Star of Life


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Eden Fire Department
2791 E. Church Street
Eden, New York 14057
(716) 992-4062

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

  • What should I do if I discover a fire?
  • What should I do if I am trapped in a burning building?
  • What should I do after I have experienced a fire in my home or business?
  • Is my home safe to live in after a fire?
  • Where can I go for assistance after a fire?
  • Are open fires allowed in the Town of Eden?
  • How is the fire put under controlled?
  • What is fire insurance?
  • Where is the best location for a smoke detector in my home?
  • What is Carbon Monoxide and why do I need a detector as such?
  • Is it really needed to practice a fire drill in my home?
  • What are some Kitchen Fire Safety tips?
  • What some holiday season safety precautions I should follow?

    What should I do if I discover a fire?

    If You Discover a Fire

    a. Remove everyone from the area

    b. Dial 911 or if in a building with fire alarms then sound the nearest fire alarm

    • State your name
    • State your exact or approximate location of and extent of fire (large, smoldering rags, etc.)
    • State if applicable, the nature of disability you or someone else may have, or of the need for an ambulance.

    c. Close doors to isolate area

    d. Evacuate the building, CALMLY, by following EXIT signs to nearest fire exits,

    • DO NOT USE ELEVATORS. Persons with disabilities or in wheelchairs should remain in fire towers (someone should remain with them) until help arrives.

    e. Remain on the scene, but at a safe distance, to receive and direct fire fighters when they arrive.

    • If you are a supervisor, try to account for your employees and report any missing persons to the emergency personnel at the scene.
    • Do not re-enter the building until directed to do so.

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    What should I do if I am trapped in a burning building?

    a. Always feel the door before opening, if it is hot to the touch, DO NOT OPEN.

    b. Seal cracks in doors to prevent smoke from seeping into room.

    c. Open window for ventilation.

    d. If there is a phone in room, call fire department. If no phone, wave cloth out of window to signal for help.

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    What should I do after I have experienced a fire in my home or business?

    • Secure the site.
    • Make sure all entrances and exits to your home and/or business can be locked or secured. It is the owner's responsibility to cover any windows and/or doors that are broken or holes that may be open to protect against vandalism or weather conditions.
    • Remove any of your valuables if you are unable to remain in the home.
    • Contact your Insurance agency.
    • Contact your local police department.
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    Is my home safe to live in after a fire?

    • This of course depends on the extent of your damage. Be watchful for rekindling of hidden smoldering remains.
    • Electrical wiring within the home or business may have experienced water damage and should be checked by an electrician before the current is restored.
    • Due to water damage and/or the burning of structural forms, roofs and floors your home or business may not be safe, contact a local contractor for safety measures.
    • Discard any food, beverages and medicines that have been exposed to any heat, smoke or soot.
    • Refrigerators or freezers which have not been open will maintain their temperature for a certain period of time. If any items have thawed, do not attempt to refreeze.
    • Contact your local Police Department if you will not be remaining in your home or business so that they may keep an eye on your property during its' vacancy. You may also want to contact your neighbor, utility companies (telephone, gas, electric, water), mail services and newspaper delivery if you will not be at home for any length of time.
    • Remember to take not only your valuables (checkbooks, insurance policies, credit cards, jewelry) with you, but any necessities such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, prosthetic devices or vital medicines.
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    Where can I go for assistance after a fire?

    • The American Red Cross or the Salvation Army will assist you if you are in need of temporary housing, food, clothing, or medicines that you have lossed as a result of the fire.
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    Are open fires allowed in the Town of Eden?

    Burning leaves, brush, and tree trimmings is permitted, but the incineration of garbage, or rubbish created by land clearing is illegal. Any fire, though, that is a nuisance to nearby residents, is prohibited. Open Fires regulations are governed by NY State. If you have a question about this law, inquiries should be made to Enviromental Conservation, Air Resources at 857-7130.

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    How is the fire put under controlled?

    Fighting the Fire
    Most fire fighting consists of applying water to the burning material, cooling it to the point at which combustion is no longer self-sustaining. Fires involving flammable liquids, certain chemicals, and combustible metals often require special extinguishing agents and techniques. With some fuels the use of water may actually be dangerous. (1993-1996 Microsoft Corporation-Encarta-'97)

    The basic tactics of fighting a fire can be divided into the following categories: rescue operations, protection of buildings exposed to the fire, confinement of the fire, extinguishing the fire, and salvage operations. The officer in charge, usually designated as the fireground commander, surveys the area and evaluates the relative importance of these categories. The commander also estimates what additional assistance or apparatus may be needed. Rescue operations are always given priority. Fire fighter safety has assumed increasing importance.
    Once the fireground commander has appraised the situation, fire fighters and equipment are deployed. Pumper, ladder, and other truck companies, as well as rescue squads, are assigned to different areas of the fire, usually in accordance with the number and types of hose streams the fireground commander considers necessary to control the fire and prevent its spread.

