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Friday, December 31, 2010

FiremanRich End of Year (2010) Review


The 2010 Year of being online Blogging, YouTubing, Tweeting, and Audiobooing for me has been a good fulfilling year of fun, as well as a year that has been interesting and knowledgeable in what other had to say or express. I guess I can throw Facebook into the mix also, but I’m still not fully convinced that Facebook is all that it’s been made to be when compared to other online social media platforms. I’m still keeping an open mind about Facebook though. At any rate, if it wasn’t fun and interesting of doing what I’m doing on the internet I wouldn’t be doing it, so I’m still here with my presents on the internet that started with my blog Tioga Fire Protection and Fire Prevention.

Since creating the Tioga Fire Protection and Fire Prevention on Blogger I have started a second blog this year called FiremanRich: Different Various Subjects To Include Fire Protection And Fire Prevention over on to be able to write & post on subjects other then “Fire Safety,” though my main reason for blogging is for the interest I have in fire protection & fire prevention subjects. It’s been a good part of my life and I think it’s always a good thing to share information that will keep one safe. I’ve even branched out even still to where you can find FiremanRich on HubPages which are interesting to do if I find a particular subject to write/post about to a place in a different online format other than the typical blog posting. HubPages are fun to do also.

On the YouTube front I have the TFPFP Channel but also started a second YouTube channel which would be the RichTVTioga Channel that has a pretty good video intro. Think I need to work on a intro for the TFPFP Channel in 2011, :: makes a note, intro for tfpfp youtube ::. Doing the YouTubes have been great fun and having the second channel gives a flexibility to doing YouTubes where again one channel is for fire safety/protection subjects and the other channel to branch out with different subject matter. Plus on RichTVTioga Channel my good friend & pal Max can appear as my side kick.

Though I don’t have the big number of subscribers on the YouTube channels as compared to other YouTubers, for me it’s not about numbers as it is about the fun in doing them. With a total of 25 YouTube videos done from both my channels for 2010 I have had a lot of fun and plan on continuing doing the YouTubes in 2011. I do get some views and knowing that they are being viewed and receiving comments makes it worth the time & effort.

Here’s a video expressing some additional thoughts and outlooks as we begin to enter into the New Year of 2011:

I sincerely wish everyone an awesome New Year! I’ll end this 2010 year by saying to you all. . .

May your heart be light and happy,
May your smile be big and wide,
And may your pockets always have
a coin or two inside!

Best of Luck to you in 2011!

Happy New Year! : )

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Binghamton Midtown Mall Building Fire

The first call came in around 9:45 pm Tuesday night on 12/21/10 for the Binghamton Midtown Mall building fire at 17 Chenango Street in Binghamton, New York. Flames could be seen coming from the fifth floor of building.

The Midtown Mall building is n the heart of the city, and the late Tuesday night fire consumed and sent smoke billowing into the bitter cold night sky downtown area. Firefighters from the Binghamton, Johnson City, Endicott, and Vestal fire departments all responded to battle the fire.

The Midtown Mall building on the corner of Court and Chenango streets was under construction as part of a larger effort to revitalize downtown.

Binghamton City Fire Chief Thomas says no injuries have been reported. Binghamton's City Fire Marshal Dan Eggleston said Wednesday that "nothing looks suspicious," although the investigation is continuing.

The Midtown Mall was the most severely damaged building downtown, but nearby businesses also felt the heat and water of the fire fighting operation to bring under control and extinguish the fire.

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Keep Your Holidays From Going Up in Flames!

Fire Prevention Tips for a Safe and Festive Holiday Season!

(December 21, 2010) – For most of us, the holiday season represents a time for family festivities and good cheer. What few of us consider is that the holiday season is a time when there is an increased risk of home fires. Many households engage in holiday activities that serve as some of the leading causes of U.S. home fires, including cooking. Christmas trees, candle usage and holiday decorations also significantly contribute to the seasonal causes of home fires. Add to that the hectic nature of the holidays, when people are trying to accomplish multiple tasks at one time, and the chance for home fires grows even further.

