The 4th of July holiday if a great time to celebrate our nation’s independence outdoors with great food, family, and friends. Fireworks are often associated with the 4th of July as many professional displays light up our nighttime sky. Many celebrate with their own personal fireworks at home, and it’s important to keep safety in mind if you decide to use them.
Sparklers, often considered by many to be the ideal “safe” device for the young, burn at very high temperatures–up to 2,000 degrees! That is as hot as a blow torch!
Above is a fact sheet from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for fireworks safety. Please be safe and enjoy celebrating our nation’s independence.
The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for the NOVA service area today. This advisory means that heat indexes will be at-or above 100 degrees for two hours or more. People can be affected by this type of heat and it is important to know heat-related symptoms before it’s too late.
The National Weather Service has great information on their website to help keep you prepared in this hot weather – https://www.weather.gov/safety/heat.
Back in early May 2018, you probably remember several large fires in our region:
- Centreville fire damaged 13 townhouses and displaced 36 people
- Centreville fire in a senior living community evacuated 75 apartment units and displaced several residents
- A Fairfax bank fire that spread through and collapsed the roof
These three devastating fires have one thing in common—all were started by improper disposal of smoking materials. In fact, nearly half of all structure fires in Fairfax County this year were caused by improper disposal of smoking materials!
If you smoke, whether you are on a NOVA campus or at home, please keep in mind the below safety tips to properly dispose of your smoking materials:
- Do not throw cigarettes into bushes, potted plants, landscaping, peat moss, dried grasses, or mulch. Hot weather dries these areas out, causing them to become highly flammable.
- NOVA provides safe smoking areas away from hazards and fireproof cigarette disposal containers across campus to safely dispose of cigarettes.
- At home, completely douse butts and ashes with water before throwing them away, as they can smolder and cause a fire.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Keep smoking materials away from anything that can burn (i.e., mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, draperies, etc.).
- Never smoke in a home where oxygen is being used.
- To prevent a deadly cigarette fire, you must be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine or other drugs.
- Keep matches and lighters out of children’s sight and reach.
These fires are 100% preventable! Following these safety steps helps keep you, your neighbors, and local community free from accidental improper disposal of smoking material fires. For more information, visit the United States Fire Administration or your local county emergency resources.
Do you know CPR or how to use an AED? If not, you should as lives could be saved if more people knew CPR along with how to use an AED.
June 1-7 is National CPR and AED Awareness week, so take time to watch the Hands-Only CPR video below and learn more information through the American Heart Association here: National CPR and AED Awareness Week.
Don’t forget to check with your local hospitals and community associations, as they may offer certified CPR and AED training to you at little to no cost.
The likelihood that you and your family will recover from an emergency tomorrow often depends on the planning and preparation done today. While each person’s abilities and needs are unique, every individual can take steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies. With May being “Older Americans Month,” this is a good opportunity for the NOVA Community to make sure the Seniors in our families are prepared.
There are commonsense measures Seniors can take to start preparing for emergencies before they happen. If you or someone in your family is older, be sure to include special items in your supply kit in addition to the basic supplies. Below are a few important first steps to make to ensure our Senior family members are prepared for any type of emergency that could impact our Northern Virginia region.
- Create a network of neighbors, relatives, friends, and co-workers to aid the Seniors in an emergency. Discuss the Seniors’ needs and make sure everyone knows how to operate necessary equipment.
- If the Seniors takes medicine or use a medical treatment on a daily basis, be sure they have what they need on hand to make it on their own for at least a week. They should also keep a copy of their prescriptions as well as dosage or treatment information. If it is not possible to have a week-long supply of medicines and supplies, keep as much as possible on hand and talk to their pharmacist or doctor about what else they should do to prepare.
- Seniors should keep specialized items ready, including extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, hearing aid batteries, food for service animals, and any other items they might need. Keep a list of the type and model numbers of the medical devices they require. Be sure to make provisions for medications that require refrigeration.
- Have copies of medical insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid cards readily available.
- If the Seniors undergoes routine treatments administered by a clinic or hospital, or if they receive regular services such as home health care, treatment, or transportation, talk to the service provider about their emergency plans. Work with them to identify back-up service providers within the area and the areas you might evacuate to. If the Seniors use medical equipment in their home that requires electricity to operate, talk to their health care provider about what can be done to prepare for its use during a power outage.
For additional steps you can take to ensure the Seniors in our families are prepared for emergencies, please visit the following sites for more detailed information: https://www.ready.gov/seniors and http://www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia/getakit/older.