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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fire Up The Barbecue! Be Fire Safe In Doing So!

This Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of barbecue season and will find many Americans firing up the grill this holiday weekend. Summer officially kicks off this weekend and millions of Americans will celebrate with a cookout grilling those hamburgers and hotdogs. It’s important to remember and follow fire safety tips so that all can enjoy a safe summer season at those fun BBQs.

With the outdoor BBQ cookout season soon upon us which is surely to be going full swing once started, a barbecue grill could start a fire if certain safety rules and precautions are ignored. Part of the beauty of grilling is its simplicity. So it’s simple but very important to position the grill far away from siding, deck railings, trees and other flammables. If there are children around, it’s critical that a child-free zone of at least three feet, if not more, is established around the grill to keep from an accident from happening.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2004-2008, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 7,700 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year, including an average of 3,200 structure fires and 4,500 outside fires.

These 7,700 fires caused an annual average of 13 civilian deaths, 120 civilian injuries and $70 million in direct property damage.

Gas grills were involved in an average of 6,200 home fires, and charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were involved in 1,300 home fires.

More than one-quarter (29%) of the home structure fires involving grills started on a courtyard, terrace or patio, 28% started on an exterior balcony or open porch, and 7% started in the kitchen.


• Check your grill thoroughly for leaks, cracking or brittleness before using it.

• Check the tubes leading to the burner regularly for blockages. Check your specific grill manufacturer's instructions.

• Make sure the grill is at least 10 feet away from your house, garage or trees.

• Store and use your grill on a large flat surface that cannot burn (i.e.- concrete or asphalt).

• Don't use grills in a garage, on a porch, deck or on top of anything that can catch on fire. Never use a propane barbecue grill on a balcony, terrace or roof; it is both dangerous and illegal.

• Keep children away from fires and grills. It is a good idea to establish a safety zone around the grill and instruct children to remain outside the zone.

• Before getting a propane cylinder filled, check for any damages to it.

• Never transport or store propane cylinders in the trunk of your automobile.


• Keep children away from the grill.

• Don't wear loose clothing that might catch fire.

• Use long-handled barbecue tools and/or flame-resistant mitts.

• Never use any flammable liquid other than a barbecue starter fluid to start/freshen a fire.

• Never pour or squirt starter fluid onto an open flame. The flame can easily flashback along the fluid's path to the container in your hands.

• Keep alcoholic beverages away from the grill; they are flammable.

• Never leave the grill unattended.


• When lighting your propane barbecue, make sure all the connections are secure, open the lid and strike your match or lighter before turning on the gas.

• Always shut off the propane fuel at the grill and at the bottle after you have finished barbecuing. Otherwise, this will lead to fire hazards, such as leaks and faulty regulators.

• Store your BBQ grill and propane cylinder outdoors.

• Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the safe use, cleaning and maintenance of your grill.

• Test your cylinder for leaks on a regular basis. When testing for leaks, never use matches or an open flame. Use soapy water or a leak detector.

• Store your cylinder away from heat and insert a safety plug on the valve.


• Always follow the manufacturer's cleaning and storing instructions that accompany the grill.

• Keep your grill clean and free of grease buildup that may lead to a fire.

• Never store liquid or pressurized fuels inside your home and/or near any possible sources of flame.


• For PROPANE grills - turn off the burners. For CHARCOAL grills - close the grill lid. Disconnect the power to ELECTRIC grills.

• For PROPANE grills - if you can safely reach the tank valve, shut it off.

• If the fire involves the tank, leave it alone, evacuate the area and call the fire department.

• If there is any type of fire that either threatens your personal safety or endangers property, ALWAYS call the Fire Department.

• NEVER attempt to extinguish a grease fire with water. It will only cause the flames to flare up. Use an approved portable fire extinguisher.

(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, May 10, 2011

Smoke Detector's Monthly Test !!!

Every month, be it in the beginning OF, the middle of, or toward the end of but at lest once a month "TEST YOUR SMOKE DETECTORS" in the home

Don't let thoughts keep you from doing that monthly test of your early warning of smoke & fire!

For many of us, the nice spring weather that is with us now is a reminder that it is time to work on that spring cleaning checklist.

As we many begin the cleaning and clearing the debris that accumulated over the winter month, it's recommend that all should add home fire safety to their list.
To assist in fire proofing the home during the spring season consider the following fire safety tips:

* Check, clean, TEST your smoke alarm(s).

* Check, clean, TEST your Carbon monoxide alarm(s).

* Check your fire extinguisher.

* Make sure electrical electrical outlets and extension cords are not overloaded.

* Have air conditioning units and other electrical appliances checked by a licensed professional

* Clear your basement and attics from old papers, oily rags and broken furniture.

