Seasonal Fire Safety

Seasonal Fire Safety

Learn how to keep your family safe from the seasonal threats that may endanger you including grilling, fireworks and holiday fires!


Simply stated, fireworks are just too risky for anyone! People are urged to leave fireworks, whether legal or illegal, to professionals. Fireworks endanger not only the users, but the bystanders and surrounding buildings and property. Pyrotechnic devices ranging from sparklers to aerial rockets cause thousands of fires and serious injuries each year. NFPA Fireworks Safety

  • Grills should always be used outside and never indoors, in enclosed spaces or tents
  • Situate your grill away from combustible materials and out from under eaves and low-hanging branches
  • Keep children and pets away from grills
  • Use grilling tools/utensils with long handles to prevent burns
  • Clean your grill regularly to prevent grease and fat buildup which can ignite
See the Willmar Municipal Code below pertaining to grills at apartment complexes:
  • ARTICLE I.  IN GENERAL; Sec. 6-1.  Fires or barbecues prohibited.
  • In any structure containing three (3) or more dwelling units, no person shall kindle, maintain, or cause any fire or open flame on any balcony above ground level, or on any ground floor patio within fifteen (15) feet of the structure, except listed electric or gas-fired barbecue grills that are permanently mounted and wired or plumbed to the building's gas supply or electrical system and that maintain a minimum clearance of twenty-eight (28) inches on all sides, unless listed for lesser clearances, may be installed on balconies and patios when approved by the fire chief.
Fire Pits / Recreational Fires:
Please visit our page on Fire Pits for more information. 


  • Have your furnace inspected annually - before the cold weather hits
  • Properly prepare your fireplace and chimneys for the winter season (Fireplace Safety)
  • Always turn portable space heaters off before leaving the house
  • Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from flammable materials (curtains, bedding, etc.)
  • Extinguish candles when leaving a room, leaving the house, or going to bed
Holiday Decorating:

Decoration fires account for an estimated 1,500 reported home structure fires per year, the majority involving candles as the heat source, causing millions of dollars in direct property damage.

  • When possible, choose items made with flame-resistant, flame-retardant, or non-combustible materials
  • Keep candles away from decorations
  • Never use candles to decorate your Christmas tree
  • Only use lights and electrical decorations that are approved by an independent testing lab
  • Carefully inspect new and previously-used light strings and replace all damaged items
  • Do not overload your outlets or extension cords
  • Don't mount lights or other decorations in a manner that can damage their cords (stapling, nailing, etc.)
  • Remember to keep your escape routes clear of decorations
Holiday Entertaining:
  • Never leave your cooking unattended
  • Smoke outdoors
  • When smoking indoors, provide plenty of wide, deep ashtrays for your guests
  • Check couches and other upholstered furniture for smoldering cigarette butts and ashes
  • Test your smoke alarms and inform your guests about your family's escape plan