From the Firehouse: December 2020

From the Firehouse: December 2020 by Jack Halchak, Past Chief HFD

The Hurleyville Fire Department is always looking for help, to fight fire or support those that do. We even supply all of the gear and provide all of the training needed, for free. Stop by any Monday night and find out how you can help.

I would like to welcome aboard two new members that were voted in last month: Stephen Crown and Summer Sherwood. Welcome aboard.

Fire calls continue to climb county-wide. The first day of deer hunting saw three different structure fires involving multiple companies, a motor vehicle accident with entrapment and a fatality, and some other miscellaneous calls. A very busy day. Thanksgiving-eve there were two more multiple company structure fires. In addition to calls in county, some Sullivan County companies have been called out of county for their assistance.
County-wide, there have been a number of furnace malfunctions that probably could have been prevented by cleaning the furnace. Have you had your furnace serviced yet?

There have been a number of high wind storms that caused power outages. Some for an extended period of time. Are you ready for a power outage?
Winter and the holidays are right around the corner. Are you ready? Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded. The kit should include:
• cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries;
• blankets;
• food and water;
• booster cables, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction);
• compass and maps;
• flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries;
• first-aid kit; and
• plastic bags (for sanitation).
Is your home ready for winter?
Staying inside is no guarantee of safety. Take these steps to keep your home safe and warm during the winter months.
• Winterize your home.
o Install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows.
o Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls.
o Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.
• Check your heating systems.
o Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is clean, working properly, and ventilated to the outside.
o Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
o If you do not have a working smoke detector, install one. Test batteries monthly and replace them twice a year.
o Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
o Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies.
 Install a CO detector to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Check batteries when you change your clocks in the fall and spring.
 Learn symptoms of CO poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

A little about Christmas tree safety:
Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights, and keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dry out. Make sure all your indoor and outdoor Christmas lights have been tested in a lab by the UL for safety, and throw out any damaged lights.

And, finally, a little candle safety:
• Trim wick to 1/4” before each lighting. This will give your candle a brighter, cleaner burn. Leaving your wick untrimmed and laden with leftover carbon leads to a duller light that’s more likely to produce smoke.
• Always burn candles within sight. Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire such as furniture, drapes, books, paper, flammable materials, etc.
• Never leave a burning candle unattended. Extinguish flame(s) when leaving a room or before going to sleep and always be sure the wick ember is no longer glowing.

Have a Happy and Safe Holiday Season.