Fireworks Safety

Fireworks

The Fourth of July would not be the same without those breathtaking fireworks. However, tragedy can strike within seconds when fireworks are not properly and safely used. Thousands of people are injured each year in the United States due to fireworks. Consider the following safety tips when using permissible fireworks:

  • Keep all bystanders at least 25 feet away from fireworks.
  • During the use of permissible fireworks, minors should be supervised by a parent or legal guardian. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Adults should always supervise activities involving the use of permissible fireworks. Parents often do not realize there are more injuries from sparklers to children under five than from any other type of fireworks. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals.
  • When using permissible fireworks, place the device on a flat surface, clear of any combustible material and clear of all buildings (50 feet).
  • When using permissible fireworks, place the device on a flat surface, clear of any combustible material and clear of all buildings (50 feet).
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light one fireworks device at a time, then back to a safe distance immediately after lighting.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • Avoid buying or handling fireworks that come packaged in brown paper as this can often be a sign that the fireworks are commercial or display-type fireworks made for professional fireworks shows. These fireworks can pose a serious danger to consumers and the public.
  • Read the directions on fireworks packaging.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.

Don’t forget the safety of your pets during firework’s season!

  • Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.
  • If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
  • Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
  • Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.

For an expanded list of fireworks safety tips, as well as information on fireworks safety-related publications, reports, videos, news, and recalls, visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Fireworks Information Center online.

A list of legal and illegal fireworks for Virginia can be found at: http://www.dof.virginia.gov/fire/safety/fireworks.htm

Improperly Discarded Smoking Materials Cause Lake Barcroft House Fire

On Friday, June 14, at approximately 2:30 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, City of Alexandria, and Arlington County Fire Departments were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 6300 block of Columbia Pike in the Lake Barcroft area of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on the scene of a two-story, single-family home with fire showing from the front and roof of the home. Crews rapidly went to work to control and eventually extinguish the fire. A second alarm was requested shortly after arrival. There were no firefighter or civilian injuries reported.

There were two occupants home at the time of the fire. A passerby saw smoke coming from the rear of the home, alerted the occupants inside, and called 9-1-1. The occupants self-evacuated prior to fire department arrival. Smoke alarms were present and sounded after the fire was discovered.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started on the rear deck.  The cause of the fire was improperly discarded smoking materials.

A total of four occupant were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and declined. Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $218,500.

FCFRD Crew in New Hip-Hop Video with Public Health Message

You heard of West Nile virus? // You might not realize it // but it’s inside of mosquitoes // and they can spread it to people

That’s the refrain of MC Bugg Z’s 2019 summer anthem, “West Nile Story.” Our crew from Fire Station 40, Fairfax Center, make cameos in his new hip-hop video to help drive home a very important public health message: West Nile virus is here in Fairfax County, it can make you sick, and we can all protect ourselves from mosquito bites by covering up and using insect repellent with EPA-recommended ingredients when we are outside.

MC Bugg-Z, also known as Andy Lima, is an insect biologist with the Fairfax County Health Department. This isn’t his first stab at public health hip-hop. He is also behind the performances Tick Check 1-2, Zika 101 and the Health Department’s Centennial Rap.

While “West Nile Story” is fun, , and downright catchy, it’s also full of important information local residents need to know about mosquito bites and the diseases they carry, how to prevent bites, and who is most at risk for severe cases of West Nile virus. Check it out below!

 

Improperly Discarded Wood Chips From Grill Cause Lake Barcroft House Fire

On Tuesday, May 28, at approximately 1:10 a.m., units were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 6400 block of Queen Anne Terrace in the Lake Barcroft area of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene of a one-story, single family home to find a car on fire inside of an attached carport with fire extending to the house and roof. Crews rapidly advanced two fire hose lines and quickly extinguished the fire. There were no civilian or firefighter injuries.

