For Immediate Release: July 2, 2012

State Fire Marshal Encourages Residents to Practice Summer Safety

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin wants North Carolinians to enjoy the upcoming holiday and the rest of summer by remaining alert about outdoor dangers.

"July is a time for outdoor fun. Whether you’re by the pool, on your patio, or staying around your neighborhood, you should stay alert and always keep safety in mind," said Goodwin.

Fireworks Safety

Last year in North Carolina, fire departments responded to more than 111 fireworks-related calls with an estimated total of $225,000 worth of property damage. Nationally, an average of more than 200 people-a-day go to emergency rooms with fireworks-related injuries during the month surrounding July 4, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Many people falsely believe that because sparklers and similar fireworks are legal and readily available, they are safe. Too often, it’s small consumer fireworks that start fires or cause serious burn injuries. A simple, handheld sparkler can burn at a temperature of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. To put that into perspective, water boils at 212 degrees, a cake bakes at 350 degrees and wood burns at 575 degrees.

Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Goodwin encourages North Carolinians to:

Grilling Safety

While July is peak grilling season, it is also the peak month for grill fires. More than half of home grill structure fires begin on either a courtyard terrace or patio, or an exterior balcony or open porch, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Goodwin advises residents to practice the following grilling safety tips:

For more grilling safety information, visit the NFPA website at www.nfpa.org.

Water Safety

An estimated 400 children age 14 and younger drown in swimming pools and spas each year across the U.S. A Consumer Product Safety Commission study found that 2,000 children are treated annually in hospital emergency rooms for submersion injuries sustained in familiar surroundings, with a majority of those victims being supervised by one or both parents at the time of the accident.

Goodwin reminds parents and caregivers to Lock, Look and Learn:

For more detailed information about the Safe Kids Lock, Look and Learn program, go to http://www.safekids.org/parents/ and select the Water Safety Guide.

--NCOSFM--