Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Prevent Fireworks Injuries   June 30th, 2014

Fireworks are a traditional part of many 4th of July celebrations.

For some, the holiday just isn’t complete without sparklers and a chorus of “ooohs” and “aahhs” when it finally gets dark and the big show begins. But, all the fun and celebrating ends quickly when careless and inappropriate use of fireworks results in injury.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 11,400 people in the U.S. were treated in 2013 for fireworks-related injuries. About two-thirds of fireworks injuries are from backyard or Class C fireworks such as firecrackers, bottle rockets, and Roman candles, which are illegal in Ohio.

While they can be purchased in Ohio by anyone who is at least 18 years old, it is illegal to use them.

Ohio residents who purchase these items must sign a form agreeing to take them out of the state within 48 hours.

iStock_000004096928Small

The best way to prevent fireworks-related injuries is to leave fireworks displays to trained professionals.

Non-residents have 72 hours to comply. Ohio law does, however, permit the sale and use of sparklers, trick noise makers and other such novelties anywhere in the state.

But for those who participate, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Council on Fireworks Safety offer the following safety tips:

  • 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.
  • Always read and follow label directions.
  • Be sure other people are out of range before igniting fireworks.
  • Ignite fireworks where you have a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves, and flammable materials.
  • Never try to re-ignite fireworks that have not fully functioned on the first attempt.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby in case fireworks malfunction or a fire occurs.

Guest Contributor & Article Credits: Fire Marshal Alan Perkins, CFPS (Live Safe Foundation, Liaison to the Fire Department Community) – Alan’s career in the fire service spans more than 30 years. He is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist through the National Fire Protection Association and a member of numerous similar safety organizations. Alan consults with numerous fire departments throughout Ohio and in 2005 was chosen by the Ohio Department of Health as the fire service member on the Ohio School Inspection Advisory Committee. He was also awarded Ohio Fire Official of the Year in 2009 by the Ohio Building Officials Association. Alan is the Fire Marshal for the Washington Township Fire Department in Dublin, Ohio. The Washington Township Fire Department provides fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and education and safety programs for Washington Township, which encompasses parts of Franklin, Delaware and Union Counties.

Live Safe Foundation is an Ohio based non-profit organization (501c3), devoted to making and fire and life safety education, awareness initiatives and life saving tools available on a broad basis to communities, campuses, and institutions in an effort to reduce national fire fatalities and fire losses.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Line of Duty | No Comments »


Live Safe offers Water Safety for Children   June 4th, 2014

Summer in Ohio is the season when many of us spend time in and around water- fishing, boating, and swimming. Some of my most fond childhood memories were made at the local swimming pool. However, once we become comfortable swimmers, it’s easier to take risks in and around water. That’s why it’s important to remind your family members of potential water safety hazards. You could prevent an injury or drowning, the second leading cause of death from unintentional injuries for people ages 5-24.

To help your children reduce their risk of drowning, review these important water safety guidelines with them:

  • Swim only if a lifeguard or adult give your permission.
  • Follow the posted rules such as Danger, No diving, or No swimming.
  • Always swim with a buddy. If you get tired or need any help, a buddy may be able to help or find help.
  • Before swimming in an unfamiliar place, check with a lifeguard or adult to see how deep the water is. Unless you know how to swim, never go in water in which you can’t maintain your chest and head above the surface while standing.
  • Never jump or dive unless the lifeguard or an adult says it’s OK to do so. Enter the water feet-first the first time instead of diving.
  • Don’t eat candy or chew gum when swimming. You could choke.
  • Never swim at night. Darkness can hide dangerous obstacles and, if you are injured, darkness makes it more difficult for rescue workers to find and help you.
  • Get out of the water right away if you hear thunder or see lightning.
  • When on a boat, children and adults should wear a personal flotation device (PFD). Should you fall into the water, PFDs help keep you afloat with your head out of the water. Having your head out of the water helps maintain your body temperature and will make it easier for others to see you so they can provide help. Air-filled swimming aids are no substitute for a PFD and should never be used instead of a PFD.
  • Learn to float, tread water, and swim. Having these skills can decrease your chance of drowning should you accidentally find yourself in water over your head.

