Minneapolis fire officials say they're having one of the busiest summers in years, with firefighters responding to an average of one structure fire a day this month, and June marked the busiest month for fires in the city since 2007.
A third of the fires in June have also been linked to arson, and nearly half of the structure fires in July were deliberately set.
But many other recent fires could have been prevented with basic fire safety precautions, Fire Chief John Freutel said.
The chief is cautioning residents not to overload electrical outlets with air conditioning units and to not leave food unattended while cooking on a stove.
"Especially now that that we're getting into the cooling season, like we're trying to do right now, I'm sure we're going to stress the power grid big time with the heat that we have," he said. "Folks will be plugging in air conditioning."
Fruetel points to the hot weather as an increased risk of fire, particularly if it drives people out of their kitchens. He urged residents to make sure grills and cooking food aren't left unattended and fuel for power equipment is safely stored.
"Obviously in the summer everybody's out barbequing on their decks, in the backyards and whatever," Freutel said. "You leave the grill unattended. It's nice to make sure that the grill is out and the coals are out if you're using charcoal. And if you're using propane, make sure their out, they're extinguished and they're cool."