Fireworks Illegal in Delaware

The Delaware Office of the State Fire Marshal reminds all citizens and visitors of Delaware that fireworks are illegal to possess, use, or sell in the State of Delaware. This includes sparklers and sky lanterns.

Fireworks can cause serious injuries or death. Temperatures for a burning sparkler can exceed 1200 degrees Fahrenheit Projectiles from exploded fireworks can cause eye injuries, burns, and amputations of fingers. An estimated 11,900 people were treated in the nation’s hospitals in 2015 for injuries related to the use of fireworks. The highest number of injuries (8,000) occurred around the July Fourth holiday.

Fires can be started easily by exploding fireworks causing property damage especially in the dry summer months. During the evening hours it is very difficult to spot a fire starting during the fire’s incipient (early) stage. Fires may erupt from discharged fireworks well after the initial explosion. Burning fireworks can land in dry grass or on the roof of house without any one detecting the danger. Fires on a roof may smolder for an extended time before breaking out in flames visible from the ground.

Please leave fireworks in the hands of professionals by attending a professional fireworks show in lieu of creating your own show. The public displays are conducted by licensed professionals and the firework sites are inspected and receive approval prior to the events.

Penalties for the use of fireworks or possession of fireworks are misdemeanors subject to a fine. Damage or injuries caused by the use of fireworks can result in felony charges.

For additional information please contact your local fire company or fire marshal’s office.


Delaware Forest Service offers volunteer fire grants

Contact: Kyle Hoyd, Delaware Forest Service
(302) 698-4548 or Kyle.Hoyd@delaware.gov

Prescribed Burn_April 29 2015 (61)
PHOTO: A field fire near Townsend, Delaware. (click image for high-resolution version)

DOVER − The Delaware Forest Service (DFS) is offering up to $4,500 in grants to help fire companies in the First State improve their readiness and ability to fight wildfires. The deadline is May 1 and the form is available on-line. Funded by the U.S. Forest Service, the Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) program has provided more than 120 grants worth almost $300,000 to Delaware volunteer fire companies over the past 10 years.

This straw bale fire on Fourth of July last year in the Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area illustrates the challenges of fighting a wildfire. The Delaware Forest Service is offering grants to help volunteer fire companies purchase equipment and resources to battle wildfires.
PHOTO: This straw bale fire on Fourth of July last year in the Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area illustrates the challenges of fighting a wildfire. The Delaware Forest Service is offering grants to help volunteer fire companies purchase equipment and resources to battle wildfires.

“Volunteer fire companies are very important to the Delaware Forest Service and the citizens of the First State. They are the invaluable first responders to all types of emergencies, including wildfires in our fields, woods, and marshlands,” said Kyle Hoyd, Assistant State Forester and director of the agency’s Wildland Fire Program. “This grant program can help companies increase their capability to meet this need by matching their spending on specialized wildfire equipment and resources.”

 

Delaware Forest Service veteran wildland firefighter James Dowd holds a fire shovel and a Pulaski tool, used in wildland firefighting. Volunteer fire companies in Delaware can apply for grants to purchase resources to fight wildfires.

PHOTO: Delaware Forest Service veteran wildland firefighter James Dowd holds a fire shovel and a Pulaski tool (see below), commonly used in wildland firefighting. Volunteer fire companies in Delaware can apply for grants to purchase equipment to fight wildfires in their communities. (click image for high-resolution version)

All grants require a 50-50 cost-share match and priority will be given to applicants that have not received funding in the past three years. The VFA grant program has proven to be a cost-effective way to leverage limited federal funding. While grant applicants must provide at least 50 percent cost-share match in cash or in-kind services, many recipients have often provided more – producing an average of $1.61 in matched spending. Funds can be used to pay for specialized equipment to help volunteer firefighters meet the unexpected and often unpredictable threat of wildfires in fields, forests, open spaces, and marshes, which is often distinctly different from structural firefighting.

The Pulaski tool is a combination axe and hoe that is named for famous Forest Service firefighting pioneer Edward Pulaski
The Pulaski tool is a combination axe and hoe named for U.S. Forest Service firefighting pioneer Edward Pulaski

Applications must be received by the Delaware Forest Service, 2320 S. DuPont Highway, Dover, 19901 no later than May 1, 2017.
Please make note of the submission instructions at the bottom of the application.

Funds may not be used to purchase vehicles (trucks/UTV’s/ATV’s) or structural firefighting gear (turnout coats, hardhats, gloves, lights, etc.) Funding is for wildland firefighting hose, safety gear, brush unit pumps/skids, and hand tools. Fire companies with any questions about the application process or what can be purchased can contact Kyle Hoyd at (302) 698-4548 or Kyle.Hoyd@delaware.gov.
In the past fiscal year, the Delaware Forest Service assisted 43 of Delaware’s 60 volunteer fire companies (72%) either through wildfire suppression, loaning of equipment, or training. In addition to the fire assistance grants, the Delaware Forest Service also provides funding to help provide basic wildland firefighting courses for volunteer firefighters. The Delaware Forest Service also works in association with the Delaware State Fire School to help train wildland firefighters.


Cooking Fire in Dover Injured One Person

The Delaware State Fire Marshal’s office has determined that this afternoon’s fire in Dover, DE was accidental.

The blaze, reported shortly before 3:00 pm, occurred in the unit block of State Circle, Capitol Park.  The Dover Fire Department responded to the call and extinguished a fire inside the kitchen of the dwelling.

A 50 year old female occupant was transported to Bayhealth – Kent General Hospital with burns to her left shoulder and left foot.  She is in good condition.

State fire investigators were called to the scene and completed the investigation.  The fire originated on the stove top when cooking oil ignited after being left unsupervised.  The smoke alarms in the home alerted the occupants to the fire.  Fire damage was estimated at $5,000.

Contact Person:  Michael G. Chionchio, Assistant State Fire Marshal at (302) 739-5665.


Colonial Heights House Fire

February 21, 2015

The Delaware State Fire Marshal’s office is investigating a fire that heavily damaged a Wilmington, Delaware home.

The Elsmere Fire Company was dispatched to the 200 block of South Ford Avenue in Colonial Heights for a house fire shortly before 1:00 am.  Firefighters arrived on scene with flames shooting from the dwelling.

State fire investigators were called to the scene.  Investigators are currently conducting the investigation into the origin and cause of this fire.

Heavy fire damage was estimated at $150,000.  The home was not occupied when the fire was discovered.  There were no reported injuries.

For more information, please contact Assistant State Fire Marshal, Michael Chionchio at 302-739-5665.


Middletown House Fire Caused by Cigarette

February 21, 2015

The Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office has determined that last night’s fire in Middletown, Delaware was accidental.

The blaze, reported shortly before midnight, occurred in the 100 block of Shallcross Place in the Town of Middletown.  The Volunteer Hose Company extinguished the fire.

State fire investigators determined that a mattress inside one of the bedrooms was ignited by a cigarette.  The fire was contained to the bedroom.  The occupants were able to escape without injury.

Fire damage was estimated at $5,000.  The smoke alarms inside the home were inoperable and needed to be maintained.  The American Red Cross was called to assist three adults and 2 children with emergency aid.

For more information, please contact Assistant State Fire Marshal, Michael Chionchio at 302-739-5665.