New Canaan Fire Marshal: Fireplace and CO Safety

As the temperature drops as it has been, I begin to worry about a couple of things – CO poisoning and fireplace ash disposal. With the cold weather we tend to close up our homes and our heating systems are working over-time to keep up with the demand. We also want to warm up our cars before we venture out into the cold abyss. CO (carbon monoxide) is the by-product of incomplete combustion so it can be all around us; cars, boilers, furnaces, water heaters, generators, pressure washers, air compressors, gas fireplaces/logs to name a few. Following are a few tips to help keep you and your family safe during the cold weather:

Always insure fireplace damper is fully open before lighting.

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.

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. Trees

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. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways. 
Cut a few inches off the trunk of your tree to expose the fresh wood.

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. Keeping fire safety top of mind in the kitchen during this joyous but hectic time is important, especially when there’s a lot of activity and people at home. As you start preparing your holiday schedule and organizing that large family feast, remember, by following a few simple safety tips you can enjoy time with your loved ones and keep yourself and your family safe from fire. Top safety tips

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

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

“There is no greater tragedy than one that could have been prevented.”  I cannot take credit for this statement‚—however, I could not agree more and the tragedy of home fires and the devastation they inflict is a perfect example. When the prevention is as easy as installing and maintaining smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors it becomes more ironic. 

This year daylight savings time ends on Sunday, November 6 at 2:00 a.m..  (Remember “Spring ahead – Fall back.”) In concert with the nation wide campaign “Change Your Clocks – Change Your Batteries”, The New Canaan Fire Department and the New Canaan Fire Marshal’s Office also want to remind everyone to change the batteries in your smoke detectors.  By being proactive this also helps avoid that annoying “chirp” that inevitably starts at 2 in the morning. Also, if you have an alarm system, having annual servicing to ensure proper operation is vital. Residents who are unable to change their own batteries may call fire headquarters at 203-594-3140 to arrange for fire fighters to come to your residence for assistance. If you have a security system with integrated smoke detectors, residents are reminded that these systems require annual maintenance as well.