Fred Baker

Recent Articles

New Canaan Fire Marshal: Change Your Clocks—Change Your Batteries

As it seems that this interminable winter will never end, we look for signs that better (i.e., 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 11. (Remember “Spring ahead—Fall back.”)

In concert with the nation wide 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 CO 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. Thanks to generous donations by New Canaan Firefighters, Local 3224, free batteries will be offered to New Canaan residents (three per household, please) at Fire Headquarters on Main Street from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 10. Continue Reading →

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Fire Marshal: Safety Tips during Power Outages

Following is list of helpful tips to keep our families safe during this power outage:

If using candles, extreme caution must be used – never leave unattended. If running a portable generator it must be at least 10 feet outside of the structure – never in a garage. Never use propane or charcoal grills inside. Have properly installed and operating smoke and CO (carbon monoxide) detectors. Alarm systems only have about 4-6 hours of stand-by power. Continue Reading →

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New Canaan Fire Marshal: The Critical Importance of Clearly Displayed House/Street Numbers

We have all been there – driving to an unfamiliar area and trying to find an address and there are no house/street numbers. GPS and apps like WAZE help some but, if house/street numbers are not clearly displayed you may not find your destination easily. This sounds simple but, in an emergency, it can be the difference between life and death. Put yourself in the emergency responder’s role—police, fire or EMS—and see how difficult the task becomes. Having street/house numbers clearly posted so emergency responders can easily find your home is critical and it is something that you have to do. Continue Reading →

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Blustery Winter Storm Dumps Nearly One Foot of Snow in New Canaan; Public Schools Closed Friday

The winter storm that whipped into New Canaan before dawn Thursday dumped an estimated 10.4 inches of snow on the town, as gusting winds blew high snowdrifts and dozens of local businesses and organizations were forced to close with road conditions rapidly deteriorating. New Canaan Public Schools will be closed Friday, too, officials said, while district offices will open on a 2-hour delay. Town Hall will open at 10 a.m.

New Canaan Police confirmed two storm-related motor vehicle accidents on Thursday afternoon while firefighters responded to multiple reports of frozen pipes, as sustained low temperatures continued throughout the day, hovering between single digits and the mid-20s. Police Lt. Jason Ferraro, the department’s public information officer, urged motorists to monitor road conditions and stay home if possible in order for state and local highway crews to clear the streets and make them safe. “People should still stay home after it stops snowing and use caution if they must venture out,” Ferraro said. Continue Reading →

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Fire Marshal: Low Temps Raise Concerns about CO Poisoning, Ash Disposal

As the temperature drops as it has been (and appears for at least the near future) I begin to worry about a couple of things—carbon monoxide or ‘CO’ poisoning and fireplace ash disposal. With the cold weather we tend to close up our homes and our heating systems are working overtime to keep up with the demand. We also want to warm up our cars before we venture out into the cold abyss. Recently, we have talked about how improper disposal of fireplace ashes is such a big problem (firefighters just held their drawing for free ash disposal cans). However, a fire in Weston on Christmas Day destroyed a garage/barn. Continue Reading →

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