“As everyone gets busier during the holidays, we often become rushed, distracted or tired,” says FiremanRich. “That’s when home fires are more likely to occur.”

Fortunately, with a little added awareness and some minor adjustments to holiday cooking and decorating, the season can remain festive and safe for everybody. “By taking some preventative steps and following simple rules of thumb, most home fires can be prevented,” says FiremanRich.

With unattended cooking as the leading cause of U.S. home fires and home fire injuries, stay in the kitchen while you’re frying, grilling or broiling food. Most cooking fires involve the stovetop, so keep anything that can catch fire away from it, and turn off the stove when you leave the kitchen, even if it’s for a short period of time. If you’re simmering, boiling, baking or roasting food, check it regularly and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking. Also create a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food and drinks are prepared or carried.

Cooking Safety:

Candles are widely used in homes throughout the holidays, and December is the peak month for home candle fires. The nonprofit National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) statistics show that more than half of all candle fires start because the candles had been too close to things that could catch fire. It is encouraged to consider using flameless candles, which look and smell like real candles. However, if you do use traditional candles, keep them at least 12” away from anything that can burn, and remember to blow them out when you leave the room or go to bed. Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over and are placed on uncluttered surfaces. Avoid using candles in the bedroom where two of five U.S. candle fires begin or other areas where people may fall asleep. Lastly, never leave a child alone in a room with a burning candle.

Candle Safety:

According to NFPA, U.S. fire departments annually respond to an average of 250 structure fires caused by Christmas trees. Nearly half of them are caused by electrical problems, and one in four resulted from a heat source that’s too close to the tree.

Christmas Tree Safety:

The National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) offers the following advice for picking, placing and lighting the tree:

1. If you have an artificial tree, be sure it’s labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant.

2. If you choose a fresh tree, make sure the green needles don’t fall off when touched; before placing it in the stand, cut 1-2” from the base of the trunk. Add water to the tree stand, and be sure to water it daily.

3. Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit, and is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, space heaters, radiators, candles and heat vents or lights.

4. Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory, and make sure you know whether they are designed for indoor or outdoor use.

5. Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini-string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.

6. Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.

7. Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving the home or going to bed.

8. Include information on your community Christmas tree recycling program.

9. After Christmas, get rid of the tree. Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside the home.

10. Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

By following these fire prevention tips and measure, you can greatly reduce the risk of fire in your home, and enjoy a safe holiday season. “The holidays can quickly turn from joyful to tragic when a fire occurs,” says FiremanRich “By taking simple precautions, people can avoid potential fire hazards, and make this time of year a healthy and happy one.”

Visit for more information and safety tips.

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Make your holiday fire-safe!

Decorating homes and businesses is a long-standing tradition around the holiday season. Unfortunately, these same decorations may increase the chance of fire.

Based on data from the National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Fire Administration, each year an estimated 250 home fires occur involving Christmas trees and another 170 home fires involve holiday lights and other decorative lighting. Together, these fires result in 21 deaths and 43 injuries annually.

Following a few simple fire-safety tips can keep electric lights, candles and the ever popular Christmas tree from creating a tragedy. Learn how to prevent a fire and what to do in case a fire starts in your home. Make sure all exits are accessible and not blocked by trees or other decorations.

Live Christmas Trees:

- If you buy a real tree, try to get the freshest one possible. Christmas trees are frequently cut as early as October and placed in cold storage until the tree lots begin sales. Remember, a dry tree will ignite explosively and burn.

- A fresh tree will have a strong pine or spruce scent and a deep-green color. Needles will not fall off the tree at a touch. To test freshness, grasp a branch near the trunk and gently pull the branch through your fingers. If needles feel brittle, stiff or come off easily, choose another tree. A truly fresh tree will have sticky sap at the base.

