Keeping Your Little Ghouls And Goblins Safe

Halloween can be a scary time as it relates to fire safety. Decorations and candles in particular can turn your Halloween into a horrifying experience if care is not taken.

We want to make sure your little ghouls and goblins have a fun time safely. Please take a moment to view the below picto-graph, from our partners in safety at the National Fire Protection Association, for some helpful tips to keep this Halloween a safe one for you and your loved ones.

Halloween fire safety tips

Accessible version here

Halloween by the numbers*

  • 2011-2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 840 home structure fires annually that began with decorations.
  • These fires caused an average of 2 civilian deaths, 36 civilian injuries, and $11.4 million in direct property damage per year.
  • Almost half (45%) of these fires were tied to decorations being too close to some type of heat source, such as a candle. A fire can start when candles are too close to decorations or when long, trailing costumes come into contact with candles.

*From the NFPA

And The Open House Winners Are………

Saturday, October 14 was a fantastic day in all Fairfax County Fire and Rescue fire stations as we held our annual Open House event. Many County residents stopped by their local fire station to meet the firefighters that serve them, get an up close look at the fire trucks and equipment, learn about fire safety, and just generally have a fun time! 

As part of Open House, there is a competition among all the fire stations to win the “Best Open House” award. The award is given to a fire station in each of our seven battalions that best highlights this year’s Fire Prevention Week Theme along with being creative and making sure all visitors had a really good time. 

Each Battalion Chief was responsible for judging the fire stations in their battalion. The competition was tough as each station did a fantastic job putting on a great open house for those we serve. However, one station in each battalion had to win and here are the stations that won: 

Battalion One: Fire Station 39 – North Point

Battalion Two: Fire Station 2 – Vienna

Battalion Three: Fire Station 17 – Centreville

Battalion Four: Fire Station 8 – Annandale

Battalion Five: Fire Station 5 – Franconia

Battalion Six: Fire Station 11 – Penn Daw

Battalion Seven: Fire Station 14 – Burke

 

Know Two Ways Out!

Fire Prevention Week is this week and runs through Saturday, October 14. This year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week is: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”

Check out the video from Sparky the Fire Dog below.

Please also take the time to develop a home fire escape plan. Below are links to two documents that will provide a template and all of the information you need!

Escape Planning – Activity Fun Sheet for Adults and Children

Home Escape Planning

 

Free Training In Basic Disaster Response Skills

Neighbor Helping Neighbor – Free Training In Basic Disaster Response SkillsCommunity Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a training program administered through the auspices of the county fire and rescue department. The training prepares residents to help themselves, their families and neighbors in the event of a disaster in their community. Through CERT, residents can learn about disaster preparedness and receive training in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations.

At this time, the next available CERT Class is scheduled to begin on Monday, November 6 at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Academy. There are two sessions each week on Mondays and Wednesdays, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m., that run until December 6. The class is 28 hours in length, plus the final practical exercise.

CERT training is free of charge and basic gear is provided. The minimum requirements to participate in CERT training at any level is that residents be 16 years of age or older, and either be a Fairfax County resident, or work in the county.

To learn more about CERT, please go here: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fr/cert/cert.htm

To sign up, please go here: https://volunteer.fairfaxcounty.gov/recruiter/index.php?recruiterID=1380&class=OppDetails&oppGuid={B0D469CD-8A15-4DD8-8A6B-531D33C7024B}&t=CERT-132-at-the-Fire-and-Rescue-Academy

 

Little Rain Last Three Weeks – Be Fire Safe While Outdoors

Our area has not had much rain at all over the last three weeks. As a result, the brush, mulch, grass and vegetation are very dry.

Little Rain Last Three Weeks - Be Fire Safe While Outdoors

Courtesy of NFPA

Due to the beautiful weather, many residents are still entertaining, cooking and eating outdoors as well as enjoying an outside fire place or fire pit. Did you know that outside fireplaces or fire pits caused nearly 3,700 grass and brush fires in one year?

With all of this in mind, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue would like to remind all residents to practice fire safety while outdoors. If you smoke outside, please especially remember to extinguish smoking materials in an approved container. Below, please find some helpful safety tips from our friends at the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Do not discard cigarettes in vegetation such as mulch, potted plants or landscaping, peat moss, dried grasses, leaves or other things that could ignite easily.
  • Use a deep, sturdy ashtray when discarding cigarettes. Place it away from anything that can burn.
  • Before you throw away butts and ashes, make sure they are out. Dousing in water or sand is the best way to do that.
  • REMOVE dead vegetation and other items from under your deck or porch, and within 10 feet of the house.
  • REMOVE flammable materials (wood piles, propane tanks) within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.
  • KEEP your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
  • Have an adult present at all times when a portable fireplace is burning.
  • Use sturdy candle holders that won’t tip over easily.
  • Keep anything that can burn, as well as children and pets, at least three feet away from open flames.
  • Use battery-operated flameless candles and solar-powered patio (tiki) torches in place of an open flame. Flameless candles come in all colors, shapes and sizes, and many are scented. Flameless candles look and feel like the real ones, and add a beautiful soft glow to any outdoor event.

Fire Prevention Week Starts Sunday! “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”

Fire Prevention Week Banner

Fire Prevention Week starts this Sunday, October 8 and runs through Saturday, October 14. This year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week is: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”

If there was a fire in your home, would you know what to do? Your smoke alarm is sounding – now what?

In a fire, every second counts! It is important that everyone plans, and practices, a home fire escape plan that includes two ways out of every room. Being prepared and knowing what to do will increase your chances of getting out safely should your home experience a fire.

Please take the time to develop a home fire escape plan. Below are links to two documents that will provide a template and all of the information you need!

Escape Planning – Activity Fun Sheet for Adults and Children

Home Escape Planning

If you want some feedback on your plan, consider going to one of our fire stations for Open House on Saturday, October 14, and asking the firefighters for feedback. More information here: All Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Stations To Host Open House

Free Heart Screening at Westfield High School This Saturday

Through the great work of the Ryan Lopynski Big Heart Foundation, there will be FREE on-site heart screenings this Saturday, September 23 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Westfield High School. They are provided for students ages 12-26. The results are reviewed on site by local cardiologists. Several of your Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department members will be on hand as well.

To learn more about the event, please go here: Free Heart Screening at Westfield High School

To learn more about the foundation, please go here: Ryan Lopynski Big Heart Foundation

Did You Know: Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the leading cause of death in young athletes in the US. The best way to detect these heart conditions is through a heart screening using an EKG (Electrocardiogram). An EKG screening analyzes the electrical signals of the heart and is not typically provided at a youth’s annual physical.*

Free Heart Screening at Westfield High School This Saturday

Courtesy of the Ryan Lopynski Big Heart Foundation

 

*via the Ryan Lopynski Big Heart Foundation