Guest Contributor & Article Credits: Fire Marshal Alan Perkins, CFPS (Live Safe Foundation, Liaison to the Fire Department Community) – Alan’s career in the fire service spans more than 30 years. He is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist through the National Fire Protection Association and a member of numerous similar safety organizations. Alan consults with numerous fire departments throughout Ohio and in 2005 was chosen by the Ohio Department of Health as the fire service member on the Ohio School Inspection Advisory Committee. He was also awarded Ohio Fire Official of the Year in 2009 by the Ohio Building Officials Association. Alan is the Fire Marshal for the Washington Township Fire Department in Dublin, Ohio. The Washington Township Fire Department provides fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and education and safety programs for Washington Township, which encompasses parts of Franklin, Delaware and Union Counties.

Live Safe Foundation is an Ohio based non-profit organization (501c3), devoted to making and fire and life safety education, awareness initiatives and life saving tools available on a broad basis to communities, campuses, and institutions in an effort to reduce national fire fatalities and fire losses.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Line of Duty | No Comments »


Mulch Fires Common in the Landscape   April 8th, 2014

Mulch is widely used in Central Ohio landscapes for both aesthetic and functional purposes. Many homeowners and businesses apply mulch in the spring to help slow the loss of soil moisture during the hot summer months, discourage weeds, and maintain a tidy appearance. There are now many mulches on the market made from a wide variety of materials including ground rubber, pine needles, oat straw, shredded hardwood and cypress bark, pine bark nuggets, shredded pine bark, composted leaves, brick chips, ground recycled pallets–dyed mulches wood, and even cocoa shells.

Unknown-7

Mulch Fires Common in Landscape

While mulch can be beneficial in landscape applications, it can also pose a fire hazard. Mulch fires are one of the more common calls the fire department answers during the warm months of the year. These fires are usually caused by cigarettes, matches and other smoking materials that are tossed on the ground before people enter a building or into the median from drivers.

Some types of mulch are more easily ignited than others. Typically, mulches that are high in oils such as pine bark and shredded cypress bark, are easiest to ignite according to a study conducted by The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute. Dyed mulches that are commonly processed from pallets can also readily catch fire. In contrast, cocoa shells, medium pine bark nuggets, and hardwood bark were three organic mulches that were tested in the study and found to be more ignition resistant.

To keep mulch fires out of the landscape

  • Do not discard cigarettes or other smoking materials on the ground, in playground areas, or throw them out of your vehicle.
  • Ensure proper clearance to electrical devices such as decorative lighting by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Maintain a minimum of a six-inch clearance between landscaping mulch beds and other combustible items such as buildings, shrubs, etc.
  • Use non-combustible mulch such as rock or pea gravel around the gas meter and next to combustible portions of a structure.
  • Maintain mulch at a depth of two to four inches to eliminate the chance of spontaneous combustion.

Do you have a fire prevention, fire, or life safety question for the fire department? Submit it to fireinfo@wtwp.com.

Guest Contributor & Article Credits: Fire Marshal Alan Perkins, CFPS (Live Safe Foundation, Liaison to the Fire Department Community) – Alan’s career in the fire service spans more than 30 years. He is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist through the National Fire Protection Association and a member of numerous similar safety organizations. Alan consults with numerous fire departments throughout Ohio and in 2005 was chosen by the Ohio Department of Health as the fire service member on the Ohio School Inspection Advisory Committee. He was also awarded Ohio Fire Official of the Year in 2009 by the Ohio Building Officials Association. Alan is the Fire Marshal for the Washington Township Fire Department in Dublin, Ohio. The Washington Township Fire Department provides fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and education and safety programs for Washington Township, which encompasses parts of Franklin, Delaware and Union Counties.

Live Safe Foundation is an Ohio based non-profit organization (501c3), devoted to making and fire and life safety education, awareness initiatives and life saving tools available on a broad basis to communities, campuses, and institutions in an effort to reduce national fire fatalities and fire losses.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Line of Duty | No Comments »


Live Safe reminds you to Change your clocks, CHANGE your batteries!   March 7th, 2014

Live Safe Foundation urges you to change your smoke alarm batteries when resetting clocks this weekend as part of the annual daylight saving time routine.

