It’s that time of year again, people have already begun lighting up fireworks across the state, as the Fourth of July approaches, fireworks vendors are beginning to sell their wares.
We all look forward to the summer weather and celebrating the opportunity to be outdoors at picnics, barbecues, and other events. At many of these smaller than usual gatherings, the use of fireworks, both legal and illegal, is on the rise. When used legally and safely by professionals, fireworks can be enjoyed. Unfortunately, numerous incidents of injuries, fatalities, or accidental fires caused by the private use of fireworks are reported each year across the United States.
Several years ago, the State of Connecticut made it legal for any person sixteen (16) years of age or older to possess, sell, or use any sparkling device. The use of any type of sparkling device by a person under the age of 16 is illegal.
NO OTHER TYPES OF FIREWORKS ARE LEGAL UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC ACT 00-198! This includes, but is not limited to, devices known as “M-80’s,” “Cherry Bombs,” “Bottle Rockets,” and any device that is explosive or aerial such as ground displays or roman candles. While the use of sparkling devices is legal in Connecticut, they can be dangerous if not used properly.
The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office asks that you remember the following safety guidelines.
• When handling a sparkling device, wear protective goggles and gloves. Sparklers can reach temperatures of up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit once they are lit and many burns and eye injuries have been reported as a result of improper use.
• Do not use ANY open flame devices when dry ground conditions are present. The Fire Danger Level is available at their website, www.orangefiremarshal.com or by calling the Fire Marshal’s Office at 203-891-4711.
• Be aware of your surroundings. Be sure others are a safe distance away before igniting any sparkling device.
• DO NOT ALLOW CHILDREN TO HANDLE ANY TYPE OF SPARKLING DEVICE.
• Always have a source of extinguishment. A garden hose or fire extinguisher can quickly put out a small fire before it gets out of control, only if it is close by. Anytime there is a fire or other emergency, do not hesitate to call 911. A delay in a call can make a tragic difference in the outcome.
The local and state fire officials want everyone to enjoy the summer season. Please keep these tips in mind to ensure that it is a safe one. If you would like more information, call the Orange Fire Marshal’s Office Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at 203-891-4711.
Daylight Savings Time, Farmers Hours, Waking up earlier in the morning than what our bodies have become accustomed to.
A time when depression rates are statistically higher and on the other side of the spectrum: it’s the time when people reacquaint themselves with Mother Nature, start exercising and feel better about themselves.
Daylight Savings Time (DST) begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 8.
Don’t know what you’re supposed to do? Remember this simple rule — Spring Forward; Fall Behind — So before you go to bed set your clocks ahead by 1 hour, (DVD players, Microwaves, cars, etc.) which means you get 1 hour less sleep in the morning if you are on a schedule.
This is one of two times of the year that the Fire Marshal’s office reminds everyone to change the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
A Little Background
It was 54 years ago that Congress established the Uniform Time Act of 1966 that stated DST would begin on the last Sunday of April and end on the last Sunday of October. However, states still had the ability to be exempt from DST by passing a local ordinance.
In 1973 DST saved the equivalent in energy of 10,000 barrels of oil each day, but DST still proved to be controversial. Many complained that the dark winter mornings endangered the lives of children going to school.
The DST schedule in the US was revised several times throughout the years.
The current schedule began in 2007 and follows the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which extended the period by about one month where DST starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.
The Orange Volunteer Fire Department has been busy recently with carbon monoxide calls around town. Early Monday morning an alarm went off and the family could not be reached by phone, which is a frightening scenario for the dispatcher and first responders who aren’t sure what they will encounter. In this case, the family did make it out of the house after the OVFD arrived.
The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges the community to be aware of the important facts and safety information regarding Carbon Monoxide.Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a serious threat that people need to get informed about.
By educating ourselves on the dangers of carbon monoxide, we can significantly reduce the health risk, as well as save lives. So in response to many of the questions that the Fire Marshal’s Office has received, we have decided to include this article to help you and your families stay safe.
HOW DOES CARBON MONOXIDE HARM YOU?
Carbon monoxide is harmful when breathed because it attaches to the hemoglobin, which is the part of the blood that carries the oxygen to the brain, heart, and other vital organs. By attaching itself to the hemoglobin, the carbon monoxide displaces the oxygen, thus depriving your body of much needed oxygen. Large amounts of carbon monoxide can overcome you in minutes without warning, causing you to lose consciousness and suffocate.
WHAT IS CARBON MONOXIDE?
Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that is a product of combustion. The carbon monoxide produced while using fuel-fired equipment is usually not harmful. Normally, increased carbon monoxide levels in homes are caused by faulty heating equipment, poor maintenance of exhaust systems, or something as simple as allowing your vehicle to warm up in your garage during those cold winter days. How can you reduce the opportunity for increased levels of carbon monoxide in your home? It’s simple. Follow these preventative measures to ensure your family will not suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning:
- • At the beginning of every heating season, be sure to have your fuel burning equipment such as your oil or gas fired furnaces, water heaters, oven ranges and stoves, clothes dryers, fire places and wood stoves inspected by certified technicians.
- • Have you flues and chimneys checked for any buildup of creosote or blockage of the chimney.
- • Be sure to maintain all your fuel-fired equipment as described by the manufacturer’s specifications.
- • NEVER leave your car running in an attached garage. The vapors from the vehicle’s exhaust could increase the level of carbon monoxide in your home dramatically in a matter of minutes!
- • NEVER use a gas stove to heat your home in the event of a power failure or heating equipment failure.
- • NEVER use charcoal or propane grills indoors. Not only does this pose an extreme carbon monoxide hazard, it is also a severe fire hazard as well.
- • Think safety first when considering the use of alternative heating, such as space heaters. Make sure the space heater is far away from combustible materials at a minimum of three to four feet. If using fuel fired space heaters, never sleep in a room without proper ventilation. Make sure that all fuel-fired space heaters are equipped with oxygen depletion sensors.
- • Do not use gasoline-powered equipment in enclosed areas of the home. Such engines create a mass amount of carbon monoxide.
- • Install carbon monoxide detectors as you would smoke detectors. It is recommended that you should have a carbon monoxide detector on every level of the home, as well as in all sleeping areas. When installing your carbon monoxide detectors, be sure not to install them within five feet of any fuel burning equipment. Make it a point to install these live saving alarms. They will not work if they stay in the package on your workbench!
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING
Because carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas, it is not always immediately evident when it has become a problem. All too often, people who have mild or moderate problems with carbon monoxide will find they feel sick while they spend time at home.
When venturing out into the fresh air, they will begin to feel much better but will have re-occurring symptoms shortly after returning to their home. People who are most susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide are infants, elderly residents, those family members who suffer from respiratory or heart disease, or anemia, and women who are pregnant must take special care. However, nobody is immune to the effects of carbon monoxide. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include the following:
- Physical Symptoms: Headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, joint pain, chronic fatigue, dizziness, numbness, tingling, vertigo
- Cognitive/Memory Impairments: attention problems, multi-tasking problems, word-finding problems, short-term memory loss, verbal and/or visual deficits
- Affective Disorders (Emotional/Personality Effects): irritability, anxiety, lack of motivation, temper, loss of interest, sleep disturbance
- Sensory and Motor Disorders: blurred vision, double vision, buzzing in the ears, decreased coordination, speaking, eating, and swallowing disorders
- Gross Neurological Disorders: Seizures, inability to speak, balance problems, tremors
WHAT TO DO IN THE EVENT OF A CARBON MONOXIDE EMERGENCY:
Should you or a family member suspect that there may be an increased level of carbon monoxide in your home, or you have installed the recommended carbon monoxide alarms in your residence and they begin to go into alarm, follow these simple steps to help resolve the problem:
- First and foremost, CALL 9-1-1! This important step will allow trained first responders with the equipment needed to protect you and your family to investigate the possible presence of carbon monoxide. DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL THIS EMERGENCY NUMBER! Many times, calls will be made directly to a volunteer firehouse, which will delay the response of emergency personnel. After asking the caller why they did not decide to call 9-1-1, more often they state that they did not think this type of situation is what they would consider as an emergency that warranted such a call, when in reality it is!
- Get any suspected victim into fresh air immediately!
- If you can not get the victim out of the house, open all of the windows and doors to allow fresh air into the home. Be sure to turn off any fuel-fired appliances.
- Those persons who have been exposed to elevated levels of carbon monoxide should be taken to the closest hospital as soon as possible. A simple blood test will determine the amount of carbon monoxide in the bloodstream.
Should you have any questions pertaining to this matter, you may contact the Orange Fire Marshal’s Office at (203) 891-4700. The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office also has a website, which you can find information about this and many other fire related topics. You can visit the website by going to www.orangefiremarshal.com.
Fire Marshal Tim Smith urges all residents to install a carbon monoxide detector in their home, and the Fire Marshal’s office gives them out for free. If you don’t have one, call the Smith at the number above to see if his office has any more available.
Sunday, Nov. 3 marks the end of Daylight Savings Time.
Don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour at 2 a.m. Not just alarm clocks, microwaves, toaster ovens, DVD Player, Car radios, et al.
This also is the perfect time to check and change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Watch out, Bus drivers are keeping an eye out and police responding to complaints of drivers who do not comply with the laws regarding stopping for stopped school buses.
If you pass a bus, a camera will take a picture of your vehicle and you will get a summons.
