The new falcon herald logo.
Falcon Fire Protection District (FFPD)

Summer fun, summer safety

As the weather warms and the days lengthen, people will spend more time outdoors enjoying a variety of activities. The Falcon Fire Protection District offers these tips to help residents enjoy a safe summer.Helmets for bicyclists and skateboardersIn May, the Falcon Fire Protection District hosted bicycle rodeos at Meridian Ranch, Woodmen Hills and Falcon elementary schools. Bicycle rodeos are designed to teach children safe bicycling skills and habits, including the importance of wearing helmets.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 26,000 children and adolescents annually suffer traumatic brain injuries that require emergency room treatment. The state of Colorado does not mandate helmet use for bicycle riders, so it is up to parents to ensure children ride safely. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ( offers an online video that shows how to properly fit a bicycle helmet.Bike riders arenít the only ones who should wear helmets. FFPD Division Chief Glenn Levy said that helmets should also be worn while skateboarding and riding scooters. By minimizing injuries, he said helmets ìare the best chance for us to help folks when they fall.îItís also important for drivers to be aware of cyclists on the streets and children playing near roadways. ìWe encourage motorists to be on the lookout for increased pedestrian traffic,î said Vernon Champlin, FFPD division chief.Levy stressed that residents should not hesitate to call 911 when someone falls from a bike or skateboard. Even seemingly minor injuries can turn out to be more serious than they appear.Additional bicycle safety tips:

  • Ride on the right side of the road with the flow of traffic – not against it.
  • Obey all traffic laws, signs and signals.
  • Stop and look both ways before entering a street.
  • Wear reflective clothing when riding at dawn, dusk or night. Also, equip the bike with a front headlight and rear red reflector or flashing red light.
  • Be aware of loose gravel on street surfaces and trails.
  • Always watch out for motorists and pedestrians.
Buckle up to save livesStatistics show that using seat belts saves lives; yet, about one in seven doesnít buckle up. According to the CDC:
  • 53 percent of drivers and passengers killed in car crashes in 2009 were not wearing restraints.
  • Among drivers and front-seat passengers, seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45 percent and cut the risk of serious injury by 50 percent.
  • People not wearing a seat belt are 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle during a crash. More than three out of four people ejected during a crash die from their injuries.
In Colorado, drivers of motor vehicles and all front-seat passengers are required by law to wear safety belts whenever the vehicle is operated on public highways.Levy said that in the past month, FFPD crews responded to two separate traffic accidents that resulted in three fatalities. ìTraumatic accidents like these show how crucial it is that we utilize every bit of safety equipment available,î he said.As Falcon grows, traffic increases. ìWeíre all very busy, but it only takes a second (to fasten a seat belt),î Levy said. Using seat belts can mean the difference between minor injuries in an accident and serious injuries or even death.Firefighters know that seat belts save lives, so personnel in FFPD apparatus are required to wear seat belts at all times when the vehicles are moving. As Champlin said, ìWear them. We do.îFire up the grill, not the houseSummer is the season for barbecuing, but it does come with some hazards. According to the National Fire Protection Association:
  • In 2005-2009, U.S. fire departments responded to an average 8,200 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year.
  • 29 percent of home fires involving grills started on a courtyard, terrace or patio.
  • July is the peak month for grill fires, accounting for 18 percent of all home fires involving grills. June and May follow closely with 14 percent and 13 percent respectively.
Champlin offered several suggestions for safe grilling. ìIf youíre cooking with propane, make sure your fuel line is in good condition; your connections are tight; and donít cook on combustible decks or too close to your home.†If youíre using briquettes, ensure the ashes are completely cool and dispose of them in a metal container.îFFPD has already responded to a structure fire involving a grill. Levy said a built-in barbecue grill was accidentally left on and created enough heat to ignite combustible materials in an adjacent stucco wall. Fortunately, the homeowner discovered the fire early and firefighters were able to contain the damage. In this instance, the grill was actually installed as part of the deck. But portable grills located next to the house can have the same problem. ìWe are recommending that you try to keep your grill away from your home or any combustibles,î Levy said. ìThat way, even if you forget to shut off the grill, it doesnít create as much of a hazard.îThe NFPA offers the following safety tips for barbecue grills:
  • Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grilling area.
  • Keep the grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave a grill unattended.
  • Always turn off grills after use.
For more information and safety tips, visit variety of safety tips are always available on the FFPDís website at fun, be fire safe and have a terrific summer!

StratusIQ Fiber Internet Falcon Advertisement

Current Weather

Search Businesses

Search Businesses