Warmer temperatures are in store this weekend and into next week! Everyone needs to remember a potential danger that can impact young children.
Unfortunately, every year, young children are left alone in a vehicle that quickly heats up with the end result being injury or even death. Some cases involve kids getting into unlocked vehicles unbeknownst to parents and quickly succumb to the heat. Nationally, so far this year, several children have died from vehicular heatstroke.
Did you know that a car’s temperature can rise over 20 degrees in ten minutes? Or that the temperature inside your car can reach 110 degrees even at an outside temperature of 60 degrees?
Needless to say, especially with expected temperatures in the upper 80’s today, leaving a child unattended in a vehicle for even a minute is not acceptable. And make sure your car locked when you are not in it so kids are not able to gain access.
- “Look Before You Lock” ‐ Get in the habit of always opening the back door to check the back seat before leaving your vehicle. Make sure no child has been left behind.
- Create a reminder to check the back seat. Put something you’ll need like your cell phone, handbag, employee ID or brief case, etc., in the back seat so that you have to open the back door to retrieve that item every time you park.
- Keep a large stuffed animal in the child’s car seat. When the child is placed in the car seat, place the stuffed animal in the front passenger seat. It’s a visual reminder that the child is in the back seat.
- Make sure you have a strict policy in place with your childcare provider about daycare drop‐off. If your child does not show up as scheduled; and they have not received a call from the parent, the childcare provider pledges to contact you immediately to ensure the safety of your child.
- Keep vehicles locked at all times, even in driveways or garages. Ask home visitors, child care providers and neighbors to do the same.
- Keep car keys and remote openers out of reach of children.
- Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute.
- If a child goes missing, immediately check the inside passenger compartments and trunks of all vehicles in the area very carefully, even if they are locked. A child may lock the car doors after entering a vehicle on their own, but may not be able to unlock them.
- Be especially careful during busy times, schedule changes and periods of crisis or holidays. This is when many tragedies occur.
- Use drive‐thru services when available (restaurants, banks, pharmacies, dry cleaners, etc.) and pay for gas at the pump.
If you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved. Call 911 immediately. If the child seems hot or sick, get them out of the vehicle as quickly as possible.
Recently Deputy Chief Daniel Shaw, A-Shift, lined the firefighters and paramedics up for uniform inspection at Fire and Rescue Station 25, Reston, A-Shift’s annual station inspection. The shift passed with flying colors!
Deputy Chief Shaw commented, “Thank you Captain Cunningham. Excellent job today. The members of your shift have clearly shown the level of dedication and leadership you provide them each day and this is transmitted to execution of the mission I see often from your shift. I appreciate the work and efforts to be prepared today and to represent the company and battalion well.”
Two members of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department were recently recognized for outstanding academic achievement and going above and beyond the call.
Mary Cramer, Life Safety Education, was honored by Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) with a Partner Award. The award recognizes groups and individuals who go above and beyond expectations in working with NCS in strengthening the overall well-being of individuals and communities. Mary has work tirelessly with local senior centers to promote fire and injury prevention in an effort to keep our residents healthy and safe.
Captain II David Winter, Communications, was honored by Acting Fire Chief John Caussin for receiving certification as an Executive Fire Officer (EFO) through the National Fire Academy. The program is intense and involves taking four graduate and upper-division-baccalaureate equivalent courses taken over a four-year period. Each course is two weeks in length. Captain Winter was then required to complete an Applied Research Project, that related to FCFRD, within six months after the completion of each of the four courses to receive this prestigious designation as an EFO.
Congratulations to Mary and David!
The temperature is rising for the rest of the week and beyond. Highs are expected to be in the mid to upper 80’s. As we have not had days this hot in a long time, these conditions are potentially dangerous and it is important that county residents know the warning signs and symptoms of heat illness and the appropriate responses.
Below is an info-graphic from our friends at the National Weather Service. An accessible version can be found HERE: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/heat/heat-illness.shtml
It is not uncommon for our firefighters and paramedics to get asked a variety of questions about smoke alarms. Often, people want to know what type of smoke alarm you need and where in the home they should be placed. Our partners in safety at the National Fire Protection Association produced an informative, and short, video that answers these, and many other, questions.
Please take two minutes to increase your fire safety knowledge. Who knows, it could save your, or a loved ones, life one day.
Open windows are a safety risk to children. Screens DO NOT prevent children from falling out. Windows must operate easily for emergency exits in case of fire, but should be made “childproof” by following these safety tips:
- Keep children away from open windows
- Never leave children alone in rooms with open windows
- Open windows from the TOP when possible, or only open four inches from bottom
- Keep beds, chairs, and other “climbing aids” away from windows
- Consider installing window guards
- Educate older children about the dangers of open windows