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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Time to Turn Back One Hour / Check Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

It is time to reset your clocks! This year, Daylight Savings Time officially ends on Sunday, November 6, 2011 when clocks are set back one hour at 2:00 a.m.

After turning the clocks back one hour, spend part of the hour gained to change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the home.

Test those smoke and carbon monoxide detectors also for that monthly test.

In 2010, there were 1,331,500 fires, resulting in 3,120 deaths and 17,720 injuries, according to the U.S. Fire Administration

The USFA notes, "One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is to have a working smoke alarm that can sound fast for both a fire that has flames, and a smoky fire that has fumes without flames. It is called a ‘Dual Sensor Smoke Alarm.’ A smoke alarm greatly reduces your chances of dying in a fire."

The recommendation is to install the alarms everywhere they are needed and to keep them maintained. At the very least, there should be a smoke detector outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. Good places for alarms are near dens, living rooms, and family rooms.

As a minimum, one smoke detector is required on each level of the home, including the basement. One smoke detector must be outside the bedrooms. If the home has bedrooms on more than one level, one smoke detector is required outside of each area.

Keep detectors away from windows, doors, or forced air registers.

Detectors should be tested at least monthly, and if you can do so check them weekly by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Replace any smoke detectors in the home that are 8 to 10 years old with new ones. Batteries should be changed twice a year and it has become common practice to do this when we change the clocks to daylight savings time and then back to standard time, which occurs this Nov. 6.

It simple, the only good smoke detector is one that works. BEEP-BEEP-BEEP A Sound You Can Live With! Learn Not To Burn, Be Fire Safe!

(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, October 24, 2011

Stay safe on the spookiest day of the year

NFPA’s tips on staying fire safe for the holiday

October 2011 – It’s time again for the creepy decorations, falling leaves, endless costumes, and lit Jack-o-lanterns. As families across the country begin to prepare for what has become an increasingly popular holiday, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is reminding everyone to take a few simple safety precautions in order to ensure a fun, safe, and not too scary Halloween.

“It’s an exciting holiday especially for the kids but if precautions are not taken, scary things can happen,” said Lorraine Carli NFPA’s vice president of communications. “Candle decorations and flowing costumes create an extra risk of fire.” According to Carli, candle fires represent a leading cause of U.S. home fires and Halloween is one of the top five days for candle fires.

Send a Sparky e-card to celebrate the holiday.

Judy Comoletti, NFPA Division Manager of Public Education, talks about how planning ahead can help make this Halloween a fire-safe one.

NFPA offers the following safety tips to help keep horror from striking your home this season:

  • 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.
  • Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
  • 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 the way of 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.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 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.)

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Bell Rings 5-5-5...

On Sunday, October 16, 2011 the names of 89 Fallen Firefighters were honored and their names added to the national memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Here are highlights from the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation 2011 Memorial Service:

The 30th Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend held at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg was a tearful ceremony remembering and honoring those firefighters that had fallen in The Line Of Duty.

The fire service has a lot of traditions. Throughout most of history, the life of a firefighter has been closely associated with the ringing of a bell.

Acting Deputy USFA Administrator Denis Onieal explained the history of ringing a bell in a 5-5-5 sequence. "Done for the purposed of notification, and as a sign of honor and respect, such symbolism has been a long-honored fire service tradition which still continues in some cities today…"

Onieal added: "…For those who have selflessly devoted their lives for the good of their communities and fellow citizens, the bell tolls their last alarm for they have gone home."

As firefighter's began theirs hours of duty, it was a bell that started it off. Through the day and the night, each alarm was sounded with a bell, which called the firefighter to fight a fire or to rescue a person.

All emergency response placed the firefighter's life in jeopardy for the good of all. And... when the fire was out, or the rescue accomplished, the alarm had come to an end, the bell rang 5-5-5 to signal the end.

This past weekend our fathers, husbands, brothers, friends,... our brother firefighters, have completed their task and their duties are well done...

The bell rings 5-5-5 in memory of and in tribute to our fallen firefighters lives and their service...

The 89 Fallen Firefighters Will Be Missed... Never Forgotten...

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

Friday, October 14, 2011

Remembering The Fallen...

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Fire Administration announce that the 30th annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend will be held at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg on October 14 - 16, 2011. A plaque with the names of 72 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2010 and 17 who died in previous years will be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, located here on the National Fire Academy campus. The plaques surrounding the Memorial, which was established in 1981, will contain the names of more than 3,400 firefighters.

A message from National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Executive Director Ron Siarnicki about Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters. It is a new addition to the 2011 Memorial Weekend on the 30th Anniversary of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial - October 14 to 16, 2011.

I first met Mr Leroy Kemp on a Saturday January evening in 2010, just a few days before his passing, at our volunteer fire department’s annual banquet. Leroy was a guest that night from our neighbor volunteer fire department, and I had the honor of sitting next to him for the evening meal. From our conversations we all had at the table that evening, I never felt more privilege to know such a man as LeRoy who had severed his community over so many years.

