How Do Residential Fire Sprinklers Save Lives?

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Dec 012015

An non-sprinklered room at 1:24 after a fire ignited behind the bed.

An non-sprinklered room at 1:24 after a fire ignited behind the bed.

On Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014, the University of New Haven hosted the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition for a “live burn” demonstration in its parking lot.

Orange Live ran this story at the time, but since the message is timeless and the holidays traditionally bring many accidental residential fires, we thought it was a good time to post it again.

About the Coalition

The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) was formed in 1996 in response to the tremendous need to inform the public about the life-saving value of home fire sprinkler protection. HFSC is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and the leading resource for independent, noncommercial information about residential fire sprinklers. HFSC offers educational material with details about installed home fire sprinkler systems, how they work, why they provide affordable protection and answers to common myths and misconceptions about their operation. These materials are available upon request.

Live Demonstrations

Wednesday’s demonstration, which had been planned well in advance, took place about 18 hours after Hartford Screen Shot 2014-10-11 at 10.52.46 PMfirefighter Kevin Bell, 48, a 6-year veteran of the department died in a house fire on Tuesday evening. Three other firefighters also were injured fighting the blaze. 

Had the two story home on Blue Hills Avenue been equipped with a sprinkler system, Bell most likely would still be alive. 

The University of New Haven has an active Fire Science Department, whose students assisted in the event, building two identical wooden boxes using the HFSC specs down to the amount and placement of screws with materials donated by the Derby Home Depot. 

Each box was set up like a bedroom with the same items: bed, nightstand, curtains, computer monitor, plastic toys, carpet and smoke detector.

One “room” was equipped with a single sprinkler head, the other was not.

A large time keepers clock was set up on a table in between the two boxes and one by one, the non-sprinklered room first, they were set on fire in the same spot (behind the bed).

Click HERE for a Video of the event.


No Sprinkler

24 seconds fire catches on curtains, smoke detector activates

50 seconds fire rolls across ceiling temperatures increase to unbearable limit

1:40 Flashover — you can’t escape this fire

2:00 extinguished with water from fire department

Total loss

IMG_4235Sprinklered Room

19 seconds smoke detector goes off

24 seconds curtain on fire

47 seconds, heat rises, sprinkler activates, fire is out

Minimal water damage

HERE is a video of Christmas Tree fires in the same side-by-side type of scenario

Dec 012015

th-1The winter holidays are a time of celebration and that means cooking, decorating the home and entertaining. 

The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office offers some safety reminders to ensure that the holidays will be happy for you and your family.

Home fire safety is always a major concern. Decorations should be fire resistant or non-combustible and located a safe distance from heat sources, such as cooking and wood stoves, fireplaces, space heaters or televisions. 

If smoking is permitted in your home, provide a place for smokers to discard their cigarettes. Place all used ashtrays in the sink and wet down the contents to prevent an accidental fire. Keep all matches and lighters out of the reach of children. And, check all smoke detectors to be sure they are working properly. 

cat-candle-angela_n-smOne of the most common causes of accidental home fires during the holiday season is unattended candles, as December is the peak time of year for candle fires. Candles are often knocked over by children or pets, causing injuries and fires. Before lighting any candle, secure it in a properly fitting holder with a wide base to catch the hot dripping wax and to prevent the candle from tipping over.  

Trim the wick to one-quarter inch. Extinguish taper and pillar candles when the wick is within two inches of the holder. Votives should be put out before the last half-inch of wax begins to melt. Keep candles at least one foot from combustibles on tables, beside window treatments or decorations. 

More than one-half of candle fires began when something flammable was too close to the candle.  After the candle is lit, it must be supervised until properly extinguished. NEVER leave candles burning when leaving a room or going to sleep.  During a power outage, avoid carrying a lit candle. Use flashlights. 

thBefore displaying any electrical decoration, be sure it is tested and approved by a testing facility such as Underwriter’s Laboratory (U.L) or Factory Mutual (F.M).  Use only lights designed and approved for the outdoors when creating an exterior display. Check all light cords and plugs for worn-out or exposed wiring. Replace any damaged light strings or decorations with new items.  Do not overload electrical circuits.  Use multi-outlet surge protector power strips when running multiple applications of decorative lights.

