Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: Sept. 22, 2009

Fairfax County Podcasts 



Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for Sept. 22, 2009. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, hear a H1N1 message, learn how to ensure your personal safety and outdoor grilling safety tips. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at


Health officials are concerned about the H1N1 flu spreading from person-to -person. Here’s a message from Virginia Representative Gerald Connolly on how you can protect yourself from flu and H1N1.

“I'm Representative Gerry Connolly. Influenza is a serious illness. And H1N1 is a serious flu. There are some simple things you can do everyday to protect yourself. Wash your hands often with soap and water. Cough into your sleeve or a tissue. Stay home if you're sick. We need to keep ourselves, our families and our communities healthy. Know what to do about the flu. Visit”


Personal safety is not a police issue: it is everyone’s responsibility. Knowing how to keep yourself safe and to avoid becoming a victim of crime is critical, no matter where you work or live. Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings. Be confident. Walk with confidence and purpose. And trust your instincts; learn to react to unsettled feelings. Here are some specific personal safety tips.

When you’re shopping or walking in public:

  • Carry a cell phone
  • Alert family/friends to your travel plans and when you may be home
  • Have an escort, if possible
  • Avoid carrying large sums of money
  • Report suspicious people or activity to police
  • Walk in well-lit, populated areas; avoid cut-through paths
  • Avoid walking near hedges or bushes.
  • Before leaving a bus/rail station, observe others

When you are in a parking lot:

  • Lock car doors
  • Park in well-lit areas
  • Keep hands free, if possible
  • Stay alert
  • Have your keys in hand, ready to go
  • Get into vehicle and lock your door immediately


Finally, with the arrival of the fall season and outdoor picnics, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department reminds residents that cookouts can lead to tragedy if they are not properly planned. Outdoor chefs can minimize the risk of fire or injury by following some simple but practical safety tips:

  • Never use gasoline to start a charcoal fire.
  • Use charcoal lighter fluid safely and prudently. Adding more fluid on hot coals may ignite the stream of fuel and burn back into the can, causing it to explode.
  • Consider using a U.L. approved electrical starter in place of lighter fluid.
  • Place grills away from structures and combustibles (minimum 15 feet) so they will not tip over or ignite objects above them. One of the biggest dangers with grills is trying to use them on apartment or condominium balconies. This practice is unsafe and against the law.
  • Never bring a grill into the home. The carbon monoxide produced by burning charcoal is dangerous, and deadly.
  • Keep a garden hose or a portable fire extinguisher handy in case of fire in the grill gets out of control. Call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Keep children and pets away from fires and grills. It only takes a second for curiosity to cause a serious burn.
  • Though coals may appear to be cool, always soak them with water. Coals retain enough heat to reignite for days after a fire.

For more information, visit the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department 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
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