Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: June 2, 2010
Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for June 2, 2010. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, tips on how to prevent fires if you’re a smoker, swimming pool health and boating safety information. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
Here are some important fire-prevention reminders for smokers from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department:
- Be sure to completely douse cigarette butts and ashes with water before throwing them away, as they can smolder and cause a fire.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Provide large, deep ashtrays with a center support for smokers. Check furniture for any dropped ashes before going to bed. Empty ashes into a fireproof container with water and sand.
- Keep smoking materials away from anything that can burn (i.e., mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, draperies, etc.).
- Never smoke in a home where oxygen is being used.
- If you smoke, choose fire-safe cigarettes. They are less likely to cause fires.
- To prevent a deadly cigarette fire, you must be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking or have taken medicine or other drugs.
- Keep matches and lighters up high, out of children’s sight and reach.
For more fire safety information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fr.
According to a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 out of 8 public pool inspections conducted in 13 states in 2008 resulted in pools being closed immediately due to serious code violations. The CDC offers six steps you can follow for healthy swimming:
- Don′t swim when you have diarrhea.
- Don′t swallow pool water.
- Practice good hygiene. Shower with soap before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers. Germs on your body end up in the water.
- Take your kids on bathroom breaks or check diapers often.
- Change diapers in a bathroom or a diaper-changing area and not at poolside.
- Wash your children thoroughly (especially the rear end) with soap and water before they go swimming.
- Check pool water quality yourself using test strips purchased at a local store.
- Ask the pool operator about chlorine and pH levels and the latest pool inspection score. The pH is probably the most important factor in swimming pool water and should be tested and adjusted on a weekly basis.
For more information on healthy swimming, call 1-800-CDC-INFO or visit www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming.
Speaking of water…For many people, Memorial Day Weekend marks the beginning of summer when people head for the water. Here are some basic guidelines to make boating a more enjoyable and a safer experience. Before you get on the water:
- Complete an online boating safety course. The U.S. Coast Guard's Boating Safety Resource Center offers a page with links to boating safety courses that may be helpful.
- Properly prepare your vessel for the water and make sure it is well equipped.
- Perform a vessel safety check.
- File a float plan to tell others where you will be boating.
While on the water:
- Make sure that life jackets are within reach. Children and people who are considered weaker swimmers should wear their life jackets. Read some stories where wearing a life jacket saved a life!
- Be aware of your surroundings, other boaters, and your speed. Keep an eye out for other boaters in distress, and be willing to help, if it is needed.
- Avoid alcohol while boating. It can lower your awareness and your ability to respond to a situation.
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.