 Lock Box Form



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