23809144_SA

Remember to test and change your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when you change your clock to and from Daylight Saving Time. As a family, review your home fire safety plans and remind your friends, family and neighbors of the life-saving habit of changing and testing smoke alarm batteries.

Most clocks, cell phones and computers will automatically update to the time change, moving forward from 2am to 3am. However, stoves, microwaves and car radios need to be updated manually. Remember to clear any dust away from the detectors and confirm they are working once installed.

Studies have shown that smoke alarms can reduce the chance of dying in a fire by 50%. For the best protection, install smoke alarms on every level of the home including the basement, outside each sleeping area and in every bedroom. For more information on proper fire alarm and smoke detector installation contact your nearest fire station.

Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, March 9 at 2 am and clocks are set forward one hour. This “spring ahead” routine is a good reminder to make sure that smoke alarms are in good working condition.

 

 

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Line of Duty | No Comments »


Placing a 9-1-1 Call—What You Should Know   February 21st, 2014

When an emergency, such as a fire occurs, it’s easy to become panicked and confused. As a result, many 9-1-1 calls made to emergency dispatchers are often not complete, thus hindering the fire department’s ability to arrive quickly to the scene. By knowing what to expect when you call 9-1-1 and making a few simple preparations, you can steer clear of the common mistakes people make when they place an emergency phone call.

  • Keep the 9-1-1 number posted on every telephone in your house and ask neighbors to do the same. Make the call from inside your home only if you are trapped. Otherwise, get out, report to your family’s agreed upon meeting place, and call the fire department from a neighbor’s phone or cell phone.
  • Speak clearly and calmly. Give the dispatcher the location of the emergency and a brief description of the incident you are reporting. Be prepared to answer questions such as location, address, name, and telephone number. Stay on the phone until you have answered all the dispatcher’s questions and he or she says it’s OK to hang up. Help is being dispatched at the same time the call taker is continuing to gather additional information. If your call is a medical emergency, the dispatcher will provide pre-arrival medical instructions telling you what to do before medics arrive. Use for Useless feeling
  • Do not program 9-1-1 into your phone. It is too easy to accidentally call the number. If you dial 9-1-1 in error, DO NOT hang up. With the enhanced 9-1-1 features in our area, the caller’s address and telephone number is automatically identified for the dispatcher’s reference. Instead, stay on the line and let the dispatcher know you made a mistake. Otherwise he/she will send emergency crews to your address and needlessly tie up resources from real emergencies.
  • If you use a cell phone to place an emergency call, the dispatcher receives your call back number and the approximate location from which you are calling. It is imperative that you stay on the line and tell the dispatcher the exact location of the emergency.
  • Make sure your house number is displayed with large numbers (at least four inches high) in a contrasting color that can be seen easily from the road. If your home is situated far off the road, be sure your driveway is well marked with your street address.
  • Share with your children and family members that making false emergency calls as a joke is a crime that costs lives. False alarms tie up emergency telephone lines and endanger emergency personnel driving to the scene.
  • Once emergency personnel arrive, ensure they have current medical information for your family at their disposal by posting on your refrigerator a Vial of Life form for each member of your family. The Vial of Life form, if completed and kept current, can provide valuable information (medical history, medications, emergency contacts, doctor’s names etc.) that will help paramedics expedite emergency medical treatment and/or transition to a physician’s care. Vial of Life forms are available on the Township’s web site, www.wtwp.com , or by request at 652-3920. They are especially helpful when the person in need of medical care cannot speak or isn’t old enough to be able to provide the necessary information, or when by-standers or family members are panicked or confused and have difficulty remembering all the details paramedics need.

