The weather is warming up, which is making it a lot easier for fires to get out of control. In fact, recent accidental fires in the area have sparked the Cedar Rapids Fire Department to issue some important reminders to the public.

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The Cedar Rapids Fire Department issued a press release Monday, April 19 discussing their response to two residential fires, both of which happened on Sunday and originated from YARDY containers next to structures.

How Did the Cedar Rapids Fires Happen?

At the first fire off of Maplewood Drive NE in Cedar Rapids, fire fighters found the fire near the YARDY, trash, and recycling containers near the outside of the home. Crews were able to prevent it from spreading to the home. The occupants of the home told officials that they had a "recreational fire the night before, watered down the ashes, and then threw the ashes into the YARDY on Sunday morning." Not a good move.

Cedar Rapids Fire Department
Cedar Rapids Fire Department

The second fire off of Benton Street NE in Cedar Rapids was also due to ashes from a recreational fire the previous night being placed in the YARDY. The YARDY was found melted on the outside of the home. There was fire damage to the outside of the home, but luckily no damage to the interior.

Cedar Rapids Fire Department
Cedar Rapids Fire Department

Don't make this mistake! There is a proper way to dispose of the hot ashes and coals from firepits, grills, and fireplaces. Here's what the Cedar Rapids Fire Department recommends:

Where Do I Put the Hot Ashes From a Fire?

Hot ashes and coals should not be placed in plastic containers. Yep, that includes YARDY containers. Instead, put them in a metal container and wet them down. Put a metal lid on the metal container, and place it outside of your home, garage, or any structure for that matter. Also make sure it's far away from any combustibles. You can leave fireplace and grill ashes be, as they are designed to keep the ash.

When is it Safe to Dispose of Ashes?

Let it cool! Once the ashes and coals are cool, put them in the appropriate containers mentioned above and even wet it down just to be safe.

Remember, only YOU can prevent Cedar Rapids residential fires. Be safe!

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