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.

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

 

National Chimney Safety Week

It is National Chimney Safety Week! While it has probably not been cold enough to start a fire in your fire place or wood stove, that time is coming soon. Chimney Safety Week

If you use a wood-burning stove or fireplace, make sure your chimney is clean and in good working order by having a licensed chimney sweep clean and inspect your chimney. This should be done at least once a year or possibly more if you use your fireplace or wood-burning stove frequently.

A dirty flue in your chimney can eventually result in a chimney fire that can spread to your home and cause significant damage. Please also make sure you use your fireplace or wood-burning stove safely and follow the recommended safety tips below.

  1. Never discard hot ashes inside or near the home. Place them in a covered metal container outside and well away from the house.
  2. If you use a wood-burning stove or fireplace, have a licensed chimney sweep clean and inspect your chimney at least once a year.
  3. Place a glass or metal spark screen in front of the fireplace and install caps on chimneys.
  4. Never use a flammable liquid (gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluid, etc.) to start a fire or rekindle a small one.
  5. Keep paper, clothing, trash, and other combustibles at least three feet away from your furnace, hot water heater, or wood-burning device.

 

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.

Fire Prevention Week Starts Sunday! “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”

Fire Prevention Week Banner

Fire Prevention Week starts this Sunday, October 8 and runs through Saturday, October 14. This year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week is: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”

If there was a fire in your home, would you know what to do? Your smoke alarm is sounding – now what?

In a fire, every second counts! It is important that everyone plans, and practices, a home fire escape plan that includes two ways out of every room. Being prepared and knowing what to do will increase your chances of getting out safely should your home experience a fire.

Please 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

If you want some feedback on your plan, consider going to one of our fire stations for Open House on Saturday, October 14, and asking the firefighters for feedback. More information here: All Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Stations To Host Open House

Two Cats Rescued From Reston Townhouse Fire

 

On Monday, October 2, at approximately 10:57 a.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and the Washington Metropolitan Airport Authority Fire and Rescue Department responded to a reported townhouse fire in the 11500 block of Hearthstone Court in the Reston section of Fairfax County.   

Units arrived on scene and reported smoke showing from a two-story, middle unit townhouse. Crews quickly located and extinguished a fire in the basement of the townhouse. Firefighters rescued two cats from the home and reunited them with their owners. 

Two adult occupants were home at the time of the fire. The fire was discovered when the occupants investigated an explosive sounding noise in the home and found the house filling with smoke. The occupants safely evacuated and called 9-1-1. A smoke alarm in the basement did activate. 

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in the basement. The fire was caused by an incandescent lamp too close to combustible materials. 

There were no civilian or firefighter injuries reported. Red Cross assistance was offered and accepted. Two adults and three teenage children were displaced as a result of the fire.  

Damages as a result of the fire were estimated to be $90,000.

 

New South County Fire Marshal’s Office Open

On Wednesday, September 20 an open house was held at the recently opened South County Office of the Fire Marshal facility. The office is located at 8333 Richmond Highway in the old Mount Vernon High School building.

This satellite location will allow customers, located in that area of the county, easier access to services that are housed at the main Fairfax office location. As well, personnel assigned to that area will now work out of that office thus cutting down greatly on travel time. Supervisors McKay and Storck were on hand to welcome staff and visitors to the new facility.

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