AMERIND Risk Shares Summer Safety: Fire Prevention & Self-Care Tips

Published July 4, 2019

PUEBLO OF SANTA ANA, N.M. – This June, AMERIND Risk has used National Safety Month as a platform to elevate awareness and interest in the power of preventative safety through outreach to Native communities.

“Simple, preventative measures this month and every month can help save your property and most importantly lives,” said AMERIND Safety Manager Kenneth Ruthardt (Mescalero Apache).

View tips to identify risks and ensure No 1 Gets Hurt:


Prevent your campfire from becoming a wildfire! Follow these tips from the National Fire Protection Agency:

  1. Check if you need a permit.
  2. Select a level, shaded location away from wind, dry brush, tents and other flammable materials.
  3. Campfire should be 25 feet away from anything that can burn: grass, leaves, needles.
  4.  Scoop a slight hole in the cleared area to build the fire. Place a ring of rocks around it.
  5. Cut wood in short lengths. The fire should be built low. Tall, raging campfires can create many burning embers.
  6. Never use gasoline or paper to start a fire.
  7. When burning, have a hose, a bucket of water, or shovel and dirt or sand nearby to extinguish the fire.
  8. Fire must never be left unattended, and the fire must be extinguished completely before everyone leaves camp. Children should always be supervised around a campfire.

Properly extinguish campfires:

  1. Pour a bucket of water over the entire fire and ashes. Turn wood and coals over and wet all sides.
  2. Throw dirt on top of fire. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Make sure there’s no heat source or smoldering coming from the campfire.


Every year, thousands of people go to the emergency room with firework-related injuries around the 4th of July. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted

by trained professionals. After the fireworks display, children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over. They may still be active.


Even seemingly innocent sparklers can heat up to 1,200 degrees, causing severe burns.

  • Make sure kids keep sparklers outside and away from their face, clothing and hair.
  • Supervise kids at all times while they’re playing with sparklers.
  • A common cause of injury is picking up a used yet still hot sparkler.
  • Drop used sparklers into a nearby bucket of water or sand.


Talk with your children about the dangers of playing with matches. Kids playing with matches cause one-quarter of home fire deaths annually! Store matches and lighters out-of-reach of children.

Other common causes of household fires include cigarettes left burning or improper ashtray disposal. Take precaution to protect your family and home!  

Fire extinguishers

Keep a fire extinguisher in your home kitchen and have another one as a backup. Use a fire extinguisher properly with four easy steps known as the PASS method:

  • Pull the safety pin from the handle.
  • Aim the extinguisher nozzle or hose at the base of the fire, not at the flames.
  • Squeeze the handle slowly to discharge the agent.
  • Sweep side to side, approximately 6 inches/15 centimeters from the fire until expended. Keep a safe distance from the fire.

Plan Two Ways Out!

In a fire, seconds can make a difference. Every family needs an escape plan.

Follow these tips to keep your family, home and belongings safe:

Pack an Emergency Kit!

Pack an emergency kit and let everyone in the family know where it’s located. A partial list of essentials:

  • One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
  • At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Flashlight

Find more information at


Dehydration can cause more than a headache and fatigue. Severe dehydration can result in diarrhea and vomiting, and in some cases, it leads to death. Take hydration seriously this summer and always.

  • Drink water before you feel thirsty.
  • Make sure you’re drinking 6 to 8 cups of fluids each day.
  • Keep water within easy reach day and night.
  • Don’t skip meals.


Frequent sun exposure will also dehydrate your body and skin. Wear sunscreen to protect yourself from painful burns, harmful ultraviolet rays and skin cancer.

Don’t forget to wear lip balm with SPF! It will protect your lips from sunburn and peeling and keep them moisturized in hot, dry weather.

Why Home Insurance?

Please share the importance of having home insurance with your Native community.

  • Because Indian Country is remote and located in more wooded areas, it is more susceptible to wildfires.
  • When a fire starts in Indian Country, homes typically burn to the ground.
  • We never know when Mother Nature will strike.


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