Practice Makes Perfect

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!”

So we know that everyone has developed a plan in case of fire in your home – right? While fantastic for those of you who have developed a home fire escape plan, we need to let you know you are not done just yet.

A critical part of any plan is making sure people are familiar with it and that it works. To ensure that, you need to PRACTICE your plan! Remember, practice makes perfect.

Check out the helpful video from Sparky the Fire Dog below.

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


Citizen’s Fire And Rescue Academy Visits 9-1-1 Center

Week Three of the Citizen’s Fire And Rescue Academy found our participants at the Fairfax County Department of Public Safety Communications Center. Most residents know this more commonly as the Fairfax County 9-1-1 Center.

They saw where 9-1-1 calls are received, how they are handled and how the closest and appropriate fire and rescue units are dispatched to an emergency. While there they also heard presentations from the Office of Emergency Management and the Fire Marshal’s (FM) Office. The group also got to meet Berkley the FM’s accelerant sniffing K9.

This week the group will be visiting the training home of, and learning more about, Virginia Task Force 1!

Hazmat Team Participates In International Conference Held In Fairfax County

By: Battalion Chief Martin Ranck
Hazardous Materials Response Team Program Manager
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

Recently, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Hazmat Response Team supported and attended the NCT CBRNE USA 2017 Conference at the Hilton Washington Dulles Hotel. The conference attracted 180 delegates from the US, Europe and other countries. During the conference the Hazmat Units, members from Fire Station 36, Frying Pan, B-Shift and Fairfax County Police Bomb Squad (EOD) participated in a live training demonstration simulating an explosion involving radiation for the conference attendees.

The Hazmat Units, Rescue Squad 401 (McLean) and other state and local agencies also participated in a static display of response capabilities for the conference attendees. This allowed participants to interact and ask any questions of the response personnel.

The conference was well attended and very informative for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Hazmat Team members that attended.