Health and Safety Podcast Transcript:October 17, 2012
Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast
for October 17, 2012. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency
information officer. Coming up, learn about alternative heat source
safety, wildfires and Halloween safety. Links to topics mentioned in this
podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
Fall – and soon winter – are upon us. The cooler temperatures cause many
to seek out alternative sources to heat homes and keep warm. These are a
major contributing factor in residential fires. The following safety tips
from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department will help you keep a
Keep at least 3 feet of clearance between your heat source and anything
Do not keep or store combustible materials in closed areas or near a
Never leave a heater on when you are not in the room or when you go to
sleep and never leave children or pets unattended near heating
If you use an electric heater, be careful not to overload the
Avoid using electrical heaters in bathrooms as they may come in contact
Do not use a range or oven as an alternate heating source. This is a
safety hazard and may be a source of toxic fumes.
Do not use fuel-burning appliances without the proper room
Never fill a kerosene heater while it is in operation or hot and avoid
Learn more at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fr.
Halloween is coming up. Some tips from the Fairfax County Health
Department can help you have a safe and healthy Halloween this
Tell children not to accept – and especially not to eat – anything that
isn’t commercially wrapped and to resist eating any candy until an
adult has time to inspect the treats.
Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering. Throw away
anything that looks suspicious.
Give kids a light meal before they head out trick-or-treating, so they
are less likely to eat the candy before you have a chance to inspect
it. Also, you’ll avoid belly aches on Halloween night!
If you have very young children, be sure to remove any choking hazards
such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys from their goodie
Visit www.foodsafety.gov and search for “Halloween” to find out more about keeping your kids’ treats safe this year.
Make sure any outdoor Halloween decorations you use are marked for outdoor use and plug lights and decorations into circuits protected by ground-fault circuit interrupters. Be sure to turn out all lights and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.
For trick-or-treating, younger children should go with an adult or an
older, responsible youth. Older children should provide their route and
when they expect to return. If possible, provide a cellphone for
The Fairfax County Police Department encourages trick-or-treats to only
visit homes that have porch lights on; do not talk to strangers; do not
go into homes or cars of strangers; and do not approach animals that
are not familiar.
Make sure trick-or-treaters can be seen by wearing something reflective
or carrying a flashlight or glow stick.
Ensure that children can see from their costumes — widen eye holes in
masks; use face paint or makeup instead of masks; make sure scarves,
hats or wigs don’t obstruct vision.
Walk on sidewalks; never dart into the street or between parked cars to
cross. Cross at corners, stop at the curbs; use crosswalks and obey
Remove masks before crossing a street – and look left, right, left
Have children wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes to prevent trips and
Make sure your child’s costume is fire retardant; if making it, check
that the materials are fire retardant. Costumes should be short enough
so they don’t interfere with walking.
If a child carries an accessory, such as a fake sword, make sure it’s
made from a flexible material such as rubber, so it cannot injure the
child or others.
- Drivers are reminded to be particularly alert, drive slowly and cautiously and use full headlights to spot children more easily and to be seen. Trick-or-treating is most popular between 5:30 and 9:30 p.m.
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.