Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: January 11, 2012

Fairfax County Podcasts 

Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for January 11, 2012. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, learn about the fire department’s Juvenile Fire Setters Program and protecting yourself from winter weather. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at

To help prevent youth from setting fires, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department conducts a Juvenile Fire Setters Program for children and youth, age 3-17, focusing on fire and its consequences. A trained counselor provides intervention and educational services for approximately 250 children and their families each year. Additionally, fire and life safety educators, through the Every Step of the Way Program, provide educational instruction, addressing fire and burn hazards, and fire and life safety messages. Over 700 programs were conducted last year, reaching more than 35,000 high-risk children. For more information about this or other life safety programs from the Fire and Rescue Department, visit

Winter is here – are you ready? Virginia’s winters can be cold, snowy, icy and dangerous. Protect yourself and your home with these tips:

  • If you heat with a fireplace or wood stove, have a professional check your fireplace and chimney, especially if it has been a long time since the last cleaning. Residue can build up and cause fires.

  • Don’t use candles during power outages. Many home fires in winter are caused by candles. Flashlights are much safer. Be sure to have extra batteries on hand.

  • Never plug space heaters into extension cords; plug into wall outlets. Keep space heaters at least 3 feet from other objects, and turn them off before going to bed.

  • Kerosene or propane heaters must be used with great caution. The room must be ventilated by opening a window. Keep heaters at least 3 feet away from flammable objects such as curtains, blankets and furniture. Place heaters on a hard surface, not on carpet. Refuel them outdoors after they have cooled.

  • Get where you need to be before the weather gets bad. It’s always best to stay off roads during winter storms. Most traffic crashes happen within the first two hours after a storm starts.

  • Stay informed during power outages. Be sure you have a battery-powered or hand-crank radio and extra batteries.

  • Most important – you need a family emergency plan. If your family cannot return home because of severe weather or closed roads, you need to decide now on where you will meet to reunite. You also need an out-of-town relative or friend to be your family emergency contact. Learn more about making a plan for winter weather and all emergencies – and get a free family emergency plan worksheet – at, or visit to make a family or business emergency plan.

For additional information, visit

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 And remember, if you have a police, fire or medical emergency, call 9-1-1. For non-emergency needs, call 703-691-2131.

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

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