“Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape” by following these safety tips

"Fire Won't Wait, Plan Your Escape" by following these safety tips

Contact:
Will Merritt
VDFP Public Information Officer
804-249-1986

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RICHMOND (October 14, 2022) – As National Fire Prevention Week comes to an end, the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) reminds Virginians that fire prevention is not just a week-long event but a year-round focus.

“Fire education is not just for children,” said Ken Brown, Community Risk Reduction Coordinator. “National Fire Prevention Week is about making sure everyone – kids, adults and seniors – understand how to stay safe in case of a fire.”

Follow these ten safety tips to keep you and your family safe:

  1. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside of each bedroom
  2. Create a home escape plan with your family and routinely practice fire drills together
  3. Establish an outdoor meeting place for your family to gather in the event of a fire
  4. Test smoke alarms every month and change batteries at least once a year
  5. Keep a fire extinguisher in your home
  6. Store matches and lighters in a safe spot and out of reach from children
  7. Never leave a burning candle unattended
  8. Keep portable heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn
  9. Use electricity safely by never overloading circuits and replacing cracked or frayed cords
  10. Have your furnace and chimney inspected and cleaned every year

The 2022 Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape,” works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe from home fires. This week, VDFP released fire safety tips to help Virginians be prepared in case of an emergency:

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“Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape” by closing your door before you doze

"Fire Won't Wait, Plan Your Escape" by closing your door before you doze

Contact:
Will Merritt
VDFP Public Information Officer
804-249-1986

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RICHMOND (October 13, 2022) – Did you know that closing your doors can reduce fire growth, limit damage and can even save your life if you become trapped during a fire? That is today’s tip from the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) as part of National Fire Prevention Week.

According to the Fire Safety Research Institute, a closed door can make a 900 degree difference with an open-door room reaching 1,000 degrees compared to 100 degrees in a closed-door room.

“Make closing bedroom doors part of your routine,” said Ken Brown, Community Risk Reduction Coordinator. “Fire needs oxygen to burn and a closed door helps prevent the fire from getting more oxygen.”

For more information, visit the Fire Safety Research Institute’s “Close Before You Doze” webpage for more information: closeyourdoor.org

The 2022 Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape,” works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe from home fires. Each day, VDFP will release fire safety tips to help Virginians be prepared in case of an emergency.

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“Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape” by conducting home fire drills twice a year

"Fire Won't Wait, Plan Your Escape" by conducting home fire drills twice a year

Contact:
Will Merritt
VDFP Public Information Officer
804-249-1986

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RICHMOND (October 12, 2022) – Today’s tip from the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) for National Fire Prevention Week is to practice home fire drills at least twice a year.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, while 71% of Americans have an escape plan in case of a fire, only 47% of those have practiced it.

“A home escape plan that is regularly practiced saves lives,” said Ken Brown, Community Risk Reduction Coordinator. “Walking through the plan – just like kids practice fire drills at school – ensures everyone knows how to escape if the smoke alarm sounds.”

Follow these steps to protect you and your family:

  1. Practice home fire drills at least twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day and practice using different ways out.
  2. Children should be taught what to do when they hear a smoke alarm and there is no adult around. Show them how to exit by crawling on the ground and using the back of their hand to check doors for heat before opening and to use a different way if the door is hot.
  3. To conduct the drill, sound the smoke alarm and start the timer. Once everyone gets to the meeting place, stop the timer. If everybody made it out in two minutes, celebrate. If not, give it another try.

The 2022 Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape,” works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe from home fires. Each day, VDFP will release fire safety tips to help Virginians be prepared in case of an emergency.

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“Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape” by knowing two ways out of every room

"Fire Won't Wait, Plan Your Escape" by knowing two ways out of every room

Contact:
Will Merritt
VDFP Public Information Officer
804-249-1986

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RICHMOND (October 11, 2022) – As National Fire Prevention Week continues, the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) urges Virginia residents to make an escape plan with two ways out of every room.

According to the NFPA, only one of every three American households have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.

“Fire moves fast and every second counts when you need to get out,” said Ken Brown, Community Risk Reduction Coordinator. “Developing a home fire escape plan that includes two ways out of every room and meets the needs of your family is extremely important.”

Follow these steps to protect you and your family:

  1. As a family, draw a map of the layout of your home. Include all doors and windows. You can use this grid from the U.S. Fire Administration
  2. Find two ways out of every room in case one way is blocked by fire
  3. Teach children how to escape on their own in case an adult can’t help them
  4. Make sure doors and windows open easily and are not blocked by furniture
  5. Choose an outside meeting place such as the end of your driveway or your mailbox
  6. Assign someone to call 911 once everyone is out
  7. Make sure the address of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find

The 2022 Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape,” works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe from home fires. Each day, VDFP will release fire safety tips to help Virginians be prepared in case of an emergency.

