Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Roof Safety tips from Fairfax County OEM

Hi folks!
I know each of us are looking out the window this evening, watching the snow come down yet again. (Snowmageddon 2? SnOMG 2010? Snowmageddon 2-the "freezquel"? There are some great nicknames for this snow we have had!)

Call it what you wish; but we are expecting another 10" to 20" between tonight and tomorrow evening. With the 24" already on the ground (and the roofs of our homes) roof safety is something to consider.
Below are some useful very good roof safety tips from our county office of emergency management.
Stay safe and warm!

your volunteer PIO
(still snowed in!)

As heavy snow continues to accumulate, the Fairfax County Snow and Roof Safety Web page at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/publications/lti/snow_roofs.htm offers important safety measures for flat roofs. If a roof has collapsed, call 9-1-1.

Information from the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services addresses:

Single Family Homes and Townhomes — If there is a flat roof, monitor the ceiling below and look for signs of roof distress. Evacuate if you notice any of these warning signs:
• Sagging ceiling beneath the flat roof.
• New cracks on ceiling drywall or plaster.
• Popping, cracking or creaking sounds.
• Doors and/or windows that can no longer be opened or closed.

Residents should not attempt to access their roofs to try to clear the snow due to the safety concerns of slipping off the roof and exposure to electrical wires. Residents should clear the areas around downspouts and roof drains so that melting water has a path to flow away from the house when the snow begins to melt.

Commercial Buildings — Most commercial buildings are designed to accommodate a roof snow load associated with 24 inches of dense, compact and/or wet snow. If there are any of the warning signs below, the building needs to be evacuated immediately:
• Sagging roof members including steel bar joists, metal decking, wood rafters, wood trusses and plywood sheathing.
• Popping, cracking and creaking sounds.
• Sagging ceiling tiles and/or sagging sprinkler lines and sprinkler heads.
• Doors and/or windows that can no longer be opened or closed.

Residents also may contact the Fairfax County Emergency Information Line at 703-817-7771, TTY 711 for more information; voice mail messages will be monitored and returned.

Emergency information is available on Fairfax County’s Web site (www.fairfaxcounty.gov/), Facebook (www.facebook.com/fairfaxcounty), Twitter (twitter.com/fairfaxcounty), emergency information phone line (703-817-7771), the Community Emergency Alert Network (CEAN) and on Fairfax County Government Channel 16. In addition, 1670 AM, emergency radio for Fairfax County, is broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the National Weather Service.

Additional winter weather preparedness information can be found at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/prepare/winter/.

Sent by Fairfax OEM to All users (e-mail accounts, cell phones & pagers) through the Fairfax County CEAN