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Fire Marshal Offers Fire Safety Advice

Published: October 08, 2018 at 06:00 am

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In view of the coming home heating season, during which the number of residential fires occurring typically increases, Newtown Fire Marshal Rich Frampton is offering the public some basic advice about fire safety.

Mr Frampton urges that residents make sure that their smoke detectors are in good working order, so that if a home fire should occur, the smoke detectors will sound, providing residents with ample time to evacuate the burning building.

“You want an early warning in the event of fire,” he said.

The town fire marshal’s office has a supply of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors available for free to residents who are unable to purchase such safety devices, according to Mr Frampton. Local residents in need who want a smoke detector or a CO detector for their homes should go to the fire marshal’s office at Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street within Fairfield Hills. The office is open Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 4:30 pm, and can be reached at 203-270-4370.

Mr Frampton also urges that residents create a home evacuation plan so that they will know how best to exit the building in the event of a fire.

National Fire Prevention Week this year runs October 7-13. During the month of October, representatives of the five local volunteer fire companies — Botsford, Dodgingtown, Hawleyville, Newtown Hook & Ladder, and Sandy Hook — visit public and private schools and child daycare centers in their fire districts to educate children about fire safety.

The fire marshal’s office also conducts an annual fire safety poster contest for students in grades 4 and 5.

Mr Frampton urges that if they burn wood, residents should have the exhaust paths for wood smoke, such as chimneys and flue pipes, cleaned regularly. The frequency of such cleanings depends upon how much wood is burned and what type of wood is burned.

A chimney that has not been cleaned develops an interior coating of the flammable substance known as creosote, which under certain conditions, can ignite, causing a chimney fire and potentially a structure fire.

The fire marshal points out that some modern construction materials and designs can lead to more serious residential fires than occurred in the past when more traditional materials and designs were employed. Also, some modern furniture, which is composed of synthetic substances, can emit toxic fumes when it ignites.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), three out of five home fire deaths occur in homes without alarms or without working alarms, mainly due to dead batteries or missing batteries.

According to NFPA, those who find themselves in a reported home fire today are more likely to die than those in a fire in 1980.

“Open floor plans and a prevalence of modern synthetic furnishings make homes burn faster, and the fires produce deadly smoke and gases within moments,” according to NFPA spokeswoman Lorraine Carli. A person can have as little as two to three minutes to escape a home fire today, as compared to eight to ten minutes years ago, Ms Carli said in a statement

“Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere,” is the theme for Fire Prevention Week 2018.

The NFPA offers the following advice under this year’s theme:

*Look for places fire can start;

*Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm; and

*Learn two ways out of each room.

Besides having working smoke detectors and an evacuation plan, people should looking for potential fire hazards in the home, Ms Carli said.

A person’s home is the place that they face the greatest fire risk, when considering that four out of five US fire deaths occur in homes, according to NFPA

“Our goal for Fire Prevention Week is to make sure people recognize that fire remains a very real risk, and that everyone needs to take action to protect themselves and their families,” Ms Carli said.

For more information about Fire Prevention Week, visit firepreventionweek.org.

Founded in 1896 by a group of insurance firms, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property damage, and economic loss due to fire, electrical, and related hazards. NFPA has sponsored Fire Prevention Week since 1922.

 

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