It is the middle of the night and you are suddenly awakened by your smoke alarm. You notice some smoke in your bedroom. What do you do next?
The answer is easy: Get Out and Stay Out!
However, before that occurs it is important you develop, and practice, a home fire escape plan! The video below, from our partners in safety at the United States Fire Administration, will help guide you.
In addition, please go to our website and the Family Escape Plan which provides a grid and further guidance on developing a home escape plan.
On Sunday, January 21, at approximately 4:01 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and the Metropolitan Airport Authority Fire and Rescue Department were dispatched for a reported townhouse fire in the 2400 block of Corn Crib Court in the Herndon section of Fairfax County.
Units arrived on scene to find smoke showing from the second floor window of a middle unit, three-story townhouse. Firefighters discovered a fire in a bedroom on the second floor. Crews quickly contained and extinguished the fire.
Seven occupants were home at the time of the fire. Occupants were alerted to the fire by a smoke alarm located in the second floor hallway. All occupants safely evacuated the home and called 9-1-1.
Fire Investigators determined that the fire started in a second floor bedroom. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
Red Cross assistance was requested and accepted. Seven occupants were displaced as a result of the fire. There were no firefighter or civilian injuries reported.
Damages as a result of the fire are estimated to be $50,000. The fire damage was limited to the second floor.
Did you know: Because of synthetic materials, furniture and construction, fire spreads faster than ever before.*
You do know how important it is to have working smoke alarms, escape plans, and a designated meeting place in case of a fire. Closing your doors is also important for your safety. Closed doors can reduce fire growth, limit damage to your home, keep temperatures down, and can even save your life if you become trapped.
If there is a fire in your home and you can implement your home escape plan to get out – get out! But if you can’t, a closed door could make a life-saving difference.
Our friends at the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) are working hard to keep firefighters, and residents, safer from fire. They have developed the Close Before You Doze campaign. Please take a moment to view the video below to learn more.
*NIST Technical Note 1455-1, February 2008
On Sunday, December 31, at approximately 6:06 a.m., units were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 6100 block of Housatonic Court in the Fairfax Station section of Fairfax County.
Units arrived to find a two-story, split-level home and observed fire coming from the first floor and rear deck and extending to the roof. Crews quickly extinguished the bulk of fire from the outside and then entered the home to extinguish the remaining fire.
Several people driving by called 9-1-1. One of the home’s four occupants discovered the fire on the exterior of the home. They all evacuated prior to the smoke alarms sounding and arrival of fire department.
Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started on the rear deck of the home. The cause of the fire was improperly discarded fireplace ashes.
Two adults and two children were displaced as a result of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and declined. One adult male received a minor injury to his foot while escaping the fire. He declined treatment and transport. There were no other reported injuries to civilians or firefighters.
Damages as a result of the fire are approximately $125,000.
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department would like to remind all residents to be cautious and keep safety in mind when handling fireplace 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.
Week 11 is in the books for Recruit School 143! Lead Instructor for the recruits, Lieutenant Monroe, provided an update on the class yesterday, December 29. He also shows you, and explains, the training on self-contained breathing apparatus the recruits received this past week.
It 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.
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.
- Loss of coordination
- Confusion and disorientation
- No shivering
- Blue skin
- Dilated pupils
- Slowed pulse and breathing
- Loss of consciousness
- 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.
An injury to the body that is caused by freezing, which most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes.
- Reduced blood flow to hands and feet
- Tingling or stinging
- Bluish or pale, waxy skin
- 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.
On Monday, December 25 at approximately 8:19 p.m., units were dispatched for a reported garden apartment fire in the 2900 block of Charing Cross Road in the Merrifield section of Fairfax County.
Units arrived on scene to find smoke visible from the front of a three-story, garden apartment. Crews quickly located the fire and initiated an aggressive attack to extinguish it.
There was one occupant home at the time of the fire. The occupant attempted to extinguish the fire prior to evacuating the apartment and then calling 9-1-1.
Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in one of the rooms. The cause of the fire was when the occupant accidently knocked over a candle which fell on top of a futon.
The occupant was assessed by paramedics and transported to an area hospital for a checkup. There were no other reported injuries to civilians or firefighters. Red Cross assistance was offered and declined. One person was displaced as a result of this fire.
Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $25,000.
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department would like to remind residents that the improper use of candles can result in catastrophe. To avoid the dangers of fire while burning candles, please follow the safety tips listed below:
◾Never leave burning candles unattended
◾Keep all combustible materials away from open flames
◾Do not burn candles near windows or doorways
◾Place candles in glass or ceramic containers
◾Place candles on a flat, sturdy non-combustible surface
◾Never leave candles burning when children or pets are present