Summer Safety Spotlighted Regionally (Safe Grilling and Fireworks Demos)
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department
News Release 14-46
Date: May 12, 2014
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments are joining together to spotlight summer safety, Thursday, May 15, 2014, 10:30 a.m. at Pfitzner Stadium, 7 County Complex Court, Woodbridge, Virginia, home of the Potomac Nationals Baseball Club in Woodbridge, Virginia.
This year's theme is "The Thrill of the Grill - Don't Let it Burn You!" The event will provide an opportunity to view safe and unsafe grilling practices and legal and illegal fireworks in various jurisdictions. Regional fire chiefs, fire marshals, and law enforcement officials will address the dangers associated with grilling fires and show how fireworks are used improperly.
Gas grills account for over 7,200 home fires annually, while charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were involved in an annual average of over 1,400 home fires.
In 2007-2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 8,800 homes and outside fires. These 8,600 fires caused an annual average of 10 civilian deaths, 140 civilian injuries, and $96 million in direct property damage.
More than one-quarter (27%) of the home structure fires involving grills started on a courtyard, terrace or patio, 29% started on an exterior balcony or open porch, 6% started in the kitchen and 5% started on an exterior surface. Flammable or combustible gas or liquid was the item first ignited in almost half of home outdoor grill fires. In almost half (46%) of the home outdoor fires in which grills were involved, 53% were outside gas grills, and 26% were gas grill structure fires; the fire started when a flammable or combustible gas or liquid caught fire.
In 2012, 16,900 patients went to the emergency room because of injuries involving grills.
Almost half (7,400) of the injuries were thermal burns.
According to the National Fire Protection Administration, far more fires are reported on July 4 than on any other day, and fireworks account for more than half of those fires, greater than any other cause of fires. In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and $32 million in direct property damage.
Fire Marshals from Virginia, Maryland, and the District will speak on fireworks safety, illegal fireworks, and provide everyone an opportunity to see first-hand the dangers of fireworks.
For more information, call Daniel L. Schmidt or Captain I Randal Bittinger,
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, 703-246-3801 and TTY: 711.
Duty PIO (Weekends/After-hours): 703-877-3702
Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs,
services and activities. Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request.
4100 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030