Due to the cost of home heating fuel, the use of fireplaces and wood-burning stoves for alternative heating sources is at an all time high.  Have the fireplace or wood stove flue inspected and cleaned at least once a year.  Creosote build up is the number one cause of chimney fires.  Check for cracks in the mortar or deterioration of the piping before lighting a fire.  Don’t forget to open the flue.  Make sure that the safety screen or doors are in place to prevent sparks from igniting flammable furnishings or interior finishes. 

smokie-fireplaceNever use lighter fluid or any other flammable liquid to start a fire.  Use kindling and paper which is weighed down to prevent it from flying out of the chimney or fireplace.  Once the fire is out, put the cool ashes into a metal container with a lid, outside and well away from the home The container should be placed on a non-combustible surface.  To prevent the build-up of carbon monoxide, keep a window slightly open to allow fresh air to enter the home. Electric heaters should be at least three feet from any combustible materials. The use of kerosene heaters is not recommended. 

Christmas tree safety begins with the selection of a fresh tree that holds its needles. Trim the trunk at least 1-inch above the original cut before placing the tree in a sturdy stand.  For the first watering, fill the stand with hot water to open up the sap channels so the tree can consume water efficiently. Use cool water thereafter. The tree may be kept inside as long as it kpic-120508-burning-christmas-treeremains fresh and moist. When it begins to lose needles and starts to dry, discard the tree.  Make sure artificial trees are labeled as fire retardant. Keep a fire extinguisher handy, near an exit.  DO NOT attempt to extinguish a fully involved tree fire.  Leave the house and call 9-1-1.  Follow these tips for a safe, happy holiday season. 

The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office has a Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Program that provides and/or installs 10 year lithium battery alarms and carbon monoxide detectors free of charge to Orange residents.  If you have any questions regarding fire safety or wish to have smoke and/or CO detectors provided and/or installed in your home, please contact our office at (203) 891-4711, Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM or visit the website at www.orangefiremarshal.com.

Get Ready, Here’s All You Need To Know About Santa’s Helper 2015

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Nov 182015

IMG_7408A Message From Elf Mama: 

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department Santa’s Helper 2015 is here, and this year it’s our 21st anniversary! Our Santa Helper teams have been delivering gifts, smiles and fun to thousands of Orange families for many years, and we want everyone to share in the fun and excitement of this wonderful program that has become a highly anticipated family tradition for thousands of loved ones in Orange.

Santa’s Helper is a wonderful, fun-filled fund raising event benefiting YOUR Volunteer Fire Department. 100 percent of the proceeds are used towards the purchase of firefighting and rescue equipment. All of our Santa’s Helper Teams of firefighters, special helpers, family and friends have been honored to deliver gifts, smiles, fun and visit with thousands of families throughout Orange for the past 20 years.

Children and adults alike, look forward with great anticipation to seeing the Fire Trucks coming down their street, lights and sirens to your front door, with Santa on board, leading the way. His truck full of gifts, his firefighter helpers and Elf visit with each family while delivering gifts and cheer!

If you would like to join in the fun and have one of the Santa teams arrive at your front door, it’s easy. Please follow the simple steps and soon, you’ll be seeing the Fire Trucks with the flashing lights and hearing sirens and a big HO HO HO, coming down your street and arriving at your front door.

Santa’s Helper delivery day is Sunday, December 20, from 2 – 8 p.m.

Gift Drop Off Day for the general public is: Saturday, Nov. 21
, 12 – 2 p.m. At Fire Station #2, 355 Boston Post Road. (Across from TGI Fridays). PLEASE NOTE THE NEW TIME FRAME. WE ASK THAT YOU START TO ARRIVE NO EARLIER THAN 30 MINUTES PRIOR TO 12:00 START TIME. You will have a much shorter wait in line by following these new guidelines. Thank you!

