Home Safety Tips

Fire Safety
  • Check your smoke detectors. Push the test button on each one and make sure it sounds.
  • If you don't have smoke detectors on each level of your house and in each bedroom, get them.
  • Make sure your bedroom windows open.
  • Basement rooms with only small, high windows should not be used as bedrooms unless they have a door directly to the outdoors.
  • Clear combustible material away from furnaces and hot water heaters.
  • Check your dryer vent to make sure it isn't kinked or clogged.
  • Check to make sure light bulb wattage does not exceed the rating of the fixture.
  • Remove extension cords.
  • Check appliance flues to make sure they are in good condition.
  • Check the fireplace flue for creosote buildup and have it cleaned if necessary.
  • Never leave food unattended while cooking.
Deck Safety
  • If you have a deck, check to see that the ledger board is bolted, not nailed, to the house, and that it is in good condition.
  • Check that guardrail posts are bolted to the joists and are not relying on a band-board that can pull away.
  • For a clear understanding of deck construction details, see the Fairfax County Deck Brochure. Note: The city does not accept this package in lieu of permit plans.
General Home Safety
  • Make sure gas- and oil-burning appliances have adequate combustion air for operation.
  • Always get a permit before performing any work requiring a permit. If you have any questions, please call 703-248-5080 (TTY 711).