The 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 144 at the Fire and Rescue Academy, Monday and Wednesday – Feb 25, 27, March 4, 6,11,13,18, 20
As you will see in the video below, from our partners in safety at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, it is very important to keep a live Christmas tree watered.
The video clearly demonstrates what happens when fire touches a dry tree versus a well-watered, properly maintained tree. Please share this with your friends and social media networks.
Decorating your home for the holidays this weekend? Please watch the brief video below, from our partners in safety at the National Fire Protection Association, and follow the simple safety tips to help keep yourself, your family and friends safe from fire.
Photo courtesy of NFPA
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. It causes more than 150 accidental fatalities each year; thousands more are treated in hospitals for CO poisoning. CO combines with hemoglobin in our blood and robs the blood of the oxygen our body needs. Early symptoms of exposure are similar to the flu and include headache, fatigue, nausea, and confused thinking (so victims cannot think clearly enough to get assistance). Without treatment, the victim will lose consciousness, and if no help is given will lose their life.
CO is produced by combustion. Common causes are:
- Defective gas or oil furnaces and water heaters
- Cracked chimney flues
- Indoor use of charcoal grills
- Use of a gas oven or range to warm a room
- Running a car in an enclosed area
- Closing the fireplace damper before the fire is completely out
CO accidents are preventable. Actions you should take to protect your family are:
- Each year you should have a qualified technician inspect your gas furnace and appliances.
- Never allow your car to run in an enclosed area, especially if it is a garage attached to your house.
- Make sure your fireplace is in good repair and do not close the damper before the fire is out.
- Install CO alarms to give your family a warning if CO is building up in your house.
CO alarms should be located on every floor and mounted according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If the alarm goes off, everyone should get out of the house at once and call the fire department by dialing 911 from a neighbor’s house. Do not ventilate your house by opening doors and windows. When the fire department personnel arrive they will obtain CO readings in different areas of your home to determine the source of the CO.
Another very important point to remember is that you still need a working smoke alarm on every level of your home. The CO alarm does not sense smoke or fire. Smoke alarms are needed to give your family early warning if there is a fire in your home.
On Thursday, November 22, at approximately 3:38 a.m., units responded to a reported house fire in the 600 block of Stuart Court in the Town of Herndon.
Units arrived on scene of a two-story, single-family home with no visible sign of smoke or fire. Crews quickly located a fire in the attic space above the garage. Firefighters worked aggressively to extinguish the fire. No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.
A total of four occupants and two visitors were present at the time of the fire. One of the occupants awoke to flickering lights and an odor of smoke. The occupant alerted the others and called 9-1-1. The six occupants self-evacuated prior to fire department arrival. Working smoke alarms were installed but did not activate due to location of the fire.
Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in the attic space over the garage. The cause of the fire was a malfunctioning box fan located in the attic.
Four residents of the home were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and accepted. Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $75,000.
Over the last several years, deep frying a turkey has become a popular way to cook thanksgiving dinner. It has also become a very dangerous way to cook a thanksgiving meal!
Take a moment to watch the below Turkey Fryer Demonstration video from our partners in safety at Underwriters Laboratories (UL). As well, please review the Five Dangers Of Deep Frying A Turkey:
- Turkey fryers can easily tip over spilling hot oil across a large area.
- An overfilled cooking pot will cause oil to spill over when the turkey is placed inside.
- A partially frozen turkey will cause hot oil to splatter.
- Turkey fryers can easily overheat and start a fire.
- The pot, lid and handles of a turkey fryer can get dangerously hot and cause burn injuries.
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department will be participating in the Annual National Capital Region Fire and EMS Departments’ 2018 TOYS FOR TOTS Campaign. The intent of the campaign is to “bring holiday joy and deliver a message of hope to children.” Stations will accept donations beginning on Monday, November 19.
Please help us to help those less fortunate this holiday season. Last year, thanks to the generosity of those who live and work in Fairfax County, the Fire and Rescue Department collected over 14,000 toys!
Children who are served by this campaign include toddlers and youths through age 17. The campaign will only accept new unwrapped toys and you can drop them off at any of our Fire and Rescue Stations. Toys used as weapons or considered to be weapons (i.e., toy guns or knives of any kind) will not be accepted. Checks or money orders for donations must be made payable to TOYS FOR TOTS.
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Stations will accept donations through Wednesday, December 12. Toys will not be accepted after this date.