Fire safety tips from Rosslyn's Fire Station No. 10
Rosslyn is home to Fire Station No. 10, which opened in The Highlands at 1535 Wilson Blvd. in 2021. To ensure your home is fire-safe and you are prepared, check out these recommendations from Arlington County firefighter Drew Gilbert, who works at Station No. 10.
Read on to learn more about where you can find tons of great resources including how to request a free smoke alarm, a free home safety check, and tips on how to protect your home and your family in case of a fire emergency.
Be mindful while cooking and heating in your home
One of the most common fires that we run into is the "careless cook" or "food on the stove." It's important that people do not leave their stove unattended for any extended period of time. It is never a good idea to leave the residence or nap while the stove is in use. Also ensure that no flammable items (papers, towels, oven mitts, etc.) are in the vicinity of the stove. The direct flame, and sometimes radiant heat, can cause these items to catch fire. In addition to the stove, these recommendations can be extended to fireplaces and electric heaters.
With the winter months fast approaching, a space heater should never be near anything combustible and if available, placed on a solid/non-flammable floor. Placing them on rugs or carpet should be avoided when possible, and always plug them directly into the wall outlet. Extension cords should be avoided.
Fire Won't Wait. Plan Your Escape.
To ensure a safe escape, the Fire Department recommends having a plan for you and your family. This year's motto for Fire Prevention Week is "Fire won't wait. Plan your escape." The plan can include the best way for egress in the event of an emergency, including having a meeting place that is a sufficient distance from any hazards and people to contact. It's also important that the plan be practiced so that everyone is prepared, and any necessary adjustments can be made.
Prep your home to be fire safe
We recommend at a minimum to install a smoke detector on every floor and in every bedroom. A carbon monoxide detector is also suggested if there are gas appliances in the residence. Smoke detectors should be tested monthly according to the manufacturer's recommendations. The batteries should be changed twice a year (with the clocks) unless they are equipped with a 10-year lithium battery. All detectors should be replaced every ten years from the manufacture date located on the bottom.
The Arlington County Fire Department will provide three smoke detectors to any resident at no charge. You can call your local fire house to set up an appointment for pick up/drop off. The Fire Department also provides free home safety inspections.
Every resident should also keep an ABC Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher in their homes. These can be located in the kitchen, laundry room, utility/mechanical rooms, etc. Again, these are a minimum and like the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, you can really never have too many. Extinguishers can be found at all major hardware stores and will have a numeric and alphabetic rating such as 3-A:40-B:C. This particular fire extinguisher would be capable of putting out a three (3) cubic feet ordinary combustible fire and a 40 square foot fire of flammable liquids or electrical fires. There are several sizes and various ratings; each individual should decide what best works for them and their family/home.
While I've listed several suggestions here, the list is extensive, and each family will have their own unique needs to fit their residence. I would recommend each reader continue their own research on Google, along with several websites such as Red Cross, OSHA, NFPA, and FEMA.