Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: October 31, 2012

Fairfax County Podcasts 

Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for October 31, 2012. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, learn about staying current with emergency information, fireplace safety, checking your smoke alarm and updating your emergency supply kit. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at

The county recently experienced a derecho and just experienced Hurricane Sandy. Residents are reminded that it’s vitally important to stay informed during an emergency, and to do so, Fairfax County encourages residents to sign up to receive email updates from the emergency information blog. Visit, enter your email address in the box at the top right and submit. It’s easy, fast and free, and then you’ll have emergency news and information at the tip of your fingers. You’ll also want to sign up for emergency alerts for your mobile phone from the Community Emergency Alert Network, or CEAN. Visit to register your cellphone or email address.


As outdoor temperatures drop and residents take measures to keep themselves warm this winter, fire incidents involving fireplaces may increase. The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department provides these important safety tips:

  • Have your chimney inspected annually, and cleaned as necessary.

  • When cleaning the fireplace, store ashes in a non-combustible container with a tight fitting lid and place the container away from the house.

  • Never leave a fireplace fire unattended.

  • Make sure the fire is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house.

  • Allow ashes to cool before disposing in a metal container (sometimes it takes four days for ashes to cool down).

  • Dispose of ashes in a metal container.

  • Call 9-1-1 immediately when a fire occurs. Residents should not attempt to extinguish the fire themselves.

For more seasonal fire and life safety information, visit


Finally, on Saturday, Nov. 3, from 9 a.m. to noon, firefighters will canvas homes in selected neighborhoods throughout Fairfax County, checking for working smoke alarms, and providing family fire escape plans for residents. The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is partnering with the U.S. Fire Administration in supporting the “Install. Inspect. Protect. Campaign” that emphasizes smoke alarms, escape plans and home safety walk-throughs to eliminate fire hazards from homes. A working smoke alarm can help you and your family to escape a deadly fire. It can also help save the lives of firefighters who would otherwise have to risk their lives by searching a burning home for residents. A working smoke alarm continuously scans the air for smoke, 24/7. It never sleeps. Nov. 3 is also daylight saving weekend when we’ll move our clocks back an hour – remember “Spring forward, Fall back” – a perfect time for everyone to pay special attention to fire safety. It’s also a great time to update supplies in your emergency supply kit. For more, visit or

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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