Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: July 28, 2010
Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for July 14, 2010. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, learn some electrical safety tips, find out how to get involved in National Preparedness Month in September, and find out the differences between heat-related illnesses. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
Due to a recent fire in the community, caused by an electrical irregularity, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department offers the following electrical safety tips:
- Inspect electrical cords to make sure they are in good condition.
- Replace or repair loose or frayed cords on all electrical devices.
- Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time.
- If your power goes out a lot or the lights in your home flicker, smell bad or make noise, have an electrician come in to inspect the wiring.
- The electrical outlet in the bathroom should have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). This is a tool that protects you from dangerous shock when water and electricity come together. An electrician can install a GFCI for you.
- All electrical outlets and switches should be covered by “face plates.”
- When possible, avoid the use of “cube taps” and other devices that allow the connection of multiple appliances into a single receptacle.
- Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician so you do not have to use extension cords.
- Don’t tie or knot electrical cords.
- Don’t let furniture sit on electrical cords.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet.
More fire safety information can be found at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fr.
September is National Preparedness Month. Organizations can join the National Preparedness Month Coalition – just register online at ready.adcouncil.org. To learn more about National Preparedness Month, visit www.ready.gov.
Exposure to extreme heat can cause serious illness. Stay cool this summer – and learn the differences between heat related illnesses.
- Sunburn is a common summer problem. In severe cases it can cause swelling, blisters, fever and headaches. Take a shower using soap to remove oils that may block pores, preventing the body from cooling naturally. Apply dry, sterile dressings to any blisters and, if they persist, see a doctor.
- Heat Cramps are painful spasms, usually in leg and abdominal muscles, and may be accompanied by heavy sweating.
- Heat Exhaustion can be serious. Symptoms include heavy sweating, but skin may be cool, pale or flushed. Fainting or dizziness, weak pulse, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion and headaches may occur. If you experience any of these symptoms, sit or lie down in a cool place, loosen your clothing and sip half a glass of water every 15 minutes. Discontinue drinking water if you become nauseous, and seek immediate medical attention if vomiting occurs.
- Heat Stroke is a severe medical emergency and can be life-threatening. Symptoms include a high body temperature, as much as 105 degrees; hot, red, dry skin; rapid, weak pulse; rapid shallow breathing; and possible loss of consciousness. If you suspect you have heat stroke, seek immediate medical assistance or call 9-1-1.
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.