FREE Training Classes For Community Emergency Response Team

CERTThe Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates residents about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area. CERT trains county residents in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.

The CERT training classes below follows the FEMA curriculum, tailored to local disasters and hazards. Educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Emphasis on hands-on skill development and Fairfax County protocols and procedures. Instructor will provide syllabus with class schedule at first session. This training does not require any special physical strength or agility.

For more information and to register for the next class at the Fire and Rescue Academy, please click on the link below:

CERT 144 at the Fire and Rescue Academy, Monday and Wednesday – Feb 25, 27, March 4, 6,11,13,18, 20

Carbon Monoxide: Colorless And Odorless Killer

CO alarm

Photo courtesy of NFPA

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. It causes more than 150 accidental fatalities each year; thousands more are treated in hospitals for CO poisoning. CO combines with hemoglobin in our blood and robs the blood of the oxygen our body needs. Early symptoms of exposure are similar to the flu and include headache, fatigue, nausea, and confused thinking (so victims cannot think clearly enough to get assistance). Without treatment, the victim will lose consciousness, and if no help is given will lose their life.

CO is produced by combustion. Common causes are:

  • Defective gas or oil furnaces and water heaters
  • Cracked chimney flues
  • Indoor use of charcoal grills
  • Use of a gas oven or range to warm a room
  • Running a car in an enclosed area
  • Closing the fireplace damper before the fire is completely out

CO accidents are preventable. Actions you should take to protect your family are:

  • Each year you should have a qualified technician inspect your gas furnace and appliances.
  • Never allow your car to run in an enclosed area, especially if it is a garage attached to your house.
  • Make sure your fireplace is in good repair and do not close the damper before the fire is out.
  • Install CO alarms to give your family a warning if CO is building up in your house.

CO alarms should be located on every floor and mounted according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If the alarm goes off, everyone should get out of the house at once and call the fire department by dialing 911 from a neighbor’s house. Do not ventilate your house by opening doors and windows. When the fire department personnel arrive they will obtain CO readings in different areas of your home to determine the source of the CO.

Another very important point to remember is that you still need a working smoke alarm on every level of your home. The CO alarm does not sense smoke or fire. Smoke alarms are needed to give your family early warning if there is a fire in your home.

Five Dangers Of Deep Frying A Turkey

Over the last several years, deep frying a turkey has become a popular way to cook thanksgiving dinner. It has also become a very dangerous way to cook a thanksgiving meal!

Take a moment to watch the below Turkey Fryer Demonstration video from our partners in safety at Underwriters Laboratories (UL). As well, please review the Five Dangers Of Deep Frying A Turkey:

  1. Turkey fryers can easily tip over spilling hot oil across a large area.
  2. An overfilled cooking pot will cause oil to spill over when the turkey is placed inside.
  3. A partially frozen turkey will cause hot oil to splatter.
  4. Turkey fryers can easily overheat and start a fire.
  5. The pot, lid and handles of a turkey fryer can get dangerously hot and cause burn injuries.

 

Fry The Turkey And NOT Your House

Using a Turkey Fryer this year to cook your Thanksgiving Dinner? Please make sure you fry the turkey and NOT your home!

If you must fry your turkey, please gobble up these tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

  • Use turkey fryers outside only and away from your home.
  • Never use a turkey fryer in a garage or on a porch.
  • Completely thaw and dry turkey before cooking
  • Do not overfill the oil in the turkey fryer.
  • If oil begins to smoke, immediately turn gas supply OFF.
  • Never leave the turkey fryer unattended.

 

Can Your Fire Place Ashes!

Thinking of building a fire in your fire place this weekend? Please make sure you do so safely! Every fall/winter, we experience several home fires that were caused by improperly discarded fire place ashes. A totally preventable and unnecessary fire!

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department would like to remind all residents to be cautious and keep safety in mind when handling fire place ashes. Following a few simple safety tips can help keep you and your loved ones safe.

    • Do not discard your ashes into any combustible container such as a paper or plastic bag, a cardboard box, or a plastic trash can.
    • Do not place ash containers on decks, porches, or in garages.
    • Put ashes into a non-combustible metal container with a lid.
    • Pour water into the container to make sure the ashes are cool.
    • Keep your can OUTSIDE the home, away from your fireplace or stove and anything combustible.
    • Teach all family members to be safe with ashes from your fireplace or wood stove.
    • Ashes can stay hot for several days. Follow the above steps even when you wait several days to remove the ashes from the fireplace.

Can Your Ashes