Change Your Clock – Check Your Smoke Alarm

Change your clock and check your smoke alarmsRemember, that we move our clocks forward one hour tonight. Also remember that when you change your clock we want you to check your smoke alarm to ensure it is working.

Our friends at the U.S. Fire Administration recommend the following regarding the different types of smoke alarms out there:

Smoke alarm powered by a nine-volt battery
• Test the alarm monthly.
• Replace the batteries at least once every year.
• Replace the entire smoke alarm every 10 years.

Smoke alarm powered by a 10-year lithium (or “long-life”) battery
• Test the alarm monthly.
• Since you cannot (and should not) replace the lithium battery, replace the entire smoke alarm according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Smoke alarm that is hardwired into your home’s electrical system
• Test the alarm monthly.
• Replace the backup battery at least once every year.
• Replace the entire smoke alarm every 10 years.

Want to test your smoke alarm but it is just out of reach? Here is one safe way to do it:

Be A Sweetheart: Do Not Allow Your Romantic Evening To Go Up In Smoke!

a-gift-that-shows-themCooking dinner for that special valentine this evening? Lighting candles to add to the atmosphere? Getting ready to start a fire in the fire place?

If so, take a moment to review some safety tips from our friends at the National Fire Protection Association before you get started. Do not allow your romantic evening to go up in smoke!

When cooking for that special valentine:

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue recommends that you use flameless candles in your home. Many of these candles look and smell like real candles. If you insist on using real candles, please make sure you:

  • Use candle holders that are sturdy, and won’t tip over easily.
  • Put candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface.
  • Light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame.
  • Don’t burn a candle all the way down — put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container.
  • Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.

When using the fireplace, please make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.

As always, check your smoke alarms to ensure they are working and make sure you know two ways out of your home in case of fire!

Have a Safe and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Launches Adopt-a-Hydrant Program

Adopt a hydrant

Click here to Adopt a Hydrant

Fairfax County firefighters need your help to potentially save lives and property. The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is introducing its Adopt-a-Hydrant program to combat hazardous conditions created by snow, ice, and winter weather that could impact access to a fire hydrant in an emergency. This program allows residents and business owners to adopt a fire hydrant close to their home or business. Participants are asked to maintain the area around the fire hydrant keeping it accessible and free of snow and ice in the winter and weeds, leaves, and shrubbery in warmer weather.

It is vital that firefighters be able to quickly access a hydrant in the event of a fire. Immediate access to a water supply helps to swiftly extinguish the fire and prevent loss of life and property. In the event of winter weather, participants are asked to clear a three-foot area around the hydrant and ensure there is a path to the roadway so the hydrant is visible and easily accessible.

To participate in the Adopt-a-Hydrant program, simply fill out and submit an online application.

Go here to fill out the short application: Adopt-a-Hydrant

After registering, a crew from the participant’s closest fire station will deliver an “Adoption Certificate” identifying their hydrant. Participants are encouraged to take pictures with their hydrants and share them to Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #FCFRDHydrant. Participants can also tag the fire and rescue department at @ffxfirerescue on Twitter and @fairfaxcountyfirerescue on Facebook.

The goal of the Adopt-a-Hydrant program is to ensure that a fire hydrant is accessible in case of an emergency. Fire hydrants are the property of the Fairfax Water Authority and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department asks that participants refrain from painting, personalizing or changing the appearance of the fire hydrant.

Anyone with questions is asked to contact the Public Affairs and Life Safety Education Section at 703.246.3801.

Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Getting ready to put up a real, or artificial, Christmas tree in your home? Before you do, you need to pause a moment and review some important information from our friends at the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI).

Why ESFI? Did you know that 1/3 of all Christmas tree fires are a result of electrical failures or malfunctions? Many of these fires can potentially be prevented by following some of the simple steps outlined below.

Taking positive action today may help to ensure your Christmas is a safe and merry one.

Oh Christmas tree oh Christmas treeAccessible information can be found: http://www.esfi.org/resource/prevention-it-s-the-gift-that-keeps-on-giving-536

 

Recipe For Thanksgiving Success

The women and men of Fairfax County Fire and Rescue want your Thanksgiving to be a Cooking Fire Safetysafe and happy celebration.

Did you know that Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires? Please help us to help you prevent an unexpected visit to your home from our firefighters on Thanksgiving Day!

Please take a moment to review the below Cooking And Kitchen Safety Tips so that you can come up with a recipe for Thanksgiving success!

  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
  • Wear short or tight fitting sleeves when cooking. Long loose sleeves are more likely to catch on fire or get caught on pot handles.
  • Keep things that can catch fire such as dish towels, curtains, or paper, at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Do not leave cooking food unattended. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
  • Turn pot handles inward, facing the wall to prevent burns caused by overturning or spills.
  • Pot holders or oven mitts prevent burns when handling hot dishes.
  • Regularly clean your cooking equipment so that there are no cooking materials, food items or grease accumulation.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not remove the lid until it is completely cool.
  • If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing. Have the oven serviced before you use it again.

Make sure the smoke alarms in your home are working. Test them by pushing the test button. Also make sure you have a home fire escape plan in case of fire.