Dec 06

Holiday Fire Safety

Decorating homes and businesses is a long-standing tradition around the holiday season. Unfortunately, these same decorations may increase your chances of fire. Based on data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), an estimated 250 home fires involving Christmas trees and another 170 home fires involving holiday lights and other decorative lighting occur each year. Together, these fires resulted in 21 deaths and 43 injuries.

Following a few simple fire safety tips can keep electric lights, candles, and the ever popular Christmas tree from creating a tragedy. Learn how to prevent a fire and what to do in case a fire starts in your home. Make sure all exits are accessible and not blocked by decorations or trees. Help ensure that you have a fire safe holiday season.

Christmas Trees

What’s a traditional Christmas morning scene without a beautifully decorated tree? If your household includes a natural tree in its festivities, take to heart the sales person’s suggestion – “Keep the tree watered.”

Christmas trees account for hundreds of fires annually. Typically, shorts in electrical lights or open flames from candles, lighters or matches start tree fires. Well-watered trees are not a problem. A dry and neglected tree can be.

Selecting a Tree for the Holidays

Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needles should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long and, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.

Caring for Your Tree

Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree. Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.

Disposing of Your Tree

Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood-burning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling center or having it hauled away by a community pick-up service.

usfa.fema.gov

Nov 29

Driving Safety tips – FOG

  • Drive with lights on LOW beam. High beams will reflect off the fog, creating a “white wall” effect.
  • Reduce your speed – and watch your speedometer. Fog creates a visual illusion of slow motion when you may actually be speeding.
  • Avoid crossing traffic lanes.
  • Travel with the drivers window partially open. Listen for traffic.
  • Watch for CHP pace cars to guide you.
  • If your car is disabled or you cant continue, pull well onto the shoulder and turn off lights. Move away from your vehicle.
  • Consider postponing your trip until the fog lifts.

 

http://www.chp.ca.gov/html/fog-tips.html

Nov 23

Cooking tips, not only for holidays but everyday

Cooking fires continue to be the most common type of fires experienced by U.S. households. This is even more apparent during the holidays. There is an increased incidence of cooking fires on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve Day, and Christmas Day. Cooking fires are also the leading cause of civilian fire injuries in residences. These fires are preventable by simply being more attentive to the use of cooking materials and equipment.

Don’t become a cooking fire casualty. Learn the facts about cooking fire safety today!

Safe Cooking Tips

The kitchen can be one of the most hazardous rooms in the home if you don’t practice safe cooking behaviors. Here are some safety tips to help:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
  • Stay alert! To prevent cooking fires, you have to be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire – potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels, or curtains – away from your stovetop.
  • Keep the stovetop, burners, and oven clean.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire if it comes into contact with a gas flame or electric burner.
  • Plug microwave ovens and other cooking appliances directly into an outlet. Never use an extension cord for a cooking appliance, as it can overload the circuit and cause a fire.

When cooking, stay in the kitchen and keep an eye on the stove.

If You Have a Cooking Fire

  • When in doubt, just get out. When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • If you do try to fight the fire, be sure others are already getting out and you have a clear path to the exit.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and a lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan (make sure you are wearing the oven mitt). Turn off the burner. Do not move the pan. To keep the fire from restarting, leave the lid on until the pan is completely cool.
  • In case of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you or your clothing.
  • If you have a fire in your microwave oven, turn it off immediately and keep the door closed. Never open the door until the fire is completely out. Unplug the appliance if you can safely reach the outlet.
  • After a fire, both ovens and microwaves should be checked and/or serviced before being used again.

Nuisance Smoke Alarms

If a smoke alarm sounds during normal cooking, you may need to move it farther away from the kitchen (according to manufacturer’s instructions) and/or install a smoke alarm with a pause button.

If your alarm already has a pause button, push the pause button, open the door or window, and fan the area around the alarm with a towel to get the air moving. Do not disable the smoke alarm or take the batteries out!

Treat every smoke alarm activation as a likely fire and react quickly and safely to the alarm.

