Close Before You Doze

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

Signs and Symptoms of Hypothermia and Frostbite

wind chill chartIt 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.

Hypothermia

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.

Early symptoms

  • Shivering
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of coordination
  • Confusion and disorientation

Late symptoms

  • No shivering
  • Blue skin
  • Dilated pupils
  • Slowed pulse and breathing
  • Loss of consciousness

First Aid

  • 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.

Frostbite

An injury to the body that is caused by freezing, which most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes.

Symptoms

  • Reduced blood flow to hands and feet
  • Numbness
  • Aching
  • Tingling or stinging
  • Bluish or pale, waxy skin

First Aid

  • 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.

 

Firefighters To Participate In Winter Coat Distribution Friday

On Friday, October 27 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Fire Station 11, Penn Daw, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue personnel will be participating in a free winter coat distribution event for local kids in need. They will be providing winter coats, as a part of Operation Warm, for deserving children. Firefighters will show off their fire trucks, hand out safety information, and provide other fun activities.

In partnership with Operation Warm, and other organizations such as Apple Federal Credit Union and Whole Foods, we will distribute approximately 3,000 coats to over 75 local schools and non-profit groups that will go to deserving kids. The children will also receive a brand new book.

Public safety partners Fairfax County Police Department and Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office will also be participating. In addition, Caring Angels Therapy Dogs will be on hand to lend a helping paw.

 

 

 

Malfunctioning Blender Sparks Newington Townhouse Fire

On Friday, October 20, at approximately 4:50 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and Fort Belvoir Fire and Emergency Services were dispatched to a reported townhouse fire in the 7700 block of Lemoyne Lane in the Newington section of Fairfax County. 

Units arrived on scene and reported a fire in the basement of a two-story, end unit townhouse. The fire had begun to spread up the side of the townhouse through a basement window. Crews quickly went to work extinguishing the fire. Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the basement and prevented it from spreading to the other floors in the home.  

Four occupants were home at the time of the fire. The fire was discovered by an occupant prior to the activation of the smoke alarms. He alerted the rest of the occupants who were able to safely evacuate prior to the fire department’s arrival.  

Fire Investigators determined that this fire was accidental in nature and started in the basement. The cause of the fire was determined to be a malfunctioning blender. 

A total of six occupants were displaced as a result of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and declined. There were no reports of civilian or firefighter injuries. 

Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $303,562.

 

 

 

 

 

Free Training In Basic Disaster Response Skills

Neighbor Helping Neighbor – Free Training In Basic Disaster Response SkillsCommunity Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a training program administered through the auspices of the county fire and rescue department. The training prepares residents to help themselves, their families and neighbors in the event of a disaster in their community. Through CERT, residents can learn about disaster preparedness and receive training in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations.

At this time, the next available CERT Class is scheduled to begin on Monday, November 6 at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Academy. There are two sessions each week on Mondays and Wednesdays, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m., that run until December 6. The class is 28 hours in length, plus the final practical exercise.

CERT training is free of charge and basic gear is provided. The minimum requirements to participate in CERT training at any level is that residents be 16 years of age or older, and either be a Fairfax County resident, or work in the county.

To learn more about CERT, please go here: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fr/cert/cert.htm

To sign up, please go here: https://volunteer.fairfaxcounty.gov/recruiter/index.php?recruiterID=1380&class=OppDetails&oppGuid={B0D469CD-8A15-4DD8-8A6B-531D33C7024B}&t=CERT-132-at-the-Fire-and-Rescue-Academy

 

Home Smoke Alarm Basics

It is not uncommon for our firefighters to get asked a variety of questions about smoke alarms. Often, people want to know what type of smoke alarm you need and where in the home they should be placed. Our partners in safety at the National Fire Protection Association produced an informative, and short, video that answers these, and many other, questions.

Please take two minutes to increase your fire safety knowledge. Who knows, it could save your, or a loved ones, life one day.