- Prior to placing the tree in a tree stand cut off about two inches of the trunk, preferably at a slight angle if your stand will permit this. An angle cut permits maximum water absorption. Water the tree daily. The average tree will consume between a quart and a gallon of water per day. Recent tests prove that commercial additives are of little value. They also indicate that tap water is best for keeping the tree hydrated.

- Fireplaces and other heat sources, such as space heaters, will dry the tree out quickly. So, avoid placing the tree to close to them. Be careful not to block access to doors and exits with the tree or with furniture that has been rearranged to allow space for a tree to be set up.

- Never use candles or other open flame decorations on or near the tree.

Artificial Trees:

- If purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label stating it meets flammability standards. Many of these trees have a spray coating applied that may wear off over the years. You can test this by removing a small piece of the tree, taking it to a safe area outside, and applying a flame. If it readily burns, it is time to replace or re-treat the tree.

- Do not string electric lights or other wiring on the tree as this creates a possible electrical shock hazard. Illuminate metal trees with multicolor flood lamps designed for this purpose. Artificial trees come with safety instructions that should be read carefully and followed closely.

Holiday Lights:

- Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in insulation, broken or cracked sockets and excessive kinking.

- Use lighting only listed by an approved testing laboratory.

- DO NOT overload electrical outlets.

- Unless directions allow, DO NOT link together more than THREE light strands.

- Make periodic checks to wires - they should not be warm to the touch.

- DO NOT leave holiday lights unattended.

- Presents under the tree are very pretty, but keep tissue paper wrappings away from tree lights.

- Do not run lights or extension cords under carpets or rugs, through door jambs or across walkways.

Holiday Decorations:

- Use only nonflammable decorations of flame resistant decorations and ensure they are not located near any heat vents.

- DO NOT block exits. Trees and decorations should not block any exits within your home or work facility.

Remember, check your live tree daily throughout the holiday season. If it becomes dry, brittle or the needles turn brown and fall off, it needs to be removed from the home or office as the risk of fire becomes too great.

When disposing of your Christmas tree, never burn it in the fireplace. Most communities establish plans for either the recycling or disposal of Christmas trees, so watch your local papers.

In case of an emergency on base, dial 911.

Help ensure that you have a fire-safe holiday season.

For more information, visit:

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Workings Of The Portable Fire Extinguisher

Every wonder how a portable fire extinguisher is made? Heres a YouTube video showing you how one is made:

Now portable fire extinguishers have limits.

Used properly, a portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives. Portable extinguishers for home use, however, are not intended to fight large or spreading fires. Even against small fires, they are useful under only certain conditions.

The operator must know how to use the extinguisher. There is no time to read instructions during an emergency.

The extinguisher must be within easy reach and in working order, fully charged.

The extinguisher must be kept near the exit, so the user has an escape route that will not be blocked by the fire.

The extinguisher must match the type of fire you are fighting. Extinguishers that contain water are unsuitable for use for use on grease or electrical fires.

The best way to prevent fires is to prevent them from happening in the first place. In the home or in the work place we need to be awear of fire safety and fire prevention that will reduce fire risks. Highlighted in the following YouTube are different classes of fire, various types of firefighting equipment and how a fire can quickly get out of control if not extinguished as early as it can:

So knowing how a portable fire extinguisher operates and works is very important. Choosing the correct portable fire extinguishe is also important, as well as knowing there is a limited amout of extinguishing agent to use on a small fire before it gets to big. If a fire does get to big to try and extinguish get out as quickly as you can to a safe place.

Fire extinguishers are tested by independent testing laboratories. They will be labeled for the type of fire they are intended to extinguish.

CLASSES OF FIRES: There are three basic classes of fires. All fire extinguishers are labeled using standard symbols for the classes of fires they can put out. A red slash through any of the symbols tells you the extinguisher cannot be used on that class of fire. A missing symbol tells you only that an extinguisher has not been tested for a given class of fire.

A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives; but portable extinguishers have limitations. Because fire grows and spreads so rapidly, the number one priority for residents is to get out safely.

Fire Safety tips:

Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.

