From The Fire Marshal’s Office: Fire Safety Guidelines

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Oct 312014

thecrewfire marshal's office staff.jpgFall has arrived and residents are preparing their homes for the winter season, both indoors and outside.  The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office would like to remind you of some important fire safety guidelines.

First and foremost, OPEN BURNING OF DEBRIS IS NOT PERMITTED IN THE TOWN OF ORANGE.  Smoke, flying embers and a fire spreading out of control are just a few of the fire and safety concerns.  In addition, open burning is a violation of the Connecticut Clean Air Act.  Our office understands that this may be an inconvenience and appreciates your cooperation.  

The end of 2014 daylight savings time, November 2, is a reminder to replace smoke alarm batteries. This is a simple step that only takes a few minutes. Many people believe they will smell smoke, but poisonous gases and smoke can numb the senses, especially when asleep. An alarm will alert occupants and allow for an escape.  Early notification of a fire can save lives  and property. 

In 2013, according to statistics gathered by the National Fire Prevention Association from public fire departments, 76% of all structure fires, 85% of fire deaths and $6.8 billion of property loss occurred in homes. If an alarm “chirps” to indicate a low battery, change it immediately. Test smoke alarms every month by using the test button or an approved smoke substitute.  Do not use an open flame device. 

Install new smoke alarms after 10 years to protect against failure even though the alarm may work when tested.  The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office Community Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Program will provide and install alarms free of charge to Orange residents. If you wish to have smoke alarms and/or carbon monoxide alarms provided and/or installed in your home, please contact The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office, 355 Boston Post Road, at (203) 891-4711 on Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or visit the website at www.orangefiremarshal.com

   A new season is the ideal time to tour the home and yard for dangerous materials and unsafe conditions and to correct all problem areas. Check each room, including the attic and basement for clutter, such as stacks of old newspapers or magazines, empty boxes, broken or obsolete appliances and furniture.  If a fire should occur in your home, the clutter, “Food for a Fire”, would provide material to be consumed and help to spread the fire.  It could also block or hinder your escape, as well as the path of firefighters.

Remove all hazards.  Replace or fix frayed or damaged appliance cords, wiring, fuses and breakers. Check for water leaks, especially near electrical appliances. Properly store flammable liquids and chemicals in a cool, dry place.  Be sure items are well marked and out of the reach of children and pets.  Store gasoline only in approved containers outside the home – NEVER inside. Be sure there is clearance between combustibles and heating appliances and other heat or ignition sources.

Clean up work areas.  Put tools, adhesives, matches and other work items away.  Walk around the lawn and remove sticks, tree branches, stones and other debris that could cause injury.  Clean leaves and needles from gutters and cellar windows. Remove any limbs that overhang the roof or chimney. Keep a fire safe zone around the house.  Prune away limbs and trees along driveways that would prevent easy access for fire trucks or ambulances.

Clearly mark your home. Be sure the house number is visible from the street.  Numbers should be no less than three inches in height and located on the top, bottom or side of the main entrance, as well as on both sides of the mailbox.

Have and practice an escape plan.  Know two ways out of every room. Be sure windows can be opened easily.  Designate a place for family members to meet outside.

For any questions regarding fire safety or prevention, please contact The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office at (203) 891-4711.