Safety Tip #6

Car Fire Safety

How to prevent a car fire

  • Have your car serviced regularly.
  • Never transport gas cans or propane cylinders in the passenger compartment.
  • Never park a car where flammables can touch the bottom of your car.
  • Danger signs include cracked or loose wiring, blown fuses, oil or fluid leaks and rapid changes in fluid levels or engine temperature.

Safe District

Project Safe District

Project Safe District is an effort to provide the citizens of the New Hope Fire District with information so that they may make their homes, vehicles, and the activities that they take part in safer.

Having accurate and timely information is extremely important in a medical emergency. The treatments that First Responders and hospital staff provide during an emergency is significantly influenced by your medical history, medications, and allergies. Serious medical emergencies may prevent you from being able to speak for yourself or the stress and anxiety caused by an emergency may impede your family's ability to provide accurate medical information.

Can we find you if you call?

Are your address numbers clearly marked and visible from the road?

The color of your address numbers should contrast completely with the surrounding color. (for example, black numbers on a white house, or white numbers on a black mailbox) Numbers that are mounted on a residence need to be large enough so that they are visible from the street. Mailboxes should be marked with numbers on both sides so that they are visible from both directions of approach by emergency vehicles. Brass numbers are attractive, however in hours of darkness brass markers become virtually invisible.

Can we get to you if you call?

Residences that are set back off of the road are very popular with the home owners in our district. We understand the privacy that this affords, however there are some inherent complications that come with the solitude. Can an emergency vehicle reach your house should you ever have a fire?

Our Engines need a clearance of 12 feet in height and 10 feet in width. All low branches and trees that block this path must be removed so that we can gain access to your residence. Since the majority of the New Hope Fire District is not serviced by a municipal water system we have to resort to setting up portable water tanks or by feeding our fire trucks with a supply line from another apparatus. These alternatives require at least 80 feet of cleared space on the approach to your residence (35 feet is a typical fire truck length).

Smoke Detectors

Most fire-related deaths occur as a result of inhaled poisonous gases that are created from combustion. The likelihood of dying in a fire is cut in half by a functioning smoke detector.

At a minimum, smoke detectors should be installed on every level of your home, including the basement. Most fires occur between 8PM and 8AM when most people are sleeping, therefore detectors ideally should be placed outside of every bedroom.

Install smoke detectors away from air vents.

There are more homes with smoke detectors that do not work properly than there are homes that do not have them. Check your detector to be sure that it is functioning properly.

Replace the battery in your smoke detector with a NEW battery twice a year. Do not use batteries that have been used previously in other devices.

Do not take the battery out of a smoke detector that is hard wired into your home. You will have no warning mechanism during events that cause a power outages which also tend to be periods of increased risk for fires.

After installing a smoke detector, create and practice an escape plan which includes an outside safe rendezvous point, such as your mailbox away from your home, should your detector alert. Practice drilling it with your children.

Seat Belts and Child Safety Seats

The use of seatbelts and child safety seats is paramount to avoiding injury or death in an automobile accident. You can have your Child Safety seat inspected at any of the following locations:

Chapel Hill Fire Station # 2 1003 S. Hamilton Rd (across from Glenn Lenox Shopping center). Hours: Saturday from 2-5 PM. Chapel Hill Administration Phone: 919-968-2781

Carrboro Fire Station 1 301 W. Main St (in downtown Carrboro). Hours: Saturday 9:30-11:30 AM. Phone: 919-918-7347

Outdoor Burning

Always have a plan when you burn.

Check to be sure that there are no restrictions on outdoor burning. You can check on burning restrictions by calling the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Forest Resources at 919-733-2162, or check their web site for restrictions.

Obtain a burn permit. You can obtain a burn permit at the following locations in Orange and Durham counties , or you may apply for a burn permit online.

Burn only natural material such as leaves, limbs, and grass. It is illegal to burn household waste.

Burn soon after a rain. Do not burn during drought periods or when there are high winds.

Cut or clear a path around burn piles that is free from any combustible materials.

Keep burn piles at least 1000 feet away from any structures and 250 feet from roads.

Do not use any accelerants to start the fire. Using gasoline to start a fire is extremely dangerous and serious injury or death may result.

Always keep tools such as a shovel and a rake, as well as a water supply, close at hand.

Never leave the fire un-attended.

For more safety information or helpful tips on outdoor burning, contact the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources at 919-732-8105 or visit their web site.

Portable fire extinguishers are designed for small fires

Always have an escape route planned in the event you fail to extinguish the fire.

Be sure that the extinguisher you are using is made for the materials that are burning. Fire extinguishers are rated as follows:

A Combustibles. Items such as paper, cloth and wood

B Flammable Liquids. Items such as gasoline, grease and oil

C Electrical. Items such as machinery, appliances and wiring

D Combustible Metals. Items such as magnesium or sodium

To safely use a portable fire extinguisher, follow these simple instructions:

P   PULL the pin: This unlocks the operating lever and allows you to discharge the extinguisher.

A   AIM low: Point the extinguisher hose/nozzleat the base of the fire

S   SQUEEZE the lever above the handle: This discharges the extinguisher (releasing the lever will stop discharge)

S   SWEEP from side to side: Keep the extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire as you sweep back and forth until the flames appear to be out. If the fire ignites again, the repeat process.

Warning: Portable fire extinguishers discharge very quickly -- most within 30 seconds.