Important Fire Safety Reminders
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors
Working smoke detectors can alert you to a fire in your home in time for you to escape, even if you are sleeping. Install smoke detectors on every level of your home, including the basement, attic, hallways, and inside bedrooms.
Test detectors every month, following the manufacture's directions, and replace batteries when you adjust your clocks, or whenever a detector "chirps" to signal low battery power. Never "borrow" a smoke detector battery for another use - a disabled detector will not work and can not save your life. Replace detectors that are more than seven (7) to ten (10) years old.
Effective April 1, 2019, all new or replacement smoke detectors offered for sale in New York State must either be powered by a sealed, non-removable battery with a minimum battery life of 10 years or hard-wired to the building.
For increased protection, consider installing a fire alarm monitoring system and automatic fire sprinklers.
Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced as a product of incomplete combustion. Exposure to CO can be fatal. Along with Smoke Detectors, CO Detectors are LIFE-SAVING pieces of equipment. You should have one detector in each bedroom, plus one on every floor of your home. Additionally CO Detectors should be placed in the basement 5-20 feet away from natural gas burning equipment, such as Hot Water Heaters, Boilers, Furnaces, and Clothes Dryers.
Because CO is odorless, colorless, and otherwise undetectable to the human senses, people may not know that they are being exposed. The initial symptoms of low to moderate CO poisoning are similar to the flu (but without the fever). They include:
High-level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including:
More information on Smoke Detectors and CO Detectors can be found from the Town of Amherst Fire Inspectors Office.
Additional information on Carbon Monoxide and Natural Gas can be found from National Fuel.
Utility Emergencies (Downed Power Lines)
Due to the nature of WNY's weather, we can occasionally experience wind and ice storms that bring down power lines. If you come across a downed power line, remember a few important safety considerations. If you see a downed power line, NEVER:
Outdoor Fire Regulations
Per the Town of Amherst Regulations, small recreational fires are permitted for legitimate cooking or warmth without a permit provided they be in some type of controlled area or enclosure, i.e.: stone surround the fire pit, brick barbecue, and metal fire stand or clay chiminea.
The burning of combustible material, shrubs, tree branches, or leaves for non-recreational purposes is NOT permitted.
Please see this guideline from the Town of Amherst Building Department - Fire Safety Division for more information.
Careless smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths in North America. Smoking in bed or when you are drowsy could be fatal. Provide smokers with large, deep, non-tip ashtrays, and soak cigarette butts with water before discarding them. Before going to bed or leaving home after someone has been smoking, check under and around seat cushions and upholstered furniture for smoldering cigarettes.
In a child's hands, matches and lighters can be deadly. Use only child-resistant lighters and store all matches and lighters up high, where kids can't see or reach them, preferably in a locked cabinet or drawer. Teach children that matches and lighters are tools, not toys, and should be used by adults or with adult supervision. Teach young children not to touch them and to tell a grownup if they find matches or lighters. If found, older children should bring matches and lighters to an adult immediately.
Never leave cooking unattended. Keep cooking areas clear of combustibles (paper, towels, etc.), and wear clothes with short, rolled-up, or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook. Turn pot handles inward on the stove where you can't accidentally bump them and children can't grab them. Enforce a "kid-free zone" that is three feet around your kitchen stove. If grease catches fire in a pan, don't panic, slide a lid over the pan to smother the flames, and turn off the heat source. Leave the lid on until the pan is completely cool.
What you should know about home cooking safety:
Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.
If you have a cooking fire:
Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
Safety considerations for cooking with oil:
Always stay in the kitchen when frying on the stovetop.
Keep an eye on what you fry. If you see wisps of smoke or the oil smells, immediately turn off the burner and/or carefully remove the pan from the burner. Smoke is a dangerous sign that the oil is too hot.
Heat the oil slowly to the temperature you need for frying or sautéing.
Add food gently to the pot or pan so the oil does not splatter.
Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water on the fire.
If the fire does not go out or you don’t feel comfortable sliding a lid over the pan, get everyone out of your home. Call the fire department from outside.
Have An Escape Plan
If a fire breaks out in your home, you have to get out fast. Prepare for a fire emergency by sitting down with your family and designing an escape plan. Be sure that everyone knows at least two unobstructed ways out, doors and windows, from every room. If you live in an apartment building, use the stairs. Do not include elevators in your escape plan. Decide on a meeting place outside where everyone will gather after they escape. Have your entire household practice your escape plan at least twice a year.
During a fire, smoke and poisonous gases rise with the heat. the air is cleaner near the floor. If you encounter smoke or flames while you are escaping from a fire, use an alternative escape route. If you must escape through smoke, crawl on your hands and knees, keeping your head twelve to fourteen inches above the floor. Once you get out stay out. Never go back into a burning building!
Check out this link for more information on Escape Drills In The Home from the National Fire Prevention Association.
Stop, Drop, and Roll
If your clothes catch fire, don't run. STOP where you are, DROP to the ground, cover your face with your hands, and ROLL over and over to smother the flames.
Summer Grilling Safety Tips
Recently, the Snyder Fire Department was featured on WIVB Wake Up to discuss Fire Safety and Grilling Safety!
Snyder Fire Department 'Virtual' Fire Prevention Tour
The Snyder Fire Department has recreated our Fire Prevention talk we usually do for young school-age children who visit the firehouse as part of Fire Prevention Week! We hope you'll enjoy this video and check back for more!