Tag Archives: fire safety

Thanksgiving is worst day of year for home fires

Thanksgiving is the traditional day to count your blessings, but for some it is also the day to set the house on fire.

There are more home fires on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year, with fire departments responding to triple the normal number of incidents, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Not surprisingly, most of these fires originate in the kitchen from clumsy or inattentive cooks.

“The reality is the doorbell rings and your friends and relatives are at the door and you want to greet them and chat, and you just don’t think to go back to the kitchen,” said John Drengenberg, consumer safety director for Underwriters Laboratories, which rates the safety of products such as appliances.

You can read the full story on Reuters.com.

Holiday Fire Safety

Decorating homes and businesses is a long-standing tradition around the holiday season. Unfortunately, these same decorations may increase your chances of fire. Based on data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), an estimated 250 home fires involving Christmas trees and another 170 home fires involving holiday lights and other decorative lighting occur each year. Together, these fires resulted in 21 deaths and 43 injuries.

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 decorations or trees. Help ensure that you have a fire safe holiday season.

CPSC Urges Consumers To Put Safety In Play During the Fourth of July

About 200 fireworks injuries a day during month surrounding the holiday

Washington, DC — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants consumers to put safety in play if fireworks are part of your Fourth of July celebrations. A new CPSC study indicates that in 2009 there were two deaths and nearly 9,000 emergency room visits for injuries resulting from fireworks related incidents. Most fireworks injuries occurred to consumers younger than 20 and resulted in the loss of a limb in many cases.

In a press event held on The National Mall, Chairman Inez Tenenbaum announced that during the 30 days surrounding last year’s Independence Day holiday, there were nearly 6,000 reports of injuries involving fireworks. Burns and lacerations to the hands, the face and the head were the most frequently reported injuries. More than half of the injuries during this time period were related to firecrackers, bottle rockets, and sparklers.

“Consumers need to heed our warning: fireworks related incidents, especially those involving illegal fireworks, can be fatal,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “Only use legal fireworks and follow CPSC’s tips to ensure your holiday remains festive and safe.”

Chairman Tenenbaum was joined on The Mall by Chief Glenn Gaines, Acting Fire Administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); Daniel Baldwin, Assistant Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP); and Arthur Herbert, Assistant Director, Enforcement Programs and Services, for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Also joining CPSC on the Mall was Jason Henderson. Mr. Henderson lost both hands and sight in his right eye during a fireworks-related incident.

CPSC is working closely with our federal partners to enforce fireworks regulations, protect our ports, prosecute manufacturers and distributors of illegal explosives, and educate the public about the risks associated with fireworks.

“Fireworks not only create significant dangers to citizens when used improperly or illegally but also increase the demands on fire departments and firefighters,” said Acting U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines. “This nation has lost four firefighters as a result of the use of illegal fireworks. Calls to EMS and Fire departments increased as individuals continue to be injured and burned. Almost 9,000 people were injured last year as a result of civilian use of fireworks. With these increased demands the risks to firefighters and EMS personnel needlessly increase when fireworks play gets out of control.”

The federal government is committed to stopping the manufacture and sale of illegal fireworks.

“ATF is committed to protecting the public by finding and stopping those who endanger our communities by illegally making and selling explosives devices,” said ATF Assistant Director Arthur Herbert. “If you become aware of an illegal manufacturing operation, or see someone selling devices or fireworks illegally, report it immediately to your local law enforcement or to ATF at (888) 283-2662.”

Consumers who decide to purchase legal fireworks are encouraged to take the following safety steps:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that come in brown paper packaging, as this can often be a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Adults should always supervise fireworks activities. Parents often don’t realize that there are many injuries from sparklers to children under five. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move back to a safe distance immediately after lighting.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light one item at a time then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks fully complete their functioning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding to prevent a trash fire.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

2007 Fire Prevention Week Open House Big Success

Under sunny skies and unusually warm weather, the 2007 Annual Station 55 Open House held on Saturday October 6 was a big success with the largest public attendance in some time — over 75 people. Many families toured the apparatus and equipment displays that included all of Station 55’s apparatus (except 5505 that is out of service for repairs) as well as information and a brush truck from the NJ State Forest Fire Service.

The Fire District 3 Fire Safety House was a popular attraction with members providing training and instruction to many attendees on the principles of home safety. Approximately 15 volunteer members of the Jackson Vol. Fire Co. No.1 as well as District 3 career firefighter Pat Hilger offered tours to all participants all during the four-hour event.

“We were very pleased by the big turnout by residents of Jackson and nearby areas. We’re proud of the fire department and the community we live in — so it’s a good day when we can educate, train and inform residents to be safer in their homes and workplace” stated Volunteer Captain Tim Carson of Station 55. “One family from Vancouver Canada that was visiting relatives in Jackson even stopped by to help their nephews be better informed about fire prevention” added Carson.

Participants in the open house also had the opportunity to witness a demonstration vehicle extrication by a Station 55 crew that removed two doors and the roof of a four-dour sedan in a simulated accident rescue event. Also, later in the day, a small simulated range-top fire was shown by Station 55 members featuring the recommended use of a dry chemical extinguisher to control such fires.

Three door prize drawings for home fire safety products were held through the generous donations made by Target, Lowe’s, and Sears Hardware. Refreshments were also made possible through a donation made by Shop Rite of Jackson.

Annual Fire Prevention Open House

Fear not: Firefighters are there to help
Staff Writer

JACKSON — Children watched from a distance as members of Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company Number One tore into an unsuspecting sports car.

The extrication demonstration was part of an open house yesterday to teach children about what firemen do.

A group of four dismantled the car with an ax, sawing or breaking the glass in a fenced-in yard littered with car parts from previous drills. A three-floor wooden fort, used for rescue drills, served as the backdrop.

The door made heavy popping noises as it was mangled with a hydraulic spreader. Another man handed them hooks and electric saws.

They found the fiberglass body did not give easily, and had to change tools. The roof was eventually cut from the rest of the car and bent back.

It was the kind of thing Colin Nagy, 5, of Jackson wants to do when he grows up.

“I want to be a fireman and a policeman and a race car driver,” he said, keeping his options open.

This display of destruction was totally cool to his 10-year-old brother T.J., watching from behind the fence. He had just run through all the six trucks spread through the parking lot of the station.

Frank and Breanna Durkas took the same tour of the trucks, lingering particularly long at the bell in the front of one truck. But the trailer, in which a house is re-created for edu-cational purposes, also held a lasting impression.

“You have to call 911 when there’s an emergency,” said Frank, 5. “Like when there’s a fire or something like that.”

This is the reaction the fire company was hoping for.

“This is what we have to focus on — education,” Lt. Tim Carson said.

If a child is stuck in a car, and the firefighters have to use these same machines to get him or her out, the child will remember seeing the “cool” demonstration, and might not be so frightened, Carson said.

Similarly, the kids coming out and interacting with the firefighters will let them know these adults are ones they can trust, Carson said, especially in a house fire.

“You’re in a situation where you’re scared enough,” Carson said. “Then you see one of us coming down the hallway with a mask on our face. The breathing apparatus sounds like Darth Vader.”

Children are found hiding in bathtubs, under beds and toy chests, he said. The goal of meeting kids at an open house is to show them that if firemen are coming, they don’t need to be afraid.

Chris Lundy: (732) 557-5748
Published on October 10, 2005, in the Ocean County Observer