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Firefighter News - February 2016

Sonoma County Fire Department News
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Firefighter News - February 2016

Winter Home Heating Fires

905 people die and $2 billion in property loss occurs from winter home fires every year. 67 percent of winter fires occur in one- and two-family homes. Cooking is the leading cause of all winter home fires. Heating was the second leading cause of home fires following cooking. Home heating fires peaked in the early evening hours between 5 and 9 p.m. with the highest peak between 6 and 8 p.m. This four-hour period accounted for 30 percent of all home-heating fires. Home heating fires peaked in January (21 percent) and declined to the lowest point during the summer months from June to August. Confined fires, those fires confined to chimneys, flues or fuel burners, accounted for 84 percent of home heating fires. Twenty-nine percent of the non-confined home heating fires occurred because the heat source was too close to things that can burn. Ensure that your Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Alarms are operational. Replace batteries as recommended by the mfg. 

Winter Home Heating Tips

Space Heater

Keep anything that can burn, such as bedding, clothing and curtains, at least 3 feet away from the heater.

Make sure the heater has an automatic shut-off, so if it tips over, it shuts off.

Turn heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.

Plug portable heaters directly into outlets and never into an extension cord or power strip.

Only use portable heaters from a recognized testing laboratory.

Fireplace

Keep a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace to prevent embers or sparks jumping out.

Do not burn paper in your fireplace.

Put the fire out before you go to sleep or leave your home.

Put ashes in a metal container with a lid, outside, at least 3 feet from your home.

Wood Stove

Make sure your wood stove is 3 feet from anything that can burn.

Do not burn paper in your wood stove.

Put the fire out before you go to sleep or leave your home.

Have your chimney inspected and cleaned each year by a professional.

Furnace

Have your furnace inspected each year.

Keep anything that can burn away from the furnace.

Replace your furnace filters as recommended by the mfg.

Kerosene Heater

Only use kerosene heaters from a recognized testing laboratory.

Make sure the heater has an automatic shut-off, so if it tips over, it shuts off.

Refuel your cooled heater outside.

FORESTVILLE FIRE

Our daytime temperatures have been favorable, so let’s not forget about the fog and potential icy conditions that may exist in the evenings. On behalf of all fire departments and EMS responders, please consider leaving a little sooner for your destinations than you normally would, allowing for slower and more cautious driving. Please drive safely! 

Forestville Fire Alarm Recap 2015

The Forestville Fire District’s paid and volunteer staff participated in 975 hours of in house training and logged over 13,534 hours responding to 727 calls for service during the 2015 calendar year. The District’s volunteer staff provided coverage for the District’s first out engine company to assure that it was staffed by a total of 3 personnel, 2 paid and 1 volunteer, at all times. Total fire damage for the year was $428,200. In 2015 members of the District also served the community by donating to local civic, youth groups and charities as well as, setting up for the Youth Park Barbeque, Toys for

Tots and local toy giveaways, installing the new banners in town, delivering Santa Claus to the tree lighting, assisting with the town cleanup, EMT standby at El Molino football games and a host of other events and charities. The Forestville Fire District Board of Directors would like to thank all of the members of the Forestville Fire District and their families for another year of Service and Sacrifice.  

GRATON FIRE

2015 in Review

As 2015 ended, the firefighters of the Graton Fire Protection District completed 595 calls – A New Record! Annually, the number of calls grows – 13 percent this year.  This may not seem like much when compared with larger city departments, but Graton Fire still runs every call with volunteers – from the Fire Chief to the Trainees...  they interrupt their paying jobs and personal lives to serve the community.  Graton is one of the busiest volunteer fire departments in Sonoma County.  Thank you to all of our volunteers, employers, and families for their understanding and support.  

New Fire Chief

Bill Bullard has been selected as the Fire Chief for the Graton Fire Department. This follows the retirement of Chief Terry Davis, who served for over 40 years in the fire service and will be missed. Bill has been with Graton Fire for 18 years and served as the Deputy Fire Chief since 2003. He brings over 30 years of public safety experience to the department.