Fred Baker

New Canaan's fire marshal.

Recent Articles

New Canaan Fire Marshal’s Safe Grilling Tips

At the first signs of warm weather many folks head directly to their barbecue grill to start that greatest of summertime traditions: grilling! (Or, if you are like me it never stops). To ensure everyone can enjoy their back yard bistros unencumbered by unfortunate mishaps, following is a list of steps you can take to avoid being “well done”:

Make sure that your grill is serviced and cleaned annually, following manufacturers instructions for care and use. Leak check all hoses and fittings on gas grill with a dish detergent and water solution. If any “bubbling” appears, have the grill serviced by a certified technician. Continue Reading →

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Fire Marshal: As Daylight Savings Nears, Remember To Change Fire, CO Alarm Batteries

Change your clocks—change your batteries. As it seems that this interminable winter will never end, we look for signs that better (that is, warmer) weather is approaching. One of those is the beginning of Daylight Savings Time which starts this weekend, officially at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 12. (Remember: “spring ahead, fall back.”)

In concert with the nationwide campaign “Change Your Clocks—Change Your Batteries,” the New Canaan Fire Department wants to remind everyone to change the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms.

“There is no greater tragedy than one that could have been prevented.” —I can’t take credit for this statement however, I could not agree more and the tragedy of home fires with the devastation they create is a perfect example. And when the prevention is as easy as installing and maintaining smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, it becomes more ironic. Continue Reading →

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Fire Marshal: Proper Response to Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Recently, the New Canaan Fire Department has been receiving calls for service from residents, stating: “I think my [carbon monoxide] detector is malfunctioning—it keeps beeping but everything is fine.”

When firefighters arrive they meter the home and find that, in fact, there are low levels of carbon monoxide or ‘CO’ present. That is the beauty of CO detectors—they alarm before the threat is dangerous to occupants. The device is doing its job. When a CO detector sounds it is important to call 911 and have the Fire Department come and test your home to make sure it is safe. Common causes of CO alarming is cars started in the garage and allowed to run for few minutes (even with the door open), malfunctioning heating system or water heater, gas log sets not burning properly, small engine appliances running outside of the structure (generators, lawn mowers, etc.). Continue Reading →

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