Orange Middle School Students Participate In Government Day

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Oct 182019

On Wednesday, October 16, students from Amity Middle School in Orange worked in the government offices for the town of Orange. From the 55 essays submitted to the contest, 17 students were chosen to participate.

Eighth-grade social studies teacher, Jennifer Marganski, has coordinated this annual event for the past few years.  “Seventh and eighth-graders were able to learn from Town Clerk, Pat O’Sullivan, how our democracy is an evolutionary process and that local government allows us to do collectively what we cannot do alone,” Marganski stated.

Jillian Barnes, an eighth-grader, said, “It was a fun and educational experience.  I would recommend it to other students.”  Eighth-grader, Raegan French, said, “I drive by the community center every day, and I never knew all the work that goes on inside [until participating in Government Day].”  Furthermore, eighth-grader, Andie Napolitano, said, “Everybody [at the library] was so kind; and I loved every moment of it, especially when I got to help out with the kids.”  Finally, eighth-grader, Taylor Thomas said, “It was fun!”  That seemed to be the overriding sentiment for the day; everyone enjoyed the experience.

Students also met with First Selectmen Jim Zeoli before spending time in their designated positions.  He explained that each department in local government is valuable; and together the departments create the town, of which the school is a vital part.

After spending the morning in their positions, the Student Council at Amity Middle School in Orange treated the students to lunch at Chip’s Family Restaurant.  Students were very grateful for the opportunity to shadow local leaders and spend the day actively learning about their town.

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.

Carbon Monoxide: The Invisible Killer

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Dec 112012

The Orange Fire Department responded to a CO detector call on Saturday.

From the Orange Fire Marshal’s Office, a press release about the dangers of carbon monoxide originating from FEMA.

Each year in America, more than 150 people die from accidental non-fire related carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning associated with consumer products. These products include faulty, improperly-used or incorrectly-vented fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, stoves, water heaters and fireplaces. Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) would like you to know that there are simple steps you can take to protect yourself from deadly carbon monoxide fumes.

Understanding the Risk

What is carbon monoxide?
CO, often called “the silent killer,” is a gas you cannot see, taste, or smell. It can be created when fossil fuels, such as kerosene, gasoline, coal, natural gas, propane, methane or wood do not burn properly.
Where does carbon monoxide come from?
CO poisoning can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers or cars left running in garages.
What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?
Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, nausea and drowsiness. Exposure to undetected high levels of carbon monoxide can be fatal.

CO Alarm Installation

  • Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Install and maintain CO alarms inside your home to provide early warning of carbon monoxide.
  • CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each separate sleeping area, on every level of the home, and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, have CO alarms that are interconnected throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.
  • Combination smoke-CO alarms must be installed in accordance with requirements for smoke alarms.
  • CO alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms and vice versa. Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and the sound of CO alarms.

CO Alarms: Testing and Replacement

  • Test CO alarms at least once a month and replace them if they fail to respond correctly when tested. The sensors in CO alarms have a limited life. Replace the CO alarm according to manufacturer’s instructions or when the end-of-life signal sounds.
  • Know the difference between the sound of the CO alarm and the smoke alarm, and their low-battery signals. If the audible low battery signal sounds, replace the batteries or replace the device. If the CO alarm still sounds, get to a fresh air location and call 9-1-1 or the fire department.
  • To keep CO alarms working well, follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning.

CO Precautions

  • Have fuel-burning heating equipment (fireplaces, furnaces, water heaters, wood stoves, coal stoves, space heaters and portable heaters) and chimneys inspected by a professional every year.
  • Open the damper for proper ventilation before using a fireplace.
  • Never use your oven or stovetop to heat your home. The CO gas might kill people and pets.
  • When purchasing new heating and cooking equipment, select products tested and labeled by a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Make sure all fuel-burning vented equipment is vented to the outside to avoid CO poisoning. Keep the venting for exhaust clear and unblocked.
  • If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not blocked with snow, ice or other materials. The CO gas might kill people and pets.
  • Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris.
  • Only use barbecue grills outside, away from all doors, windows, vents and other building openings. Some grills can produce CO gas. Never use grills inside the home or the garage, even if the doors are open.
  • Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from all doors, windows, vents and other building openings to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the home.

If Your CO Alarm Sounds

  • Immediately move to a fresh air location (outdoors or by an open window or door). Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the fire department from a fresh air location (outdoors or by an open window). Remain at a fresh air location until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.


The family in this case got out of their home and waited outside for firefighters to arrive.

Smoke Detector Call Was No False Alarm

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Sep 302012

Orange Volunteer Firefighters ventilate a home on Grannis Road.

On Saturday, Sept. 29, the Orange Volunteer Fire Department was busy traveling from point to point across town, responding to calls for activated smoke alarms, fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

After steam from a shower set off a smoke detector and smoke from cooking caused another alarm to go off, firefighters received a call on Grannis Road around 12:30 p.m.

The two story home was occupied by an elderly couple and three dogs, the chilly fall-like temperatures led them to light a fire in the fireplace to warm the house a bit.

According to Fire Marshal Tim Smith the damper in the fireplace was broken and although the homeowner opened it before lighting the fire , the flue was actually closed and the house began to fill with smoke.

“The smoke alarm did its job and went off, alerting the fire department before the residents even had a chance to dial the phone,” he said. “There was a high carbon monoxide level inside the house when firefighters arrived and Medic 33 was called to evaluate the occupants.”

No one, human or canine was injured in this incident.

The Volunteer firefighters used large fans to ventilate the home and checked for CO levels throughout the house to make sure it was safe for the family before they returned to the fire stations.

No Smoke Trailer, But Orange Fire Department Has A Really Hot Demo Item This Year

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Sep 142012

A file photo from the simulator company.

Each year, hundreds of visitors check out the smoke trailer on display in the Orange Volunteer Fire Department’s area of the Orange Country Fair.

The trailer fills up with theatrical smoke and a representative from the fire marshal’s office teaches children and adults how to react and save themselves in a smoke-filled room.

This weekend there will be no smoke trailer, but Fire Marshal Tim Smith is confident everyone will enjoy the virtual fire extinguisher training simulator.

Many people have fire extinguishers in their homes — the question is, do they know how to use one?

Even firefighters have to learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher, and as part of the fire marshal’s public education duties, the virtual fire extinguisher simulator will make their job quite a bit easier.

“We’ll be able to teach the proper technique without having to build a fire in a barrel,” Smith said. “This equipment can go anywhere, schools, the community center, library, public events, and it’s perfectly safe and very effective and there’s no mess associated with chemical extinguishers.”

There is more to using a fire extinguisher than pointing it and pulling the trigger. One must know how to aim and sweep the extinguisher in order to put out a fire.

Smith explained that the realistic digital flames respond like an actual fire would.

“If you aim and sweep properly, the flames react and go lower, as would a real fire,” he said. “But if you aren’t hitting it right, the flames shoot up again.”

The trainer can choose a class A, B, or C fire at different levels of difficulty and the trainees must pay attention and change their technique accordingly.

For example, “when set to Class B, the flames quickly flash back up if the trainee doesn’t sweep quickly enough. Class A fires are more likely to rekindle after the initial extinguishment,” according to the company website.

So look for the fire department/police department/CERT/Emergency Management corner and have some fun with fire extinguishers and maybe even learn a new skill.