Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: September19, 2012

Fairfax County Podcasts 

Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for September 19, 2012. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, learn about National Preparedness Month, upcoming children’s fingerprinting sessions, volunteer opportunities with an emergency exercise and how to safely discard of smoking materials to ensure your safety. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at

According to a news release from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, only 60 percent of Americans say preparation for natural or man-made disasters is very important to them, yet only a staggering 17 percent of Americans claim to be very prepared for an emergency situation. September is National Preparedness Month. Take this opportunity to Make a Plan, Get a Kit and Stay Informed. Visit the Fairfax County emergency information blog at for daily tips and information on how you and your family can become better prepared for any type of disaster, weather hazard or emergency.


The Fairfax County Sheriff's Office can provide a free ID card for your child that will include name, photo and fingerprints. The fingerprinting uses quick, clean inkless technology. Visit the Sheriff’s booth at the Capital Home Show in the Dulles Expo Center Sept. 22-23, from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., or come to Fall for Fairfax KidsFest at the Fairfax County Government Center on Saturday, Sept. 29, from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. or on Sunday, Sept. 30, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.. More information is at


VRE, the Virginia Rail Express, and the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department are holding a full-scale exercise on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. until noon. The exercise is a simulated train derailment along with a “dirty bomb” in the Springfield area. People with disabilities are needed to portray “survivors” who could give Fire and Rescue real feedback on how they handled the train evacuations. Your participation will give you a unique look into the world of emergency response while at the same time, give first responders an opportunity to learn about residents with disabilities. Refreshments also will be provided. If you would like to participate, contact Bruce McFarlane with the Office of Emergency Management at Provide your name and email/contact information no later than Friday, Oct. 5. OEM will contact you with training specifics including event location, meeting times and more. 


Finally, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department encourages residents to discard smoking materials to ensure proper fire safety. Among the tips:

  • Completely douse cigarette butts and ashes with water before throwing them away, as they can smolder and cause a fire.

  • Never smoke in bed or in a home where oxygen is being used.

  • Provide large, deep ashtrays with a center support for smokers and empty ashes into a fireproof container with water and sand.

  • Keep smoking materials away from anything that can burn like mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture and draperies.

  • If you do smoke, choose fire-safe cigarettes. They are less likely to cause fires.

  • To prevent a deadly cigarette fire, you must be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking or have taken medicine or other drugs.

  • Keep matches and lighters up high, out of children’s sight and reach.

More fire safety information is online at

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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