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.

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.

In Wake of Three Structure Fires in New Canaan, Local Fire Marshal Issues Safety Tips

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.

Fire Renders Strawberry Hill Road Home Uninhabitable Late Sunday

A fire late Sunday rendered a Strawberry Hill Road home uninhabitable, officials say. New Canaan firefighters at 6:24 p.m. were dispatched to the home at 57 Strawberry Hill Road on a report of a blaze in its chimney, Fire Marshal Fred Baker said in a press release. 

There, they found a fire burning in the walls around the chimney and into the attic, Baker said. “The fire appears to have been caused by a breach in the chimney system, allowing hot embers to escape and ignite the structural members,” he said in the release. The homeowners were home at the time and no one was injured, Baker said. They’ve made arrangements to stay with neighbors, he said.