Students Help Orange Fire Marshal’s Office Make History

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Mar 012021

For as long as I can remember, the Orange Fire Marshal’s Office has engaged the town’s fourth and fifth-grade students in the state Fire Prevention Poster Contest.

If you haven’t heard of it, recently, It may be because of the disruption COVID-19 had on our lives, but, the town’s website carried a complete explanation of the whys and wherefores of the contest along with the specific rules. http://www.orange-ct.gov/803/Fire-Prevention-Poster-Contest

The contest is announced through the school system and, separate from any school work, the children have two months to work on their posters (Oct. 1 – Dec. 1).

For some towns this past year, the contest got lost in the shuffle with many schools on a remote learning schedule. But Orange wasn’t one of them. Fire Marshal Jamie Vincent said he received around 100 entries this year, from which two, one from a fourth-grader named Dasy from Racebrook and the other from a Turkey Hill fifth-grader named Avery were chosen and submitted to the County Representatives for the New Haven County judging process.

The Orange judges liked these two for their clear messages, excellent artwork, vivid colors, and the imagination and care that went into the work. It was clear that both girls love drawing and their posters contained all the required bullet points, which could result in winning the state competition.

Daisy said she was inspired by the message “Don’t hide, go outside” which is an important thing to remember if your home is on fire.

She said she loves drawing and making the poster was so much fun.

Avery’s drawing featured a cat stuck in a tree during a violent brush fire while a firefighter battles the blaze. A replica of her poster can be seen attached to the tree.

The detailed posters are both easily reproducible, for any and all future use by the State Fire Marshal’s office.

So, how did the girls help the OFM make history? In past years, Orange has had winning County posters, but it has never had two in the same year.

As the county winners, the girls each would receive a $150 prize. Locally, though they were bestowed with gifts from the OFM, Vincent presented each one with a gift certificate from Hobby Lobby and the OVFD gave each a certificate entitling them to a ride to school on a fire truck.

Congratulations Daisy and Avery. I wish you the best of luck in the State Competition.


Fire Marshal’s Office Shares Grilling Tips

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May 142020

The Orange Fire Marshal’s office shared this information from the NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association):

While there will likely be fewer gatherings with family and friends this Memorial Day in response to COVID-19, many observances of the holiday this year will likely continue to involve outdoor grilling. Plus, as more people continue to cook at home in the warmer months ahead, many of them will turn to their outdoor grills to prepare and enjoy meals.

These factors contribute to an increased risk of home grilling fires. In response, NFPA is reminding everyone to follow basic grilling safety precautions over Memorial Day weekend and beyond.

According to NFPA data, cooking equipment is the leading cause of U.S. home fires overall, annually contributing to nearly half (49 percent) of all home fires. NFPA estimates show that between 2014 and 2018, an annual average of 10,600 home fires involving grills, hibachis, or barbecues, which resulted in 10 civilian deaths, 160 civilian injuries, and $149 million in direct property damage.

Gas grills were involved in an average of 8,900 home fires per year, including 3,900 structure fires and 4,900 outdoor fires annually. Leaks or breaks were primarily a problem with gas grills.

July is the peak month for grilling fires, followed by June, May, and August.

NFPA offers these tips and recommendations for enjoying a fire-safe grilling season:

• For propane grills, check the gas tank for leaks before use. (Watch NFPA’s video on how to check for leaks.)

• Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat build-up from the grills and in trays below the grill.

• Place the grill well away from the home, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

• Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.

• Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grilling area.

• If you use starter fluid when charcoal grilling, only use charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. When you have finished grilling, let the coals cool completely before disposing of them in a metal container.

• Never leave your grill unattended when in use.

Best wishes to everyone for a happy, safe Memorial Day weekend!

Annual Health And Safety Fair Today

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Sep 272019

file photo

The 18th Annual Health and Safety Fair will take place on Friday, September 27, from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

Admission is free.

Vendors representing all sorts of agencies will be on hand to give out information about products and services that benefit older adults.

There will be raffle prizes and refreshments.

For more information call 203-891-4784.

Droning On In Orange: Fire And Police Train On A Valuable Tool

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Jul 132017

On Thursday, July 13, the Orange Fire Department hosted police and fire personnel from across the state in a special flight training program.

More than a dozen students participated in classroom and hands-on drone operation training. Experts were brought in to teach the class, which will culminate in a required Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) exam.

The men learned the ins and outs of drones and how to fly them safely, but not for play — for use on the job and at emergency scenes.

The weather was a factor in Thursday’s scheduled training, which was split between the air-conditioned room at Station 2 and out in the thick humidity at the Old Tavern Park baseball fields, where 3-4 drones could be flown at once before the rain began to fall.

Orange Fire Marshal Tim Smith said his office acquired a drone about a month ago utilizing grant money.

Drones have proved to be a valuable tool for fire departments, fire marshals’ offices, and police departments during emergency situations.

