With summer finally here, the Airdrie Fire Department (AFD) is reminding Airdronians how to be safe and prevent wildfires while enjoying summer.

Garth Rabel, Deputy Fire Chief for AFD, says they haven't seen anything out of the ordinary this summer yet.

“We do have some concerns regarding people and their activities. Things like barbecues may be on decks that are too close to homes, fire pits and making sure that they're being managed responsibly, possibly illegal fireworks, we want to make sure that no one's doing that and putting the neighbourhood at risk.”

Rabel mentioned cigarettes are always of high concern.

“Sitting smoking on the deck, maybe visiting and not using proper reciprocals for their cigarettes. Those are all things that we are concerned about. We want people to really understand that they have to be safe in order to make sure these things don't start fires.”

According to Rabel, overall, Airdrie is a very safe community regarding fire safety, but with kids being out of school now things always get a little bit more interesting.

“There are more and more activities with the folks getting together, possibly having a few drinks over dinner. We just want to make sure that they're really cognizant of putting all the things in place to keep each other safe.”

Rabel mentioned that following the bylaws for activities that contain fire hazards should be pretty safe. If things get out of hand, always contact the AFD.

“If someone does have a problem with smoke, or they feel that a fire may be bigger than it needs to be or too close to combustibles like a fence, by all means just contact the 911 system. Our crews will come by and will mitigate and educate. We're not there to ruin anybody's good time, but want to make sure that it doesn't turn into a situation where people could be injured and the property gets damaged.”

Rabel says a person should never be embarrassed to contact 911 or the AFD if help is needed and emphasizes cigarette safety because it seems to be a recurring cause of fires.

“We really need people to be responsible on their decks with cigarettes because we did see a couple of fires that were associated with improper disposal of smoking materials. Don't use planters, don't throw them out car windows, just follow all those typical safety messages.”

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