GIFT RULES: There is a small fee of $15.00 per gift, per household. Each gift must be INDIVIDUALLY wrapped in your favorite holiday paper with an over-wrap of plain brown paper. The name and address of the recipient must be clearly printed on the outside.
Please try not to make the gifts too large or heavy, Santa appreciates that.
We have a limited delivery number of 160 homes. This is an extremely popular event, and those spots fill up quickly. We strongly encourage you to have all of the gifts for your stop with you on Gift Drop-Off day. **For those families having a large party with many gifts on delivery day, please email us at: [email protected] for special instructions.**

PARKING FOR DROP-OFF DAY: Please park your car in the rear of the Fire Station. There will be firefighters there to assist you. The Drop-Off line will be located INSIDE the fire station. USE REAR DOOR MARKED ENTER.

IMG_7431Santa on his fire truck with his Elf, and special firefighter helpers will arrive at your home to deliver the gifts back to your loved ones, and spend some time with your family for photos and smiles.

If you have any questions, you can EMAIL Elf Mama at: [email protected]
She will help you via email, or visit: www.orangevfd.com and click on the Santa’s Helper page.  Please do not call the Fire Stations as it’s a volunteer department and there will not be anyone there available to assist you with Santa’s Helper information.

**Emailing Santa’s Helper does not guarantee you a spot on the delivery route. Sign-up on drop-off day is on a first come-first serve basis.
The Orange Volunteer Fire Department wishes everyone a SAFE, Happy and Healthy Holiday Season.

— Elf Mama

A look back at some of 2014’s special Santa’s Helper moments:

Originally Published on: Oct 16, 2015 @ 23:51

Eagle Project Will Benefit Orange and Regional K-9s

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Nov 052015

IMG_9489A new Boy Scout Eagle Project proposal went before and was unanimously approved by the Police Commission on Oct. 13

Ben Grasso, a member of Troop 3, Derby (Housatonic Council) is an Orange resident and the nephew of Orange Police Commissioner Mark Grasso.

Ben gave a well thought out Eagle Project presentation to make a portable K9 agility course in Orange.

He said he loves and admires dogs and law enforcement and this project would help dogs work on their training.

“I want to make it mobile so you can take it to the Orange Country Fair and anywhere else it may be needed,” he said. “I came up with this idea after seeing Milford’s course.”

The commission was enthusiastic about the project and agreed that the Orange Police Department has space at the side of the building that would be ideal for it.

Grasso said he would build the entire course himself including a ramp, dog walk a-frame with “bridge” to another a frame, and expandable hurdles.

“I need to do fundraising and make sure each of the items is safe,” he said. “I want it completed by end of winter or early spring.”

Chief Robert Gagne said the project would benefit the K-9 program and help other departments too. He said he liked the idea of making it mobile.

“The lot here is a perfect size for this project and the dogs could really make good use of it,” Gagne said.

Former K-9 handler Officer Mike Kosh will be Grasso’s Police Department contact person and he and Grasso will look at all the other courses around the area to make this one is safe and awesome.

Commissioner Cuzzocreao from Orange Fence offered to help with some materials and perhaps a space in which to build it.

Grasso said he would need to raise about $750 in order to complete the project.

Grasso is scheduled to bring his Eagle Project plans before the Board of Selectmen tonight.

Police News: Couple Arrested After Physical Altercation

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Oct 302015

Police Blotter Logo thx DaveOn Oct. 23, a woman waved down patrol officers driving on Peck Lane at 6:05 a.m.

According to the report, Amy Romano, 42, of 79 Cherry St #3, Milford, advised officers that she and her boyfriend,Chad Stryker, 41, of the same address, had just gotten into an argument which then turned physical.

Police observed that both parties had injuries, and both admitted to the incident.

They were taken into custody and Romano was charged with third-degree assault and released on a promise to appear in court later that day. Stryker was charged with disorderly conduct and released on a promise to appear in court later that day.



Halloween Safety Tips From The Orange (CT) Police Department

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Oct 292015

charlie-brown-trick-or-treatThe Orange Connecticut Police Department posted these Halloween Safety Tips on its Facebook Page:

The Orange Police will post additional patrols for both mischief night and for Halloween. As always, we want our little ghosts and goblins to be safe.

Consider participating in the annual Trunk or Treat event at the Orange Fair Grounds from 1 pm to 4 pm on Saturday, Oct. 31. It’s a great way to celebrate and keep kids safe.

However, if you do decide to take on the traditional trick or treating, here are some tips for a safe Halloween:

1. Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Remain on well-lit streets.

2. Walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.

3. Have children carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.

4. When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent falls.

5. Watch out for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

6. Teach children how to dial 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.

7. Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.

8. A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood grounds.

9. Wet leaves should be swept from walkways and steps.

10. Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!!!!

CORRECTION: We Made a Big Mistake

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Oct 262015

Police Headquarters

Police Headquarters

Since the Orange Police Department began posting arrests and information on its Facebook Page — Town Of Orange Police Department — It was recommended that the press get its blotter items from there. 

Last weekend, Orange Live picked up a story about the department offering free drug tests and prescription disposal services. Although there were no comments on our Facebook page about the posting, I’m not sure how many people saw it during their busy weekend.

The big problem is that the post was on the Orange VIRGINIA Police Facebook page and should never have wound up on our Connecticut site.

We apologize to the Orange PD for any difficulty this may have caused.

Here is a posting regarding this mistake on the Town Of Orange Police Department Facebook page:

Dear Town of Orange Community-

Recently, a local media outlet erroneously published a story purporting to have originated within our police department. The story detailed a program in place at a police department in Virginia regarding their approach to an epidemic of drug overdoses in their area.

The program in Virginia includes drug test kits available to the public free of charge, and a drug collection box located in the lobby of their headquarters. Although the article reported by the local media outlet indicated that these items would be available here in Orange, that is not the case. The entire story was based on the police department in Virginia, but incorrectly attributed to us.

We agree that ANY drug case is too many, and we continue to work diligently to eradicate this problem from within our town. While the Town of Orange Police Department takes a proactive approach to all drug enforcement cases, and every community experiences illegal drug abuse to some level, we are lucky in that this issue has not reached a level where anyone would consider it to be ‘an epidemic’ here in Orange.

Any Town of Orange Police Department-related news releases will always be listed here on our department-run Facebook page, or on Twitter. (@orangepdct). Please do not hesitate to contact us directly if you ever have any questions or concerns.

Although the OPD did NOT name Orange Live in its release, again, we own up to it and apologize for this mistake.


Police: Fourth Man Involved in Chip’s Melee Arrested

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Oct 232015

11990559_886593341394089_9055220024741356491_nOrange Police were working to contain a large disturbance at Chip’s Restaurant on Oct. 17 at 9:50 a.m. when a call came in regarding a different disturbance a short distance away near 130 Boston Post Road.

Officers responded to that scene and learned that Angel Hernandez, 22, of 269 Pearl St, Bridgeport was part of the original group that caused the incident at Chip’s.

He had left the previous incident during the commotion and walked away along Route One, where he eventually got into an argument with his companion and twice almost pushed her into traffic.

Hernandez was charged with second-degree breach of peace. He was released after posting $1,000 bond for court Oct. 19.


Are YOU Prepared For Emergencies? The Town Of Orange Is…

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Oct 212015

The meeting room at the Orange PD is the Emergency Operations Center for Orange.

The meeting room at the Orange PD is the Emergency Operations Center for Orange.

The Town of Orange Emergency Management Advisory Committee participated in the Statewide Emergency Planning and Preparedness Drill today.

Resources from all Town Department’s were at the Town’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Police Headquarters receiving direction from State Officials.

This annual event tested critical systems that would be used during a real emergency, including hurricanes and blizzards when the emergency shelter would open to residents.

The Town’s EOC has been activated previously for weather events and police incidents.

Police: Orange Resident Charged Following Disturbance Complaint

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Oct 212015

12088219_886606021392821_4038340785194964293_nOfficers responded to a private residence on Timberland Drive regarding a disturbance on Oct. 19 at 9:57 p.m.  

Investigation revealed that John Conti, 60, of 376 Timberlane Drive had gotten into an altercation with another person inside the residence.

During this altercation, the complainant was holding her baby. Conti reportedly attempted to physically take the baby away from the mother by force. The mother resisted and called police for assistance.

Police dispatch told the complainant to remove herself and the baby from the residence and meet officers outside on the lawn, but Conti blocked her from leaving. Officers subsequently took him into custody and he was charged with disorderly conduct and risk of injury to a minor.

He was released on a promise to appear in court Oct. 20.


The Orange Police posted this on its Facebook Page.