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“Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape” by installing and testing smoke alarms

"Fire Won't Wait, Plan Your Escape" by installing and testing smoke alarms

Contact:
Will Merritt
VDFP Public Information Officer
804-249-1986

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RICHMOND (October 10, 2022) – National Fire Prevention Week is October 9-15 and the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) reminds Virginia residents to check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in their home.

The 2022 Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape,” works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe from home fires.

Working smoke alarms are an essential part of any home fire escape plan. According to the NFPA, three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms.

“You may have as little as two minutes – or even less time – to safely get out of your home during a fire,” said Ken Brown, Community Risk Reduction Coordinator. “A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm greatly increases your chances of surviving a home fire.”

Follow these tips to protect you and your family:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas
  • Choose interconnected smoke alarms, so when one sounds, they all sound
  • Test smoke alarms monthly by pushing the “test” button and change the batteries at least once a year, if your model requires it
  • Check the manufacturer’s date. If the alarm is 10 years or older, it needs to be replaced
  • Teach children what a smoke alarm sounds like and what to do if it goes off

VDFP is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week. Each day, VDFP will release fire safety tips to help Virginians be prepared in case of an emergency.

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State Fire Marshal’s Office Stresses Firework Safety During the Fourth of July Holiday

State Fire Marshal’s Office Stresses Firework Safety During the Fourth of July Holiday

Contact:
Will Merritt
VDFP Public Information Officer
804-249-1986

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RICHMOND (June 29, 2022) - The Virginia Department of Fire Programs-State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) urges Virginians ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend to leave fireworks to the professionals.

In general, any firework that explodes, moves on the ground or in the air, or shoots a projectile is illegal in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Only “permissible fireworks,” as defined in the Code of Virginia, can be legally sold, possessed or used within the Commonwealth. A list of permissible fireworks can be viewed on the VDFP website.

Many localities prohibit the sale, possession or use of all fireworks. The State Fire Marshal’s Office advises Virginians to check local ordinances as well as the Statewide Fire Prevention Code prior to purchasing and utilizing fireworks.

VDFP’s State Fire Marshal’s Office serves as the fire code enforcement sector of the state government training agency. Roughly 125 retail locations were inspected by SFMO in 2021, where nearly one-third locations were found to be selling non-permissible fireworks. In 2021, more than 10,000 non-permissible fireworks were confiscated that were either for sale, or in possession.

“We urge Virginians to leave fireworks to the professionals,” said Billy Hux, VDFP Assistant State Fire Marshal of Special Operations. “As in years past, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Local Fire Marshals and Local Law Enforcement will be out inspecting retail locations to ensure items being sold meet the Code of Virginia definition for Permissible Fireworks.”

The sale, possession and/or use of any fireworks not classified as permissible is prohibited. Violations can be prosecuted as a Class I Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $2,500 and/or up to one (1) year in jail. Any illegal fireworks can be confiscated and you can be summoned by a Fire Marshal or Law Enforcement Officer.

If you decide to use permissible fireworks, please follow these important safety procedures:

  • If you have fireworks, make sure they are on the 2022 Virginia Permissible Fireworks List
  • Check local ordinances on the use of fireworks
  • Fireworks can only be used on private property with the consent of the owner
  • Never use fireworks indoors or while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Ensure adequate clearance from people, buildings and combustible material
  • Have a garden hose or other water source readily available in case of fire
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Never hold the fireworks in your hands while lighting them
  • Never point fireworks at a person

If you wish to report illegal fireworks, contact your local police department or contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office at (540) 270-6617.

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Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service Scheduled for June 4

Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service Scheduled for June 4

Annual service to be held in the Exhibition Hall at the Richmond Raceway Complex

RICHMOND – The Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) invites the public to attend the 2022 Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service on Saturday, June 4 at the Richmond Raceway Complex.
The memorial service will begin at noon in the Main Exhibition Hall. The Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service will be streamed live for those who cannot attend in person. Visit: 2022 Virginia Fire & EMS Memorial Service live stream - YouTube.
The service will honor four fallen firefighters:
  • Lyndell N. Woods – Fort Lewis Volunteer Fire Department
  • Lawrence J. Phipps, Sr. – Hanover Fire and EMS
  • Todd A. Landreth – Norfolk Airport Fire Department
  • Sean H. Land – Virginia Beach Fire Department
Now in its 25th year, the Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service was established to honor firefighters and EMS personnel who perished in the line of duty, in accordance with the Virginia Line of Duty Act (§ 9.1-400).
Emergency response personnel, government officials, and public safety members gather to celebrate the courage and dedication of each honoree. The Memorial Service includes a keynote address, a Virginia Fire Services Honor Guard procession, a musical performance, and a fire and EMS apparatus display from departments throughout the Commonwealth.

