New Canaan Fire Marshal: Facts on Natural Gas

By now most are aware that Eversource is bringing natural gas to New Canaan, so I thought it was a good time to provide some basic information about “gas.” The following are some basic facts about natural gas:

Natural gas is a lighter than air gas, when released into the atmosphere it rises and dissipates. Propane is a heavier than air gas so it sinks when released. Both natural gas and propane have an odorant (ethyl mercaptan) added because in their natural states they are odorless, colorless and tasteless. That is the “rotten egg” odor we know as “gas.”
As with propane, natural gas may be used to feed multiple household appliances—for example, water heaters, stoves, pool heaters, fireplace logs, grills, furnaces, boilers and generators. 
Most propane equipment can be converted to use natural gas by licensed technicians.

Fire Marshal Issues Safety Tips During ‘National Fire Prevention Week’

Each year, more than 2,500 people die in fires, most of them in residential occupancies. National Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 7 to 13 this year and the theme is “Every Second Counts – Plan Two Ways Out!” and the fire service throughout the country will be working to emphasize fire safety awareness as will the New Canaan Fire Department. Firefighters will be visiting schools throughout town giving demonstrations on how to stay fire safe. Also, school groups will be touring the fire house to learn about how the fire fighters live, train and work. 

Following is a list of general fire safety tips to help stay safe at home:

First and foremost, have smoke detectors installed on each level of the home and inside of each sleeping room and make sure they have fresh batteries at least once per year.

Fire Marshal Issues Safety Tips for College-Bound New Canaan Teens

Very soon many young people will be heading off to college – some for the first time. It is a time of big change for first-time collegians beginning the next stage in their lives. Fire safety is probably the last thing that families are thinking about as they head off to college.  

However, fire safety is very important – even more so – in dorms or apartment buildings with hundreds of young students. Even more critical is “off-campus” housing that may not be covered by campus housing rules as we were so vividly reminded by the tragic fire at Marist College in Poughkeepsie a few years ago. The New Canaan Fire Marshal’s Office would like to offer important fire safety tips to help keep these students safe for this new adventure:

Insure that each sleeping room is equipped with operable smoke detectors. 
Candles are a leading cause of campus fires – never burn candles or other open flame devices in dorm rooms or common areas. 
Never use extension cords in place of proper, permanent wiring. 
If given the choice, opt for a dorm/living quarters equipped with automatic fire sprinkler systems. 
Know all ways out of your room/dorm and, where each exit discharges. Take a few minutes to walk the routes to familiarize yourself. 
In High-rise buildings, always have a means of re-entering your apartment if the hall becomes untenable (have room keys ready to go). 
Always follow all directions and guidelines of the school and participate if fire drills as directed. 
Learn your address so if you have to call 911 on your cell phone you can give the proper location. 
Learn the location of fire alarm pull stations and the sound of the alarm system. 
Never cook in your room – cooking related is another common cause of dorm fires. 

The New Canaan Fire Marshal’s Office wishes all young adults heading off to new frontiers a happy and Fire Safe future. If you have further questions regarding fire safety please call us at 594-3030.

Firefighters Put Out Blaze in Bald Hill Road Garage After Midnight Friday

Firefighters after midnight Friday put out a blaze that started in a garage in the northeastern corner of town, officials said. At about 12:13 a.m. on Aug. 3, the New Canaan Fire Department received a report of smoke at 140 Bald Hill Road, according to Fire Marshal Fred Baker. Arriving units found that a refrigerator in the garage had caught fire, according to Baker. It quickly was extinguished, limiting damage to the garage and its contents, he said.

Water Leaking Through Roof Prompts Town To Close ‘Garelick & Herbs’ Temporarily

Town officials have temporarily closed gourmet market and caterer Garelick & Herbs downtown for safety reasons after discovering that water was dripping through light fixtures in the store. The popular eatery at 97 Main St. has been closed since Friday afternoon due to its “hazardous condition,” according to Fire Marshal Fred Baker. It isn’t clear just when the store would reopen, though town officials said a contractor is addressing a problem with the building’s new roof and that shouldn’t take too long. 

Asked about the situation, Garelick & Herbs said in an email: “We are so sorry for any inconvenience caused to our customers. We are unsure of the date that we will be opening since it is necessary to have all repairs done prior to reopening.”