Chenango County Bureau of Fire
Working smoke alarms save lives and should be installed and maintained in every home. Roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms at all or no smoke alarms that work.
· NYS law requires smoke alarms be installed outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. Larger homes may require additional smoke alarms to provide a minimum level of protection.
· For better protection, install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home.
· For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound. Wireless battery-operated interconnected smoke alarms are now available.
· An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection or where extra time is needed to awaken or assist others, both types of alarms or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms are recommended.
· Choose a smoke alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
· Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should not be closer than 10 feet to a cooking appliance.
· Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
· Make sure everyone in your home knows the sound of the smoke alarm.
· Smoke alarms are available for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These alarms use strobe lights to wake the person. Vibration equipment (pillow or bed shakers) can be added to these alarms.
· Recent research has shown that as people age, their ability to hear high-pitched sounds decreases. A smoke alarm with a “swoop” noise that changes pitch or use of a smoke alarm accessory now available that has a low pitched sound that is more effective for all age groups is recommended.
· Smoke alarms that include a recordable voice announcement in addition to the usual alarm sound may be helpful in waking children with the use of a familiar voice.
· Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries are designed to remain effective for 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away. For smoke alarms with any other type of battery, replace batteries at least once a year. If that alarm chirps, replace only the battery.
· Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond properly when tested.
If you live in a residence that does not have working smoke detectors, please contact your Fire Department. Thanks to a Grant from New York Central Mutual Insurance, the Chenango County Bureau of Fire has the ability to provide you with the necessary Smoke Detectors for your residence. We simply need the referral form filled out and turned into our office. In cooperation with your Local Fire Department, we will assist you and provide you with smoke detector(s) and guide you in the installation procedure for properly installing your Smoke Detectors. During the installation, we will also provide you with some Fire Safety Literature and assist you in developing a “Home Evacuation Plan” to be used in the event of a fire. So, if you are in need of a Smoke Detector to help protect your family in the time of a fire, please contact your Local Fire Department or our office at 607-334-5564!
Click HERE for the referral form!
New York State now has a statewide ban on open burning between March 15th and May 15th. Wildfires can be prevented by using safe alternatives such as chipping and composting. Check with your local authorities on other burning restrictions in your area, and remember that it is never legal to burn garbage.
DEC Regulations on Open Burning
The most important definition you need to be aware of is that of "Clean Wood."
Clean Wood can be defined as untreated (not stained, painted or pressure treated), unfinished wood. Examples are: 2x4's, 2x6's, etc that are unfinished or untreated; fire wood, etc. Any deviation from the above (ie: plywood, chipboard, paper, cardboard, etc) is NOT clean wood and should NOT be burned.
The following is LEGAL to burn.
By definition the fire can only be 3 ft. by 3 ft. by 4 ft. Clean wood only.
The size of the fire doesn't matter. By the use of clean wood only.
There is no definition of Ceremonial Bonfires in the law. From a practical legal standpoint, all bonfires should be treated as Ceremonial Bonfires.
The contents must be grown or manufactured on site and the fire fully consumed within a 24 hour period. A good rule of thinking is any Plant Material can be classified as a Farmers Agricultural Waste. Paper feed bags are also included in the exemption.
Usually this will be a prescribed burn that is permitted through the DEC. A DEC permit must be provided by the subject at the site as required by the permit.
Brush, cut on the property it is being burned on, may be burned ONLY between the dates of October 11th and May 14th.
The following is ILLEGAL to burn.
Treated, finished, stained or painted wood of any type (furniture, etc).
Plywood, chipboard, paper or cardboard.
Brush (although if it is cut up into small enough pieces to be used as a campfire, it could be considered legal) from May 14th through October 11th (This has recently been extended from May 14th). It is unsure if this will continue next year or will be this year only? Note that this "BAN" only applies to the burning of brush. Campfires, Ceremonial Bonfires, etc are still legal fires during that time period as long as the fire consists of ONLY "Clean Wood" as defined above.
Leaves, grass, needles, yard waste, etc (note that leaves and needles still attached to brush are legal to burn during the legal brush burning period).
Plastics, tires, etc, even if it is used for agricultural purposes.
Garbage or other waste products such as but not limited to tires, plastics, shingles, residential garbage, etc.