Four occupants were home at the time of the fire. Neighbors were woken up by their dog, looked out the window and noticed an orange glow. Upon further investigation, the neighbors saw the house was on fire, woke up the occupants of the home, and called 9-1-1. Smoke alarms were present but sounded after the fire was discovered.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started on the exterior of the car port. The cause of the fire was improperly discarded wood chips from a grill that were placed in a trash can.

Four occupants were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and declined. Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $128,050.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue reminds all residents that after grilling though coals/wood chips may appear to be cool, always soak them with water in a metal container with lid. Coals retain enough heat to reignite for days after the fire.

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Relish This Memorial Day Weekend And Please Grill Safely!

Going to do a little cooking on the grill this Memorial Day Weekend? Fairfax County Fire and Rescue would like to remind all residents about grilling safely. Here are some safety tips for a happy and safe cookout experience:Relish Today, Ketchup Tomorrow! Please Grill Safely!

  • Never leave your grill unattended or place combustibles too close to grill. These are the two leading causes for charcoal grill home fires.
  • Use charcoal lighter fluid only before the fire is lit. If you try to make a fire bigger by adding more fluid, the heat from the coals may ignite the stream of fuel and burn back into the can, causing it to explode in your hands.
  • Never use gasoline to start a fire – it is much too dangerous to use on grills.
  • Try using a U.L. approved electrical starter in place of lighter fluid.
  • Never use a grill on apartment or condominium balconies. This practice is one of the biggest dangers with grills. It is unsafe and against the law.
  • Place grills away from structures so they will not tip over or ignite objects above them.
  • Keep a garden hose or a portable fire extinguisher handy in case the fire gets out of control.
  • Never bring a grill into the home. The carbon monoxide produced by burning charcoal can be dangerous, even deadly, in an enclosed space.
  • Keep children and pets away from fires and grills. Declare a three foot “safe zone” around the grill. It only takes a second for curiosity to cause a serious burn.
  • Though coals may appear to be cool, always soak them with water. Coals retain enough heat to reignite for days after the fire.
  • Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below the grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.
  • If your bag of charcoal gets wet, leave it in a well ventilated area away from the house. During the drying process spontaneous ignition can occur in confined areas.

 

Stay Safe Around Water This Weekend!

watersafety

Each Memorial Day weekend, swimming pools around the area open for the summer season. Also, families head toward the ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes to vacation and participate in a variety of water activities. With that in mind, your Fairfax County Firefighters and Paramedics ask that you take a moment to review the helpful water safety tips below from our friends at the American Red Cross.

Our firefighters and paramedics do not want to meet you, or your loved ones, by “a preventable accident” today, tomorrow or ever.

Make Water Safety Your Priority

  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a beach with life guard, use the buddy system!
  • Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and Learn-to-Swim courses.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
  • Establish rules for your family and enforce them without fail. For example, set limits based on each person’s ability, do not let anyone play around drains and suction fittings, and do not allow swimmers to hyperventilate before swimming under water or have breath-holding contests.
  • Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
  • If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.
  • Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.

Prevent Unsupervised Access to the Water

  • Install and use barriers around your home pool or hot tub. Safety covers and pool alarms should be added as additional layers of protection.
  • Ensure that pool barriers enclose the entire pool area, are at least 4-feet high with gates that are self-closing, self-latching and open outward, and away from the pool. The latch should be high enough to be out of a small child’s reach.
  • If you have an above-ground or inflatable pool, remove access ladders and secure the safety cover whenever the pool is not in use.
  • Remove any structures that provide access to the pool, such as outdoor furniture, climbable trees, decorative walls and playground equipment.
  • Keep toys that are not in use away from the pool and out of sight. Toys can attract young children to the pool.

Maintain Constant Supervision

  • Actively supervise kids whenever around the water—even if lifeguards are present. Do not just drop your kids off at the public pool or leave them at the beach—designate a responsible adult to supervise.
  • Always stay within arm’s reach of young children and avoid distractions when supervising children around water.