Guest Contributor & Article Credits: Fire Marshal Alan Perkins, CFPS (Live Safe Foundation, Liaison to the Fire Department Community) – Alan’s career in the fire service spans more than 30 years. He is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist through the National Fire Protection Association and a member of numerous similar safety organizations. Alan consults with numerous fire departments throughout Ohio and in 2005 was chosen by the Ohio Department of Health as the fire service member on the Ohio School Inspection Advisory Committee. He was also awarded Ohio Fire Official of the Year in 2009 by the Ohio Building Officials Association. Alan is the Fire Marshal for the Washington Township Fire Department in Dublin, Ohio. The Washington Township Fire Department provides fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and education and safety programs for Washington Township, which encompasses parts of Franklin, Delaware and Union Counties.

Live Safe Foundation is an Ohio based non-profit organization (501c3), devoted to making and fire and life safety education, awareness initiatives and life saving tools available on a broad basis to communities, campuses, and institutions in an effort to reduce national fire fatalities and fire losses.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Line of Duty | No Comments »


Scalds – A burning issue for Burn Awareness Week 2014   February 3rd, 2014

Hot liquids burn like fire and can injure the people you love.  Scald injuries affect all ages. Young children and the elderly are most vulnerable.  This is why the American Burn Association wants to provide you with information on scald injury prevention.

Annually in the United States and Canada, over 500,000 people receive medical treatment for burn injuries.  Roughly half of these injuries are scalds.  Most burns occur in the home, usually in the kitchen or bathroom. Scald injuries are painful and require prolonged treatment.  They may result in lifelong scarring and even death.  Prevention of scalds is always preferable to treatment and can be accomplished through simple changes in behavior and the home environment.

In conjunction with Burn Awareness Week, (February 7 – 13, 2010) the American Burn Association and several other prevention organizations are providing information relating to scald burns for use in your own communities. Although anyone can sustain a scald burn, certain people are more likely to be scalded —infants, young children, older adults and people with disabilities.  These high risk groups are also more likely to require hospitalization, suffer complications and experience a difficult recovery. Most burn injuries occur in the person’s own home and the vast majority of these injuries could have easily been prevented.

Tap water scalds are often more severe than cooking-related scalds.     WaterScaldingChart

The American Burn Association recommends the following simple safety tips to decrease the risk to yourself and those you love from tap water scalds:

  • Set home water heater thermostats to deliver water at a temperature no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit / 48 degree Celsius.  An easy method to test this is to allow hot water to run for three to five minutes, then test with a candy, meat or water thermometer.
  • Adjust the water heater and wait a day to let the temperature drop.  Re-test and re-adjust as necessary.
  • Provide constant adult supervision of young children or anyone who may experience difficulty removing themselves from hot water on their own.  Gather all necessary supplies before placing a child in the tub, and keep them within easy reach.
  • Fill tub to desired level before getting in.  Run cold water first, then add hot.  Turn off the hot water first.  This can prevent scalding in case someone should fall in while the tub is filling.  Mix the water thoroughly and check the temperature by moving your elbow, wrist or hand with spread fingers through the water before allowing someone to get in.
  • Install grab bars, shower seats or non-slip flooring in tubs or showers if the person is unsteady or weak.
  • Avoid flushing toilets, running water or using the dish- or clothes washer while anyone is showering.
  • Install anti-scald or tempering devices.  These heat sensitive instruments stop or interrupt the flow of water when the temperature reaches a pre-determined level and prevent hot water that is too hot from coming out of the tap.
  • Cooking-related scalds are also easy to prevent.  Some things you can do to make your home safer from cooking-related burns include:
  • Establish a “kid zone” out of the traffic path between the stove and sink where children can safely play and still be supervised.  Keep young children in high chairs or play yards, a safe distance from counter- or stovetops, hot liquids, hot surfaces or other cooking hazards.
  • Cook on back burners when young children are present.  Keep all pot handles turned back, away from the stove edge.  All appliance cords should be coiled and away from the counter edge.  During mealtime, place hot items in the center of the table, at least 10 inches from the table edge.  Use non-slip placemats instead of tablecloths if toddlers are present.
  • Never drink or carry hot liquids while carrying or holding a child.  Quick motions may cause spilling of the liquid onto the child.

Burn Awareness Week, observed the first full week in February, is designed to provide an opportunity for burn, fire and life safety educators to unite in sharing a common burn awareness and prevention message in our communities. For more information about preventing scald burns, contact the American Burn Association at 312-642-9260 or www.ameriburn.org.

