Epping Fire Department
Hello to my Epping Speak Up readers.
This issue, we will be talking about some winter and spring safety tips as we continue to work through this pandemic. Vaccine clinics have been vaccinating first responders around the state. Other segments of the State’s residents will soon be able to get theirs. Stay tuned to the local news for more information about vaccinations. The Governor usually does a press conference around 3 pm on Thursdays that is broadcast on WMUR, Channel 9.
Winter Safety Tips
I would like to remind everyone to keep any vents, driveways and walkways clear of snow. A packed vent can be dangerous and lead to carbon monoxide in the house. It’s important to have carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in your house. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless and a silent killer. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, nausea, dizziness and fainting. Daylight Savings Time is coming on March 14th and this is the perfect time to check your smoke and CO detectors when you set your clocks ahead.
There have been a lot of fires in the past year that unfortunately were fatal. Most of these homes didn’t have working smoke detectors. Smoke detectors are inexpensive and should be integrated or connected so they alarm the occupants in the event of a fire. Smoke detectors should also be changed every 10 years.
Landlords are responsible for keeping the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors operational in their tenant’s apartments, condominiums and houses they rent. Even if you rent out to Air BNB, you still need to make sure the home has working detectors. I also recommend a fire extinguisher. You can get smoke detectors and fire extinguishers at any local department store.
Driveways should be cleared out in case we need to get to your house. A street number on the mailbox and house is important for locating you during the event of an emergency. Our fire trucks and ambulances are large vehicles and need space to go down the narrowest driveways.
Always check the ice before entering or skating on it. Ice needs to be 6 inches thick in order to walk on it. Stay away from culverts and open waterways as the moving water tends not to freeze. Before adding any type of bob house or recreational vehicle, the ice should be at least a foot thick.
Ashes from woodstoves and fireplaces should be cleaned out and placed in a snowbank away from your house; preferably in a garden area where ashes can help with the soil.
Spring Safety Tips
As we get away from winter conditions and into spring, aka Mud Season, you should look at cleaning out clutter in your homes. Hoarding has become a serious problem in America and the extra clutter adds to what we call a “fire load”, which increases the heat and intensity of a fire. Hoarding can also trap you in your home with no way to escape a fire. This is also a problem for firefighters entering a house, as we can’t climb over the clutter to rescue people. I understand things are precious or valuable to people, but keeping things in order can save your life.
Prior to starting any house projects, make sure you call Dig Safe for outside projects and the town hall for any permits needed prior to starting the project. Any gas or oil furnace must have a permit prior to installation and inspected by the fire department for final approval prior to using a new heating system. This is for your safety to ensure proper installation by a licensed technician. Permits can be obtained online or in person at the Building Department/Code Enforcement Office at the Epping Town Hall. Most have a permitting fee as well.
Saturday was the 17-year anniversary of the Station Night Club fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island which killed 100 people, as well as injuring another 200 people. Pyrotechnics caught the foam sound proofing on fire which quickly spread throughout the building. Overcrowding, interior finish and lack of exits contributed to the fatalities. I remember this fire since I had seen the rock band, Great White in Concert in the Park in Manchester, many years prior to the SNHU or Verizon Center being built. (Yes, I am not as young as I sound).
This fire and the Coconut Grove fire in Boston in 1942, had a lot of similarities that contributed to the deaths of the occupants. Unfortunately, 492 people were killed in the Coconut Grove fire. Both had a lack of exits, highly flammable interior finishes and decorations, compounded by overcrowding. It is also human nature to go out the same way you enter the building. You should always observe a room and know your escape routes and exits when visiting any hotels, restaurants, casinos or nightclubs.
This is a major reason why I do fire prevention. It is to save lives and property and reduce risk to the community. These and many other tragic events are among the reasons we have building and fire codes. Commercial and multi-family dwellings must have a fire alarm and sprinkler system in working order. They should be tested and inspected annually. I have been working hard to have these systems installed to keep the public safe in the event of a fire or other event. Making sure there is more than one exit that is at least 36 inches wide is also a requirement. There are a lot of other fire and building codes required. They have come about because of past tragedies.
Always be aware of your surroundings and know two ways out of a building in the event of a hostile event or fire.
Burn permits can be acquired online at nhfirepermit.com or at the Station from 6 am to 6 pm. Make sure large piles are 50 feet away from any shed, barn, or house. Campfires only need to be 25 feet away from any structure. If the ground is snow covered, then a permit isn’t required. Snow cover means the whole area is covered in deep snow. You can always call the Fire Station if you have any questions prior to burning. Come April 1st, you will need to acquire a permit to kindle a fire.
Stay safe this winter and spring and know we are here for you, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year!
Lieutenant Paul St Cyr
Fire Prevention Officer and 9-11 Liaison.
Friends of the Epping Fire and Brick Museum
Kevin Woods would like you to join the fundraising team for the Epping Fire and Brick Museum. He started a GoFundMe campaign and he’d like you to join his fundraising team.
What is GoFundMe Team Fundraising?
GoFundMe Team Fundraising allows groups of all sizes to raise money together. By joining a Team GoFundMe, you can help manage the fundraiser, spread the word, and help your team reach its fundraising goal.
About this fundraiser
Cliff Cray and Joy True, president of the Epping Historical Society, and other townspeople are working to preserve the memories of the old Fire Station through the Fire and Brick Museum, authorized by voters in the March 2018 Town Meeting. The effort will bring the old station back to life, and also honor the brick-making industry that flourished in Epping in the 19th and 20th centuries. The building was used as Epping’s main Fire Station from 1935 to 2001, when the current Safety Complex was built. It was used for highway vehicle storage for several years, then sat empty and fell into disrepair. They have started a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the restorations. Please consider making a contribution at https://gofund.me/e5c278b1