As a volunteer firefighter for more than 50 years, LeRoy Kemp was always ready to respond. "LeRoy was a genuine, good person. He always saw the good side of everybody, ..." said John Scott, Tioga County Fire Coordinator

Always willing to assist in a time of need, LeRoy was a lifetime member of the Tioga Center Fire and Emergency Departments, where he had served as Chief, EMT and Fire Police. In addition, he was Chairman of the Board for the Fire Commissioners and had assisted with the Tioga County Fire Investigation Team. He was a dedicated and well respected fireman who will be greatly missed by his community and his fellow members.

This weekend LeRoy Kemp will be honored as a firefighter, a long-time servant to his community, and remembered a fallen hero.

Firefighter LeRoy A. Kemp, 81, of the Tioga Center Fire Department in Tioga County, died in a motor vehicle accident while en route to a mutual aid call on Jan. 13, 2010.

The name of the former Tioga Center Fire Department firefighter will be added to a bronze plaque along with the names of 72 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2010 and 17 who died in previous years.

10 New York firefighters will be recognized at the ceremony taking place this weekend at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Department of Homeland Security sponsor the event.

The other nine firefighters from New York state that will be honored this weekend are:

• Fire Police Capt. William E. Akin Jr., 54, of the Ghent Volunteer Fire Company in Ghent, Columbia County, died in a car accident while responding to the scene of a different car accident on Oct. 19, 2010.

• Firefighter Scott W. Davis, 46, of the Oswego Fire Department in Oswego County, died after suffering a heart attack within 24 hours after several emergency responses on June 20, 2010.

• Capt. Vincent A. Iaccino, 64, of the Roosevelt Fire District Engine Company1 in Hyde Park, died after suffering a heart attack during fire department training on April 12, 2010

• Firefighter John P. Kelly, 51, of the Tarrytown Fire Department in Westchester County, died after being overcome by fumes during a confined space rescue in a sewer drain Sept. 6, 2010.

• Firefighter Erich Lachmann, 74, of the Washington Heights Fire Department in Middletown, Orange County, died on Jan. 28, 2007, after suffering a stroke within 24 hours of responding to an emergency on Jan. 15, 2007.

• Assistant Chief Garrett W. Loomis, 26, of the Sackets Harbor Fire Department in Jefferson County died on April 11, 2010, of trauma sustained after an explosion on the scene of a silo fire.

• Firefighter Gerard Marcheterre, 50, of the Borodino Fire Department in Onondaga County, died after suffering a medical emergency while responding to a structural collapse on March 6, 2010.

• Firefighter Salvatore Scarentino, 51, of the Fire Department of New York, died after suffering a heart attack within 24 hours of responding to emergency calls on March 21, 2009.

• Lt. Josef L. Welenofsky, 46, of the Holtsville Fire Department in Suffolk County, died within 24 hours of responding to a call for a motor vehicle accident on Jan. 27, 2007.

According to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF), a bronze plaque containing Leroy Kemp’s name will be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial.

"Firefighters are called upon to face danger on a daily basis," said Chairman of the NFFF Board of Directors, Chief Dennis Compton, in a statement. "In October, a grateful Nation will honor their dedication and remember their sacrifice. The National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend brings their loved ones and the fire service together to let their families, coworkers, and friends know that they will never be forgotten."

You are missed Leroy but…

Never Forgotten Sir...

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

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Fire Safe Home: Install Smoke Alarms, Practice a Family Escape Plan

"Protect Your Family From Fire"

Press Releases By: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) urge consumers to take time during Fire Prevention Week to check their homes for fire risks and to develop and practice a family escape plan.

CPSC estimates an annual average of more than 386,000 unintentional residential fires (pdf), nearly 2,400 deaths and more the 12,500 injuries each year from 2006 through 2008.

“Build layers of fire safety in your home,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “Install smoke alarms on every floor and in every bedroom. If you already have smoke alarms, make sure they are working. Smoke alarms provide early warning of a potentially deadly fire and can reduce the risk of dying from fire in your home by almost half.”

“Planning a home fire escape is an essential part of being prepared to act and get out quickly if a fire occurs,” said NFPA President James M. Shannon. “Develop a fire escape plan that identifies two ways out of every room and a family meeting place outside. Practice your plan at least twice a year.”

Safe practices, such as the following, are the first line of defense in preventing a fire in your home:

  1. Install smoke alarms – A smoke alarm (pdf) should be installed on every level of the home, outside sleeping areas and inside bedrooms. When it comes to surviving a fire, a smoke alarm is critical for early detection of a fire and can mean the difference between life and death. About two-thirds of fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or smoke alarms that don’t work.

    Install both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms. Alarms should have battery backup. Consider installing interconnected smoke alarms because when one sounds, they all sound throughout the home.

