Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: December 28, 2011
Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for
December 28, 2011. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information
officer. Coming up, learn about being prepared in the new year, putting a
freeze on winter fires and fire safety in the laundry room. Links to
topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Fairfax County Office of
Emergency Management encourage residents to “Resolve to be Ready in 2012”
by making a New Year’s resolution to be prepared for emergencies.
According to a recent report by the National Climatic Data Center, there
were more billion-dollar natural disasters in 2011 than any year on
record. This year alone, the U.S. experienced its first hurricane
landfall since 2008, the most deadly series of tornadoes since the 1950s,
significant earthquakes and severe flooding – hazards that impacted every
region of the country. These events are important reminders that
disasters can strike anytime, anywhere and that being prepared is one of
the most effective things we can do to protect our homes, businesses and
loved ones. By making a resolution to take a few simple steps in advance,
you can minimize the impact of an emergency on your family, home or
business. Visit www.ready.gov/resolve or www.listo.gov for free information,
checklists and guidelines about how to put together a kit, make a plan
and stay informed. Resolve to be Ready in 2012!
The U.S. Fire Administration and the National Fire Protection Association are sponsoring a special initiative – Put a Freeze on Winter Fires. Each winter it’s estimated that more than 108,000 home fires occur in the U.S., resulting in approximately 945 deaths and $1.7 billion in property loss. Cooking is the leading cause of winter home fires and winter storms can cause people to turn to alternative heating sources, such as space heaters, which account for about one-third of home heating fires and approximately 80 percent of home heating fire deaths. The following fire safety tips can help you maintain a fire-safe home this winter:
Stay in the kitchen when cooking on top of the stove, grilling or
Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from space heaters and
Replace damaged electrical or extension cords.
Never use the oven or stovetop to heat a home.
Don't leave a live Christmas tree up for longer than two weeks. Keep
the tree stand filled with water.
- Avoid using lighted candles; try flameless candles instead.
Speaking of fire safety, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department encourages residents to look in the laundry room for fire hazards.
Clean the lint filter before or after each use. Don’t forget to clean
the back of the dryer where lint can be trapped.
Do not operate the dryer without a lint filter.
Ensure the air exhaust bent pipe is unrestricted and the outdoor vent
flap opens when the dryer operates.
Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and the machine is
Do not leave a dryer running if you leave home or when you go to
Do not dry clothing or fabric on or near anything flammable such as
alcohol, cooking oils, gasoline, spot removers or dry-cleaning
Keep the dryer area clear of things that can burn, such as boxes or
- Have a functional smoke alarm in the laundry area, somewhere near the dryer.
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.