As you will see in the video below, from our partners in safety at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, it is very important to keep a live Christmas tree watered.
The video clearly demonstrates what happens when fire touches a dry tree versus a well-watered, properly maintained tree. Please share this with your friends and social media networks.
Decorating your home for the holidays this weekend? Please watch the brief video below, from our partners in safety at the National Fire Protection Association, and follow the simple safety tips to help keep yourself, your family and friends safe from fire.
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.
On Thursday, November 22, at approximately 3:38 a.m., units responded to a reported house fire in the 600 block of Stuart Court in the Town of Herndon.
Units arrived on scene of a two-story, single-family home with no visible sign of smoke or fire. Crews quickly located a fire in the attic space above the garage. Firefighters worked aggressively to extinguish the fire. No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.
A total of four occupants and two visitors were present at the time of the fire. One of the occupants awoke to flickering lights and an odor of smoke. The occupant alerted the others and called 9-1-1. The six occupants self-evacuated prior to fire department arrival. Working smoke alarms were installed but did not activate due to location of the fire.
Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in the attic space over the garage. The cause of the fire was a malfunctioning box fan located in the attic.
Four residents of the home were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and accepted. Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $75,000.
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:
- Turkey fryers can easily tip over spilling hot oil across a large area.
- An overfilled cooking pot will cause oil to spill over when the turkey is placed inside.
- A partially frozen turkey will cause hot oil to splatter.
- Turkey fryers can easily overheat and start a fire.
- The pot, lid and handles of a turkey fryer can get dangerously hot and cause burn injuries.
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.
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.