Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: November 28, 2012

Fairfax County Podcasts 

Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for November 28, 2012. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, learn about winter weather safety and fire safety tips for your holiday tree. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at

This winter, Fairfax County encourages residents to remember the phrase, “Get Where You Need to Be Before the Weather Gets Bad.” Why? By staying off the roads during the worst of the weather, Virginia Department of Transportation crews can more easily clear roads and the county’s public safety officials can respond more quickly to residents needing emergency services. When inclement weather is predicted, leave plenty of time to pick up your children from school, run errands and get home. Do not wait until snow begins to start your commute. Sometimes it is safer to stay put and not travel during inclement weather whether you are at home, work or school.


During emergencies – and for day-to-day preparedness information – visit Fairfax County’s emergency information blog at Sign up online to receive information by email. Weather alerts also can be delivered by text message to your cellphone. Sign up through the Community Emergency Alert Network (CEAN) at


In addition, keep storm drains clear to help prevent flooding; trim dead or overgrown tree limbs, especially if they are over your home or electric lines; be prepared for power outages; use space heaters and fireplaces carefully – and never leave a heater on when you are not awake and in the room; avoid exposure to cold temperatures, which can cause serious and even life-threatening health problems such as hypothermia and frostbite, and avoid exertion.


 Make sure everyone in your household knows how and where to turn off the water. Locate and tag the valve at your main waterline so it can be found quickly. The valve is normally located where the waterline enters your home through the foundation. Print a water valve tag from Fairfax Water at Call 703-289-6019 to request a tag by mail. Be a good neighbor and check on those around you, especially seniors and people with disabilities. For more information, go to


Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department crews distributed Christmas tree safety tags to holiday tree lot vendors the week before the Thanksgiving holiday. The green and white 5 x 8 inch tags provide valuable fire safety tips for residents purchasing a tree. Vendors will provide the “Fire Safety and Your Tree” tags with every tree purchase while they last. Here are the holiday fire safety tips from the Fire and Rescue Department:

  • Keep tree base immersed in water.

  • Do not permit smoking near the tree.

  • Use only lights that are Underwriters Laboratories (U.L.) approved.

  • Use flame retardant decorations and paper.

  • Inspect lights for frayed or cracked wiring, broken plugs and defective sockets.

  • Unplug lights at night and when leaving the home.

  • Remove the tree soon after the holidays – before the needles dry out.

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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