Home fires are a serious threat to your family's safety. About 5,600 people die and over 52,000 are injured each year by residential fires. Many home fire injuries and deaths are caused by smoke, rather than flames. Often, deaths and injuries occur in fires that happen at night while the victims are asleep. Smoke detectors are a way to help reduce those frighting numbers. Everyone should have working smoke detectors in their home. Remember to change the batteries twice a year. A good way to remember is when the time changes.
Plan and practice for a safe escape. Home fire drills may sound silly, and a serious fire is no fun to talk about; however a little time spent selecting escape routes and practicing what to do if the detector goes off may save lives if fire ever comes to your home.
Walk through the main escape route several times. Try it in the dark or with your eyes closed. Memorize the number of steps between obstacles or turns. If a piece of furniture keeps getting in the way, move it to clear the path.
Plan alternate ways of escape from each room. If the main route is blocked by fire or smoke, how would each family member get out? If bedroom windows are too high for safe jumping, perhaps you should buy a rope ladder to keep at a window in each bedroom.
If you must go through a smoke-filled area, crawl on hands and knees with your head low to avoid breathing smoke.
Agree on a place to meet outside the home so you can count noses and be sure everyone is safe. For further information, please contact your local fire station.
If you would like information regarding items in your home that present potentially dangerous situations, contact us for a Voluntary Home Safety Inspection. This inspection is provided free of charge.
We will come to your home, at your request, to identify things such as:
Improper use of extension cords
Unsafe storage of chemicals
Proper location, or lack thereof, of Smoke Detectors
Proper location, or lack thereof, of Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Upon identification of potentially dangerous items, we will make recommendations to correct these matters in order to provide a safer living environment for you and your family.
Remember, this inspection is completely voluntary, as are the recommended corrections we provide. If you would like to schedule an inspection, please contact us.
How do I keep my smoke alarms working? Smoke alarms are easy to take care of. There are two easy steps to remember:
Simply replace the batteries as needed. We recommend changing the batteries twice a year - with the changing of your clocks for daylight savings time (for detectors with 9-volt batteries). Some smoke alarms now on the market come with a 10 year lithium battery. These alarms are designed to be replaced as a whole unit, thus eliminating the need to change the batteries. If your smoke alarm starts making a 'chirping' noise, replace the battery and reset it.
Keep them clean. Dust and debris can interfere with their operation, so vacuum over and around your smoke alarms regularly.
What if the alarm goes off while I'm cooking?Then it's doing its job. Do not disable your smoke alarm if it alarms due to cooking or other non-fire causes. You may not remember to put the batteries back in the alarm after cooking. Instead, clear the air by waving a towel near the alarm, leaving the batteries in place. If the alarm continually activates during cooking, the smoke detector may need to be moved to a new location.
How long will my smoke alarm last?About 8 - 10 years, after which it should be replaced. Like most electrical devices, smoke alarms wear out. You may want to write the purchase date with a marker on the inside of each unit. That way, you'll know when to replace it. Always follow the manufacturers instructions for replacement.
Anything else I should know?Some smoke alarms are considered to be "hard-wired". This means that they are connected to the household electrical system and may or may not have a battery back-up. It's important to test every smoke detector monthly. Also, always make sure to use new batteries when replacing old ones.
About Carbon Monoxide Detectors
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that consumers purchase and install carbon monoxide detectors with labels showing they meet the requirements of the new Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL) voluntary standard (UL 2034). The UL standard, published in April 1992, requires detectors to sound an alarm when exposure to carbon monoxide reaches potentially hazardous levels over a period of time. Detectors that meet the requirements of UL 2034 provide a greater safety margin than previously manufactured detectors.
About 200 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning associated with home fuel-burning heating equipment. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced when any fuel is incompletely burned. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to flu-like illnesses and include dizziness, fatigue, headaches, nausea, and irregular breathing. Carbon monoxide can leak from faulty furnaces or fuel-fired heaters or can be trapped inside by a blocked chimney or flue. Burning charcoal inside the house or running an automobile engine in an attached garage also will produce carbon monoxide in the home.
The first line of defense against carbon monoxide is to make sure that all fuel-burning appliances operate properly. Consumers should have their home heating systems (including chimneys and flues) inspected each year for proper operations and leakage. Inspectors should check all heating appliances and their electrical and mechanical components, thermostat controls and automatic safety devices.
Properly working carbon monoxide detectors can provide an early warning to consumers before the deadly gas builds up to a dangerous level. Exposure to a low concentration over several hours can be as dangerous as exposure to high carbon monoxide levels for a few minutes - the new detectors will detect both conditions. Most of the devices cost under $100. Each home should have at least one carbon monoxide detector in the area outside individual bedrooms. CPSC believes that carbon monoxide detectors are as important to home safety as smoke detectors are.
Have you ever wondered what it's like on the inside of the firehouse? Well, our doors are always open and we invite you to stop by and see us.
We happily provide tours of the firehouse to individuals and groups (group tours should be scheduled in advance). Come on in and get a feel for what we do 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Bring your kids in and we'll show them the apparatus, tools and the protective clothing we wear during a fire. We also have fire safety information for children that we will provide to you when you stop in.
If you would like to stop in with your kids, feel free to do so anytime. If you would like to schedule a group tour, call us at 245-1400.
Our staff and apparatus are available to visit your church or other special function. We often participate in holiday parades and picnics.
To inquire about scheduling a Fire Truck Visit at your event, please contact the on-duty Shift Captain at 245-1400. We would be more than happy to come and visit with you and your group, provided we have enough advance notice to schedule such a visit. This gives us a great opportunity to interact with the community we protect.