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The original item was published from 7/2/2020 10:08:56 AM to 7/2/2020 10:10:10 AM.

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Posted on: July 2, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Bismarck Fire Department offers critical summer safety reminders

fireworks flag

With the Fourth of July fast approaching and the summer months upon us, taking part in barbecues, holiday parties and swimming often top the list of activities enjoyed during the summer months. To help enjoy summer safely, the Bismarck Fire Department is reminding people about potential summer fire and electrical hazards, and providing tips to minimize them.

“By knowing where potential fire and electrical hazards occur during the summer months and taking the necessary steps to prevent them, everyone can enjoy summer activities such as grilling, swimming and celebrating the Fourth of July while keeping their families, guests and homes safe,” said Owen Fitzsimmons, Bismarck Fire Marshal.


The Bismarck Fire Department recommends that people refrain from using consumer fireworks and attend public fireworks displays put on by trained professionals and we’d like to remind Bismarck residents that fireworks are prohibited within the City of Bismarck.

Fireworks annually cause devastating burns, injuries, fires, and even death. On Independence Day in a typical year, fireworks account for nearly half of all reported U.S. fires, more than any other cause of fire.

The Bismarck community offers an annual 4th of July celebration and fireworks display at the North Dakota State Capitol mall for the community to enjoy that includes music at 8 p.m. and the opportunity to be entertained with an outstanding fireworks display after dark. For more information visit www.bismarckmandansymphony.org.

Grilling fire safety

All types of grills pose a risk for fires and burn injuries. According to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) statistics, July is the peak month for grilling fires followed by May, June and August. The leading causes were a failure to clean, using the grill too close to something that could burn or having things that could catch fire too close to the grill, and unattended grill use. Leaks were the leading cause of gas grill fires. The following are tips for grillers:

  • The grill should be placed well away the home or deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. The grill should also be a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic. Keep children and pets away from the grill area. Have a three-foot (1 meter) “kid-free zone” around the grill.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease and fat buildup from the grates and trays below.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.

Electric Shock Drowning 

Electric Shock Drowning happens when marina or onboard electrical systems leak electric current into the water. The current then passes through the body and causes paralysis. When this happens, a person can no longer swim and ultimately drowns. Here are tips for swimmers and boat owners:

  • Tips for swimmers
  • Never swim near a marina, dock or boatyard, or near a boat while it’s running.
  • Obey all “no swimming” signs on docks.
  • Tips for boat owners

Avoid entering the water when launching or loading a boat. Docks or boats can leak electricity into the water causing water electrification.

Each year, and after a major storm that affects the boat, have the boat’s electrical system inspected by a qualified marine electrician to be sure it meets the required codes of your area. Make the necessary repairs if recommended.

More information about electrical safety in pools, spas and hot tubs can be found on NFPA’s “electrical safety around water” webpage. Find this and related fire safety-related resources at www.bismarcknd.gov/fire.

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