Turning Up The Heat? Use Space Heaters Safely!

Looks like cold weekend days and evenings ahead – starting tonight. If you will be using space heaters, please make sure you are doing so safely.

According to our friends at the United States Fire Administration, space heaters cause one-third of home heating fires and 4 out of 5 home heating fires deaths.

Protect your family: if you are heating your home tonight, tomorrow and throughout the winter with a space heater, please take a moment to review the video below.

There are also more, and accessible, tips on this topic from the U.S. Fire Administration here: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/heating.html


Investing In Our Future

On Wednesday, December 7, EMS Training and Field Training hosted the Falls Church Emergency Services Program class at the Fire and Rescue Training Academy. 38 students were in attendance.

The class was split into six groups in order to rotate them through skills stations. This allowed the EMS Training and Field Training staff to expose the students to a variety of firefighter and paramedic skills. In addition, the students were provided a tour of the Fire and Rescue Training Academy.

Adult Male Dies In Alexandria House Fire

On Saturday, December 3, at approximately 3:47 p.m., units responded for reports of a house fire in the 3700 block of Logan Court in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County.

Upon arrival, firefighters observed a one story, single family home with smoke showing from all sides of the structure. Units conducted an aggressive attack to bring the fire under control. During a search of the residence, firefighters discovered an unresponsive occupant of the home. The occupant, Jack Darris Thomas, 82, was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. He later succumbed to his injuries. In addition, a family cat perished in the fire.

The fire was reported by a neighbor who saw smoke coming from the home and called 911. One occupant was home at the time of the fire. There was a smoke alarm present, however, it is unknown if it activated. There were no reported firefighter injuries. Red Cross assistance was declined.

Investigation revealed that the fire originated in one of the bedrooms. The fire was Accidental in nature, caused by an electrical event involving a wall outlet. A contributing factor to the cause of the fire was the improper use of extension cords and surge protectors. Damages, as a result of the fire, are estimated at $18,750.00.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department would like to remind all residents to be cautious and keep safety in mind as it relates to Electricity. Please take a moment to review the below Electrical Safety tips:

  • Replace or repair loose or frayed cords on all electrical devices.
  • Use UL rated and listed holiday lights, extension cords and surge protectors.
  • Have all electrical work done by a qualified electrician.
  • Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time.
  • If your power goes out often or the lights in your home flicker, produce an odor, or make noise, have an electrician come in to inspect your wiring.
  • Arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) shut off electricity when a dangerous condition occurs. Consider having them installed in your home. Use a qualified electrician.
  • The electrical outlet in the bathroom should have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). This is a tool that protects you from dangerous shock when water and electricity come together. An electrician can install a GFCI for you.
  • All electrical outlets and switches should be covered by “face plates.”
  • When possible, avoid the use of “cube taps” and other devices that allow the connection of multiple appliances into a single receptacle.
  • Inspect electrical cords to make sure they are in good condition.
  • Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician so you do not have to use extension cords.
  • Don’t tie or knot electrical cords.
  • Don’t let furniture sit on electrical cords.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instruction for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet.



Academy Staff Versus Recruits Toy Drive

It is said that a little competition never hurt anyone. In this instance it definitely will not as the Fire and Rescue Academy Staff takes on Recruit School 141 in a toy drive competition.

Now through December 8, Academy Staff and the Recruits will go head to head to see who can collect the most toys in an effort to bring joy to some Fairfax County children in need of a little holiday cheer! The toys must be new and unwrapped for kids ages 2 to 17.

The competition is expected to go down to the wire and updates will be provided here, as well as our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Academy Staff Verses Recruits Toy Drive

There are no losers in this competition and the ultimate winners will be the kids whose holidays may end up being a lot happier.

Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Getting ready to put up a real, or artificial, Christmas tree in your home? Before you do, you need to pause a moment and review some important information from our friends at the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI).

Why ESFI? Did you know that 1/3 of all Christmas tree fires are a result of electrical failures or malfunctions? Many of these fires can potentially be prevented by following some of the simple steps outlined below.

Taking positive action today may help to ensure your Christmas is a safe and merry one.

Oh Christmas tree oh Christmas treeAccessible information can be found: http://www.esfi.org/resource/prevention-it-s-the-gift-that-keeps-on-giving-536