As a fire marshal, Smith said he can use the drone to fly over buildings to take aerial imagery for emergency planning to note what is on a roof, such as solar panels, HVAC systems, etc. In addition, they can fly over a large complex, such as a senior housing or shopping center and map out points of interest, including fire hydrants, sprinkler connections, and the locations of any hazardous tanks.

Drone operation also will be useful during fires and for fire investigations to get a different perspective that previously could only be done with a helicopter.

Smith said there are strict regulations in place for drone operation and on Friday, the class will be inside preparing to take the FAA Part 107 Airman’s exam.

Another class scheduled in the fall is already filled up, according to Smith.




Home Alone Presentation On June 20

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Jun 152016

kids-safetyOrange Youth Services is presenting a free Home Alone presentation for parents who would like to know Home Alone basics in order to prepare their children when they are left home alone.

Parents are invited to attend the presentation in the High Plains Community Center Cafeteria on Monday, June 20 from 7 to 8:30 p.m., which will include a question and answer segment as well.

Deputy Fire Marshal James Vincent will lead the presentation.

The event will cover items such as passwords, strangers, personal safety, playing outside, answering the door, and fire escape planning and options.

Refreshments will be served.

Don’t Forget To Clean Around Your Hydrant

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Jan 232016

For several years we’ve told you how important it is to completely clear any fire hydrant near your home.

This is not just to make it easy on the fire department in the event of a fire, but for you and your property.

The Fire Marshal’s office released this graphic to show you what an appropriate clearing entails.


Orange Fire Prevention Poster Contest Winners Announced

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Dec 222015

Mike Knight presents fifth grade poster winner with a certificate.

Mike Knight presents fifth grade poster winner with a certificate.

Today was a very special day for two young artists in Orange.

Orange Fire Inspector Mike Knight traveled to Peck Place School where two students who had participated in the annual Fire Prevention Poster Contest.

Both of this year’s winners hailed from Peck Place, fourth grader Matt and fifth grader Si Ru were chosen on the local level.

Knight presented both talented students with an award certificate and gift certificates from Outback Steakhouse and the new Monster Mini Golf.

Now, their posters will be submitted for judging in the New Haven County competition against other local cities and towns.

The winner of the fourth grade competition.

The winner of the fourth grade competition.

The winner of that competition will then be submitted to the State level.

Good Luck Matt and Si Ru!



Two Race Brook Students Produce Winning Fire Prevention Posters

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Feb 052015

Adele Bidon, principal Mike Gray, and Ariel Han at Race Brook School.

Adele Bidon, principal Mike Gray, and Ariel Han at Race Brook School.

Orange Fire Marshal, Tim Smith, has announced the community winners of the 2014 Connecticut Fire Prevention Poster Contest, a statewide competition for fourth and fifth graders which was held from October to December.

The contest is a cooperative effort of elementary school teachers and sponsors: The Connecticut Fire Marshals’ Association, Office of The State Fire Marshal, Connecticut Fire Chiefs’ Association, State Board of Education, Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection and The Connecticut FAIR Plan (representing the insurance industry). The 2014 theme was “Fire Prevention: Everyone/Everyday.”

About 30,000 children from over 130 communities designed and produced the posters. The winners from each county will be exhibited in locations

Ariel Han's winning poster

Ariel Han’s winning poster

throughout Connecticut, including the State Capitol. From these, one poster will be chosen to be reproduced and distributed as Connecticut’s 2015 poster to promote fire prevention within the state. 

Fire safety education is important as a means of preventing injuries, death and economic loss. The contest brings awareness to children, their parents and the community of ways to prevent fires and to reduce damage.

The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office is pleased to announce the local contest winners. They are Adele Bidon, 4th grade, and Ariel Han, 5th grade, students at Race Brook School. The Fire Marshal’s Office would like to thank the students, administrators and teachers from the Peck Place, Race Brook and Turkey Hill schools for their support and participation.

Adele Bidon's winning poster

Adele Bidon’s winning poster

Two important fire prevention measures are having and practicing a Home Escape Plan and installing smoke detectors.  A working detector cuts the risk of dying in a fire by one-half.

The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office Community Detector Program provides and installs 10 year lithium battery alarms and/or carbon dioxide alarms, free of charge to Orange residents. If you have questions regarding fire safety or wish to have alarms provided and/or installed, call The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office at (203) 891-4711, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Orange Fire Marshal Offers Dormitory Fire Safety Tips

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Aug 212014

Each year at this time, students are leaving home to attend colleges and universities. Often, these eager young people, many of whom are away from home for the first time, move into residences that can be hazardous to their health.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), September and October are the peak months for fires in college housing. Fires are most common in the evening hours between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. and on weekends. About 70% of reported fires begin in the kitchen or cooking areas with equipment causing three-quarters of these fires.

