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.


Firehouse Foods: Big Mac Casserole

On this episode of Firehouse Foods Technician Adrian Cubbage, Station 19, Lorton, B-Shift cooks up his Big Mac Casserole recipe.

Recipe and instructions are below video.


Mac sauce:

1⁄4 cup Miracle Whip
1⁄4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons French dressing
1⁄2 tablespoon sweet relish
2 teaspoons dill pickle relish
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon onion, minced
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon ketchup
Salt to taste
Mix vigorously. Do not heat.


64 oz. Straight Cut French Fries
1 lb. of 85/15 Ground Beef per 2 people
1 head of lettuce
24 slices of American cheese (48 if you’re up for it!)
1 white onion
1 Jar Dill Pickle hamburger slices
24 Sesame seed hamburger buns

– Bake French Fries according to package
– Dice full onion (reserve some for cooking with beef, some for topping casserole)
– Chop head of lettuce into shreds
– Cook entirety of ground beef until medium rare (will finish to well done when baking). Drain beef.

– Start your layering process (in order as written):

First layer – Bottom buns; ground beef; cheese (optional); half of shredded lettuce

Second layer – Baked French Fries; rest of ground beef; rest of cheese; rest of lettuce; pickles to preference; onions to preference; entirety of Mac Sauce; Top Buns (buttering by brushing makes top buns crispy and delicious)

-Once layered, bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes and serve.

Fry The Turkey And NOT Your House

Using a Turkey Fryer this year to cook your Thanksgiving Dinner? Please make sure you fry the turkey and NOT your home!

If you must fry your turkey, please gobble up these tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

  • Use turkey fryers outside only and away from your home.
  • Never use a turkey fryer in a garage or on a porch.
  • Completely thaw and dry turkey before cooking
  • Do not overfill the oil in the turkey fryer.
  • If oil begins to smoke, immediately turn gas supply OFF.
  • Never leave the turkey fryer unattended.


Unattended Cooking Causes Sully Station Apartment Fire

On Wednesday, June 7, at approximately 7:28 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Fire and Rescue Department (Dulles Airport) were dispatched for a reported garden apartment fire in the 5100 block of Woodmere Drive in the Sully Station area of Fairfax County.Unattended Cooking Causes Sully Station Apartment Fire

Units arrived on scene to find heavy smoke showing from the hallway of a three-story garden apartment building. Firefighters quickly determined the location of the smoke and entered the apartment to find fire in the kitchen area. The fire was quickly contained and then extinguished. There was no fire extension to any other apartment units.

Two occupants reside in the apartment but were not home at the time of the fire. The fire was reported by the adult occupant when she returned home and discovered smoke upon attempting to enter her apartment. There was one smoke alarm in the apartment and unknown if it activated.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire started in the kitchen of the apartment. The fire is accidental in nature and was caused by an unattended pan of oil left on the heating element of the stove-top.

There were no reported civilian or fire fighter injuries. Red Cross assistance was utilized for one adult and one child displaced by the fire. Damages as a result of the fire were estimated to be approximately $93,750.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue would also like to remind all residents about cooking safely. Please remember to “Watch What You Heat!

Kitchen Safety Tips

◾Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

◾Wear short or tight fitting sleeves when cooking. Long loose sleeves are more likely to catch on fire or get caught on pot handles.

◾Keep things that can catch fire such as dish towels, curtains, or paper, at least three feet away from the stove.

◾Do not leave cooking food unattended. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short time, turn off the stove.

◾Turn pot handles inward, facing the wall to prevent burns caused by overturning or spills.

◾Pot holders or oven mitts prevent burns when handling hot dishes.

◾Regularly clean your cooking equipment so that there are no cooking materials, food items or grease accumulation.

◾Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not remove the lid until it is completely cool.

◾If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing. Have the oven serviced before you use it again.

Be A Sweetheart: Do Not Allow Your Romantic Evening To Go Up In Smoke!

a-gift-that-shows-themCooking dinner for that special valentine this evening? Lighting candles to add to the atmosphere? Getting ready to start a fire in the fire place?

If so, take a moment to review some safety tips from our friends at the National Fire Protection Association before you get started. Do not allow your romantic evening to go up in smoke!

When cooking for that special valentine:

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue recommends that you use flameless candles in your home. Many of these candles look and smell like real candles. If you insist on using real candles, please make sure you:

  • Use candle holders that are sturdy, and won’t tip over easily.
  • Put candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface.
  • Light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame.
  • Don’t burn a candle all the way down — put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container.
  • Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.

When using the fireplace, please make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.

As always, check your smoke alarms to ensure they are working and make sure you know two ways out of your home in case of fire!

Have a Safe and Happy Valentine’s Day!