To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:
- Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle
pointing away from you, and release the locking
- Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

* For the home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher (can be used on all types of home fires) that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle.

* Choose a fire extinguisher that carries the label of an independent testing laboratory.

* Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher and become familiar with its parts and operation before a fire breaks out. Local fire departments or fire equipment distributors often offer hands-on fire extinguisher trainings.

* Install fire extinguishers close to an exit and keep your back to a clear exit when you use the device so you can make an easy escape if the fire cannot be controlled. If the room fills with smoke, leave immediately.

* Know when to go. Fire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape. Every household should have a home fire escape planand working smoke alarms.


Make sure everyone has left or is leaving the building. Make sure the fire department has been called. Make sure the fire is confined to a small area and is not spreading. Be sure you an unobstructed escape route to which the fire will not spread. Be sure you have read the instructions and that you know how to use the extinguisher.

It is reckless to fight a fire in any other circumstances. Instead leave immediately and close off the area to stop the spread of fire to other parts of the building.

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NFPA: U.S. home heating fires still represent a leading cause of home fires and fatalities


NFPA says basic safety precautions can minimize risk to associated fires

As temperatures drop in the months ahead, home heating systems will fast kick into gear. However, some of the heat sources that make us feel warm and toasty also represent a leading cause of U.S. home fires and fire fatalities. According to the nonprofit

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)’s latest U.S. home heating fires report (PDF, 739 KB),

heating equipment - primarily space heaters and fireplaces - caused an estimated 66,100 home structure fires resulting in 480 civilian deaths, 1,660 injuries and $1.1 billion in direct property damage in 2008. The estimated home heating fire total declined 0.5% from 2007.

Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of communications, says the latest home heating fire statistics signal that while we’re seeing a downward trend, there’s still much room for improvement. “We’ve certainly witnessed some declines in home heating fire rates over the short- and long-term, which is encouraging,” says Carli. “But in spite of those gains, the actual number of home heating fires and their devastating impact on people and property each year is simply way too high. There’s still much more we can do become safer from these types of fires.”

Space heaters result in far more fires and losses than central heating devices. On average, between 2004 and 2008, fixed (stationary) and portable space heaters (excluding fireplaces, chimneys, and chimney connectors, but including wood stoves) annually accounted for one-third (32%) of reported U.S. home heating fires, four out of five (82%) associated civilian deaths, nearly two-thirds (64%) of associated civilian injuries, and half (51%) of associated direct property damage.

In addition, an estimated 15,200 reported creosote fires (23% of all home heating fires) resulted in four civilian deaths, 17 civilian injuries, and $33 million in direct property damage, on average, each year from 2004-2008. Creosote is a sticky, oily, combustible substance created when wood does not burn completely. It rises into the chimney as a liquid and deposits on the chimney wall. It’s suspected that most creosote fires combine “failure-to-clean” fires that were confined to a chimney or flue, or involved solid-fueled space heaters, fireplaces, chimneys and chimney connectors.

Half (49%) of all home heating fires occurred in December, January and February, with most heating equipment fires starting due to a failure to clean equipment (25%), placing a heat source too close to combustibles (14%), and unclassified mechanical failures or malfunctions (13%). The leading cause of home heating fire deaths (52%) was heating equipment being placed too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattress, or bedding.

“Because home heating fires are largely the result of human error, the majority of them are preventable,” says Carli. “By following basic safety precautions and making some simple modifications and adjustments, people can greatly reduce their risk.”

As everyone prepares for the upcoming heating season, NFPA offers the following advice to stay warm and fire-safe:

  • All heaters need space. Keep things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
  • Use heating equipment that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instruction. Have a qualified professional install the equipment.
  • Make sure all fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO is created when fuels burn incompletely. CO poisoning can cause illness and even death.
  • Make sure the venting for exhaust is kept clear and unobstructed. This includes removal of snow around the outlet to the outside.
  • Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms inside your home to provide early warning of carbon monoxide.
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.
  • Turn space heaters off when you leave a room or go to sleep.