Bedroom fires caused 27% of injuries and 21% of property damage in about 7% of the total fires. There are several reasons for these fires, however most are due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention. Causes include arson, cooking and the lack of attention or the misuse of appliances, alcohol abuse which often impairs judgment and hampers evacuation efforts, careless smoking and the improper disposal of materials, the lack of automatic fire sprinklers, the incorrect use of 911 notification systems which delays an emergency response, apathy as many students are unaware that fire is a risk or a threat in the college environment, rescue efforts which are hindered when fire alarms are ignored, the delay of building evacuations due to the lack of preparation and preplanning, overloaded electrical circuits and extension cords, and vandalized or improperly maintained smoke detectors.

The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office offers the following information to help reduce and prevent the loss of life and property in university housing and off-campus fires. Look for fully sprinkled housing when choosing a dorm or off-campus housing since having a working smoke alarm more than doubles one’s chance of surviving a fire.

Be sure the dormitory or apartment has smoke alarms in each bedroom, outside all sleeping areas and on each floor. Test all alarms monthly and never remove batteries or disable alarms. Cook only where permitted and never leave a hot stove unattended. Perform a “home inspection” for cleanliness and for fire and safety hazards.

Check cushions on couches and chairs for smoldering cigarettes. Thoroughly extinguish and dispose of smoking materials. Keep candles 12 inches from anything that can burn and put out lit candles and incense when unattended.

Know two ways out of every room (including classrooms). Learn and practice the building’s evacuation plan. Be informed as to how to notify the fire or other emergency departments by using 911 or other local numbers.

If you’re caught in a fire situation, survival is the top priority. Feel the door handle and if it is not hot, open the door carefully and check for smoke or fire before leaving the area.

Do not hesitate to leave. Close the door as that may keep the fire from spreading. Do not take time to gather belongings or to stray from the exit route. Knock on doors and yell “FIRE”. Crawl low to the floor. Thick smoke can make it impossible to see and toxic chemicals can be deadly. Pull the fire alarm on the way out of the building.

Phone 911 when safe. If the handle is hot, do not open the door. Get someone’s attention by screaming and hanging a sheet from the window. Stay low to the floor to avoid poisonous gases. Call for help, if a telephone is available.

If you have any questions regarding fire safety, please contact The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office at 203-891-4711, Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 4:30, or visit Station #2 at 355 Boston Post Road. Smoke and CO alarms are available and free to Orange residents.

Fire Marshal Offers Safety Tips to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Emergencies

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Mar 142014

The Orange Fire Marshal's Office offers FREE smoke detectors and Carbon Monoxide detectors.

The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office offers FREE smoke detectors and Carbon Monoxide detectors.

The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office in cooperation with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges the community to be aware of the important facts and safety issues regarding carbon monoxide (CO). Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious threat.

We offer the following information to educate the public on the dangers of carbon monoxide in order to reduce the health risk, as well as to save lives.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless, toxic gas that is a product of combustion. The CO produced while using fuel-fired equipment is usually not harmful. However, increased carbon monoxide levels in homes are caused by faulty heating equipment, poor maintenance of exhaust systems, or something as simple as allowing a vehicle to warm up in an attached garage during cold winter days. Follow these preventative measures to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. At the beginning of every heating season, be sure to have fuel burning equipment such as oil or gas fired furnaces, fireplaces, and wood stoves inspected by certified technicians. Be sure appliances such as water heaters, oven ranges, and clothes dryers are working properly.

Check flues and chimneys for any buildup of creosote or blockage of the chimney. Maintain all fuel-fired equipment as described by the manufacturer’s specifications.

• NEVER leave a car running in an attached garage. The vapors from the vehicle’s exhaust could increase the level of carbon monoxide in a home in a matter of minutes!

• NEVER use a gas stove to heat a 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. The space heater should be placed at a minimum of three feet from any combustible object.

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.

Carbon monoxide is harmful when breathed because it attaches to hemoglobin, the part of the blood that carries oxygen to the brain, heart, and other vital organs. CO displaces the oxygen, thus depriving the body of this much needed element. Without warning, large amounts of CO can overcome a person in minutes, causing loss of consciousness and suffocation.

Because carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas, it is not always immediately evident when there is a problem. All too often, people who have mild or moderate problems with carbon monoxide find that they feel sick while they spend time at home, but when going outside begin to feel much better. Then, shortly after returning home, the symptoms reoccur.

People who are most susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide are infants, the elderly, those who suffer from respiratory or heart disease or are anemic and women who are pregnant. However, no one is immune to the effects of carbon monoxide. Some symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, nausea, vomiting, pain, chronic fatigue, dizziness, numbness, tingling, vertigo, verbal and/or visual deficits, irritability, anxiety, temper, blurred and double vision, buzzing in the ears, decreased coordination, speaking, eating, and swallowing disorders, seizures, inability to speak, balance problems and tremors.

Should you 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 the alarm sounds, follow these simple steps to help resolve the problem. First and foremost, leave the building!

CALL 9-1-1 This important step will allow trained first responders to investigate the possible presence of carbon monoxide. DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL THIS EMERGENCY NUMBER! 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.

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 have any questions regarding fire safety or 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 at 355 Boston Post Road, at (203) 891-4711 on Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM., or visit the website at www.orangefiremarshal.com