Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: May 30, 2012

Fairfax County Podcasts 

Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for May 30, 2012. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, learn about staying safe while enjoying water activities, protecting yourself again skin damage and skin cancer, proper ladder use and electrical safety. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at

The Virginia Department of Health offers a few simple guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience this summer during recreational water activities. To prevent injury and drowning take the following precautions:

  • Never leave a child alone near a standing body of water; always designate a responsible adult to watch children swimming or playing in or around the water.

  • Make sure that your swimming pool area is separated from the house and play area by a four-sided fence with self-closing and self-latching gates.

  • To prevent underwater entrapment, ensure that your pool contains suction drain covers that meet applicable regulations.

  • When boating in open waters, be sure to wear U.S. Coast Guard- approved life jackets, regardless of the distance to be traveled, the size of the boat or the swimming ability of the boaters.

  • With any recreational water activity, always use the buddy system, be aware of local weather conditions, do not consume alcohol before and during recreational water activities, avoid swimming after dark, do not dive into unknown or shallow areas and watch out for dangerous waves or rip currents.


This summer, you’ll also want to protect yourself against skin damage and skin cancer by using sunscreen with sun protective factor – or SPF – of 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB protection. Wear clothing to protect exposed skin, a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears and neck and sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays as possible.

Incorrect ladder use at home or work can lead to a serious strain or sprain injury. The warm days of summer mean many will grab a ladder to do house maintenance, including cleaning gutters. Before you start, the county’s Risk Management Division encourages employees and residents alike to check the ladder for any loose parts; never use a damaged ladder; and know the ladder’s maximum load capacity. Remember to have three points of contact on the ladder — two hands, one foot or one foot with two hands.


Speaking of staying safe around the home, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department offers these electrical safety tips: 

  • Replace or repair loose or frayed cords on all electrical devices.

  • Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time.

  • If your power goes out a lot or the lights in your home flicker, smell bad or make noise, have an electrician come in to inspect your wiring.   

  • The electrical outlet in the bathroom should have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, or GFCI. This is a tool that protects you from dangerous shock when water and electricity come together. 

  • All electrical outlets and switches should be covered by faceplates.

  • When possible, avoid the use of a cube tap and other devices that allow the connection of multiple appliances into a single receptacle.

  • Inspect electrical cords to make sure they are in good condition.

  • Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician so you do not have to use extension cords.

  • Don’t tie or knot electrical cords.

  • Don’t let furniture sit on electrical cords.

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instruction for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet.

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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