Other Burn Prevention resources include:

Photo Chart: Google Images

LiveSafe Foundation is an Ohio based non-profit organization (501c3), and leading grassroots movement, devoted to making fire safety education, awareness initiatives and life saving tools available on a broad basis to communities, campuses, and institutions in an effort to reduce national fire fatalities and fire losses. LiveSafe aims to help finance fire safety education where means are otherwise unavailable. LiveSafe is developing and sponsoring programs to help groups find the resources needed to advance individual and community fire safety.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Line of Duty | No Comments »


A Resolution to Make Your Home a Safer Place   December 30th, 2013

Make a New Year’s resolution that can benefit your family, will be easy to fulfill, and will yield big rewards. Resolve to conduct a home fire and safety inventory.

The Washington Township Fire Department offers a Fire Safety Inventory checklist that will help you identify fire risks in your home, most of which can be easily remedied but are frequently overlooked. In completing the inventory, you will examine your furnace filter, portable heaters, fireplace, electrical cords, circuit breakers, windows, candles, appliances, light fixtures and more.

If you would like assistance conducting your inventory, make an appointment with one of our fire safety inspectors, who will review the checklist items with you and offer advice that is specific to your home such as smoke alarm and fire extinguisher placement, and storage practices.

images

Resolve to conduct a home fire and safety inventory!

An estimated 2500 people in the U.S. will die in a home fire in 2013. Most will die because they aren’t prepared to act. Knowing what to do and how to escape can greatly reduce your chances of dying in a fire. The Fire Safety Inventory can help you and your family be better prepared to escape from a fire, such as making and practicing a home fire escape plan and having fire drills at least twice a year.

To get a copy of the checklist, call the Washington Township Fire Department at 614-652-3920 or go to the Township’s web site, www.wtwp.com. Click on Services, Fire & EMS Safety Programs, and Home Fire Safety Inventory.

Guest Contributor & Article Credits: Fire Marshal Alan Perkins, CFPS (Live Safe Foundation, Liaison to the Fire Department Community) – Alan’s career in the fire service spans more than 30 years. He is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist through the National Fire Protection Association and a member of numerous similar safety organizations. Alan consults with numerous fire departments throughout Ohio and in 2005 was chosen by the Ohio Department of Health as the fire service member on the Ohio School Inspection Advisory Committee. He was also awarded Ohio Fire Official of the Year in 2009 by the Ohio Building Officials Association. Alan is the Fire Marshal for the Washington Township Fire Department in Dublin, Ohio. The Washington Township Fire Department provides fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and education and safety programs for Washington Township, which encompasses parts of Franklin, Delaware and Union Counties.

Live Safe Foundation is an Ohio based non-profit organization (501c3), devoted to making and fire and life safety education, awareness initiatives and life saving tools available on a broad basis to communities, campuses, and institutions in an effort to reduce national fire fatalities and fire losses.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Line of Duty | No Comments »


Candles are a Growing Cause of Fires   December 18th, 2013

Candles have become very popular over the last ten years. The industry is a $2 billion industry. The large variety of shapes, sizes, colors, containers, and fragrances offered have contributed to their popularity and wide use in nearly every room of the house. Seven out of ten homes in the U.S. use candles throughout the year to decorate, create a desired mood, celebrate, add fragrance, mask odors and generate light.

During 2011, candles in U.S. homes caused an estimated 9100 reported structure fires, 90 deaths, 870 injuries, and $313 million in estimated property damage, according to the latest estimates from the National Fire Protection Association.

The winter holiday season is a peak time for candle burning as we take part in end-of-year holiday celebrations.  Historically, the number of home candle fires in December increases by more than 50% compared to other months of the year. Start implementing safe habits for candle use throughout the year. Never underestimate the damage that a small flame can do.

