New Canaan Fire Marshal Issues Generator Safety Tips

As we deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Isaias, it is a good time to review generator safety.  

The New Canaan Fire Department has already responded to at least four instances of carbon monoxide in homes caused by generators.  

Past experiences show that many residents have generators at their homes that if not installed and used properly they can pose a serious threat. The primary hazard is CO poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust.  

Following is a list of do’s and don’ts for portable and stationary generator use and installation:

Make sure that a building permit has been obtained from the Building Department for the installation of a standby generator.

New Canaan Fire Marshal’s ‘Fireworks Safety’ Tips

With New Canaan’s Family Fourth Celebration canceled this year many may want to try their  hand at backyard celebrations. The New Canaan Fire Marshal’s Office wishes to make sure everyone knows about fireworks safety. Only sparklers and “shower” type fireworks are legal to sell and use in Connecticut. No aerial or exploding type fireworks are permitted to be sold or used in the state.  

Only persons 16 years and older may use the above fireworks. 
Always keep at least 30’ away from spectators and structures and strictly follow manufacturer’s instructions. 
Make sure you are in a clear, open area with no dry vegetation or other combustibles that
can easily ignite. 
Never lean over a display when igniting. 
Always have a garden hose or bucket of water available. 
If a display fails to discharge (a dud), NEVER look into it or pick it up – let it sit and then
scoop it with a shovel and dunk it in a pail of water. 
Remember, most pets are terrified of fireworks so take necessary precautions to keep
them safe. 
Never ignite fireworks while holding them, always have a level, stable surface to set them on. 
Be extremely careful of sparklers – the metal sticks become red hot and can cause severe burns – have a bucket of water available to dunk them in when they have expired.   
Be mindful of neighbors and their safety. 
Don’t throw used fireworks directly in the trash – keep them in a separate noncombustible container for at least 24 hrs.

New Canaan Fire Marshal: Grill Safety Tips

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 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.

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

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.

After Scare in New Canaan, Fire Marshal Issues CO Safety Tips

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.