Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: Feb. 20, 2013

Fairfax County Podcasts 

Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for February 20, 2013. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, learn about smoke alarms, National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, the statewide tornado drill, Virginia’s burning law and staying healthy this flu season. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at


The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department continues to take a proactive approach to fire safety by ensuring residents have working smoke alarms. On Saturday, March 9, from 9 a.m. to noon, firefighters will canvas homes in neighborhoods to make sure smoke alarms are working. Rental property residents of should contact their property management as these properties are required to inspect smoke alarms annually. Contact the Fire and Rescue Public Affairs and Life Safety Education office at 703-246-3801, TTY 711 -- or your local fire station.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have partnered to designate March 3-9, as National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, calling upon us to “Be a Force of Nature.” Commit to being a force of nature by knowing your risks, taking action and being an example by sharing the steps you took to prepare. Because we live in an area prone to tornadoes, flash floods, severe thunderstorms, snow and more, we are reminded that this weather can strike anywhere and at any time. Join today and pledge to prepare for severe weather. Information on the different types of severe weather such as tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flooding is available at


Speaking of weather, Virginia’s annual Statewide Tornado Drill will take place Tuesday, March 12, at 9:45 a.m. To register and to learn more about planning a tornado drill, go to


Virginia’s 4 p.m. Burning Law is now in effect. This spring fire season law prohibits burning before 4 p.m. each day, from Feb. 15 until April 30, if the fire is in, or within 300 feet of, woodland, brushland or fields containing dry grass or other flammable materials. A violation is a Class 3 misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine. In addition to the criminal violation, those who allow a fire to escape are liable for the cost of suppressing the fire as well as any damage caused to others’ property. Burning leaves, yard waste or trash continues to be the major cause of wildfires in Virginia. These debris fires can easily escape unless proper precaution is taken. Take a look at the mini-posters at learn more about how to be safe when burning debris.


Finally, remember that flu season is still here. If someone you know has the flu, make sure the sick person follows any instructions given by his or her health care provider and takes all medications as directed. It’s also important to keep yourself and others healthy when there is a sick person in your house. Keep the sick person away from other people as much as possible, especially those who are at high risk of complications from the flu. Learn more about the flu and how to take care of yourself and your family 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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