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2013 - Couplings Fall Newsletter wl�Ilmwrwwwiuwwiuwwww ar ktto hiliv - IIIIIIIIIII -� i i- I I i i I ii uiuuuruiuuuuuru�� CONNECTING H E COMMUNITY WITI THE FIRE DEPARTMENT �r 111111111111111111"o 111111111111111111111��h e 111111111111111111"o Livonia firefighters took on 70 flights of stairs, while wearing more than 60 pounds of firefighting turn- out gear, to help people breathe a little easier. The 2013 Fight for Air Climb took place at the Renais- sance Center in Downtown Detroit. Many other area firefighters also participated in this event, raising over $230,000 for the American Lung Association. Sixteen of Livonia's firefighters participated in the event, finishing seventh fastest out of 32 teams do- ing the full turnout gear challenge. The full 70 flights consisted of a total of 1,035 steps to the top floor of the challenge. Livonia firefighters came in first among fire departments in fundraising with a total of over $7,000. Training for this event started over a month and a half prior to the actual event, held in March of this year. aron, i t � The Livonia firefighters who participated in the event include: Mike Persha (our fastest climber, who finished in just 14:44), Joe Schroeder, Joey Merrell, Jerry Eizen, Chris Audette, Drew Ginther, Matt Patra, Justin DeFiore, Scott Rich, Pete Keen, John McKee, Greg Thomas, David Harm, Eric Hughes, John Sawyers and Scott Heraty. Congratulations, Guys! F R 0 M � IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII E Fall is a great time of year to go for a walk, a bike ride, or just spend some time talking to neighbors. The rich C In case colors are a nice part of Michigan, but we all know they lead to winter. While lastear we had well over the aver- of an Y IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII age amount of snow, we need to be prepared for the Emergency seasons. Please take the time to have your furnaces cleaned and inspected, inspect cords on space heaters Dial and any decorations you plan to put up and don't blocklow l the exits with decorations. IE 1 Enjoy this issue of "Couplings"! Shadd m M� � gI �IIE7J 10 pg%In I G%/In;iidaPoIdr, /w�r i lo ANY ay r� ffw 6 , �f�r,////,�� ffuv( F /r f rx�l fN f . ti f 0>1, i0,004#'^ , qaur WATOW" OUT K *00` n"t IL--otg ' fur *'l IMI r klre Uiiiiawalre hliiiii iiiii By Shadd Whitehead I came across a survey recently that got me thinking. The results of the survey indicate that a large number of Americans don't know the basics of home fire safety. This lack of knowledge can lead to a higher risk of property loss, injury and even death from fire. How many of these responses did you know the correct answer to? One of the responses had to do with where smoke alarms should be installed in the home. Nearly three-quarters of respondents did not answer that one correctly. The answer I hope you gave is that smoke alarms should be in- stalled on the ceiling, because smoke from a fire rises and this location gives you the earliest warning possible of a fire in your home. If a decorative ceiling doesn't allow ceiling installation, then place them high on a wall, but a few inches down from the ceiling, as a dead air space exits in corners during rapid smoke development. Another question asked in the survey had to do with how often smoke alarms should be replaced. Half of the responses were incorrect to this question. The answer is that smoke alarms should be replaced after ten years. After that point, they are more prone to malfunction or give off nuisance alarms. If you aren't sure how old your smoke alarms are, take them down and inspect them. There should be the year of manufacture listed on the unit. If you cannot find the year, then it needs to be replaced, since the law requiring this label began in the year 2000. Statistics show that two-thirds of all home fire deaths occur in homes with either no smoke alarm, or no working smoke alarm. The primary reasons that the smoke alarms were not working are dead or missing batteries. To test your smoke alarms, press the test button once a month. For a change of pace, you can use smoke from a candle or incense once in a while, or a commercially available aerosol can of smoke alarm testing spray. Batteries should be changed once a year, so pick an easy date to remember, like Christmas or your birthday. If you happen to have purchased smoke alarms with ten-year lithium bat- teries, then you only replace the unit every ten years, but still test them monthly. Smoke alarm sensing technology can be either the photoelectric type or the ionization type. It is recommended that you have at least one of each type in your home, since the photoelectric type re- sponds faster to smoldering fire and the ionization type responds faster to flaming fires. You can look at the markings on your smoke alarms or packaging labels if you are buying a new alarm. The fire death