New Canaan Fire Marshal: Exit Drills in the Home or ‘EDITH’

Home fires can become a disaster if you and your family are not familiar with how to escape during an emergency. The first step is to design a fire escape plan:

Sketch a floor plan of your home, indicate on the plan doors and windows from which you can escape from each room. Identify at least 2 ways out of every room. Designate a meeting place outside of the home where family members should meet once they have safely escaped. Practice your fire escape plan; regular exit drills in the home will allow you to test the plan and make adjustments as needed.

New Canaan Fire Marshal: Taking Down Christmas Trees 

Taking down the Christmas tree isn’t nearly as much fun as putting it up. But the longer a tree stays up, the greater a fire hazard it becomes. All Christmas trees can burn, but a dried-out tree can become engulfed in flames in a matter of seconds. In a year where many people began decorating their homes earlier than usual, trees have been in homes longer than usual, presenting an increased risk of fire as the days go by. 

When Christmas is over or the tree begins to drop needles, dispose of it. 
Do not leave it in the house or store it in the garage. 
Never burn a tree in the fireplace or wood stove. 
To dispose of your tree, it can be taken to the Steve Benko pool in Waveny Park from December 30th-January 8th where it will be recycled and used to resurface the trails at the Nature Center. This is a joint effort between the Town and Planet New Canaan.

New Canaan Fire Marshal: Proper Battery Storage

Batteries are unsung heroes. While we turn them on to power everything from flashlights to remote controls to cars, we think about them only when they need to be replaced. 

If you have batteries you are not using, you want to be sure that you know where they are and that they’re in good working condition once you need them. 

In order to store your batteries correctly, you should keep them in their original packaging or place them in a plastic container; never store batteries inside equipment. Keep batteries in a cool location with low humidity and make sure they are aligned in the same direction. If possible, use plastic caps to prevent corrosion. 

Lastly, be sure to separate old and new batteries from each other. 

How to Store Batteries in a Safe Way 

Whatever kind of batteries you need to store, the following guidelines should help you keep them in good condition for as long as possible. However, keep in mind all battery types have different shelf lives, even when kept under the best conditions. 

How Long Does an Unused Battery Last? 

Most unused alkaline batteries will last between five and 10 years, while Ni-MH (nickel metal hydride) batteries have a shelf life of three to five years of non-use.

New Canaan Fire Marshal: Holiday Safety Tips

The holidays are an exciting time of year and to help ensure a safe holiday season, here are some tips from the New Canaan Fire Marshal’s Office:


When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant.” When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break. The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles. When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces, radiators or portable heaters.

New Canaan Fire Marshal: Thanksgiving Safety

The greatest number of home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving according to the National Fire Protection Association. Unattended cooking is by far the leading contributor in cooking fires. Kids love to help out during holiday preparations. By following a few simple safety tips you can enjoy time with your loved ones and keep you and your family safe from fire. Kitchen Safety Tips

-Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top so you can keep an eye on the food.