Message from the Fire Marshal

DATE:               June 25, 2015
CONTACT:        Fire Marshal Scott Webster
(425) 433-2145   swebster@maplevalleyfire.org

King County Fire Chiefs urge citizens to attend public display due to fire danger

 

Fire Chiefs from around King County are urging citizens to attend one of the many professional public fireworks displays during the Fourth of July weekend. Prolonged dry weather and below average spring rainfall have prompted premature grass and vegetation growth, creating more fuel nearly six weeks earlier than normal.

With July 4th falling on a weekend, along with the anticipated high temperatures and the current dry conditions, we expect an increase in the number of firework related incidents.  Last year in King County fire agencies responded to 82 fire calls related to fireworks, in 2009 under similar dry weather conditions, fire agencies responded 302 times to fires related to fireworks.   People can reduce the potential of fireworks related incidents by attending a public display in lieu of personal display/discharging.

All fireworks can cause injuries. Last year statewide, 158 reported injuries were caused by legal fireworks and 66 by illegal fireworks. Of the illegal fireworks, homemade devices accounted for 35% of the injuries. Most of these injuries were either burns or trauma to the head/face or arms/hands.

There are dozens of professional fireworks displays all over the Puget Sound region, including “Fireworks Show Over Lake Wilderness” beginning at 10:00pm on the 4th. Those who choose to display fireworks are encouraged to follow the three B’s – Be Prepared, Be Safe, and Be Responsible.

Citizens are reminded that the discharging of fireworks, is limited to July 4 from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. within the city limits of Maple Valley and from 9 a.m. to midnight in unincorporated King County.

What are the Three B’s for fireworks safety?

Be Prepared before lighting any firework:

  • Know the fireworks law in your area; is there a fireworks ban or restriction when fireworks can be discharged?
  • Purchase only legal fireworks, available at licensed stands.
  • Ensure the safety of pets; the loud sounds make them nervous. More pets become lost on this day than any other when panicked—going through open windows, breaking tethers, and leaping fences.
  • Have a bucket of water nearby in which to place all used fireworks.
  • Keep a water hose or fire extinguisher nearby to put out stray sparks.
  • Clear a level area away from things that can burn.
  • Know the emergency number to call for your area, your address/location, and basic first aid.
  • Teach your children to “stop, drop, and roll” if their clothes catch on fire.

 

Be Safe when fireworks are being lit:

  • Use only outdoors on a level, flat, hard surface.
  • Only adults should light fireworks.
  • Use eye protection; wear safety goggles.
  • Light one firework at a time and move away quickly.
  • Do not lean over fireworks when lighting them.
  • Do not relight fireworks.
  • Keep spectators at a safe distance (recommend 20 feet from fireworks).
  • Keep away from anything that can burn.
  • Follow the directions on the label carefully.
  • Be considerate of your neighbors, family pets, and your environment.
  • Obey the time restrictions for discharge.

 

Be Responsible after the fireworks are done:

  • Clean up all debris when finished.
  • Duds can be dangerous; if a fireworks item does not light or fire, an adult should wait at least fifteen minutes, approach it carefully, and place it in a bucket of water.
  • Make sure unused fireworks, matches, and lighters are out of sight and reach of children.
  • Before throwing away any used fireworks, make sure they are cold. Soaking in a bucket of water for at least 10 minutes before placing the fireworks in a plastic garbage bag will ensure they won’t catch anything on fire.

 


Maple Valley 9/11 Memorial Project

NYC
In 2013 one of our Maple Valley Firefighters wrote a letter to the Commissioner of the Fire Department of New York City requesting a piece of steel from the World Trade Center tragedy for use in a local memorial.  One year later we were granted a piece of this tragic event in American history.  With your help, this steel will be the centerpiece of a 9/11 memorial in front of Maple Valley Fire Station 81.  Although this piece of WTC steel will be a focal point of the memorial, we plan to construct a memorial that will remember all those who lost their lives on that tragic day, whether they were at the World Trade Centers, The Pentagon or aboard United flight 93.
Due to the frequency of fire station visits by citizens and children of the community we identified early on that it is very important to turn this into an educational piece as well as a work of art.  To that purpose, care is being taken to ensure that around this memorial there will be educational boards describing the circumstances around September 11, 2001.
The Fire Department will be handling all finances, a committee has been formed, and a design has been conceptualized.  We have approximately half of the necessary funds to complete the project.  We now humbly ask for your help so that we might bring this educational, and historical item to be displayed at your community fire station.

Click this link to the GoFundMe account

Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment

Interested in becoming a volunteer for Maple Valley Fire & Life Safety? click here for more information

Read more

Board of Fire Commissioners Meetings

The regularly scheduled Board of Fire Commissioner’s meetings are held on the first and third Thursday each month at 6:00pm at Station 81, 22225 SE 231st Street, Maple Valley.  

Read more