Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: May 29, 2013

Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for May 29, 2013. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, learn about mosquito traps and West Nile virus, boating safety and National Safety Month. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at

The Fairfax County Health Department is putting mosquito traps on public properties as part of its routine surveillance for West Nile virus. Please do not disturb these traps. They are clearly marked with the words “mosquito trap” and have other markings to let people know what these devices are. Some traps are about the size of an office trash can and are set on the ground; others are hung from a tree and are about 5 feet long. Both traps are placed under a tarp suspended in the trees. Health Department contact information is on the traps. Health Department staff who set out and collect the traps drive marked county vehicles and wear county-issued identification. If you have questions about the traps, contact the Health Department at 703-246-8931, TTY 711; email or visit

Recreational boating is second only to highway transportation in the number of fatalities that occur each year. Alcohol is involved in most of these accidents. The National Safety Council recommends the following tips for recreational boaters:

  • Don't drink and boat. Boating while intoxicated is just as dangerous as drinking and driving. The "designated driver" system doesn't work in boating. Everyone is at risk because the boat's motion, coupled with alcohol, increases the chances of losing balance and falling overboard.

  • Everyone on the boat should wear a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD) or life jacket. A PFD is the best protection against drowning.

  • Check the weather and water conditions before leaving the shore. If it looks like storms are brewing or the water is very choppy, wait for another day to go boating.

  • Limit the number of passengers in a small boat. Don't exceed the limit allowed by the boat's capacity plate. Keep in mind the size and weight of each person — equal distribution of weight will limit the possibility of capsizing.

  • Have visual distress devices approved by the Coast Guard onboard. Pyrotechnic red flares, orange smoke, orange distress flags and electric distress lights must be in good working order and easily accessible.

  • Use the "one-third rule" in fuel management. Use one-third of the fuel to go, one-third to get back and keep one-third in reserve.

  • Always tell someone where you will be boating, when you will be back, what your boat looks like and other identifying information.

To ensure that you are following safe boating procedures, sign up for a boating safety course near your home.


June is National Safety Month. Be sure to follow the emergency information blog at for special articles and videos featuring safety tips and information to keep you and your family safe as we head into the summer season.


Finally, Fairfax County’s NewsWire keeps you up-to-date on news that affects you, your family and your community. Subscribe today at And be sure to subscribe by RSS or email to the emergency information blog 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
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