Agricultural Waste that will not completely burn up within the 24 hour period.
For more information on the Burn Ban, visit the DEC's Web Page at http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/80920.html
For more information on preventing wildfires, visit http://www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/event/brush-fire.cfm
Home Heating Safety.
Heating equipment is among the leading causes of home fires nationally and in New York State. Very often heating related fires are the result of a lack of maintenance or simple acts of carelessness. Following the guidelines below will help to ensure that you reduce the possibility of experiencing a heating related fire.
To prevent fires, keep furnishings and other combustibles 36 inches from all heating sources. A heating source too close to combustibles is the leading cause of fires due to home heating. Store matches and other fire starting appliances out of the reach of children. Fires started by children often have tragic results.
Follow Proper Maintenance
Proper maintenance and an annual inspection of heat pumps, furnaces, space heaters, wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys and chimney connections by qualified specialists can prevent fires and save lives. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation, venting, fueling, maintenance and repair.
Review the owner's manual to make sure you remember the operating and safety features.
- Space Heaters - When using portable heaters, do not place them where it is possible for small children or pets to fall against them or to receive a contact burn. Avoid the use of extension cords with electric heaters.
Always turn off space heaters before leaving the room or going to bed.
- Fuel Burning Appliances - When taking a heater out of storage in the fall, install batteries and inspect the shut off mechanism and wick for proper operation. Fill the tank with fresh fuel. Let the heater cool down before refueling. Adding fuel to a hot heater can start a dangerous fire.
- Wood Burning Appliances and Fireplaces - Do not burn trash in the wood stove or fireplace. Burn only well-seasoned hardwoods. Be sure the fire you build fits your fireplace or stove, don't overload it. Be sure wood stoves are installed at least 36 inches away from the wall. Keep combustible materials well away from the fireplace, stove and chimney. Keep the area around them clean. Always use a fireplace screen to prevent sparks from leaving the fireplace and starting a fire. Never leave a fire unattended.
- Chimneys - Creosote accumulation is the leading cause of chimney fires. A chimney that is dirty, blocked or is in disrepair can inhibit proper venting of smoke up the flue and can also cause a chimney fire. Nearly all residential fires originating in the chimney are preventable. An annual chimney inspection by a qualified chimney sweep can prevent fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Ashes - Keep wood stoves and fireplaces free of excess ash buildup. Excessive ash buildup prevents good circulation of air needed for combustion. When removing ashes, use a metal container with a tight-fitting cover. Always place ashes in an outside location away from structures. Ashes that seem cool may contain a smoldering charcoal that can start a fire.
- No matter how careful you are with home heating, you and your family should be prepared in case fire strikes.
- Install Smoke Detectors - Place smoke detectors on every level of your home and outside each sleeping area. Test your smoke detectors regularly and replace dead batteries immediately.
- Make and practice a home escape plan.
With todays weather being more and more unpredictable, people in Chenango County have been dealing with massive floods, ice storms and high winds that can cause prolonged power outages. The Chenango County Bureau of Fire urges you to help your family during these times by being prepared in the event you are faced with these upredictable situations.
The American Red Cross has a web site that can help you and your family deal with these emergencies. Go to www.redcross.org/prepare . This page will give you helpful ideas on how you and your family can be prepared incase these events occur.
Be safe, and be prepared.
School Bus Awareness & Safety
For twenty three million students nationwide, the school day begins and ends with a trip on a school bus. The greatest risk is not riding the bus, but approaching or leaving the bus. Before children go back to school or start school for the first time, it is essential that adults and children know traffic safety rules.
Here are some safety tips for motorists as you travel on our roadways. Be mindful of children walking to and from School. Please watch for the flashing lights on School Busses as our children load and off load the bus.
Remember: DO NOT PASS A STOPPED SCHOOL BUS WITH THEIR FLASHING LIGHTS ON!
Here are some helpful tips to remember.
- § When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.
- § When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for young people who may be thinking about getting to school, but may not be thinking of getting there safely.
- § Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in neighborhood.
- § Slow down. Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
- § Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street with out looking for traffic.
- § Learn and obey the school bus laws in your state. Learn the "flashing signal light system" that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:
- Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
- Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and that children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.
- Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
- When the bus approaches, stand at least three giant steps (6 feet) away from the curb, and line up away from the street.
- Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says that it's okay before stepping onto the bus.
- If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least five giant steps (10 feet) ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.
- Use the handrails to avoids falls. When exiting the bus, be careful that clothing with drawstrings, and book bags with straps don't get caught in the handrails or doors.
- Never walk behind the bus.
- Walk at least three giant steps away from the side of the bus.
- If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see you.
- Teach children to follow these common sense practices to make school bus transportation safer.
Sale of Unapproved Fire Extinguishers in New York State
It has come to the Chenango County Bureau of Fire's attention through the NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control that fire extinguishers, that do not meet the requirements of General Business Law section 391-j, are being offered for sale in New York State through various retail establishments.
The sale of fire extinguishers in the State of New York is governed by the General Business Law, section 391-j which provides that is unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to sell or offer for sale, fire extinguishers unless the fire extinguishers offered for sale:
Meet the current National Fire Protection Association standards for fire extinguishers of the model offered for sale and are labeled as having met such standards;
- Have been tested and approved by Underwriters Laboratory, Factory Mutual or other nationally accredited or accepted testing laboratory and are labeled as having been tested and approved; and
- Have labeling securely affixed containing the following information:
- Operating instructions;
- The class or rating identifying kinds of fires which the particular extinguisher is suitable to be used on. This information shall be presented by use of the appropriate letter rating and pictorial marking representations; and
- Are accompanied with an instructional manual that has information detailing operational use, basic fire safety information, information on how and where to have the extinguisher serviced or recharged by an authorized dealer or refers the customer to his local fire department and any information pertaining to checking the extinguisher's contents for operational use by the owner.
The sale of unapproved fire extinguishers in New York, such as the Tundra, manufactured by BRK Brands and marketed by First Alert, is unlawful. A knowing violation is punishable by a civil penalty not to exceed five hundred dollars for a first violation and ten thousand dollars for each successive violation.
Fire officials are encouraged to share this information with retailers in their jurisdiction in an effort to prevent the sale of this prohibited product through awareness and education.
If you have further questions, please contact Chief Paul D. Martin of the Bureau of Fire Prevention at (518) 474-6746.
A PDF of this Safety Alert is posted under the "Safety Alerts" tab for your convenience to aid in distribution the all agencies and organizations in your region or jurisdiction.
Chenango County Fire & EMS Emailing System
The Chenango County Bureau of Fire has developed a mass emailing system where the Chenango County Emergency Responders may sign up and be kept up to date on State, County and Local Training Announcements, Events, other important safety information including "The Monitor" . If you are interested in receiving these emails, please click on the link below and sign up.
** This program is for Active Emergency Respnders only. All postings and applications will be monitored.***
The County of Chenango is a beautiful, rural agricultural community with numerous rolling hills and valleys. The Chenango County Bureau of Fire is dedicated to the safety and professional training of all 21 Fire and 22 EMS and First Responder agencies operating within Chenango County.
The members of these agencies are very dedicated individuals, most of whom volunteer their time and services to our community. These many dedicated women and men participate in countless hours of training and preparedness activities in the event of an emergency or disaster strikes within their jurisdiction.
We are very proud of all these individuals who are committed to our county and community. Without our volunteers and professional members the lives and property of our residences would be in grave jeopardy. I encourage you to contact your local Fire Department or Emergency Squad to learn more on how you can become involved or assist your local Emergency Services Agency.
The Chenango County Bureau of Fire is made up of many different divisons and responsibilities. Each of the 11 Deputy Coordinators has an assignment and oversees these programs. We have a Deputy Coordinator responsible for Administering the State and County Fire Training Program, Supervising the Fire Investigation Team which consists of 12 Certified Fire Investigators, other Deputy Coordinators oversee the Emergency Medical Services including providing EMS Training for our County Responders, Supervisor for Fire Prevention, Supervisor for Special Teams which include our County Search and Rescue Team, High Angle Team, Dive Team and County Hazmat Team and finally a Deputy Coordinator which helps to oversee our County's Communications System and working with each department to cooperatively purchase and standardize our agencies radio equipment.
We welcome you to tour our web site to learn more about our agency and the many divisions within the Chenango County Bureau of Fire.