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


Firefighters Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This October marks the 33rd annual Breast Cancer Awareness month. In an effort to heighten awareness in the fight against breast cancer, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (FRD) employees have been authorized to wear FRD issued pink t-shirts while on duty from October 9 through October 23.

The shirts are worn as a symbol of support and recognition for all those who have been touched by breast cancer.

Improperly Discarded Smoking Materials Cause Hybla Valley Townhouse Fire

On Sunday, October 8, at approximately 2:38 a.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and the Alexandria City Fire Department responded for a reported townhouse fire in the 2700 block of Carter Farm Court in the Hybla Valley section of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene and reported fire showing from the rear of a two-story, middle unit townhouse. Crews quickly advanced fire hose to the rear of the unit and extinguished the fire.

The occupants were not home at the time of the fire. The fire was discovered by a neighbor who then called 9-1-1.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started on the rear deck. The fire was caused by improperly discarded smoking materials.

A total of four occupants were displaced as a result of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered but declined. There were no reported civilian or fire fighter injuries.

Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $197,500.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department would like to remind all residents who smoke to keep in mind the below safety tips as it relates to the proper disposal of smoking materials:

  • Never dispose of cigarette butts in potted planting soil. The soil, when it gets too dry, can become highly flammable.
  • Completely douse butts and ashes with water before throwing them away, as they can smolder and cause a fire.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Provide large, deep ashtrays with a center support for smokers. Check furniture for any dropped ashes before going to bed. Empty ashes into a fireproof container with water and sand.
  • Keep smoking materials away from anything that can burn (i.e., mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, draperies, etc.).
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is being used.
  • If you smoke, choose fire-safe cigarettes. They are less likely to cause fires.
  • To prevent a deadly cigarette fire, you must be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine or other drugs.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high, out of children’s sight and reach.



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


National Chimney Safety Week

It is National Chimney Safety Week! While it has probably not been cold enough to start a fire in your fire place or wood stove, that time is coming soon. Chimney Safety Week

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.

  1. Never discard hot ashes inside or near the home. Place them in a covered metal container outside and well away from the house.
  2. If you use a wood-burning stove or fireplace, have a licensed chimney sweep clean and inspect your chimney at least once a year.
  3. Place a glass or metal spark screen in front of the fireplace and install caps on chimneys.
  4. Never use a flammable liquid (gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluid, etc.) to start a fire or rekindle a small one.
  5. Keep paper, clothing, trash, and other combustibles at least three feet away from your furnace, hot water heater, or wood-burning device.


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:

To sign up, please go here:{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.