MCFRS News Release
S O S - Summer of Safety
All Fireworks are Illegal in Montgomery County
Give Full Attention When Cooking on BBQ Grills
Every year many Montgomery County residents look forward to summer vacations, camping, family reunions, picnics, and the Fourth of July. Summertime, however, also brings potential for fires and injuries due to fireworks and outdoor grills. Annually more than 8,000 Americans are injured by fireworks and grill fires. More than half these injuries occur during the first week of July. Just a reminder – ALL fireworks are illegal in Montgomery County.
The Fire Data Center at the United States Fire Administration estimates that yearly outside cooking grills cause more than 6,000 fires, over 5 fatalities, more than 170 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. Gas grills alone cause over 2,700 fires, 80 injuries, and $11 million dollars damage. Most of the gas grill fires and explosions were caused by gas leaks, blocked tubes, and overfilled propane tanks.
In addition to outdoor cooking, improper use of fireworks causes more than 6,000 fires and more than $8 million in damage. Fortunately, in Montgomery County the frequency of fires started by fireworks is minimal because most people abide by the law – all fireworks are illegal, however the potential always exists.
Officials from Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service and Prince George’s County Fire and EMS will be joining together again this year partnering with Six Flags America with a “Fireworks Amnesty” program. All fireworks are illegal in Montgomery and Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Families also enjoy camping in the summer. It is important to follow the park's rules for the use and extinguishing of campfires as well as being familiar with swimming regulations and prohibitions. Summertime should be a time for fun and making happy memories. Knowing a few fire safety tips and following instructions will help everyone have a safe summer.
- DO NOT use fireworks – ALL fireworks are illegal in Montgomery and Prince George’s County.
- The best way to enjoy fireworks is to visit public fireworks displays put on by professionals who know how to safely handle fireworks.
- “Fireworks Amnesty” Any Montgomery County resident may turn in fireworks by calling the Fireworks Amnesty Hotline at 240.777.2454 between Saturday, June 24th and Saturday, July 8th. As an incentive – participants will be eligible for free admission coupons to Six Flags America.
- Before using a grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line. Make sure the venturi tubes - where the air and gas mix - are not blocked.
- Do not overfill the propane tank.
- Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbecue.
- Be careful when using lighter fluid. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire because the flame can flashback up into the container and explode. DO NOT use gasoline or any other flammable liquid.
- Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately. Supervise children around outdoor grills.
- Dispose of hot coals properly - douse them with plenty of water, and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.
- Never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas - carbon monoxide could be produced.
- Make sure everyone knows to Stop, Drop and Roll in case a piece of clothing does catch fire. Call 911 or your local emergency number if a burn warrants serious medical attention.