In an effort to reduce winter fires, NFPA is partnering with the U.S. Fire Administration on a special campaignPut a Freeze on Winter Fires. For more information, visit NFPA’s website at

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving top day for cooking fires


NFPA urges caution when preparing for dinner this year

Thanksgiving remains the leading day for cooking fires, with three times as many cooking fires as an average day. That’s according to statistics by the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), which also found that cooking equipment fires are still the leading cause of U.S. home fires and fire injuries, and the third leading cause of fire deaths. On Thanksgiving 2008, U.S. fire departments responded to 1,300 home cooking fires compared to 420 such fires on an average day.

“Thanksgiving is a holiday of feasting, but it’s also a day of intense cooking, when stovetops and ovens are working overtime,” says Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of communications. “These culinary activities bring an increased risk of fire particularly when people are trying to prepare several dishes while entertaining friends and family.”

According to NFPA, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 154,700 home structure fires involving cooking equipment between 2004 and 2008. These fires caused an average of 460 civilian deaths, 4,850 reported civilian fire injuries, and $724 million in direct property damage. Overall, these incidents accounted for two of every five (41%) reported home fires, 17% of home fire deaths, more than one-third (37%) of home fire injuries, and 11% of the direct property damage resulting from home fires. Three of every five people (59%) injured in a cooking fire were hurt when they tried to fight the fire themselves

Unfortunately, little progress has been made in reducing deaths from home cooking fire. The average of 460 deaths per year in 2004-2008 was only 7% lower than the 500 per year in 1980-1984. Meanwhile, fire rates among other types of home fires have steadily declined.

Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking equipment fires. Ranges or cooktops were involved in the majority (59%) of home cooking fire incidents; ovens accounted for 16%. Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but these incidents accounted 15% of the cooking fire deaths.

NFPA offers the following cooking safety tips.

Cook with caution:

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.

If you have a cooking fire:

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Fireman's Prayer

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


James S. Williams

When someone you love becomes a memory...the memory becomes a treasure. Our hearts were saddened with the passing of James S. Williams, 58, on November 7, 2010. Jim is survived by his mother, Mabel; wife, Vicki; sons, James "Howdy" (Laura) Williams, Jason "Big Jake" (Crystal) Williams, Justin "Duke" (Michelle) Williams, Jerred "Jed" (companion Danielle Preece) Williams; brother, Christopher (Carole) Williams; sister, Ann (Jay) Ball; sister-in-law, Irene Williams; ten grandchildren; his in-laws, Corinne and Kenneth Seaver, Charles and Sharon Atchison; aunt, Betty May Shear; uncle, Fay Morris; several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Jim was predeceased by his father, Howard; son, Joie; brother, Stephen; and granddaughter, Katrina. He was a graduate of Tioga Central High School Class of 1970 and was drafted into the US Army where he proudly served his country. On July 3, 1971 he married Vicki Atchison and together they made Nichols their home. Jim was a bricklayer for over forty years and was employed by Strope Newton Construction for the majority of his career as well as ACE Masonry upon his retirement. He was a life member of the Nichols Fire Department where he served as Past President and Lieutenant for the Fire Police. He also was a member and Past President of the NY Hereford Association. Jim enjoyed farming, fishing, hunting, leather working and spending time with his family. Family and friends are invited to attend funeral services and a celebration of Jim's life on Wednesday, November 10th, at 11 a.m. at the Sutfin Funeral Chapel, 273 S. Main St., Nichols with Pastor Alan Bill officiating. Interment will follow in the Nichols Cemetery. A period of visitation and time of sharing memories will be held on Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the funeral chapel. Memories and condolences for Jim's family maybe shared by visiting our website at Flowers will be provided by the family and memorial contributions may be directed to the Barton United Methodist Church, 511 Old Barton Road, Barton, NY 13734 or Lourdes Hospice Home Care, 4102 Old Vestal Road, Vestal, NY 13850 in loving memory of James S. Williams.