rate in this country had dropped significantly since the widespread use of residential smoke alarms. Take the few minutes necessary to test your smoke alarms and make sure you have at least one on every level of your home and outside of every sleeping area. Coo IIIIIII IIIIIII uummll(IIIIIII IIIIIII uuuuuuuuu IIIIIII m By Shadd Whitehead A recent fire in Tulsa, Oklahoma caught my attention. A fire in an apartment building caused heavy damage to four apart- ments, with lesser damage to common hallways and the other e apartments. Seven adults and 11 children were displaced be- r � cause of the blaze. The fire investigator determined that the fire started when a resident who was cooking left the apartment and stove unattended. Cooking is by far the leading cause of all residential building fires and accounts for approximately 45 percent of all residential building fires responded to by fire departments across the nation. Cooking is also the leading cause of all residential building fire injuries. Each year in the United States, cooking fires occur an average of 164, 500 times, take an average of 110 lives, cause 3,525 injuries and $309 million in property loss. Cooking fires peak from 4 to 9 p.m., when many people are preparing dinner. As you may have guessed, the peak months for cooking fires are November and December, while the lowest numbers of cooking fires occur in the summer months of June and July. Since cooking fires are so common, let's take a look at some of the ways we can reduce the chances of an unwanted fire in our upcoming meals. First and foremost, you should not leave cooking unat- tended. While I know that many of us do leave cooking for short periods of time to put on music, get the mail, and a variety of other reasons, we have to be aware that cooking is a risk. Any time that you leave the kitchen, please set the kitchen timer to let you know to return to the cooking at hand. You can also bring something with you to remind you, such as a spoon or oven mitt. The main problem is when people leave the home with some type of cooking in their kitchen. Grease splatters, pots boil over, ovens can malfunction and a variety of other reasons should keep us in or near the kitchen during cooking. Those of us with young children in the home should try to avoid being distracted when cooking. This may be a good time for kids to take part in quiet activities out of the path of travel in your kitchen. You should also cook on back burners whenever possible and keep pot handles turned in to avoid chil- dren reaching up and pulling down pots onto themselves, or bumping and spilling them when travel- ing by the stove. ,' When cooking, always take out the lid and an oven mitt to keep near the stove. If an unwanted fire does break out you can slide the lid over the pot to smother the flames. Then, shut off the heat z to the burner. If the fire is in your oven, turn off the oven and avoid opening the door, as the added oxygen will cause the fire to f grow. Call the fire department so we can extinguish and/or check for any hidden or remaining fires if you think the fire is out. Another option is one that many firefighter's wives Iike....the safest thing to make for dinner is reser- vations. IIIIIII 1111111 "' 1111111"' "" IIIIIII °°°°° °°°°° "' 1111111 IIIIIII Of course you are going to enjoy your Christmas trees and other holiday decorations that you put up this time of year. Livonia firefighters want you to avoid tunnel vision when you decorate, and miss some fire safety basics. Following are a few safety tips regarding holiday decora- tions. l l A Christmas tree is a December centerpiece for many Livonia homes. Consider where you will place the tree, and avoid blocking any exits. See the picture and notice how the emergency exit is completely blocked by the Christmas tree. In a fire, seconds count, and access to exits is a must. IN Artificial trees look nice all year, but can catch fire and burn rapidly. Real trees give a nice scent, but can dry out and catch fire quickly. r Whichever type of tree you use, make sure you check lights for fraying or cracking be- fore putting them on the tree. If you see any of those signs, discard the lights and replace l them. Never use open flames, like candles, on or near the tree. The holidays bring more cooking and baking at many homes. Clean the stove and oven regularly, avoid placing anything on the stovetop other than pots and pans, and don't leave cooking unattended. Remind yourself with kitchen timers and pot holders if you must leave the room. Enjoy the holiday season! While many of you have heard about the fire earlier this year in Brazil that killed over 300 pa- trons of a night club, very similar circumstances have occurred many times before this event. One such event took place in Natchez, Mississippi on April 23, 1940. It is ranked among the top four deadliest assembly and club fires in U. S. history. ,. mM