Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: Jan. 13, 2010
Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for Jan. 13, 2010. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, learn about carbon monoxide, or CO, poisoning, the risk of heart attacks during a natural disaster and national influenza vaccination week. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
As families look for ways to save money in tough economic times, there is an increased risk of carbon monoxide, or CO, poisoning and fire deaths associated with the use of alternative heating and power sources. The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission urges residents to check all home heating systems from fireplaces to furnaces, including any backup power systems. To prevent CO poisoning tragedies, the Consumer Product Safety Commission urges consumers to:
- Schedule a yearly professional inspection of all fuel-burning home heating systems, including furnaces, boilers, fireplaces, wood stoves, water heaters, chimneys, flues and vents.
- As a second line of defense, install carbon monoxide alarms in your home. Make sure the batteries are fresh and working, and replace the batteries annually.
- Activate the test button on the CO alarm monthly to ensure proper operation.
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department adds that residents should:
- Leave your home immediately and call 9-1-1 if a carbon monoxide alarm sounds.
- Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed or nauseous.
- Don’t use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove or other gasoline or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement or garage. Outside, do not use these devices near a window or opening where carbon monoxide can get inside.
- Don't run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open.
- Don’t burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn’t vented.
- Don’t heat your house with a gas oven.
Additional information is online at www.cpsc.gov and www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fr.
Jan.10-16 is National Influenza Vaccination Week. Here’s an important message from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services about the need to get vaccinated.
[Female] I never get the flu.
[Female] My kids don't need more shots.
[Male] I don't have time.
[Female] We're all healthy.
[Female] My asthma's under control.
[Female] But, I'm pregnant.
[Female] I've had the flu before; it's not a big deal.
[Female] My kids are too old for flu.
[Male] The media is exaggerating.
[Female] I can fight it naturally.
[ [Narrator] No matter how you build your excuses, H1N1 swine flu can blow your house down. Keep your foundation strong. Vaccinate. Learn more at flu.gov.
[Announcer] A message from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
For information about the Fairfax County Health Department’s vaccination clinics, locations and hours, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/flu.
Stress and strenuous physical activity can increase the risk of heart attacks among those experiencing the impacts of a natural disaster. As we cope with winter storms, the Virginia Department of Health asks those performing heavy physical activity, such as shoveling snow, to be aware of the warning signs of heart attacks.
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but many start slowly with mild pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain. Symptoms also can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. If you or someone you are with begins to have chest discomfort, especially with one or more of the other signs of a heart attack, call 9-1-1 right away. For more information, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov.
That’s it for this edition of the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast, produced by the Fairfax County, Virginia government. Thanks for listening. Additional information about health and safety topics and emergency preparedness may be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov. And remember, if you have a police, fire or medical emergency, call 9-1-1. For non-emergency needs, call 703-691-2131.