Get in S.T.E.P. (Safety Takes Every Person) With FCFRD This Holiday Season!

The fun of the holiday season is upon us. Unfortunately, this is also the time of year when Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (FCFRD) starts to see an increase in residential structure/building fires.

A large percentage of fires and injuries are totally preventable. With this in mind, Fire Chief John Butler is encouraging all Fairfax County residents to “Get in S.T.E.P. (Safety Takes Every Person) With FCFRD This Holiday Season”!

This seven-week campaign will focus on a variety of safety themes with a strong emphasis on ensuring all residents take an active role practicing and promoting safe behavior.

This week, FCFRD is highlighting heating safety. If you use a wood-burning stove or fireplace, make sure your chimney is clean and in good working order by having a licensed chimney sweep clean and inspect your chimney. This should be done at least once a year or possibly more if you use your fireplace or wood-burning stove frequently.

A dirty flue in your chimney can eventually result in a chimney fire that can spread to your home and cause significant damage. Please also make sure you use your fireplace or wood-burning stove safely and follow the recommended safety tips below.

  • Never discard hot ashes inside or near the home. Place them in a covered metal container outside and well away from the house.
  • If you use a wood-burning stove or fireplace, have a licensed chimney sweep clean and inspect your chimney at least once a year.
  • Place a glass or metal spark screen in front of the fireplace and install caps on chimneys.
  • Never use a flammable liquid (gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluid, etc.) to start a fire or rekindle a small one.
  • Keep paper, clothing, trash, and other combustibles at least three feet away from your furnace, hot water heater, or wood-burning device.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Many “non-masonry” fireplace/chimney units have limitations on the amount of heat they can safely withstand.

You can follow the “Get in S.T.E.P.” campaign on our social media platforms. Please consider sharing all safety tips with family and friends and on your social media channels! The hashtag for the campaign is #SafeFairfax.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ffxfirerescue

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ffxfirerescue/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fairfaxcountyfirerescue/