From the State Website the whole story, including fines:
You want to know the legislative history of the act requiring police, on receipt of a written complaint from a school bus driver, to issue a written warning or summons to a motor vehicle owner for illegally passing a stopped school bus.
For your information, we also have appended a chart showing the disposition of cases in which vehicles failed to stop for a school bus from 2007 through 2011, according to figures provided by the Judicial Branch. We were unable to determine how many of these cases were based on a bus driver’s written report. Representatives of the Chief State’s Attorney’s office and the Judicial Branch said the state does not track those numbers.
A motor vehicle cannot pass a stopped school bus displaying flashing red signal lights but must stop at least 10 feet before or behind such a bus (CGS § 14-279). Under the law, police must issue a written warning or a summons to the owner of a vehicle who illegally passes a school bus “upon a written report from any school bus operator…specifying the license plate number, color and type of any vehicle” the bus driver sees violating the law. The driver’s report must also note the date, approximate time, and location of the violation.
A provision allowing police to issue a written warning to a vehicle owner on receiving a bus driver’s written report was enacted in 1985 (PA 85-71, originating as HB 5749). The act also allowed anyone over age 18 to submit such a written report.
The Transportation Committee held a hearing on HB 5749 on February 4, 1985. Several people testified in support of the provision, arguing there was insufficient enforcement of the school bus passing law. A Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) representative spoke against the bill.
Sharon Ward, school transportation safety director for a school bus contractor, said: “the statute must be changed so that local police and state troopers are required to make arrests when drivers give an adequate amount of information…the marker number, the color and make of the car.”
Another witness, Robin Leeds, executive director of the Connecticut School Transportation Association, said the bill “represents an attempt to address the most serious problem in school transportation, the danger in the unloading zones. Not only do all our fatalities occur here, but our most severe injuries as well. Already this winter, we have seen at least five children hit and seriously injured by motorists who did not stop for the flashing red lights of the school bus. In two of those instances, the motorist said to the officer…I didn’t know I was supposed to stop.”
“It is safe to assume,” she continued, “that those motorists had passed a school bus before. If their license numbers had been turned in by a bus driver and accepted by a policeman…who then sent a written warning…they would have known they were supposed to stop before they hit the children.” She said 20 states already had similar laws.
John O’Connell, DMV’s public transportation administrator, opposed the bill, saying the department had “some…concerns regarding the question of constitutionality and an abuse of such a statute about drivers picking up the plate numbers…”
The House of Representatives considered the bill on April 10, 1985, and passed it after amending it by voice vote to allow, rather than require, police to issue a written warning on receipt of a bus driver’s written report (LCO # 5478).
Speaking in support of the amended bill, Representative Wilber said “the feeling of the [transportation] committee was that most people do not pass school buses intentionally, but they do it forgetfully, and if a warning is issued, they probably will not do it again, or not so likely to do it again.”
Representative Frankel opposed the bill, saying its “fatal flaw” was that it was directed at vehicle owners, rather than the person driving the vehicle when the violation occurred. But Representative Ward, arguing for the bill, said school bus drivers “faced…a dilemma. They see a vehicle pass them illegally…They do not know who the operator is, but they clearly can get a marker number.”
“Nothing in this bill prevents a ticket if you know who was the driver,” Ward said. “It takes the extra step, however, of allowing a warning to the owner of a vehicle when you cannot identify the operator.”
The House passed the amended bill by a 117 to 32 vote.
The Senate debate occurred on April 17, 1985. Senator Giulietti opposed the measure, saying it did not “really have any teeth” because it allowed, rather than required, police to issue a warning. He also objected to “making school bus drivers or any other person over 18…policemen.” Senator Consoli also objected to giving “non-police personnel” the authority to make a complaint in these cases.
Senator Morano, speaking on behalf of the bill, argued that “any tool…to teach people not to go racing by stopped school buses would be good legislation.” Senator DiBella, also speaking on behalf of the bill, said it would allow a policeman “to issue a warning without being on the scene.”
The Senate passed the bill, as amended by the House, by a vote of 30 to 3.
SUBSEQUENT CHANGES TO THE LAW
PA 85-71 was codified in CGS § 14-279. The statute has since been amended several times, as follows (excluding technical changes):
PA 86-155 changed the law by (1) explicitly requiring vehicles to stop for stopped school buses displaying flashing red signal lights on any highway, private road, parking area, or school property; (2) eliminating the ability of “other persons 18 years of age or over” to submit written reports of vehicles failing to stop; and (3) requiring, rather than allowing, a police officer to issue either a written warning or summons on receiving a school bus driver’s written report.
PA 01-192 expressly required emergency vehicles, such as fire department and police vehicles, to stop at least 10 feet from a school bus displaying flashing red signal lights.
