Fire and Rescue Department offers fireplace tips for winter

The Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue, in conjunction with the National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Fire Administration, is focused on reducing the risk of home heating fires during December, January and February.

As part of the fire safety campaign, the county recommends that residents have their chimneys inspected and cleaned annually by a qualified professional. The agency also suggests these tips:

→Create a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires.

→Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Never leave a fireplace fire unattended, particularly when children are present.

→Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container and kept at a safe distance from your home.

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2012 Community Survey shows satisfaction with state of county

The results of the 2012 Community Survey were presented to the Prince William Board of County Supervisors last week and indicated that residents are generally positive about the state of the county.

The survey, which is conducted every other year, randomly sampled 1,727 county residents. The survey results include:

→85 percent said they are getting good value for their tax dollars, up from 83 percent in 2010.

→92 percent said the quality of life in the county is the same, better or much better than other communities.

→90 percent said the overall quality of county services meets or exceeds their expectations.

→90 percent said that overall the county’s services are efficient and effective.

→85 percent trust the county government to do the right thing, up from 63 percent in 2010.

→66 percent said the county should keep taxes and services the same; 10 percent want the county to increase taxes and services; and 20 percent want to decrease taxes and services.

→92 percent said county employees are courteous and helpful.

→93 percent feel safe in their neighborhoods and commercial areas.

→84 percent feel that they easily get around by car in the county, up from 64 percent in 2010; 75 percent feel that they can easily get around by car in Northern Virginia.

→68 percent said transportation and road systems adequately support residential and business development, up from 57 percent in 2010.

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Manassas Airport completes 500-foot runway extension

After more than 12 years, the 500-foot runway extension at Manassas Regional Airport is finished.

A ribbon-cutting last week signified the completion of the five-phase construction project. The $4.6 million project increased the runway to 6,200 feet, which will allow aircraft to carry more fuel and provide additional safety measures in inclement weather.

— Compiled by Sarah Lane