Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: November 30, 2011
Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for
November 30, 2011. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information
officer. CComing up, learn about winter weather preparation and fireplace
safety. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at
Dec. 4-10 is Winter Preparedness Week in Virginia. Are you and your family ready for winter? If not, take a few simple steps now to prepare – make a plan, get an emergency kit and stay informed. Learn more at www.ReadyVirginia.gov and www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency.
To prepare in case of power outages this winter:
Ensure you have a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio to listen for
emergency updates and news reports.
Have flashlights or electric lanterns on hand to provide light; candles
may add a spark of adventure during power failures, but they are
dangerous fire hazards. Flashlights and electric lanterns require
batteries so consider keeping a supply of extra batteries in case of
- Remember, your microwaves will not work! Keep a three- to 14-day supply of water and nonperishable foods such as ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables, canned juices, milk and soup. Also, have a hand-operated can opener available as well as one gallon of water per person per day.
During a power outage:
Always operate portable generators outside, away from doors and windows
to avoid dangerous carbon monoxide.
Avoid plugging emergency generators into electric outlets or hooking
them directly to your home's electrical system – they can feed
electricity back into the power lines, putting you and line workers in
Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to
prevent food spoilage.
Let the sun warm rooms during the day and close shades and curtains at
night to help keep in the heat.
- When the power comes back on, wait a few minutes before turning on major appliances to help eliminate problems that could occur if there's a sharp increase in demand. If you think electric power has been restored to your area but your home is still without power, call your local power company.
Find more tips at www.ready.gov/winter.
With winter weather comes increased use of fireplaces. The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department offers these safety tips:
Ensure that your chimney is cleaned and inspected by a licensed
professional once a year.
A spark arrestor across the top of a chimney will prevent sparks from
igniting your roof.
Use the proper fuel (seasoned hardwood, pellets and gas/propane) for
your type of system. Never use gasoline, kerosene or other flammable
liquids to start a fire.
Fireplaces should have a sturdy screen across the front to prevent
flying embers or logs rolling out.
When clearing ashes from the fireplace, be sure to put them into a
metal container with a lid – never into a cardboard box or paper
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Many non-masonry fireplace/ chimney units have limitations on the amount of heat they can safely withstand.
For more lifesaving information, visit the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fr.
Finally, read the latest Emergency Preparedness newsletter online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/oem/outreach.
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.