Orange CERT Hosts Important Safety Course for First Responders

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Mar 292015

Speaker Warren Rogers

Speaker Warren Rogers

The Orange Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) recently hosted a training session for fellow Orange, Bethany, New Haven, and Hamden CERT members at the High Plains Community Center.

More than 60 volunteers attended the session entitled “Electrical Hazard Safety for First Responders” presented by Warren Rogers, of Eversource (CL&P) from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Rogers runs the class on his own time and expense for all first responders, including CERT members, Police, Fire, EMS. It’s also good for anyone in the household.

Orange CERT members Annie Davis and Jamie Buck attended a previous session and immediately decided they needed to have him come down to this area.

The session was very informative and well received.  It instructed everyone on how electricity is delivered from the very first source to where we flip a switch and our lights turn on, etc.

Most important instruction was how to be safe while on duty doing their jobs, etc. During storms, motor vehicle accidents, anywhere where the electrical wires etc. are compromised, how to deal with all of that safely.

What to do, and what NOT to do.

For example, did you know that if a wire is “hot” (charged) and falls on a guardrail the entire guardrail becomes electrified – even if it is 60 feet or more down the road from the source?

If you or someone else is in an accident and wires are lying on the car — everyone should stay inside the vehicle — and everyone outside the vehicle should stay away until the utility company turns the power off.

Before using a generator, make sure it is hooked up properly by someone who knows what they are doing. There are consequences to having an improperly installed generator.

Never walk near a downed wire — or in water that the wire is touching.

Rogers is a phenomenal, animated speaker and would be a great guest for police, fire, even senior groups.

Thursday Police Briefing: Restoration Continues, Safety Reiterated, Extended Dump Hours

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Nov 012012

UI and Highway Department trucks out on the road Thursday afternoon.

Town Highway and UI continue to work together to restore power.  UI reports that restoration will begin on Friday.  There may be periods of outages while power is being restored.  Travel can still be difficult.  Be aware of low hanging wires and branches. Use caution at intersections as traffic controls may be out.  Report new power outages to UI at 1-800-722-5584.

Continue to use generators in a safe manner.  Generators should be at least 20 feet from the home.  They should not be covered. They should never be used indoors or in open garages.  Residents should not overload the generator with extension cords.  Cords can become hot and cause a fire.   Residents on generator power can cause damage to power lines if the main switch in their home is not off.

Residents should use extreme caution when using chainsaws or other tree clearing tools.  Always be aware of wires and other people when clearing debris. Trees may have been weakened by the storm and can fall when working beneath.

Perishable food left unrefrigerated for an extended time should be discarded as it may be unsafe to eat.

Dump hours have been extended to Sunday 830 to 430 for leaves and storm debris.  The Public Works Department will pick up storm debris cut to 6-8 foot lengths at curbside through middle of November.

The Emergency Shelter at High Plains Community Center is open.  Showers and Charging stations are available 24 hours a day.  Residents should bring their own toiletries, bedding and medications.  Pets are welcome.

Residents can elect to receive these messages via cell phone, text or email by visiting ctalert.gov.

Please be safe during this recovery period.

Do You Know How To Use Your Generator and ALL The Potential Dangers?

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Oct 262012

The National Fire Protection Association presents this information to anyone using a generator, or planning on purchasing a generator for the upcoming hurricane and/or other power emergencies.

Downed utility lines, power company blackouts, heavy snow falls or summer storms can all lead to power outages. Many people turn to a portable generator for a temporary solution without knowing the risks.
• Generators should be used in well ventilated locations outside away from all doors, windows and vent openings.
• Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open.
• Place generators so that exhaust fumes can’t enter the home through windows, doors or other openings in the building.
• Make sure to install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for correct placement and mounting height.
• Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling. Never refuel a generator while it is running.

It’s important to remember…
• When plugging in appliances, make sure they are plugged directly into the generator or a heavy duty outdoor-rated extension cord. The cords should be checked for cuts, tears and that the plug has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin.
• If you must connect the generator to the house wiring to power appliances, have a qualified electrician install a properly rated transfer switch in accordance with the National Electrical Code® (NEC) and all applicable state and local electrical codes.

Carbon monoxide deaths have spiked in recent years as generator sales have risen.

Store fuel for the generator in a container that is intended for the purpose and is correctly labeled as such. Store the containers outside of living areas.

The United Illuminating Company offers this information on home generator safety:

Any home generator that plugs into your home’s wiring should be connected via a transfer switch by a licensed electrician. This ensures that when the generator is in use, house wiring is isolated from utility lines. Improper installation of generators can damage the generators, or create safety hazards for utility employees working on poles, or even the general public. If adding a natural gas-fired generator, consult your gas utility to ensure there is adequate pressure. Make sure exhaust is properly vented to reduce risk of carbon-monoxide poisoning.
•    Southern Connecticut Gas Company: 800-659-8299

As Always, do not hesitate to call 911 if your carbon monoxide detector activates. Get OUT of the house!