* Make sure all fire exits or escapes routes that are indicated in your fire escape are clear of any debris and are not blocked off.

* Inspect your charcoal gas grills.

* Spread mulch at least a foot away from the house with a not combustible barrier in between, such as rock.

* Finally, when you are finishing spring cleaning make sure all cleaning products are stored in child safety latched drawers and cabinets with the original labels.

Smoke Detector's & Smoke Alarm's BEEP, BEEP BEEP: A Sound You Can Live With!

(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.)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Aircraft, Twin-Engine Beech, Crashes Outside Opa-Locka Airport, Florida (May 2, 2011)

A twin-engine cargo Beech aircraft crashes after losing control into a house right after takeoff from the Opa-Locka Airport, in Miami Gardens, Florida.

In Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) there are many hazards at the crash site of an aircraft and the surrounding crash site area. On all the responses on ARFF incidents firefighters ensure that they are safe on approach into the scene and watch how the fire ground may develop as well as keeping eyes open to watch fellow fire fighter’s back. By doing so fire fighters are safe to do the job at hand.

The silver-colored plane was a 1957 Beechcraft, tail number N18R, crashed through trees, fencing, into two cars, and ending up on it's side, on the side of a house that suffered fire damage and smoke damage near Northwest 157th Street and 38th Way of Miami Gardens, Florida. The aircraft incident call came into Miami-Dade Fire Rescue at 8:10 a.m.. The pilot was reported being killed in the crash.

Firefighters quickly arrived on the scene and doused the fierce flames with water and foam. The fire did spread to the side of the home, but firefighters managed to put out the fire before it engulfed the entire home. It took 30 Miami-Dade Fire Rescue units to bring the flames under control.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NBTS) will be investigating the crash, and it may take NTSB investigators up to a year to figure out the actual cause of the aircraftcrash.

Video Of The Aircraft Incident:

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

Sunday, May 1, 2011

National Arson Awareness Week 2011

National Arson Awareness Week is traditionally observed the first week in May, and this year's theme is “Working Together to Extinguish Serial Arson.”

The goal of this year's Arson Awareness Week is to zero in on the horrific crime of arson, and to use the week of May 1st to the 7th to focus public attention on serial arsonists and provide law enforcement, fire and emergency service departments and communities with tools and tactics to prevent arson in their cities and towns.

This week being Nation Arson Awareness Week everyone should be aware of the growing problem of arson and it is urged that all should get involved in community efforts to combat this crime that threatens their safety and well-being. Prevention is the best way for all to be protected with ongoing efforts this week to raise citizen awareness of the arson problem and increase communi

ty involvement which will go a long way toward saving lives and property.

Communities can start with a neighborhood watch program to create heightened public awareness of the arson problem and to act as a deterrent to arson crimes by working with local fire, police and code enfor cement to recognize and report unusual activities. Arson can be reduced by having an involved and informed community working together with the fire service and law enforcement.

Here in New York State a call to action came as Governor Andrew M. Cuomo proclaimed Sunday, May 1, through Saturday, May 7, as Arson Awareness Week in New York State. A copy of that proclamation is below wit a link to the PDF file to view.

Governor Cuomo Proclamation

According to the U.S. Fire Administration's National Fire Incident Reporting System data, from 2004 to 2006 an estimated 210,300 intentionally set fires occurred each year in the United States. Intentionally set fires account for 13 percent of fires responded to by fire departments across the nation. These fires resulted in an average of approximately 375 deaths, 1,300 injuries and more than $1 billion in property loss each year.

Arson robs communities of its valuable assets — lives and property, Arson destroys more than buildings, it can devastate a community resulting in the decline of the neighborhood through increased insurance premiums, loss of business revenue, and a decrease in property values.”

Steps that can reduce incidents of arson include:

* Contact your local fire or police department if you know or suspect an arson crime.

* Report suspicious activity near houses or other buildings to your local fire or police department, or call 911.

* Support Neighbourhood Watch programs.

* Keep leaves and flammable debris away from buildings. Don't make it easy for an arsonist to start a fire or facilitate a fire's spread to adjacent buildings.

* If you see something, say something.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reports that from 2009 - 2010 there were 88 reported serial arson incidents with an aggregate monetary loss of $4.8 million. Arson in residential dwellings accounted for 49 percent of these incidents.

U.S. Fire Administration’s Arson Awareness Week web page has information on neighborhood watch strategies, a new report on Motive-Based Offenders, Analysis of Serial Arsonists, joint fire and police teams and task forces, resources for fire investigators and information on witness-driven investigation protocols.

The United States Fire Administration recommends everyone should have a comprehensive fire protection plan that includes smoke alarms, residential sprinklers, and practicing a home fire escape plan.

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

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