With the arrival of cold temperatures & winter we switch our homes from the cooling breeze of the air conditioner to the warmth of the furnace. Furnaces, fireplaces, portable heaters, generators, and home appliances that are fueled by propane, natural gas, or heating oil can produce lethal amounts of carbon monoxide (CO) if not operating correctly or vented properly.
Hundreds of people die each year from unintentional CO poisoning known as the “silent killer.” CO is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels, such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil and methane, burn incompletely. CO enters the body through breathing. CO poisoning can be confused with flu symptoms, food poisoning and other illnesses. Some symptoms include shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, light headedness or headaches. Everyone is at risk for CO poisoning, but infants, pregnant women and people with physical conditions that limit their ability to use oxygen, such as emphysema, asthma or heart disease, can be more severely affected by low concentrations of CO than healthy adults. High levels of CO can be fatal for anyone, causing death within minutes. Fire departments across the nation respond to estimated 61,000 CO incidents a year.
The Union Fire Protection District would like to reduce the number of carbon monoxide incidents in and encourage everyone to install CO alarms inside your home to provide early warning of accumulating CO. Have your heating equipment inspected by a professional every year before cold weather sets in. Keep in mind:
CO alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms.
Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and CO alarms.
Test CO alarms at least once a month.
If your CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location and call for help.
Remain at the fresh air location until emergency personnel say it is okay.
If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries or other trouble indicators.
The Union Fire Protection District wants everyone to be warm and safe. Make sure your home has carbon monoxide alarms.
The Union Fire Protection District and the National Fire Protection Association reminds all “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape.
Today’s homes burn faster than ever. You may have as little as two minutes (or even less time) to safely escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Your ability to get out of a home during a fire depends on early warning from smoke alarms and advance planning.
It’s important for everyone to plan and practice a home fire escape. Everyone needs to be prepared in advance, so that they know what to do when the smoke alarm sounds. Given that every home is different, every home fire escape plan will also be different. Have a plan for everyone in the home. Children, older adults, and people with disabilities may need assistance to wake up and get out. Make sure that someone will help them!”
Home Fire Escape Planning Tips:
· Make sure your plan meets the needs of all your family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.
· Smoke alarms should be installed inside every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home. Smoke alarms should be interconnected so when one sounds, they all sound.
· Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows open easily.
· Have an outside meeting place a safe distance from your home where everyone should meet.
· Practice your home fire drill at least twice a year with everyone in the household, including guests. Practice at least once during the day and at night.
For more general information about fire prevention in the home, visit fpw.org and sparky.org.
Please keep in mind the number of persons in the Community contracting COVID-19 is increasing every day. We all are trying to return to our normal daily routines however, more time is needed for a vaccine to be developed and administered.
In the meantime, continue to practice everyday preventive actions as recommended by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They are working to help keep you and the community safe from the threat of a novel, or new corona virus. Take the following everyday steps to help avoid the spread of not only the Covid but all respiratory viruses:
remote controls and doorknobs.
The Union Fire Protection District is asking residents to use caution when open burning on their property. Open burning of tree limbs and residential brush is allowed only outside the Union City limits. The open burning period is limited to the period beginning September 16th and ending April 14th. Brush piles are limited to 16 square feet and the burning may occur between the hours of 10:00 a.m. & 4:00 p.m.
The Franklin County area has received favorable precipitation in the recent few weeks, yet conditions can become unfavorably dry in a matter of days. A resident who is burning on their property can quickly create an escalating out of control natural cover fire resulting in damage to others’ properties. Such fires have been known to spread to homes and structures destroying them.
Prior to open burning one should contact the Franklin County Communication Center at 636-583-2567 or Union Fire Protection District Station #1 at 636-583-2515 to confirm open burning will be allowed given the current or forecasted weather conditions.
Some guidelines to follow are:
· Burn piles should be limited to 16 sq. ft.
· Do not burn within 50’ of a structure
· Wind speed must be less than 10 miles an hour
· Humidity should be greater than 50%
· Keep a fire extinguisher, garden hose, dirt, or sand on hand as an extinguishing agent
All open burning should be constantly attended, and residents need to have the availability to call 911 if their open burning should get out of control. Household trash, tires, shingles, siding, and treated lumber should not be burned.
Congratulations to Greg Miller. He has been promoted to Division Chief.
His primary responsibilities include overseeing the Fire Prevention Code and vehicle maintenance.
There are no current bids outstanding.
Interested parties are welcome to visit the Fire Station. Please call 636-583-2515 ahead of time so a Fire Representative may be present.
Fire Chief, Union Fire District
Union Fire has just received a new pumper for Fire Station #1. A 2022 Spartan/Precision class A pumper. Firefighters are currently installing
equipment and will be performing in service training on its operations.