  • Extinguish candles before you leave the room or go to bed.

    images

    Candles are a Growing Cause of Fires

  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can catch fire such as flammable decorations, curtains, carpets, books, papers and Christmas trees.
  • Burn candles on a heat-resistant surface in a stable, non-flammable container that grips or holds the candle securely, can catch any drips or melted wax, and is not subject to cracking or breaking when heated (tempered).
  • Keep wicks trimmed to ¼  inch.
  • Extinguish a candle if it smokes, flickers repeatedly, or the flame becomes too high.
  • Extinguish taper and pillar candles when they burn to within two inches of the holder and votive and container candles before the last half inch of wax begins to melt.
  • Keep candles away from flammable liquids and never use one to check a pilot light or when fueling equipment such as a kerosene heater or lantern. The flame could ignite the fumes into flame. Flashlights and other battery-powered lights are much safer light sources than candles during a power failure.
  • Always burn candles in a well-ventilated room but away from drafts, vents and air currents to help prevent rapid, uneven burning, smoking, and excessive dripping. Drafts can also blow lightweight curtains or papers into the flame where they could catch fire.
  • Don’t allow teens to have candles in their bedrooms. Forty percent of candle fires start in the bedroom.

Images: Courtesy of Google Images

Guest Contributor & Article Credits: Fire Marshal Alan Perkins, CFPS (Live Safe Foundation, Liaison to the Fire Department Community) – Alan’s career in the fire service spans more than 30 years. He is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist through the National Fire Protection Association and a member of numerous similar safety organizations. Alan consults with numerous fire departments throughout Ohio and in 2005 was chosen by the Ohio Department of Health as the fire service member on the Ohio School Inspection Advisory Committee. He was also awarded Ohio Fire Official of the Year in 2009 by the Ohio Building Officials Association. Alan is the Fire Marshal for the Washington Township Fire Department in Dublin, Ohio. The Washington Township Fire Department provides fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and education and safety programs for Washington Township, which encompasses parts of Franklin, Delaware and Union Counties.

Live Safe Foundation is an Ohio based non-profit organization (501c3), devoted to making and fire and life safety education, awareness initiatives and life saving tools available on a broad basis to communities, campuses, and institutions in an effort to reduce national fire fatalities and fire losses.

Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in Line of Duty | No Comments »


December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month   December 12th, 2013

As the holiday gift-giving season is upon us, so begins our shopping for the toys we enjoy giving the special children in our lives. Selecting the right toy can be a challenge as there are millions from which to choose and new ones appearing on the shelves each year. Although toys are intended to be fun, they can be pose hazards to their users if not soundly designed and constructed or if the toy is not intended for the age of its user. In 2011, an estimated 262,300 toy-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments, 70% of which happened to children 12 years of age or younger.

Do you know what toys are safe for your child? When evaluating the ones you are considering this year, remember to:

  • Consider the child’s age, interests and skill level. Look for quality in design and construction, and follow age and safety recommendations on labels.

    XmasPresents

    December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month

  • Consider purchasing a small parts tester (also known as a choke tube) to determine whether small toys may present a choking hazard to children under the age of three. Small parts testers or choke tubes can be purchased at toy or baby specialty stores.
  • Check the National Safe Kids Campaign web site, www.safekids.org, for updates and information on recent toy recalls.
  • Avoid toys with sharp points or edges, toys that produce loud sounds, or projectiles (ie. darts, firing rockets).
  • Avoid toys with strings, straps or cords longer than seven inches that may pose a risk for strangulation.
  • Avoid electric-powered toys with heating elements for children under the age of eight.
  • Avoid cap guns as the caps they use can be ignited by the slightest friction and can cause serious burns.

Images: Courtesy of Google Images

Guest Contributor & Article Credits: Fire Marshal Alan Perkins, CFPS (Live Safe Foundation, Liaison to the Fire Department Community) – Alan’s career in the fire service spans more than 30 years. He is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist through the National Fire Protection Association and a member of numerous similar safety organizations. Alan consults with numerous fire departments throughout Ohio and in 2005 was chosen by the Ohio Department of Health as the fire service member on the Ohio School Inspection Advisory Committee. He was also awarded Ohio Fire Official of the Year in 2009 by the Ohio Building Officials Association. Alan is the Fire Marshal for the Washington Township Fire Department in Dublin, Ohio. The Washington Township Fire Department provides fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and education and safety programs for Washington Township, which encompasses parts of Franklin, Delaware and Union Counties.