2021 Governor’s Fire Service Awards Nominations Open Through December 31, 2021

2021 Governor’s Fire Service Awards Nominations Now Open

Nominations accepted until December 31, 2021

 

RICHMOND – November 3, 2021 – The Virginia Department of Fire Programs, a leader in enhancing public safety, in conjunction with the Virginia Fire Services Board, are seeking nominations for the 2021 Governor’s Fire Service Awards, which honors and recognizes excellence in Fire Services in the Commonwealth.

The annual Governor’s Fire Service Awards is presented in eight categories during the Virginia Fire Rescue Conference held in February at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.

Nominations can be submitted through an online form on the VDFP website through December 31, 2021.

 

About the Governor’s Fire Service Awards

The Governor’s Fire Service Awards were established in 2002. In partnership with the Virginia Fire Services Board, the VDFP facilitates the awards. The Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security presents the Governor with award recommendations, at which the final recipients are then selected. Award categories:

  • Governor’s Award for Excellence in Virginia Fire Service
  • Governor’s Award for Excellence in Virginia Community Risk Reduction
  • Governor’s Award for Excellence in Virginia’s Fire Service Training
  • Governor’s Award for Outstanding Fire Department Response
  • Governor’s Award for Private Sector Excellence in Virginia Fire Service Support
  • Governor’s Civilian Excellence in Virginia Fire Service Support
  • Governor’s Virginia Firefighter of the Year
  • Governor’s Virginia Fire Chief of the Year

Among the 2020 recipients were Virginia Beach Fire Department and the City of Staunton Fire and Rescue, who were recognized for Excellence in Virginia Fire Service Trainingand Outstanding Fire Department Response, respectively. Read more about the 2020 Governor’s Fire Service awards recipients

About the Virginia Department of Fire ProgramsThe Virginia Department of Fire Programs provides training, support services, and resources to more than 700 fire and emergency service organizations, and approximately 44,000 fire service personnel in the Commonwealth. Support areas include funding, professional development, research, operational support, technical assistance, and fire prevention inspections through its State Fire Marshal’s Office.

VDFP Regional Schools

VDFP Regional Schools

Wise Regional School – September 10-12, 2021
UVA Wise Campus

Register by September 1! 

  • Courses included:
    • Basic Pump Operations
    • Hazmat Operations
    • Instructor I
    • FF1 & FF2 Train-the-Trainer
    • Surface Water I & II
    • Intro to Tech Rescue – Module II
    • Vehicle Operations I

VDFP’s Aid to Localities Funding Increases to $34 Million for Firefighter Training and PPE in the Commonwealth

VDFP’s Aid to Localities Funding Increases to $34 Million for
Firefighter Training and PPE in the Commonwealth

The Aid to Localities funding program increased by 5.45% for Fiscal Year 2022,
stemming from the Virginia Fire Services Board’s approval and fire-related insurance collections.

RICHMONDJuly 12, 2021 – The Virginia Fire Services Board (VFSB), a Governor-appointed policy body that consists of 15 members from Virginia’s Fire Service, the insurance industry, municipal organizations, and citizen representatives; and the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) announced today a 5.45% budget increase in the Fire Programs Fund. The increase totals $1.8 million dollars to the Virginia Aid to Localities (ATL) funding program, which bumps up the total aid to $34 million dollars for statewide distribution.

ATL funding comes from the Virginia Fire Programs Fund, which is derived from 1 percent of fire-related insurance coverage collected in the previous calendar year. Approximately 75% of the total fund goes directly to a total of 323 counties, cities, and incorporated towns within the Commonwealth. Twenty-five percent goes to VDFP’s operational budget.

VDFP administers the ATL program in conjunction with the Board.

The current fiscal year (FY22) increases follow pivotal milestones for the Board. In 2020, VFSB pushed to increase ATL funding to support training initiatives, construction of fire training centers, firefighting equipment, and protective gear. The Board’s request was made in response to increasing budget trends in Virginia’s Fire Service. During fiscal year 2021 (FY21), minimum ATL funding levels jumped from $10,000 to $15,000 and $20,000 to $30,000. This fiscal year, 152 Virginia localities will see an increase as they received above the minimum in FY21. The Board approved to allow the minimum funding levels to remain at the FY21 increases.

“The Board saw a trend in the rising costs of insurance, particularly the types of insurance in which the 1% that goes to the Fire Programs Fund is derived – fire, miscellaneous property and casualty, marine, homeowners, and farm owners insurance,” said VFSB Chair Scott Garber. “We made a strategic move in considering these increases to align with the rising costs in keeping fire departments operable.”

“The increased funding allows us to assist Virginia’s Fire Service in growing their departments and personnel. In some cases, ATL funding increases budgetary choices for financially strapped fire departments,” said VDFP Acting Executive Director Garrett Dyer. “Our purpose is to assist where we can to help fire departments meet or exceed their service delivery goals.”

Funding is available annually on July 1, the start of VDFP’s new fiscal year. Qualifying localities are required to submit annual reports and financial documentation to receive an allocation.