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New Report Highlights Higher Residential Fire Risks During Winter Months

Posted at 11:30 a.m.

According to a new report from the U.S. Fire Administration, residential building fire incidence was collectively higher in the winter months of January, February and March, peaking in January at 11 percent. While winter residential building fires accounted for only 8 percent of the total number of fires in the U.S., they resulted in 30 percent of all fire deaths and 23 percent of all fire injuries.

Each year during the 2014-2016 period, an estimated 108,200 winter residential building fires were reported to fire departments within the United States. These fires caused an estimated 980 deaths, 3,575 injuries and $1.9 billion in property loss.

According to the report.

  • cooking causes 40 percent of winter residential building firesAt 43 percent, cooking was the leading cause of winter residential building fires. Small, confined fires accounted for 90 percent of these cooking fires.
  • Winter residential building fires occurred most frequently in the early evening, peaking during the dinner hours from 5 to 8 p.m., when cooking fire incidence is high.
  • Nonconfined winter residential building fires most often started in cooking areas and kitchens (20 percent). The leading specific factor contributing to ignition in nonconfined winter residential building fires was a heat source too close to combustibles (16 percent).
  • In 51 percent of nonconfined winter residential building fires, the fire extended beyond the room of origin. The leading causes of these larger fires were unintentional or careless actions (19 percent), electrical malfunctions (14 percent), open flames (12 percent) and heating (9 percent).
  • Smoke alarms were not present in 22 percent of nonconfined winter fires in occupied residential buildings. Additionally, automatic extinguishing systems were present in only 4 percent of nonconfined winter fires in occupied residential buildings.

Learn more on the Fire Administration webpage; you can download the full report here.

Winter Weather Advisory Remains in Effect; County Open, but Facilities and Services May Be Impacted

Winter Weather Advisory

Posted at 8:50 a.m.
Updated at 9:33 a.m.

A Winter Weather Advisory from the National Weather Service remains in effect until 1 p.m. this afternoon (Thursday, Nov. 15). A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Expect slippery roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.

Fairfax County Police are reporting numerous county roadways are impacted by the weather (9 a.m. update). Public safety officials encourage you to use caution and follow police direction.

winter weather Nov. 15, 2018

The National Weather Service (forecast) reports mixed precipitation is expected, with total sleet and snow accumulation of up to one inch, and ice glaze accumulations of up to a tenth of an inch expected. Plan on slippery road and sidewalk conditions in some areas.

County Government Programs Affected

Fairfax County Government is open, however Fairfax County Public Schools are now closed, following an earlier announcement of a two-hour delay. This school closure affects some county programs/services, so please check before you drive to any location to ensure that it is open and operating.

At this time, Fastran has announced that they will transport dialysis, chemotherapy and radiation trips only. All other scheduled route services are canceled, including senior centers, adult day health care, Women’s Recovery Center, senior residence trips and charter services. For general information about Human Services Transportation, call 703-222-9764, TTY 711.

If additional closures or delays are announced by Fairfax County programs, we will announce them via social media and here on the emergency information blog.


Fairfax Alerts

Fairfax County Government Open With Unscheduled Leave for Employees on Thursday, March 22; Schools Closed

Posted Wednesday, March 21, at 7:20 p.m.

County and School Status

  • Fairfax County Government offices are open on Thursday, March 22, however employees have been granted unscheduled leave. Emergency service personnel should report as scheduled.
  • Fairfax County Public Schools are closed on Thursday.
  • School Age Child Care(SACC) centers are also closed.
  • The Fairfax County Circuit Court, General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court will be open.

Parks, Community and Recreation and Community Centers

Transportation: Connector, Fastran

Libraries

  • Library hours may be affected; call your local branch before visiting. For branch phone numbers, call 703-324-3100 or go to fairfaxcounty.gov/library.

View the public meetings calendar for any potential cancellations of public meetings of Fairfax County government Boards, Authorities or Commissions.

Emergency information is available on Fairfax County’s website (www.fairfaxcounty.gov), Facebook (www.facebook.com/fairfaxcounty), Twitter (www.twitter.com/fairfaxcounty), Fairfax Alerts at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/alerts or by calling the Fairfax County Emergency Information Hotline at 703-817-7771, TTY 711. Fairfax County Government Radio (www.fairfaxcounty.gov/radio) will announce county government closing status and also broadcasts weather forecasts several times per hour.

Winter weather preparedness information can be found in our Winter Weather Guide.

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Winter Storm Warning Issued for Wednesday, March 21

Posted at 3:45 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning, in effect from 2 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, March 21.

Heavy snow is expected with total snow accumulations of 4 to 8 inches possible. That estimate may rise as we get closer to tomorrow.

A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your  vehicle in case of an emergency.

To help prepare for this late winter snow, visit our Winter Weather Guide. Also, stay tuned in to the latest weather forecast, and sign up for severe weather alerts from Fairfax Alerts.

Spring is Here? There’s a Winter Storm Watch Tonight, Tomorrow

Posted at 11 a.m.

S
pring is here — at least officially! Today is the first day of spring, but it doesn’t feel like it. If you were hoping for warmer weather (we sure were), you’re out of luck. And there’s also rain and snow in the forecast!

The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook and a winter storm watch is in effect tonight beginning at midnight through tomorrow evening, Wednesday, March 21.

A winter storm watch means there is potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel. Heavy wet snow is possible with total snow accumulations of 5 inches or more. Plan on difficult travel conditions; significant reductions in visibility are possible.

Continue to monitor the latest weather forecast. And be sure to sign up to receive severe weather alerts from Fairfax Alerts.

Forecast

  • Today — Rain and sleet before 2 p.m., then snow, possibly mixed with sleet. Temperature falling to around 29 by 2 p.m. Northeast wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow and sleet accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
  • Tonight — Snow and sleet likely before 8 p.m., then snow. Low around 29. North wind 11 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow and sleet accumulation of around an inch possible.
  • Wednesday — Snow. High near 36. North wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.
  • Wednesday Night — A chance of snow before 2 a.m. Cloudy, with a low around 28. Northwest wind 11 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Winter Storm Watch March 21, 2018