Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: Oct.19, 2011
Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for
October 19, 2011. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information
officer. Coming up, learn about Crime Prevention Month and National Cyber
Security Awareness Month, as well as some trick-or-treat safety tips.
Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
Halloween is fast approaching. Here are some trick-or-treat safety tips to ensure a safe night out for your ghouls and goblins:
Ensure that each trick-or-treater has a working flashlight.
Have children remove their masks and look both ways before they cross a
Never let a group of children trick-or-treat alone.
Trick-or-treat only at homes of people you know.
- Instruct children never to eat candy or treats until they return home. When your child gets home, inspect all the candies and fruits. Slice open the fruit to look for strange odors or any signs that the fruit has been altered or tampered with. Dispose of any treat that is unwrapped or appears to have been tampered with.
October is Crime Prevention Month. You don’t have to completely overhaul your home to ensure your family is safe and secure. Here are five simple ways you can improve your home’s safety:
1. Make sure you have effective locks that are being used. Remember that
not all locks are created equal. For maximum protection, choose
2. Do some yard work before you leave the house for an extended period of time. Trim hedges and bushes so thieves won’t have a chance to hide out and it won’t give the impression your home has been left unattended and vacant.
3. Remember to secure your spare key. Leave it with a trusted neighbor. Never hide it on the property. Keyless entry locks are also a great option.
4. Be sure all outside entrances of the home are well lit. A timer or solar-powered light on the front, back and side of the house make it difficult for burglars to hide.
5. Keep status updates safe. Think twice before posting upcoming vacations on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media outlet. You’d be surprised how fast information can travel on the information highway – and sometimes to the wrong computer screen.
October also marks the eighth annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The theme this year is “Our Shared Responsibility,” which reflects the interconnectedness of the modern world and the message that all computer users have a role in securing cyberspace. The Fairfax County Department of Information Technology offers these tips for staying safe online:
Use strong passwords with alphanumeric and special characters.
Maintain separate passwords for work related and non-work related
Keep your operating system and applications patched and current.
Keep anti-virus and other malicious code analysis software up to
Never visit un-trusted websites or follow links provided by unknown
Secure your transactions online by ensuring “HTTPS” appears in the
website’s address bar before making an online purchase.
Never respond to any unsolicited or spam emails.
Never open attachments received in suspicious emails.
- Never provide personal information to uninitiated online sources.
More tips and information is online at www.dhs.gov.
Finally, shorter days and cooler nights are sure signs that autumn has
arrived. And that means wildland fire season in Virginia, which began on
Saturday, Oct. 15. Officials with the Virginia Department of Forestry
remind residents to be careful with outdoor fires. In addition to taking
safety precautions with a campfire, or hot ashes from a wood stove or
fireplace escaping and becoming a wildland fire, motorists should also
avoid parking their vehicles in piles of dry leaves. More information is
online at www.dof.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.