Stay Safe Around Water

Stay safe around water

Sadly, there have been several near, and fatal, drownings across the metropolitan region recently. Please take a moment to review the helpful water safety tips below from our friends at the American Red Cross.

Our firefighters and paramedics do not want to meet you, or your loved ones, by “a preventable accident” today, tomorrow or ever.

Make Water Safety Your Priority

  •  Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!
  • Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and Learn-to-Swim courses.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
  • Establish rules for your family and enforce them without fail. For example, set limits based on each person’s ability, do not let anyone play around drains and suction fittings, and do not allow swimmers to hyperventilate before swimming under water or have breath-holding contests.
  • Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
  • If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.
  • Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.

Prevent Unsupervised Access to the Water

  • Install and use barriers around your home pool or hot tub. Safety covers and pool alarms should be added as additional layers of protection.
  • Ensure that pool barriers enclose the entire pool area, are at least 4-feet high with gates that are self-closing, self-latching and open outward, and away from the pool. The latch should be high enough to be out of a small child’s reach.
  • If you have an above-ground or inflatable pool, remove access ladders and secure the safety cover whenever the pool is not in use.
  • Remove any structures that provide access to the pool, such as outdoor furniture, climbable trees, decorative walls and playground equipment.
  • Keep toys that are not in use away from the pool and out of sight. Toys can attract young children to the pool.

Maintain Constant Supervision

  • Actively supervise kids whenever around the water—even if lifeguards are present. Do not just drop your kids off at the public pool or leave them at the beach—designate a responsible adult to supervise.
  • Always stay within arm’s reach of young children and avoid distractions when supervising children around water.

 

 

Radiant Heat From Burner Causes Fairfax House Fire

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On Sunday, June 11, at approximately 9:22 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and the City of Fairfax Fire Department were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 10400 block of Finchley Court in the Fairfax area of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene and reported light smoke showing from the front door of a two-story, single family home. Firefighters entered the home and discovered that the fire was already out. The fire was isolated to the kitchen area.

The fire was discovered by the occupants of the home when they returned from a family outing. All occupants were safely outside when firefighters arrived. Smoke alarms were present in the home but it is undetermined if they activated.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire started in the kitchen. The cause of the fire was accidental in nature and was the result of radiant heat, from a range burner left on, igniting combustible materials close by.

Red Cross is assisting the two adults and four children displaced as a result of the fire. No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported. Damages as a result of the fire are estimated to be approximately $62,500.

 

 

Good Dog!

K9 Ventoux and handler Ms. Chaney of our Urban Search and Rescue Team were at the Lorton training complex today practicing finding live “victims” buried in rubble. The slow motion video is from the vantage point of the victim buried in rubble and Ventoux finding the “victim” and alerting the handler.

These dogs and handlers are very good at what they do!

Ready For Any Situation

By: Battalion Chief Keith Ludeman
Battalion 407, C-Shift

Personnel from Fire Station 16, Clifton, and Battalion Chief 407, C-Shift test a recently installed dry hydrant on Wyckland Drive in the Clifton area of Fairfax County.

A dry hydrant allows for quick access when utilizing a static water source, such as a pond, in areas of the county with no domestic water supply systems. This dry hydrant was recently installed thanks to a grant approved by the Virginia Department of Forestry.

Thanks to Captain Mohler (A-Shift) for coordinating all the necessary efforts.

Uniontown House Fire A Total Loss

On Friday, June 9, at approximately 3:20 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and Prince William Fire and Rescue responded to a reported house fire in the 14700 block of Pickets Post Road in the Uniontown section of Fairfax County.  

First arriving units reported heavy fire showing from the garage and extending into the two-story single family house. Crews quickly attacked the fire from the exterior of the home to knock it down before moving inside to continue extinguishing the fire. The fire was brought under control in approximately 20 minutes. One occupant was transported to the hospital. There were no firefighter injuries.

The house next door sustained heat damage to its exterior siding. However, it did not extend into the house due to preventive efforts by firefighters.

A passerby discovered the fire and notified the occupants. Red Cross is providing assistance to four occupants.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire started in the attached garage. The cause is under investigation.

Damages as a result of the fire are estimated to be approximately $419,375. The heat damage to the neighboring home is not included in the damage estimate.

Know The Symptoms Of Heat-Related Illness

It is going to be HOT today and through next week. As we have not had days this hot in a long time, these conditions are potentially dangerous and it is important that county residents know the warning signs and symptoms of heat illness and the appropriate responses.

Below is an info-graphic from our friends at the National Weather Service. An accessible version can be found HERE: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/heat/heat-illness.shtml

Heat_Illness