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Firefighter News -February 2017


Firefighter News - February 2017

Winter Home Heating Fire – Facts 

• 905 people die in winter home fires each year.

• $2,091,000,000 in property loss occurs from winter home fires.

• 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.


• 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.


• 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.


Looking back to 2016, it was another busy year for our crews. We ended the year with 1,747 calls for service which has become the average in the last five years. The breakdown looks like the chart shown.

Like most West County agencies, Russian River Firefighters were kept busy with storm and flood related calls in early January. In the five day period from the start of the storms until the water receded below flood stage, crews responded to a total of 59 incidents, including: 15 medical aids; 3 water rescues; and 28 hazardous conditions. Many thanks to our crews and those of the Sonoma County Road Department, Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office and PG&E.

2016 Incidents

Public Assist - 33
Illegal Burning - 28
Other Service Calls - 46
Good Intent Calls - 304
False Calls - 24
Tree/Power Lines Down - 70
Hazardous Conditions - 28
Medical Aid - 1,097
Vehicle Accidents - 81
Other EMS Related Calls - 9
Structure Fire - 6
Vegitation Fire - 3
Other Fire Related Calls - 17

Total             1,747

As a reminder, the Russian River Fire Protection District Board of Directors will hold their next meeting on February 8th at 6pm at the fire station at 14100 Armstrong Woods Rd in Guerneville. We hope you’ll consider attending.

Visit us online at


It’s been a busy year in Bodega Bay and the surrounding area with 639 calls for service. Our annual report will be ready in a few short weeks. It will be available online.

As always, please visit us at or on Facebook for the latest goings on.

Elizabeth Martin was elected to serve as the Board President for 2017, David Kruppa was re-elected to the Vice President position. Thank you all for your support. 


Love your family?  Practicing the E.D.I.T.H. Plan (Exit Drills in the Home) states loud and clear you love your family and you want them to understand what action they need to take in case of a fire, or emergency in the home.   When a fire starts, seconds count.  Implementing a family exit plan and practicing the plan provides family members “memory muscle” when a fire or emergency occurs.  

Follow these simple steps to create an E.D.I.T.H. Plan for your loved ones:  maintain working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, draw an escape plan of your home, practice the plan (twice a year), get out and stay out, go to your meeting place and call for help. For more information on evacuation plans visit 

For additional “memory muscle” quiz kids on their home exit plan, while driving in the car, at the dinner table and when the family is out for a walk. Also, play the “what if game” with your children. Create a scenario where your family would need to implement the E.D.I.T.H Plan and see how the kid’s respond.  Expand the game to include asking your children about exit plans in the movie theater, shopping malls, downtown library, grocery store, etc. Exit plans are needed everywhere!  Know your exits!