  2. Have a family escape plan – Develop and practice a family escape plan. Make sure everyone knows how to escape when the smoke alarm sounds, whether awake or asleep at the time. The best plans have two ways to get out of each room. Designate a meeting place outside. Once out, stay out! To help make a family escape plan, see this NFPA publication (pdf).
  3. Cook safely – Stay in the kitchen and keep a watchful eye while you are cooking. Unattended cooking is the number one cause of cooking fires. Cooking equipment accounted for the largest percentage of home fires from 2006 through 2008 that were reported by fire departments. For this time period, CPSC estimates an annual average of nearly 150,000 cooking fires which is nearly 40 percent of unintentional residential fires. These fires resulted in an average of 150 deaths each year.
  4. Fireplace safety – Have fireplace flues and chimneys inspected for leakage and blockage from creosote or debris every year. Store fireplace ashes in a fire-resistant container, and cover the container with a lid. Keep the container outdoors and away from combustibles. Dispose of ashes carefully, keeping them away from dry leaves, trash or other combustible materials.

    Heating and cooling equipment accounted for the second-largest percentage of home fires from 2006 through 2008. CPSC estimates an annual average of nearly 57,000 fires and 220 deaths during that time period. Fireplaces and chimneys represented the majority of those fires with an annual average of nearly 27,000 from 2006 through 2008.

  5. Electrical safety – CPSC estimates there was an annual average of 150 deaths from 2006 through 2008 attributable to electrical components.

    Check the ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) (pdf) in your home to make sure they’re working. GFCIs can prevent electrocution. CPSC recommends installing GFCIs in the kitchen, bathrooms and other areas where the risk of electric shock is higher.

    Install arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs). AFCIs are designed to protect against fires caused by arcing faults in a home’s electrical wiring.

    For more information, see CPSC’s “Home Electrical Safety Checklist.” (pdf)

  6. Avoid mattress fires (pdf) – Don’t allow children to play with candles, lighters or smoking materials. Extinguish candles before you leave the room. Buy a mattress that meets the federal flammability standards. The open flame standard limits the intensity of mattress fires and provides more escape time for consumers.
  7. Use caution when smoking – Smoking materials caused the most deaths in residential fires, an average of 600 deaths each year from 2006 through 2008. Don’t smoke in bed.
  8. Don’t use gel fuel in firepots – CPSC has recalled millions of bottles of gel fuel due to burn and flash-fire hazards. The pourable gel fuel can ignite unexpectedly and splatter onto people and objects nearby when it is poured into a firepot that is still burning. Contact the manufacturer to return the product for a full refund. There have been deaths associated with gel fuel.


The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years

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

Sunday, October 9, 2011

It's Fire Prevention Week! Protect Your Family From Fire! – Oct 9-15, 2011

The National Fire Protection Association has recognized Oct. 9 through Oct. 15 as Fire Prevention Week for 86 years now. Fire Prevention Week was started by President Calvin Coolidge in 1925 and always is the week in which Oct. 9 falls. Fire Prevention Week coincides with the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, Oct. 8-10, 1871.

According to the National Archives and Records Administration’s Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record.

During this week, emphasizes will be placed on how to “Protect Your Family from Fire.” To do this you have to just do some basic but very important steps. Practicing these fire safety measures throughout the year is essential to a good solid fire prevention plan that will help protect those you love.

This year, our National Fire Prevention Week campaign is all about keeping you, your family, and your community safer from fire. You'll find educational material and tip sheets on the leading causes of home fires, information about protecting your home and families with life-saving technologies, and the importance of home escape planning by go to ...

The NFPA’s


Tioga Fire Protection and Fire Prevention reminds all to change their smoke detector batteries when they change their clocks, practice an in-home fire escape plan, and be fire safety smart.

Fires can strike anywhere – in structures, buildings, automobiles, and the outdoors – but fires that affect our homes are often the most tragic and the most preventable.

Over 75% percent of all fire fatalities occur in home fires.

This year' s National Fire Prevention Week theme is "Protect Your Family from Fire." You can protect your family by:

  1. Installing smoke alarms on every level of your home,
  2. Testing smoke alarms once a month,
  3. Changing smoke alarm batteries at least once a year, and
  4. Making and practicing a home fire escape plan.
For more specific details on how these four fire safety items can be practiced in your fire prevention practices at home go to the U.S. Fire Administration’s Focus on Fire Safety web page…

Many fire departments across the county will host open house events highlighting equipment, apparatus and the different emergency services provided to the community. For more information and to find out what is happening in your area thi s week, call the local fire department for times & dates.

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

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The key to getting out alive? Have an Escape Plan!

In the event of a home fire or major disaster, will you know what to do? It’s important for your family to have an escape plan and to practice it on a regular basis. Having an escape plan that is known by all members of your family can be the key to getting out alive.

An escape plan consists of knowing two ways out of each room. In addition to knowing two ways out of each room, your family should have a meeting place outside your home where everyone knows where to congregate once they’ve escaped. Examples of good meeting places would include a mailbox, tree or landmark a safe distance in front of your house.

Once you’re out, stay out! When rescuers arrive at your home, they will ask members at the meeting place if anyone is missing. This will allow rescuers to determine whether or not they need to enter your home to search for a missing person.

Developing an escape plan is a great start. It is also important to practice your escape plan regularly so that there is no question as to where everyone should meet in case of an emergency.

Escape plan grids are available online at for families who are interested in mapping out their escape plans. Be proactive in your life fire safety efforts. Have an Escape Plan!

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

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