The Rhythm Club started as a church structure Tater being convert- qn: ed to a blacksmith shop. The build- ing was a one-story frame structure, ., and was Tater turned into the night - club. The windows had been board- ed up so no outsiders who did not A ' pay could get a glimpse or even lis- ten to the music coming from inside r the club. To further keep the music t from working its way to the outside, Spanish moss was draped over the rafters in front of all the windows. To make sure no bugs would live in the moss, it was sprayed with a petroleum-based insecti- cide. Only one entrance remained, as the others were boarded up and locked to help make sure that only paying customers could access the interior of the club. A fire started at 11 :30 pm near the main entrance door, presumably from a carelessly dis- carded match, although an argument with a group of people that night ended with a threat of burning down the building. Over 700 people struggled to get out of the build- ing, but the fast-growing fire created blinding smoke. As some died near the boarded and locked rear door, oth- ers died of smoke inhalation while still others were crushed to death by the panicked crowd. u u Once extinguished, the fire had taken its death toll of 209 people, severely G` injuring many more. �� 1111111 IIIIIII�'°te1r, A1re "' 1111111 "' Winter residential fire ,account for arl,average of 94 deaths, nearl '',000 injuries and $1,708,000,000 in property loss eac ear based o ) Wti ics com i e p p yt p by the United States Fire Adri` tratior� Win- „ �, i ,, ter resintial buildig fires are def iied °a those firehat occur f the months of Jarury Feb�dary and IMOrd1h. Studying these reports can alp keep you safer in the clan rous winter rria hs. Thes '�wi�iter fires occur mainly in the early evening hours, peaking from 5 to 8 p.m., and t`�e� iec�� e thrc�gh� t � A ight. This 3-hour period in the early evening accounts for 21 percent of win!!er r sid - ti buil0ling(firTes. Being that this time period is peak for families coming home from work ar�d �h`I � �okino arra warming up by the fire, we shouldn't be surprised by the timing. � l Whenever you cook, keep children away from the cooking area, and keep the cooking attended. Dile you,;don't ha v to watch every minute of a simmering pot, you should turn a timer on, or brink` a atula with you, if iou are planning to leave the room for any amount of time. This forces you to r0i mber to check tie ooking often. Cook on back burners, so children can't pull pots down on themselves and bumped`'p,as don't spill down on the people passing by. December is the highest month for fire incidences, followed by January and February. Again, with December being a busy time for visiting, celebrating, drinking and lighting candles for decoration and ceremony, it isn't too surprising. Candles should be kept out of the main pathways in the house, to avoid bumping and knocking them over. They should be twelve inches away from combustibles, or any items that can blow easily into them. Place candles on sturdy holders, so that they will not easily tip over, and only light them when a responsible adult is in the room who can keep an eye on them. Causes of winter fires are many, but the leading cause of fires throughout the year is cooking-related. We tend to cook regularly, and sometimes take shortcuts when it comes to safety in the kitchen. Fol- lowing cooking is heating fires, and the increased use of fireplaces and space heaters are the main culprits. Regular annual fireplace cleanings and inspections are a must, and space heaters must be kept three feet away from combustibles and only be berated in ther��om that a responsible adult is in. Some of the newer S ce heaters ha % ip-over swi 4 Ides that turn t� unit off if accidOt lly kno ked over. It r ' l By far,ith6, most important part of any h me fire safety plan is to ave lenty of working smoky alarms in the�omir� e, and carbon monoxide alarms as well. Smoke alarms be placed on evrve�pAf the�;:om , anJ utside of any sleeping areas. They can easily be placed in bedrooms for rrarrtum protection.Jlu/t as important as having them is making sure they work properly. Test the sr�ol larr s onthl , ad change the batteries annually. 1 r 1 t J t � i Carbon rrionox e detectors pick up the unburned gases given off by fuel-burning appliances,, such , si' ves, dryers�and furnaces. These unburned gases are hard to detect, so the alarms are ve!y ir or- tantf,I. i Take a few,,minutes and make sure your home is safe for the upcoming winter months ahead. Your family will b glad you did. ui0 ' ��� 1 1PI M�l/GESU %EYOU!'GH//S�1NEY AM AN/F/'E�L�IC� R F/RE�S�IFE! TM Replace It alarms that are AL 10 years oil older with new units. / J r . ' 1 IIII IIII I +�+ �j .r tl �m� � f Y . J fe t �9pa, Space t . ■ v heaiters need �i space'. b ALKeep anything that c�ain burn at least thiree feet/ LIAO 1 r t �!lill.lilY� ,. r ti