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This Weekend, Change Your Clock Back One Hour and Check Your Smoke Alarm

Posted at 2 p.m.

Is your smoke alarm still working? A smoke alarm with a dead or missing battery is the same as having no smoke alarm at all.

A smoke alarm only works when it is properly installed and regularly tested.

On Sunday, Nov. 6 when resetting your clocks for Daylight Saving Time, make sure your smoke alarms work and replace the batteries, if necessary. Take care of your smoke alarms according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and follow these tips from the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA):

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.
working smoke alarms

Test smoke alarms monthly and replace alkaline batteries at least once each year. Most home fire deaths happen when people are asleep (between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.). Keep your family safe by installing smoke alarms and testing them monthly to make sure they work.

For more information on smoke alarms, visit the USFA Smoke Alarm page.

Reprinted from FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness e-Brief email newsletter, Nov. 3 edition.

Daylight Saving Time Starts This Weekend — A Good Time to Check Smoke Alarms and Emergency Supply Kits

Posted at 4:30 p.m.

Daylight Saving Time is the time to change your clocks, change the batteries in your smoke alarms and restock your emergency supply kit.

This weekend — specifically at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 13 — Daylight Saving Time begins. That means getting up to change the time on our clocks and watches, or if you’re like most folks, just change the time before you go to bed tonight.

Daylight Saving Time is often confusing. Just remember the old saying, “Spring forward, Fall back,” which means we lose an hour of sleep tonight as we move our clocks forward (spring) one hour.

It shouldn’t take too long to change the time — unless you’re a horologist with a huge collection of clocks — so we’d like to ask you to take a couple of preparedness steps along with changing your clocks.

For years, fire officials have encouraged us to change the batteries in our smoke alarms every six months, and what better reminder than Daylight Saving Time. And since it only takes a couple of minutes to change your batteries, go ahead and take a few more minutes and check your emergency supplies.

So before you go to bed tonight, here’s a checklist to make sure you’re prepared for any possible emergency — as well as not oversleeping:

  1. Change the batteries in your smoke alarms.
  2. Check your emergency supply kits (both in the home and vehicles) to make sure they’re fully stocked. If not, make a quick list of what you’ll need to do to get them ready — and then buy those supplies tomorrow or next week.
  3. Turn your clocks forward one hour before you go to bed.

For more information on smoke alarms, visit our fire and rescue department online. And for more on emergency supply kits and being prepared for all hazards, visit our emergency information page or our emergency management office.

 

It’s Fire Prevention Week

Posted at 12:30 p.m.

fire-prevention-week

Fire Prevention Week Open Houses on Saturday

This is Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 5-11). This year’s theme is “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives. Test Yours Every Month!”

In an effort to prevent home fires before they start, our Fire and Rescue Department is hosting Fire Prevention Week Open Houses on Saturday, Oct. 11, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at all stations throughout the county.

Firefighters and paramedics will have displays and activities emphasizing fire and life safety, including preventing fires and fire injuries, especially in the home, and hands-only CPR demonstrations. You are encouraged to visit a nearby fire and rescue station and join in the activities and learn more about fire safety.

Fire Prevention Week Message from Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe

To learn more about fire prevention, go to www.firepreventionweek.org or visit our fire and rescue department at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fr.

Red Flag Warning in Effect Today From 11 a.m. Until 8 p.m.

Red Flag Warning

Posted at 10:30 a.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for gusty winds and low relative humidity in effect from 11 a.m. this morning to 8 p.m. this evening for portions of Northern Virginia, including Fairfax County.

A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

  • Humidity: 20 to 30 percent late this morning through early this afternoon.
  • Winds: Northwest 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 40 mph.
  • Fuel moisture is less than 8 percent.

Get the latest Fairfax County weather and sign up for weather alerts from the Community Emergency Alert Network (CEAN).

Two CERT Classes to Begin Soon

Posted at 9:30 a.m.

CERT - Community Emergency Response TeamThis Saturday, April 26, our Fire and Rescue Department is beginning a basic Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class at the LDS Church in Springfield. There is still plenty of room if you’d like to attend. The class will meet on four Saturdays and run each day from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; tentative class dates are April 26, May 3, May 10 and May 24.

Fire and Rescue also has added a new CERT Class at the Fire and Rescue Academy beginning Monday, May 5. This class will meet on every Monday from 7-10:30 p.m. (except for May 26) and will finish on June 23.

To sign up for either class, you first must register as a volunteer at www.fairfaxcert.com to receive registration information on the classes. If you have trouble registering, or have any questions, email fire.cert@fairfaxcounty.gov. Sign up now and get Certified!

CERT helps train people to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations in their communities. When emergencies happen, CERT members can give critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site. CERT members also can help with non-emergency projects that help improve the preparedness and safety of the community.

For more information on CERT, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fr.