    In accordance with standard procedure for first alarms, fire companies go immediately to their assigned locations without waiting for specific orders. Special plans cover contingencies such as a fire covering a large area, a large building, or a particularly hazardous location. Usually on a first alarm one of the pumpers attacks the fire as quickly as possible, using preconnected hose lines supplied by the water tank in the truck, while larger hose lines are being attached to the hydrants. Members of the ladder and rescue companies force their way into the building, search for victims, ventilate the structure-break windows or cut holes in the roof to allow smoke and heat to escape-and perform salvage operations. Ventilating the structure helps to advance the hose lines with greater safety and ease, and also serves to safeguard persons who may still be trapped in the building.

    Temperatures within a burning building may exceed 815 C (1500 F). Brightly burning fires principally generate heat, but smoldering fires also produce combustible gases that need only additional oxygen to burn with explosive force. The hazards to which fire fighters and occupants of a burning building are exposed include the breathing of superheated air, toxic smoke and gases, and oxygen-deficient air, as well as burns, injuries from jumping or falling, broken glass, falling objects, or collapsing structures. Handling a hose is difficult even before the line is charged with water under pressure. Nozzle reaction forces can amount to several hundred pounds, requiring the efforts of several people to direct a stream of water. (1993-1996 Microsoft Corporation-Encarta-'97)

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    What is fire insurance?

    Fire Insurance, insurance obtained by owners of homes and commercial properties to provide reimbursement in case of losses resulting from fire. Such insurance is supplied in exchange for the payment of a premium. The five types of insurers who write policies are stock companies, mutual companies, reciprocal exchanges, Lloyd's organizations, and advance premium cooperatives (see Insurance). Most of the fire insurance in the U.S. is underwritten by stock companies. Some business firms, however, are self-insurers; that is, they set aside funds to be used exclusively for indemnifying losses resulting from fire.(1993-1996 Microsoft Corporation-Encarta-'97)

    Insurance Policies
    The basic fire-insurance policy covers losses resulting directly from damage or destruction by fire or lightning. In the early 1900s, insurance companies in the U.S. first offered, for an additional premium, to extend the coverage of fire-insurance policies to other perils by the use of an endorsement on the policy. By the late 1920s these additional perils were incorporated into a so-called extended-coverage endorsement. Extended coverage at present includes the perils of damage by windstorm, hail, explosion, riot, strikes, civil commotion, aircraft, vehicles, and smoke. The endorsement may also be extended further.

    In fire insurance the premium rates are of two kinds: class rates and schedule rates. Dwellings are largely class rated; that is, they are grouped into fairly homogeneous categories according to the type of occupancy, type of construction, and type of community fire protection. A uniform rate is applied to all risks in the same category. Commercial and industrial properties, which vary greatly in respect to degree of hazard, are usually schedule rated. In schedule rating the individual physical characteristics of each risk are appraised according to a schedule of charges and credits. The elements considered in the rating include occupancy, construction, internal protection, community fire protection, and exposure from neighboring buildings.

    The frequently used homeowners package policy combines fire, extended coverage and other perils, theft, and comprehensive personal liability into one policy. This results in a savings to the policyholder and eliminates overlapping coverages. Similar package policies are available for commercial use.

    In recent years many owners of residential and business properties in congested inner-city areas have been unable to obtain adequate insurance coverage for fire, vandalism, burglary, and theft. The Federal Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 encouraged insurance companies and state regulatory authorities, through a federal program of reinsurance, to set up Fair Access to Insurance Requirements plans, through which residents of low-income areas may obtain the insurance they need. If damage is caused by riot or civil commotion, the federal government will reimburse the insurance company for its losses. (1993-1996 Microsoft Corporation-Encarta-'97)

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    What are some Kitchen Fire Safety tips?

    One fifth of all home fires start in the kitchen. Watch what you place on the stove. You should never put anything on the stove that you don't want to cook. Keep pot handles on the stove point to the back. Never pour water on a grease fire, and always have a fire extinguisher handy.

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    What some holiday season safety precautions I should follow?

