As we continue to shelter in place, one thing we can look forward to is firing up the backyard grill for some outdoor dining (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 manufacturer’s instructions for care and use. There are many good tutorials on Youtube.com. 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.
As it seems that this winter will never end, we look for signs that better (i.e. even 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 8, 2020. (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 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. 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 Fire Fighters Local 3224, free batteries will be offered to New Canaan residents (3 per household, please) at Fire Headquarters on Main Street from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 7, 2020. Residents who are unable to change their own batteries may call fire headquarters at 203-594-3140 to arrange for firefighters to come to your residence for assistance. If anyone has any questions or concerns about smoke detector or carbon monoxide detectors or other fire safety topics, pleased contact the New Canaan Fire Marshal’s Office at 203-594-3030.
A New Canaan family is very lucky they had a working carbon monoxide detector Sunday night because they were alerted to a potentially life-threatening problem with their heating system.
Responding firefighters found levels of 50 parts per million when they sampled the home’s atmosphere. The heating system was shut down and the home ventilated and a service tech was called. Signs of CO poisoning are headaches, nausea and bright red complexion. Long-term exposure to low levels of CO can be just as bad a short-term exposure to high levels.
CO is created when incomplete combustion occurs from automobiles, heating systems, generators, fireplaces, etc. Following are some tips to help keep you and your family safe from “The Silent Killer”:
Have at least one CO detector outside of each sleeping area.
Recently, New Canaan has suffered three major structure fires with two of them related to fireplace use. The cause of the third fire was not able to be definitively determined. There was also a small brush fire caused by dumping of fireplace ashes that caused no damage (fortunately). Several residents have called regarding concerns for their fireplaces. Following are some fireplace safety tips to help keep us safe as we move into the fireplace season:
Depending on amount and type of use, chimneys should be cleaned and inspected by certified chimney cleaners at least every few years – more often if used extensively or if wood stoves are used. Older chimneys may require video inspection to check for cracked flue liners and loose mortar.
As the holiday season fast approaches the New Canaan Fire Marshal’s Office wishes all residents a safe and healthy season and offers the following tips:
Candles and holidays go hand in hand and add wonderful warmth to the festive atmosphere. Candles must be kept away from other combustible decorations and never be left unattended. Embers from fire place ashes can remain hot for several days. If cleaning is necessary use a proper metal container with tight fitting lid for disposal. Always use a fireplace screen to contain flying embers.