Skip Navigation Links
Front Page
About GNSExpand About GNS
Arts & Culture
Business/Industry
CommunitiesExpand Communities
EducationExpand Education
Entertainment
Faith & Values
International
Links
Maritime
Medical News
Opinion/ForumExpand Opinion/Forum
Public Safety
Special EventsExpand Special Events
Transportation
Weather


Jim Guidry Commentaries
Harris County
City of Houston
News Release
Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Temporary BBQ Pit and Smoking Ban Lifted in all City of Houston Parks

Mayor Annise Parker, the Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD) and the Houston Fire Department have lifted the temporary grilling and smoking ban enacted in September of this year in response to unprecedented drought conditions.

Enough progress has been made on the removal of dead trees in the 12 City parks where the ban had remained in effect for the ban to be lifted for all City of Houston (COH) parks. The  COH appreciates the support that Houstonians have given as we faced the effects of this year's drought.

While the temporary BBQ pit and smoking ban has been lifted for all COH parks, the drought still continues in the region and our area's rainfall count is still below normal.  

Houstonians are advised to continue to keep the following fire safety tips in mind:

Barbecue Safety

  • Portable barbecue pits, charcoal grills and other open-flame cooking devices outside of a building should not be operated on combustible balconies or located within 10 feet of combustible walls or roofs or other combustible materials.
  • When igniting the barbecue charcoal, use a charcoal lighter, not gasoline. Gasoline can flash violently in and around the pit causing serious injuries to anyone in the area of the flash. A fire extinguisher or charged garden hose should be handy while the fire is burning. Check the pit frequently to ensure that it is okay.
  • Hot ash and coals from barbecue pits and charcoal burners should be placed in a non-combustible container until cooled or thoroughly saturated with water, before being disposed.

 Vehicles, Trailers and Tools

  • Park vehicles so that the exhaust system does not come in contact with dry grass, leaves, or weeds.
  • Adjust the safety chains on trailers to ensure they don't drag and create sparks that can cause roadside starts.
  • Keep lawn mowers and agricultural equipment in proper working condition and avoid rocks and other materials which might cause a spark.
  • Do not weld or cut without a spotter, a water source and a shovel.
  • Notify the electric power company when dead trees or overhanging limbs endanger the electric wires.  The wires may touch each other or the ground, causing sparks that start fires.

Cigarettes or Other Smoking Materials

  • Another cause of accidental fires is carelessly discarded cigarettes or other smoking materials.  They can smolder for hours and should be completely doused with water before being discarded in a safe manner, rather than tossed out a window or on the ground.
  • Texas' arson law includes felony punishment for anyone whose cigarette recklessly sets fire to a building or injures anyone.  Arson is a second-degree felony in Texas, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, but if a person is hurt or killed or if the fire involves a church, arson is a first-degree felony with possible punishment of up to life in prison.

For more information visit http://www.houstontx.gov/parks/index.html, email askparks@houstontx.gov or call 3-1-1 (713.837.0311).  For additional safety tips visit www.houstonfire.org.

 






Guidry News Service is headquartered in Midtown Houston.
at 4001 Fannin Street, Suite 4432, Houston, TX. 77004-4077
(409) 763 NEWS(6397)         News@GuidryNews.com
© 1996, Guidry News Service. Duplication of any part of this website in any manner is prohibited.