Our area has not had much rain at all over the last three weeks. As a result, the brush, mulch, grass and vegetation are very dry.
Due to the beautiful weather, many residents are still entertaining, cooking and eating outdoors as well as enjoying an outside fire place or fire pit. Did you know that outside fireplaces or fire pits caused nearly 3,700 grass and brush fires in one year?
With all of this in mind, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue would like to remind all residents to practice fire safety while outdoors. If you smoke outside, please especially remember to extinguish smoking materials in an approved container. Below, please find some helpful safety tips from our friends at the National Fire Protection Association:
- Do not discard cigarettes in vegetation such as mulch, potted plants or landscaping, peat moss, dried grasses, leaves or other things that could ignite easily.
- Use a deep, sturdy ashtray when discarding cigarettes. Place it away from anything that can burn.
- Before you throw away butts and ashes, make sure they are out. Dousing in water or sand is the best way to do that.
- REMOVE dead vegetation and other items from under your deck or porch, and within 10 feet of the house.
- REMOVE flammable materials (wood piles, propane tanks) within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.
- KEEP your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
- Have an adult present at all times when a portable fireplace is burning.
- Use sturdy candle holders that won’t tip over easily.
- Keep anything that can burn, as well as children and pets, at least three feet away from open flames.
- Use battery-operated flameless candles and solar-powered patio (tiki) torches in place of an open flame. Flameless candles come in all colors, shapes and sizes, and many are scented. Flameless candles look and feel like the real ones, and add a beautiful soft glow to any outdoor event.