Chief’s Winter Message 2014

Welcome winter to Wisconsin and all the safety warnings and reminders that is brings.  With daylight savings time going away, I hope you have changed smoke alarm batteries and checked your carbon monoxide detectors as well.  CO is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths.  Also a good idea to have your furnace checked and certainly change the filter.  If you have a fireplace, be sure the chimney has been cleaned before you have the first fire, don’t forget to open the flu for your fires and ashes should be cold before putting them in a metal container for disposal.

With remote car starts becoming more common, please do not turn the car on in a closed garage as you get it nice and warm inside.  Remember not to run a gasoline or propane heater or gas or charcoal grill inside your home or any unventilated garage.  This is a carbon monoxide source and can be deadly quickly.  Half of home heating fires are reported during the months of December through February.

Holidays mean great dining and with cold weather, many don’t want to use a turkey fryer outdoors.  This can lead to devastating burns, other injuries and destruction of property.  Combustible fryer oil is heated to 350° and if rain or snow hits the oil a splatter or stream can lead to unexpected burns.  Turkeys must be completely thawed before going in the oil or once again splatter may cause serious burns.  Be aware there are now ‘oil-less’ turkey fryers which may appeal with less potential dangers.  Always stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.

There is also holiday decorating.  Some lights are for indoor use or outdoor use only; but not for both.  Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw in bulbs.  Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of LED strands to connect.  FACT:  Half of holiday decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source.

In keeping warm in our typical Wisconsin winter weather, never use your oven to heat your home and keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater.

Before heading out or going to bed, remember to blow out lit candles, turn off all strings of lights and decorations and portable space heaters.

Not to forget, check road conditions before traveling by calling 511.  As to your driving skills, leave more distance between you and the next vehicle, slow down sooner, be gentle with acceleration and braking and remember 4-wheel drive gets going faster but doesn’t stop faster.

Remember to create your winter survival kits; one for the car and one for the home and be sure your weather radio has extra batteries.

Enjoy the holidays and the weather!  Be fire safe and call us if you have an emergency.