Beware Of Child Heatstroke!

It is going to be hot and humid for the next several days. With that in mind, everyone needs to remember a potential danger that can impact young children. 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, leaving a child unattended in a vehicle for even a minute is not acceptable. 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. Make sure your car is locked when you are not in it so kids are not able to gain access.

Below are some important tips from kidsandcars.org. As well, please watch the very short video from noheatstroke.org showing how fast a car can heat up.

  • “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.

 

Lightning Safety Awareness Week

lightning

June 21 – 27 is Lightning Safety Awareness Week. With the summer storm season upon us, it is important to be aware of the dangers posed by lightning and the steps to take to avoid getting hurt.

Each second, about 100 bolts of lightning hit the earth’s surface all over the world. Lightning is very dangerous as each single bolt can carry up to one billion volts of electricity! People can be hurt by as little as 42 volts of electricity, so just imagine what one billion can do. Approximately 2,000 people worldwide are killed each year due to lightning strikes while thousands more are injured. Don’t let one of these be you!

It is important to know the steps to take to stay safe during a storm where lightning is present. Remember that it is not possible to have thunder without lightning because thunder is a direct result of lightning. So always live by the rule; when thunder roars, go indoors! Follow these simple tips to avoid being hurt by lightning or stuck in its path.

  • Hear thunder? Then lightning is close enough to strike you. When thunder roars, go indoors! Nowhere outside is safe!
  • No building close by to shelter in? Get into an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up.
  • Wait 30 minutes after the last lightning strike or thunder to go back outside.
  • Plan your day around the threat of weather to avoid being caught outside when storms hit. Storms typically hit in the late afternoon and evening during the summer but always check the weather for the area you will be in!
  • Avoid contact with water during a thunderstorm. Electric currents from lightning can travel quickly through water.
  • Stay away from concrete floors and walls. Lightning can travel through any metal bars in the concrete.

 

Clifton House Fire Caused By Lightning Strike

On Thursday, June 4 at approximately 9:33 p.m., units were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 14000 block of Marleigh Lane in the Clifton area of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on the scene of a two-story, single-family home with fire evident from the roof. Crews were able to quickly extinguish the fire. One firefighter was transported to a hospital for evaluation. There were no civilian injuries reported.

The house was unoccupied at the time of the fire. A neighbor observed fire from the roof and called 9-1-1. It is unknown if smoke alarms activated.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire originated was natural in nature and started on the roof. The cause of the fire was a lightning strike.

Two occupants were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross assistance was not needed. Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $92,500.

14000 block of Marleigh Lane

Improperly Discarded Smoking Materials + Mulch/ Brush Or Potting Soil = Potential Structure Fires!

A beautiful first day of June is forecast for Fairfax County. Unfortunately, a day like today also means conditions are ripe for an improperly discarded cigarette, thrown into mulch or other brush, to spark a significant fire that can then spread to homes and buildings. This has occurred on several occasions this spring.

Improperly Discarded Smoking Materials Cause Another Fire

Improperly Discarded Smoking Materials Continue To Destroy Property In Fairfax County

As well, many may recall that on May 2, 2018 Fairfax County Fire and Rescue responded to three, multiple alarm fires resulting in multi-million-dollar losses of a senior apartment building, a row of townhouses, and bank. ALL started on the outside of the structures and were caused by improperly discarded smoking materials.

Improperly discarded smoking material fires are totally preventable!

The members of your Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department want to help eliminate this totally preventable cause of fire and keep Fairfax County safe! If you smoke, or know someone who does, please take a moment to learn how to prevent starting a fire outside.

  • Never dispose of cigarette butts in potted planting soil. The soil, when it gets too dry, can become highly flammable.
  • Never flick cigarettes into mulch or shrubbery. Dispose of them in a suitable ashtray or bucket with sand.
  • Ensure designated outside smoking areas have an appropriate fireproof container, ashtray or bucket.
  • Completely douse butts and ashes with water before throwing them away, as they can smolder and cause a fire.

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 145 at the Fire and Rescue Academy, Monday and Wednesday – March 27, 29, April 1, 3, 8, 10, 22, 24

In addition, a class is being held on Fort Belvoir but is open to all. Arrangements can be made with a background check for access to Fort Belvoir for those who do not have routine access:
CERT 147 at Ft. Belvoir, Thursdays – March 28, April 4, 11, 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16

 

Flood Watch Tonight Through Saturday Afternoon. Remember To Turn Around And Don’t Drown!

Rain is on the way! A Flash Flood Watch is in effect this evening (12-14-18) through Saturday afternoon. As a result, there is a potential for heavy rain and flash flooding. When heavy rain and flash flooding occur, you can assume there will be a few roadways in the area that will be impacted as well. Unfortunately, our firefighters and paramedics can also assume there will be several calls for help as people attempt to drive their cars through flooded roadways only to stall and become trapped.

This puts both the driver, any passengers AND our firefighters and paramedics in needless danger!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into flood water. Many people under estimate, and do not understand, the power and force of water.

Please take a moment to watch the below video, from our friends at the National Weather Service, which highlights the danger.

Be aware and be prepared. Our firefighters and paramedics do not want to meet you by (a preventable) “accident” this weekend!

Accessible information HERE

 

Signs and Symptoms of Hypothermia and Frostbite

wind chill chartIt is COLD out there! If you need to be out and about in this weather, please dress appropriately and avoid prolonged exposure to the cold. Not dressing appropriately and staying outside too long in these cold temperatures could lead to serious cold related illness and injury such as Hypothermia or Frostbite.

Please take a moment to learn the Signs and Symptoms of Hypothermia and Frostbite from our friends at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Also learn what to do if you, or another person, are exhibiting signs or symptoms of either condition.

Hypothermia

A condition in which the body uses up its stored energy and can no longer produce heat. Often occurs after prolonged exposure to cold temperature.

Early symptoms

  • Shivering
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of coordination
  • Confusion and disorientation

Late symptoms

  • No shivering
  • Blue skin
  • Dilated pupils
  • Slowed pulse and breathing
  • Loss of consciousness

First Aid

  • Request immediate medical assistance.
  • Move the victim into a warm room or shelter.
  • Remove wet clothing.
  • Warm the center of their body first—chest, neck, head, and groin—using an electric blanket; or use skin-to-skin contact under loose, dry layers of blankets, clothing, or towels.
  • If conscious, warm beverages may help increase the body temperature. Do not give alcohol.
  • Once temperature has increased keep them dry and wrapped in a warm blanket, including the head and neck.
  • If no pulse, begin CPR.

Frostbite

An injury to the body that is caused by freezing, which most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes.

Symptoms

  • Reduced blood flow to hands and feet
  • Numbness
  • Aching
  • Tingling or stinging
  • Bluish or pale, waxy skin

First Aid

  • Get into a warm room as soon as possible.
  • Unless necessary, do not walk on frostbitten feet or toes. Immerse the affected area in warm (not hot) water, or warm the affected area using body heat. Do not use a heating pad, fireplace, or radiator for warming.
  • Do not massage the frostbitten area; doing so may cause more damage.

 

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.