We’re not here to ruin your summer, we’re here to keep it fun and safe!

So, while we obviously cannot allow you to have a dumpster pool on your block, there are plenty of other ways you can still have a great time in Philly — legally and safely.

Here’s everything you need to know about fire hydrants, fireworks, grilling, pets, mosquitoes and ticks, pools, and taking kids to big events.

Extreme heat

Drinking plenty of water, resting in the shade, and staying in air conditioned public spaces like cooling centers and libraries is a good way to stay cool.

It’s important to keep windows open if you do not have air conditioning and to avoid alcohol and caffeine during extremely hot weather. Drink water regularly; don’t wait until you’re thirsty. You can also call the City’s heat line at 215-765-9040 for more tips on staying cool and cooling center locations.

Sign up for free ReadyPhiladelphia texts to know when the City is urging caution due to extreme heat.

When we declare a Code Red, it means we’re anticipating extremely hot weather. During these times, the Office of Homeless Services increases outreach to ensure Philadelphians experiencing homelessness can stay safe and cool. You can request street outreach anytime by calling 215-232-1984.

Fire hydrants

Philadelphia does not allow any of its fire hydrants to be used for recreation.

If you’re looking for a free place to cool off, try one of our municipal spraygrounds or pools.

Illegally opening a fire hydrant is dangerous. The water comes out at such a high pressure that it can injure people, especially children, and so much water comes out that it can cause flooding in nearby basements.

Illegally opening fire hydrants can also cause water mains to burst under your street.

If you see a hydrant open on your block, report it immediately by calling the Water Department’s emergency hotline at 215-685-6300.


Be a good neighbor: leave the fireworks to the professionals.

We urge all Philadelphians to enjoy safe, legal public displays, like during Wawa Welcome America. Shooting guns into the air as a form of “celebratory gunfire” can have deadly consequences, and the Philadelphia Police Department will have zero tolerance for anyone who takes part in this dangerous, illegal activity.

To report illegal fireworks or celebratory gunfire, please immediately dial 911.


Heading to the cookout? The Philadelphia Fire Department has a few grilling tips you should review first.

  • Grill at ground level only. It is against the law in Philadelphia to grill on roof decks. Backyards, streets during block parties, and patios are perfect.
  • Give the grill space and keep it outdoors. When in use, grills should be at least 15 feet away from any structure and at least three feet away from any combustible materials.
  • Gasoline is never a way to start a grill! If you’re using charcoal, only charcoal lighter fluids should be used — nothing else. Lighter fluid should only be used before lighting the grill and never while it’s burning.
  • Never leave the grill unattended.


There are dog-friendly events happening this summer in Philly, including Parks On Tap. Unless you’re at a dog park, you must always keep your dog leashed in public.

When fireworks are going off, dogs and cats can get scared and, in some cases, run out of houses or yards. It’s important to make sure that your pet is secure at home when you know fireworks are about to happen or happening. Be sure to provide comfort when you can because the sounds of summer, be they from fireworks or thunderstorms, can scare our furry friends.

All dogs must be licensed in Philadelphia; those with the new digital “Liberty Licenses” are even easier to find if they are lost.

During times of extreme heat, the City declares a Code Red. During a Code Red, it is illegal to leave a dog tied up outdoors without proper shade from the sun. Violators may face a $500 fine. Call ACCT Philly at 267-385-3800 to report a violation.

Preventing insect-borne diseases

Insect-borne diseases come from bugs, like ticks and mosquitoes. They include West Nile, Zika, and Lyme.

Spray repellent on exposed skin and clothes and use products with 20 percent or higher DEET concentrations. This is effective at keeping both ticks and mosquitoes away.

When possible, wear long-sleeved shirts or pants, especially when you’re walking in areas with high grass or shrubs. Light colored clothing helps you easily spot ticks.

After you’re outside, check your body for ticks. Check kids for ticks after playtime outside, especially if they’ve been in grassy or woody areas.

Be sure to dump any standing water on your property to keep mosquitoes from breeding, too.

Swimming and kiddie pools

Never leave a child in or around any swimming pool unattended.

Kiddie pools cannot be left in front yards with water unattended. If you’re not using the pool, make sure it’s empty and put away.

L&I requires permits for all in-ground pools, above-ground pools that are more than two feet deep, and for pools that require electrical or plumbing work to install. These pools must also be surrounded by a barrier, such as a fence or wall, that is at least four feet high, self-closing, and self-latching.

Kids during big events

With so many free, large scale public events happening in Philly, it’s important for parents to prioritize visibility and contact information with their children.

If you go to a large event with your child, make sure they wear bright colors or provide them with glow bracelets or like accessories available in most dollar stores. Write your contact information on their hand or on a paper in their pocket.

Pick a meeting spot in case you get separated and make sure you discuss what to do with your child. Taking a selfie together is helpful, too; that way, you have an updated picture that includes your child’s outfit that day in case you get separated. Posting the selfie on social media ensures the photo is available in case your phone battery dies.