Live Safe Foundation is an Ohio based non-profit organization (501c3), devoted to making and fire and life safety education, awareness initiatives and life saving tools available on a broad basis to communities, campuses, and institutions in an effort to reduce national fire fatalities and fire losses.

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Line of Duty | No Comments »


Dirty Chimneys can Cause Chimney Fires   November 12th, 2013

As the winter season in Central Ohio begins, so begins the season for using fireplaces and wood stoves. Disposing of the ashes properly and making sure your chimney or stove exhaust pipe is clean will help keep you from falling victim to a fire.

Ashes can retain enough heat to start a fire for several days. Wet the ashes you remove to make sure they are cold and then dispose of them in a metal container, not in paper bags or cardboard boxes. Keep the container away from all combustible materials and away from your home.

images

Dirty Chimneys can Cause Chimney Fires

Chimney fires are caused by a build-up of creosote on the inner walls of the chimney or exhaust pipe. Creosote, the residue that forms from incomplete combustion of wood, can be black, brown, flaky, tar-like, soft and sticky, or hard and shiny. All forms are highly flammable, and when built up, can cause very hot fires that damage chimney structure (mortar, masonry, tiles) and nearby parts of the house. Conditions that encourage creosote buildup are restricted air supply, unseasoned wood, and cooler-than-normal chimney temperatures.

Air supply on fireplaces can be restricted by closed glass doors or by failure to open the damper wide enough to move heated smoke up the chimney rapidly. A wood stove’s air supply can be limited by closing the stove damper or air inlets too soon and too much, and improperly using the stovepipe damper to restrict air movement.

Because unseasoned wood has more moisture than seasoned wood, it burns cooler, resulting in cooler smoke that doesn’t move as rapidly through the system, causing creosote buildup.

Exterior chimneys are cooler than ones that run through the center of a house and, as a result, are likely to have creosote build up more rapidly. In the case of wood stoves, fully packed loads of wood burn cooler resulting in cooler smoke and more creosote buildup. Smaller, hotter fires that burn more completely and produce less smoke are better.

Signs of a chimney fire range from very obvious such as loud, low rumbling and sucking sounds with flames shooting out the top of your chimney, to hardly detectable, when they are slower burning. Both can cause significant damage to the chimney structure and home. The majority of home fires started by chimneys or chimney connectors begin in concealed or structural spaces adjacent to the chimney.

Clean chimneys don’t catch fire. Make sure a CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) Certified Chimney Sweep inspects your chimney or stove’s venting system each year, and cleans and repairs it when necessary. Install and maintain a carbon monoxide alarm to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

If you experience a chimney fire, call the fire department immediately and get everyone out of the house.

Images: Courtesy of Google Images

Guest Contributor & Article Credits: Fire Marshal Alan Perkins, CFPS (Live Safe Foundation, Liaison to the Fire Department Community) – Alan’s career in the fire service spans more than 30 years. He is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist through the National Fire Protection Association and a member of numerous similar safety organizations. Alan consults with numerous fire departments throughout Ohio and in 2005 was chosen by the Ohio Department of Health as the fire service member on the Ohio School Inspection Advisory Committee. He was also awarded Ohio Fire Official of the Year in 2009 by the Ohio Building Officials Association. Alan is the Fire Marshal for the Washington Township Fire Department in Dublin, Ohio. The Washington Township Fire Department provides fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and education and safety programs for Washington Township, which encompasses parts of Franklin, Delaware and Union Counties.

Live Safe Foundation is an Ohio based non-profit organization (501c3), devoted to making and fire and life safety education, awareness initiatives and life saving tools available on a broad basis to communities, campuses, and institutions in an effort to reduce national fire fatalities and fire losses.

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Line of Duty | No Comments »


« Older Entries
Newer Entries »
Live Safe's Facebook    Live Safe's Twitter    Live Safe's YouTube Live Safe's App

Stop, Drop & Roll Over To Our Partners