Turkey Fryer Safety Tips

  • Use turkey fryers outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other combustible materials.
  • Never use turkey fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck.
  • Make sure fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
  • Never let children or pets near the fryer even if it is not in use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.
  • To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
  • Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.
  • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water do not mix; water causes oil to spill over causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.
  • The National Turkey Federation recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every five pounds in weight.
  • Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call the fire department for help.

Source: Underwriters Laboratories

Young children are at high risk from non-fire cooking-related burns. Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove.

Burns and Scalds

Most burns associated with cooking equipment, cookware, and tableware are not caused by fire or flame. In 2009, ranges or ovens were involved in an estimated 17,300 thermal burn injuries seen in U.S. hospital emergency rooms. (Source: NFPA) Microwaves are a leading cause of scald burns. Be extra careful when opening a heated food container. Heat food in containers that are marked ‘microwave safe.’ Since foods heat unevenly in the microwave, make sure you stir and test the food before eating.

Protecting Children from Scalds and Burns

Children under five face a higher risk of non-fire burns associated with cooking than of being burned in a cooking fire. (Source: NFPA) You can help prevent these injuries by following a few basic tips:

  • Keep children at least 3 feet away from where food and drink are being prepared or carried.
  • Keep hot foods and liquids away from the table or counter edges.
  • Use the stove’s back burners if you have young children in the home.
  • Never hold a child while cooking, drinking, or carrying hot foods or liquids.

Also, teach children that hot things burn!

Source:  www.usfa.fema.gov

Oct 28

Halloween Safety Tips

Folks, Halloween is just around the corner.  Orland Fire would like to give you some tips to help with your little goblins and witches.

Children should always go out trick or treating accompanied by a responsible adult. If you have a group of kids going, the parents should choose two or three of them to go along and keep an eye on things.

Some towns set a curfew for trick or treating which makes it easier for townsfolk to know who’s coming to their door. Make sure and stick to the curfew times and stick to subdivisions and areas with a lot of homes so your kids can get in as much trick or treating as possible in a few hours time.

Plan a safe route so parents know where their older kids will be at all times. Set a time for their return home. Make sure that your child is old enough and responsible enough to go out by themselves. Make sure that they have a cell phone.

Let your children know not to cut through back alleys and fields if they are out alone. Make sure they know to stay in populated areas and not to go off the beaten track. Let them know to stay in well lighted areas with lots of people around. Explain to them why it can be dangerous for kids not to do this. If they are going out alone, they are old enough to know what can happen to them in a bad situation and how to stop it from happening.

Instruct your children not to eat any treats until they bring them home to be examined by you. This way you can check for any problem candy and get the pick of the best stuff!

Instruct your child to never go into the home of a stranger or get into their car. Explain why this is not a god idea and what to do if someone approaches them and tries to talk to them.

Make sure your child carries a flashlight, glow stick or has reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to cars.

Let them know that they should stay together as a group if going out to Trick or Treat without an adult.

 

Additional information available at:

Halloween Safety Tips

Oct 10

Fire Prevention Week October 9th – 15th, 2011

What’s the best way to protect your family from fire? Be ahead of the game, of course. With more than 360,000 home fires reported in the United States in 2009, according to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), your best defense is a good offense. That’s why Orland’s Volunteer Fire Department wants to let our community know: “It’s Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!” This year’s campaign focuses on preventing the leading causes of home fires — cooking, heating and electrical equipment, as well as candles and smoking materials. Additionally, it urges people to protect their homes and families with life-saving technology and planning.

“In 2009, 2,565 people died in home fires. Nearly all of these deaths could have been prevented by taking a few simple precautions like having working smoke alarms and a home fire escape plan, keeping things that can burn away from the stove and always turning off space heaters before going to bed,” says Orland Volunteer Fire Department. “Fire is a dangerous opponent, but by anticipating the hazards, you are much less likely to be one of the nearly 13,000 people injured in home fires each year.”

Orland Volunteer Fire Department offers the following tips for protecting your home and family from fire:

•Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
•Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
•Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
•Replace or repair damaged or loose electrical cords.
•If you smoke, smoke outside.
•Use deep, wide ashtrays on a sturdy table.
•Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.

