From the Firehouse: October 2021

From the Firehouse by Jack Halchak, Past Chief HFD
October 2021

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.
We attended the 92nd Annual Sullivan County Volunteer Firefighter’s Association parade in Grahamsville on a glorious sunny day. The Grahamsville Fire Department did an outstanding job putting on the parade. Hurleyville won two trophies, a first place for the best appearing tanker and a second-place marching trophy for small company regulation uniform. There was a great crowd on Main Street Grahamsville and especially by the reviewing stand. There were many shout outs of “Thank You for Your Service” and friends and family cheering you on. It made you hold your head up a little higher and put a little more spring in your step. (I know I did)
At our September fire department meeting, we had a surprise guest. Reva Willis was there to present the fire department with a framed picture of the Twin Towers wrapped in the American Flag to say, “Thank you for what you do.” It will hang in a place of prominence in our meeting room for all to see. Thank you, Reva.
We are still up in the air about having our annual Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, October 31 and our Halloween Parade later that night because of the rise in COVID numbers.
Don’t forget October 3 – 9 is “Fire Prevention Week.” This year’s theme is “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety.” From beeps to chirps, this year’s campaign works to better educate the public about the sounds smoke alarms make, what those sounds mean, and how to respond to them.
According to the latest NFPA “Smoke Alarms in the U.S.” report, working smoke alarms in the home reduce the risk of dying in a reported fire by more than half. However, almost three out of five home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms (41 percent) or smoke alarms that failed to operate (16 percent). Missing or non-functional power sources, including missing or disconnected batteries, dead batteries, and disconnected hardwired alarms or other AC power issues, are the most common factors when smoke alarms fail to operate.
People tend to remove smoke alarm batteries or dismantle alarms altogether when the alarm begins to chirp as a result of low batteries or the alarm is no longer working properly, or when experiencing nuisance alarms. These behaviors present serious risks to safety that can have tragic consequences in the event of a fire.
This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety,” helps people better understand the reasons smoke alarms may sound and provides the know-how to effectively address them. The campaign also addresses special considerations for the deaf and hard of hearing, along with information about carbon monoxide alarms.

Key messages for “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety” include:
• When a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide (CO) alarm sounds, respond immediately by exiting the home as quickly as possible.
• If your alarm begins to chirp, it may mean that the batteries are running low and need to be replaced. If the alarm continues to chirp after the batteries are replaced, or the alarm is more than 10 years old, it is time to replace the alarm.
• Test all smoke and CO alarms monthly. Press the test button to make sure the alarm is working.
• If there is someone in your household who is deaf or hard of hearing, install bed shaker and strobe light alarms that will alert that person to fire.
• Know the difference between the sound of a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm – three beeps for smoke alarms; four beeps for carbon monoxide alarms.
Some of these facts may be hard to believe, but they are true. Case in point, I responded to a possible structure fire in an apartment complex that turned out to be burnt food. Of the eight apartments in the building there was NOT ONE WORKING SMOKE DECTECTOR. There were some with dead batteries and some with no batteries. This is why there is a new standard for smoke detectors that they must have a ten-year sealed battery. Check yours today!
Be sate out there!