The Newport News Fire Department would like to remind residents and visitors to practice fire safety this Fourth of July.
It is unlawful for any person in the City of Newport News to own, sell, possess, store, display, use, or explode any fireworks to include sparklers. Fireworks displays should be left to professionals to avoid injuries that result from personal use. The National Fire Protection Association states that incidents involving consumer fireworks lead to thousands of people being treated in U.S. emergency rooms each year. These injuries are often extremely painful and require long-term recovery. The NFPA report (www.nfpa.org/fireworks) outlines specific statistics regarding the use of consumer fireworks related to fire danger, including:
- 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 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage, with no reported fire deaths.
- Sparklers, fountains and novelties alone accounted for 34 percent of the emergency room fireworks injuries in 2011.
We encourage our community to visit Downtown Newport News on Friday, July 4th from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. for the “4th of July Stars in the Sky” event
This event will be held at Victory Landing Park located at the end of 23rd Street at the James River. This is the most beautiful and safest way to enjoy the fireworks in the City of Newport News.
The Newport News Fire Department recommends the following to be safe this holiday:
- Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors. The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. Keep pets and children at least 3 feet away from the grill area. Keep your grill clean. Never leave your grill unattended and ALWAYS make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it. Dispose of hot coals properly – never place them in plastic, paper, or wooden containers.
- Teach your children that matches and lighters are tools not toys.
- Make sure all family members know how to “Stop, Drop, and Roll” if clothing catches on fire. Check your smoke detectors. If you are a Newport News homeowner and need a smoke detector installed, call the Smoke Detector Hotline at (757) 926-8009 to have alarms installed free by the Newport News Fire Department.
- Virginia Fire Codes prohibit the use of charcoal burners, other open-flame cooking devices, and LP-gas grills on combustible balconies or within 10 feet of combustible construction with the exception of one and two-family dwellings.
- Improperly discarded smoking materials can turn a pleasant holiday into a disaster. Make sure that smoking materials are discarded properly, NOT extinguished in mulch beds or planters where wood materials can easily ignite.
For more information: Please call the Newport News Fire Department at 757-926-8404 or visit our website at www.nnva.gov/fire.