Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: Sept. 7, 2011
Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for
September 7, 2011. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information
officer. Coming up, learn about several safety measures residents should
take when cleaning up from natural disasters such as a hurricane. Also
learn how you can honor the remembrance of the 10th anniversary of the
9/11 terrorist attacks by recognizing preparedness month in September.
Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
Hurricane Irene recently affected Virginia and Fairfax County. Here are several safety measures to remember after storms.
Accidents using chainsaws during storm cleanup are frequent and often lead to severe injuries. Most accidents are caused by contact with the moving chain, and most deaths happen when operators are struck by a falling limb or tree during the cutting process. Here are tips for using chainsaws safely during cleanup from events such as Hurricane Irene.
Be sure to wear and use protective equipment, including a hard hat; eye
protection such as safety glasses or goggles; hearing protection;
leather work gloves; cut-resistant leg wear, such as chaps, leggings or
pants, with a two-inch boot overlap; and sturdy boots, preferably
Before starting your saw, make sure the chain brake is on, size up the
tree, watch for hazards around the tree and cut only when it’s safe to
- When starting your saw, place the saw on the ground and put the toe of your boot through the back handle to hold the saw down. Go to www.dof.virginia.gov for additional information and safety tips.
Water on flooded roads can be deeper than you think causing you to lose
control of your vehicle. Drive slowly at a speed that is safe for road
and weather conditions. Be alert for broken stop lights and missing
street signs. Wear your seatbelt, properly restrain your children and
avoid using a cellphone while driving. The Virginia State Police remind
residents that state
law requires headlights to be on when windshield wipers are in use.
In addition, slow down for weather and road conditions – and be watchful
for fallen trees, power lines, debris and other hazards that may get
blown onto or fall across a roadway. Add extra time to reach your travel
destination, increase driving distances between vehicles. Remember, call
511 for road conditions – not 911 or #77 – these are for emergency calls
Using gas-powered appliances and charcoal or gas grills following power outages may lead to increased injuries and deaths due to carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas. Carbon monoxide is highly poisonous. According to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, it causes about 300 accidental fatalities in homes each year; thousands more are treated in hospitals for poisoning. Carbon monoxide combines with hemoglobin in blood and robs it of the oxygen our body needs. Early symptoms of exposure include headache, fatigue, nausea and confused thinking. Without treatment, the victim will lose consciousness, and if no help is given will lose their life. To protect your family:
Always use portable generators, camp stoves, barbecue and charcoal
grills outside and 20 feet away from windows, doors and vents to
prevent deadly CO poisoning.
Have a qualified technician inspect your gas furnace and
Never allow your car to run in an enclosed area, especially one
attached to your house.
Make sure your fireplace is in good repair and do not close the damper
before the fire is out.
Install CO alarms to give your family a warning if CO is building up in
- Learn more about carbon monoxide poisoning and how you can prevent it. Additional information is available from CDC and the Fairfax County Health Department.
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.