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Hot Topics In Fire Safety

There are specific fire risks in every community and by understanding what the risks are in your area, you can take the necessary precautions to prevent and protect yourself from fire or life safety issues.  Select a link below to learn more about popular topics in your area and what fire and life safety initiatives there are to keep you safe.
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Smoke Alarms
Did you know that in the United States, 80% of all civilian fire deaths result from home structure fires? The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that most of these deaths and injuries could have been prevented by the presence of a working smoke alarm. That's critical because smoke alarms are one of the best and easiest safety features you can use to protect yourself, your family, and your home. To learn more about smoke alarm location and maintenance visit our "Put a Finger On It" page.
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Home Escape Plans

Smoke alarms are not enough to protect yourself in the event of a fire. You and your family should also have a home escape plan. A fire can expand from its origin into a large scale fire with thick, black smoke within three and a half minutes, which does not allow family members much time to exit the home especially if the fire occurs while they are sleeping. A Home Escape Plan can help you and your family exit the home quickly and safely. It is important not only to create an Escape Plan but also to practice it regularly. It may just save your life! For a template and tips on how to create your home escape plan click here


Cooking is one of the leading causes of reported fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Leaving food unattended is the most common contributing factor for kitchen fires. Whether you are cooking dinner for your family or entertaining guests, to prevent a fire in your kitchen follow these safety tips.


Every year in Loudoun County, many fires are caused by improperly discarded smoking materials.  Oftentimes these fires occur at home where we feel the safest.  If you choose to smoke, be sure to Put It Out, All the Way Out, Every Time! Fires caused by cigarettes and other smoking materials are preventable. You can make a difference. If you are a smoker follow these guidelines from the United States Fire Administration to prevent a smoking-related fire in your home or go to our fire safety information page.


Grilling is a common method of cooking especially in the summer months.  There are several safety tips you should follow to prevent the chances of you having a fire.

Before starting:

  • Follow the grill manufacturer’s instructions and keep written materials accessible.
  • Keep the top open while lighting the grill until you are certain it is lit.
  • Never put lighter fluid or gasoline on a grill.
  • Keep children from tampering with the grill or cylinder.
  • Use a thick soapy water solution to check connections for tightness before connecting or lighting a propane gas grill burner. Never use matches or a lighter to search for leaks.
  • Never store a spare gas cylinder under or near a barbecue grill. Heat can build up inside the cylinder causing the pressure release valve to release propane. Flash fires or explosions can result.
  • If your flame goes out, wait 5 minutes before attempting to relight the grill.
  • Trust your nose, if you smell propane then do not try to restart your grill.

After using:

  • Turn off burner controls and cylinder valves.
  • When the grill is not in use, cover disconnected hose-end fittings with plastic bags or protective caps to keep clean.
  • Never store propane cylinders indoors or in enclosed areas, ie basement, shed, tent, etc.
  • Always store cylinders outdoors in upright position.
  • Do not smoke while handling cylinders.

**Information taken from www.usepropane.com. portable fire pit.jpg

Portable Fire Pits

Portable fire pits and chimneas are becoming more common.  Though this equipment can be enjoyable but it doesn't come without risks. Here are a few guidelines to enjoy your fire pit or chimnea while reducing the likelihood of causing a fire.

Open Burning Regulations
Open burning is permitted in certain areas and seasons in Loudoun County.  When permitted, there are strict guidelines that dictate proper procedures for having a burn pile.  Before lighting your burn pile it is important to understand where and when and what regulations are in place for open burning.  Click here to learn what guidelines are in place.

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