    Protect your family against fire this Holiday season. Fire safety may be compromised with the addition of decorations throughout the home. Be Careful not to overload circuits with added plugs for lights. Make sure real trees basins are always filled with water. Throw out your real tree before the pine needles become dried up. Exercise caution when placing lights on the tree that the lights are away from wrapping paper of packages under the tree, curtains hanging, and even your woodwork or molding.

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    Is it really necessary to practice a fire drill in my home?

    Yes!!! To avoid confusion and lack of communication at a crucial time, it is important to have your plan in place. It is important to have and alternate escape route from every room of your house, especially your bedrooms. Decide on a meeting place for all family members away from the house, and most important practice, practice, practice! There isn't much time to escape in an actual fire and practice will save you precious time.

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    Where is the best location for a smoke detector in my home?

    INSTALL SMOKE DETECTORS ON EVERY LEVEL OF YOUR HOME. Smoke is responsible for 3 out of 4 fire related deaths. Remember to test all smoke detectors once a month and replace batteries once a year, usually when you turn your clocks.

    A smoke alarm can only sound when smoke reaches its sensor. In a three-level home that means smoke from a basement fire would not trigger an alarm until fire spread up two floors, which may not give you time for a safe escape. Early warning is why it's so important to have smoke alarms on every level of your home, and one in each bedroom and bedroom hallway. In a fire there is little time to get your family to safety. The earlier the warning, the better your chances of a safe escape.

    The National Fire Protection Agency and the Eden Fire Department suggest installing smoke alarms:
    1. On each level of your home
    2. In every bedroom
    3. In corridors outside the bedrooms
    4. Above stairwells

    For best performance, follow these installation guidelines:
    1. Mount smoke alarms in the middle of the ceiling if possible. If not, mount them on the wall at least three feet from any corner, and four to six inches from the ceiling.
    2. Do not install smoke alarms where drafts from fans of air ducts can reach them.The moving air can blow smoke away from the alarm's sensor.
    3. To avoid "nuisance alarms" (like those caused by cooking smoke), keep alarms at least ten feet from stoves and steamy showers.

    Proper maintenance is the key to long life:
    1. Test smoke alarm every week
    2. Replace batteries twice a year, a good rule of thumb is to change the batteries in your smoke alarms when you change you clocks.
    3. Vacuum the outside cover regularly to remove dust and dirt particles
    4. Smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old should be replaced

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    What is Carbon Monoxide and why do I need a detector as such?

    Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless deadly gas. Because you can't see, taste or smell it, carbon monoxide can kill you before you know that it is there. Everyone is at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Medical experts believe, however, that individuals with greater oxygen requirements such as unborn babies, infants, children, senior citizens and people with coronary or respiratory problems are at greater risk.

    The great danger of carbon monoxide is its attraction to hemoglobin in the bloodstream. When breathed in, carbon monoxide bonds with hemoglobin in the blood, displacing the oxygen which cells need to function. When CO is present in the air, it rapidly accumulates in the blood, forming a toxic compound known as carboxyhemoglobin (COHb). Carboxyhemoglobin causes symptoms similar to the flu, such as headache, fatigue, nausea, dizzy spells, confusion, and irritability. As levels of COHb increase, vomiting, loss of consciousness and eventually brain damage or death can result.

    Carbon monoxide is a by-product of incomplete combustion, present whenever fuel is burned. It is produced by common home appliances, such as gas or oil furnaces, clothes dryers, ranges, ovens, water heaters or unvented space heaters, fireplaces, charcoal grills and wood burning stoves. Fumes from automobiles also contain carbon monoxide and can enter a home through walls or doorways if a car is left running in an attached garage.

    All of these sources contribute to a CO problem in the home. If a home is vented properly and is free from appliance malfunctions, air pressure fluctuations or airway, venting or chimney blockages, carbon monoxide will most likely be safely vented to the outside. But energy-efficient insulation meant to keep warm air in during winter months and cool air in during summer months could cause carbon monoxide to be trapped inside.

    Furnace heat exchangers can crack, vents and chimneys can become blocked, disconnected or corroded; inadequate air supply for combustion appliances can cause conditions know as downdrafting or reverse stacking, which force CO contamination air back into the home.

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends installing at least one carbon monoxide detector with an audible alarm near the sleeping area. A detector on every level and in every bedroom provides extra protection. Remember, a carbon monoxide detector is a purchase that could save your life. Select an Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) listed detector. For an extra margin of safety, chose a self-powered, extra sensitive unit that responds to lower levels of carbon monoxide and protects even during power outages.

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