PA 11-255 replaced the fine for the first offense of between $100 and $500 with a $450 fine and allowed video evidence of failing to stop for a school bus.
Does anyone remember the events following Independence Day 2012 when a couple of dogs went missing after they fled from their yards in search of safety after fireworks went off nearby?
One of those pets was found about 1/2 mile away by neighbors who read the owner’s plea, the other, sadly, two years later was still missing.
Here is a message that the late Jon Nowinski shared with us in 2017.
While this isn’t really an “event” we have created this as a reminder and resource for everyone over the next week. As July 4th celebrations begin, it is important to be aware that firework displays can not only scare pets, but can also harm their sensitive ears.
Did you know that the time around July 4th is the highest time that pets go missing from homes? Not only because of the fireworks, but because of backyard picnics and events where people may forget to close the doors, lock the gates, and assure that their pets are safe.
Luckily there are some simple things you can do to make sure your pets aren’t scared and stay safe during this time.
According to behavior specialist Dr. Elizabeth Shull, low-frequency, percussive noises such as fireworks and summer thunderstorms trigger wild fear in about 20% of dogs. Even dogs that don’t usually react to loud noises may react differently to sounds such as fireworks.
One of the best things is to create a “quiet space” for your pets. Find a quiet, secure, room to keep your pets in. Consider turning on a TV or a radio to help drown out the noise from the fireworks. Put items such as toys, even extra food, in the room to distract the pet during the event.
And most importantly, in the event that your pet does get loose, always make sure they can be identified by collar, tag, and microchip! Make sure you have all that information handy, and frequently check on your pets to make sure you know where they are. If you have friends coming over, remind them that you have pets in the house that may be scared or skittish, and to make sure they close doors properly when going outside.
Tonight, don’t forget to set your clocks (TV, Stove, Microwave, Car, etc) forward one hour before you go to bed. Also, don’t forget to change the batteries in your smoke detectors and Carbon Monoxide detectors.
So, you lose an hour’s sleep, and that may throw you off for a day or two. BUT, the sun will rise at 7:16 a.m. and set at 6:57 p.m. on Sunday and it is supposed to be a nice day with temperatures near 60.
Did you know?: The Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended Daylight Saving Time in the U.S. beginning in 2007, though Congress retained the right to revert to the 1986 law should the change prove unpopular or if energy savings are not significant. Going from 2007 forward, Daylight Saving Time in the U.S.
- begins at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday of March and
- ends at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday of November
Most of us will feel the pain of shoveling 1, 2 or 3- feet of heavy white stuff, mainly because we don’t use the proper technique.
Here is what you should know:
• Feet should be kept wide apart. Weight should be placed on the front foot close to the shovel. Use your leg to push the shovel straight ahead.
• Shift weight to your rear foot with the load of snow close to your body. Lift the load with the power of your legs and arms.
• Shift your body in the direction of the snow instead of twisting your waist.
The answer is simple — fairly.
I will post information about candidates, issues, and events as they are submitted as long as it is not an attack piece on an opponent.
If there happens to be more information about one party than another, it is simply that one side has a better publicity person than the other.
Note: In a past state election, I got some grief from a reader who believed I was taking sides by running one candidate’s press releases and nothing from another candidate. This was because HER camp sent me press releases and HIS didn’t. I do not go out looking for political commentary.
I will not be endorsing local candidates on Orange Live but I will do profiles of the key candidates. I do not attend political fundraisers, simply because if I can make it to one, but am busy during the other party’s event I will be accused of choosing sides. I will though, accept a well-composed photo from these events and publish them.
If I request a candidate’s profile information or photograph, please send it to me as soon as possible to email@example.com.
However, I will not run anything that resembles negative campaigning on Orange Live. Some may call that censorship — but I believe that candidates need to run on their own merits, and I plan to allow my readers to learn about the candidates without the mudslinging that will be found on many other news media outlets.
Orange Live readers know that I don’t allow comments on the website, but comments may be posted on our Facebook page. BUT If I notice people attacking or insulting others I will remove the negative comments, so, it’s simple, be kind. We DO have many young people who follow Orange Live and we will not be a party to exposing them to political negativity. Be civil. Praise your own candidate, but do not post anything ugly about their opponent on any Orange Live related pages.
Just as I do not step up to the voting table with you and help you fill in the circles on your ballot, I will let YOU decide who the best candidate is for YOU and your family.
I will go to the polls, take photos of Democrats, Republicans, and Independent candidates and try to have an equal amount of photographs from both sides (After 20 years of covering Orange, I know that some people actually count images and judge) and finally, I will get the results up online ASAP.
… and that is my political coverage policy.
This policy has been in place for 6 years and will never change.