Fire Prevention Week
The reality is that when fire strikes, your home could be engulfed in smoke and flames in just a few minutes. It is important to have a home fire escape plan that prepares your family to think fast and get out quickly when the smoke alarm sounds. What if your first escape route is blocked by smoke or flames? That’s why having two ways out is such a key part of your plan.This year’s theme,“Have 2 Ways Out!”, focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.
Check back often for more info as Fire Prevention Week Approaches
As we move forward to a new year, we look into our crystal ball and try to plan and educate accordingly for things to come. A hot topic lately is heating. Almost half of Pittsfield building fires are heating related! Most are chimney fires. This is alarming to us because wood is making a big comeback. Chimneys that have heavy use, or are using green wood are more susceptible to fire from buildup of creosote on the walls of the chimney. In older chimneys, or chimneys that do not have liners, fire is more likely to extend from the wall of the chimney into the partitions of a house. Most of the time, cleaning your chimney is not on your “things-to-do” list during the summer, when you are planning a vacation or a long weekend. Most homeowners have their chimney cleaned right
before the cold season, when chimney sweeps are at their busiest. A simple way to remember to have your chimney cleaned is to mark it on your calendar and call for an appointment the day after July 4. Make it a priority on your “thing-to-do” list!
I always talk about fire prevention; however this year we will be conducting a few programs to promote EMS safety. Health safety is also important, such as blood pressure screening. Screening can, over a few months, show a trend in your blood pressure. This will make talking to your doctor about it easier. We will also be conducting a pilot program for Community First Aid and CPR. Keep a look out for information this spring!
Lastly, our “We Can’t Help You if We Can’t Find You” campaign is still ongoing. Please take a few minutes to make sure your home is numbered, and the number is visible from the road. If your house sits off the road, a mail box or stake in the ground might suffice. The larger the numbers, the easier it is for us to find you. However, they must be contrasting with the background color; all the same color at night is just that, the same and it all blends together.
Pittsfield has a very comprehensive, cut and dry ordinance on the proper way to number your house: Street Numbering Ordinance
Again, I would like to thank everyone who helped during the year on the various public education events the Pittsfield Fire Department has hosted, and attended. Without the support from the community and local businesses these events wouldn’t have happened.
The Pittsfield Fire and Rescue Service and I are grateful for all of the support and help you have provided. Community support for these events is critical. Without the citizen and business support you provided we could not have provided the fire safety programs to the community.
Yours in Fire Safety,
Lt. Ken White, Fire Prevention