Juris Blūzmanis, a firefighter from the State Firefighting and Security Service, has shared some tips on how to stay safe during Midsummer celebrations.
- Place the bonfire/grill at least 10 meters from the house, especially if it's made from wood.
- Use lighter fluid only on cold charcoal and light it with a safe, long lighter.
- If you have long hair, tie it in a bun or a tail as it can catch fire easily!
- Keep a metal stoke nearby to move the coal around with ease.
- A bucket of water will come in handy when extinguishing the fire. Keep in mind that you have to check the remains of the fire again four hours after putting it out.
- Spirited drinks have to be held away from the flame, but soft drinks and beer can be used as extinguishers.
Blūzmanis also expressed support for police checks on the roads to dissuade people from drunk driving.
He also added that people should dissuade friends from swimming under the influence as more people have died from drowning than in traffic accidents in the last few years.
"To prevent the Midsummer from becoming too bloody or wet, we should take away [the drunks'] swimming trunks and try to involve others in games and activities so that they don't let things slide to driving and swimming while inebriated," said Blūzmanis.
The full story is in the video around the 2 minute mark, and you can get the gist of it even if you don't know Latvian.
There's also a handy cartoon guide from the firefighting service for those who cannot understand the video demonstration.