Herndon Apartment Fire Caused By Unattended Cooking

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On Sunday, September 29, at approximately 12:47 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and Loudoun County Fire and Rescue were dispatched for a reported apartment fire in the 900 block of Park Avenue in the Town of Herndon.

Units arrived on the scene of a three-story, garden style apartment to find smoke showing from the attic. Crews were able to work quickly to extinguish the fire and contain it to the apartment where the fire started. There were no firefighter injuries reported. One civilian was transported to an area hospital for a check-up.

Five occupants were home when the fire was discovered. Twenty-six occupants were in the apartment building at the time of the fire. There were no smoke alarms in the apartment. There were working smoke alarms in the adjacent apartments.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in the kitchen. The cause of the fire was grease that ignited in a pan on the cook stove after being left unattended.

Ten occupants from two apartments were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and accepted. Damages were approximately $93,750.

Cooking related fires are one of the leading cause of fires locally and nationally. Fairfax County Fire and Rescue would like to remind all residents about cooking safely. Please remember to “Watch What You Heat!

Recipe for Safe Cooking

Apply Now For Community Fire And Rescue Academy

Want to learn more about the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department? Want to participate in an interesting, fun-filled, eight-week program that will show you what firefighters and paramedics do every day?

You can now apply to the Community Fire and Rescue Academy (CFRA)! The CFRA is open to persons 18 and older who live in Fairfax County. Each session will cover different aspects of the organization, providing an in-depth overview of the department and its uniformed and civilian workforce. Program topics include: fire suppression, emergency medical services, training, recruitment, special operations, and other interesting topics.

CFRA Application will be accepted until September 13, 2019. The Academy will begin September 26, 2019, and will meet for eight consecutive Thursdays, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and ending on November 14, 2019.

To learn more about the program and to sign up, please go here: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fire-ems/cfra

 

 

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

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.

 

Spring Into Safety: Smoke Alarms

Today is a good day to “Spring Into Safety” by checking to ensure your home has working smoke alarms. Properly installed, working smoke alarms can dramatically increase your chances of surviving a fire.

It is also important to check the date on your smoke alarm. If your smoke alarms are ten years of age or older they need to be replaced.

Need help checking or replacing your smoke alarms? Your FCFRD firefighters offer a FREE smoke alarm check, home safety evaluation, and installation of a new smoke alarm.

To schedule a smoke alarm installation, including a visual smoke alarm for deaf and hard of hearing persons, or a home safety evaluation, please contact Community Risk Reduction either via email at fire.ESW@fairfaxcounty.gov or phone at (703) 246-3801 (TTY 711).

FreeSmokeAlarm

 

Improperly Discarded Smoking Materials Start Seven Recent Fires Causing Over $231K In Damages! FCFRD Urge Residents Who Smoke To “Sink It Or Soak It!”

Improperly discarded smoking materials is one of the leading cause of fire in Fairfax County. So far in 2019, there have been seven fires caused by improperly discarded smoking materials! Monetary damages for the seven fires was approximately $231,425!

All seven fires were totally preventable! In two of the fires, the presence of fire sprinklers undoubtedly saved lives and property.  Another fire necessitated the rescue of an eleven-year-old child by firefighters which averted tragedy.

If you smoke, please take a moment to learn how to prevent starting a fire. Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department urges all residents who smoke to “Sink It or Soak It!” and prevent careless fires!Sink It PREVENT CARELESS FIRE

  • Never dispose of cigarette butts in potted planting soil. The soil, when it gets too dry, can become highly flammable.
  • Never flick cigarettes into mulch or shrubbery. Dispose of them in a suitable ashtray or bucket with sand. Ensure designated outside smoking areas have an appropriate fireproof container, ashtray or bucket.
  • Completely douse butts and ashes with water before throwing them away, as they can smolder and cause a fire.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Provide large, deep ashtrays with a center support for smokers. Check furniture for any dropped ashes before going to bed. Empty ashes into a fireproof container with water and sand.
  • Keep smoking materials away from anything that can burn (i.e., mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, draperies, etc.).
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is being used.
  • If you smoke, choose fire-safe cigarettes. They are less likely to cause fires.
  • To prevent a deadly cigarette fire, you must be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine or other drugs.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high, out of children’s sight and reach.

Learn more about some of the recent fires:

Improper Disposal of Smoking Materials Causes Dunn Loring House Fire

Improperly Discarded Smoking Materials Cause Annandale Nursing Home Fire

Improperly Discarded Cigarettes Cause Rose Hill House Fire

Improperly Discarded Smoking Materials Cause Springfield House Fire