“While preventing home fires in Orland is always our number one priority, it is not always possible,” “Orlands’s residents need to provide the best protection to keep their homes and families safe in the event of a fire. This can be achieved by developing an escape plan which you practice regularly and equipping homes with life-saving technologies like smoke alarms and home fire sprinklers.”

The following tips will help keep your family safe if there is a fire in your home:

•Install smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home (including the basement).
•Interconnect all smoke alarms in the home so when one sounds, they all sound.
•Test smoke alarms at least monthly and replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond when tested.
•Make sure everyone in your home knows how to respond if the smoke alarm sounds.
•Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible ways out. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors.
•If you are building or remodeling your home, consider installing home fire sprinklers.

To learn more about “It’s Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!” visit NFPA’s website at www.firepreventionweek.org.

Aug 03

Quiet Summer

So far the summer season has been quiet for the members of the department.  There have been very few large scale fires.

On July 20th, 2011 at approximately 5:00pm members were called out for a vegetation fire in Stony Creek just North of Meadow Wood Estates subdivision.   Five engines and two tankers from Orland responded with one engine and tanker responding each from Capay and Artois.  The fire was quickly contained with an extensive mop-up.  Cause of the fire is currently unknown.

On August 1th, 2011 at approximately 2:00pm members responded to a structure fire on the west side of Orland in the 6200 block of Co. Rd. 17.  Members arrived on scene to a fully involved detached garage.  Other structures were threatened, but members were able to quickly knock the fire down and prevent any further spread of fire.   The building and all contents were a total loss.  Department responded with four engines and two tankers.

But overall a fairly quiet summer.

Thank you to the community for being careful this summer season.

Jun 28

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

As of July 1, 2011 the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act (Senate
Bill – SB 183 will require all single-family homes with an attached garage
or a fossil fuel source to install carbon monoxide detectors within the home
by July 1, 2011. Owners of multi-family leased or rental dwellings, such as
apartment buildings, have until January 1, 2013 to comply with the law.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. Because it is impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes, CO can kill you before you are aware it is in your home. At lower levels of exposure, CO causes mild effects that are often mistaken for the flu. These symptoms include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue. The effects of CO exposure can vary greatly from person to person depending on age, overall health and the concentration and length of exposure.

Steps to Reduce Carbon Monoxide

It is most important to be sure combustion equipment is maintained and properly adjusted. Vehicular use should be carefully managed adjacent to buildings and in vocational programs. Additional ventilation can be used as a temporary measure when high levels of CO are expected for short periods of time.

  • Keep gas appliances properly adjusted.
  • Consider purchasing a vented space heater when replacing an unvented one.
  • Use proper fuel in kerosene space heaters.
  • Install and use an exhaust fan vented to outdoors over gas stoves.
  • Open flues when fireplaces are in use.
  • Choose properly sized wood stoves that are certified to meet EPA emission standards. Make certain that doors on all wood stoves fit tightly.
  • Have a trained professional inspect, clean, and tune-up central heating system (furnaces, flues, and chimneys) annually. Repair any leaks promptly.
  • Do not idle the car inside garage.

Information provided by the
EPA Website

Jun 17

06/17/2011

This afternoon members from Orland Fire Dept., Artois Fire Dept., & Capay Fire Dept., responded to a vegetation/vehicle/structure fire on the Southeast side of Orland.  When members arrived one structure was fully involved with the vegetation fire spreading at a fairly slow rate of speed.  Multiple structures were threatened, but members were able to quickly contain the vegetation fire and prevent it from damaging any other structures.

Orland responded with 5 engines & 2 water tankers.  Artois responded with 2 engines & 1 water tanker and Capay responded with 1 engine & 1 water tanker.

Unfortunately the single structure is a total loss.  The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

Feb 07

Control 1

For one-fourth of the Department’s existence, the Volunteers were guided by the voice of Frances McCollum, the dispatcher on call 24 hours a day for emergency calls in Orland. No matter what the need, the calm, reassuring voice of Frances got many distraught callers through a most difficult time. Frances retired in 2007 having devoted twenty-five years to the Orland Volunteer Fire Department.