REF: Published in Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin on November 8, 2010

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Time To Change Smoke Detector Batteries....

Once again it is time to change the batteries in your home smoke alarms. 70 percent of fire deaths come from homes without a working smoke alarm. In the Spring we Spring forward and then in the Fall we Fall back by turning the clocks back one hour. In either case it's a time to ensure the smoke alarms have the necessary power and are all in working order. Change out all batteries with fresh brand new batteries.

Here's a YouTube video showing you a very good view of how simple with little effort it is to change the smoke detector battery:

REMEMBER smoke detectors/alarms do have expiration dates also and should be replaced with new ones after ten years of use. Check the backside of the smoke detector when changing the batteries and there should be a year of expiration for the unit.

ALSO REMEMBER to test smoke detectors/alarms each month.

For some great additional information concerning smoke detectors/alarms please visit the
U.S. Fire Administration web site. Go over the information with family members so all are informed of the importance of having these early warning devices in the home.

Stay Fire Smart! Don't Get Burned!
Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With. Where There's Smoke, There Should Be a Smoke Alarm!

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fire Safety for Halloween

It’s Halloween now at the end of October will soon be here. It’s the time of year when ghosts, goblins, and witches will once again be in search of candy and other goodies. The phrase for this ghoulish holiday is “Trick or Treat” but the famous phrase could easily turn into “Tragedy.” Here are some tips to help make this a fire safe time for everyone.

Fire wise homeowners know it’s never wise to use candles in a jack-o-lantern. Whether carried by a trick-or-treater or just set on a window ledge, the candlelit pumpkin is a fire waiting for a chance to spread.

Candle fires represent a leading cause of U.S. home fires. From 2003-2007, an annual average of 15,260 home structure fires were started by candles, causing 166 fire deaths, 1,289 injures and $450 million in direct property damage. Overall, candles caused 4% of reported home fires, 6% of home fire deaths, 10% of the home fires, and 7% of the direct property damage in reported home fires. Halloween is one of the top five days for candle fires.

If you prefer the flickering, eerie light of a candle to the dull constancy of a plain light bulb here’s a simple suggestion to make candlelight in a jack-o-lantern very safe. Use a string of color Christmas lights. Fill the string with red & yellow lights that flash by themselves. Cut a small hole in the back of the pumpkin to accommodate the electric plug and drop in the lights. You’ve created a fire-safe pumpkin that’s a Halloween chill down the stoutest ghoul’s spine.

Now there is sure to be Halloween parties as well with the decorations to put all in the fun spirit. Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these decorations well away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.

National Fire Protection Association statistics show us also that, from 2003-2007, decorations were the item first ignited in a estimated annual average of 1,240 reported structure fires, resulting in 7 civilian deaths, 53 civilian injuries and$20 million in direct property damage each year.

Everyone is urged to take some simple precautions and practices to keep this year’s Halloween celebrations festive and safe. Here are a few more fire safety & safety tips:

· When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long trailing fabric. If you are making your own costume, choose material that won't easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or flame. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see out.

· Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part of their costume.

· It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candles in a jack-o-lantern. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution. Make sure children are watched at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside jack-o-lanterns, use long fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far enough out of way trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards.

· If you choose to use candle decorations, make sure to keep them well attended at all times.

· Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.

· Tell children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire. (Have them practice stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their face with hands, and rolling over and over to put the flames out.)

· Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.

· If your children are going to Halloween parties at others’ homes, have them look for ways out of the home and plan how they would get out in an emergency.

· Children should always go trick-or-treating with a responsible adult.

· Remind children to stay together as a group and walk from house to house.

· Review how to cross a street with your child. Look left, right and left again to be sure no cars are approaching before crossing the street.

· Make a rule that children will not eat any treat until it has been brought home and examined by a grown-up.

Halloween is meant to be fun. Don’t let tragedy spoil it. Be Fire Safe! Be Fire Wise! Learn Not To Burn!

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

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