Fire Chief Anthony Stowers and the Maynard Fire Department would like to remind residents to follow the grilling safety tips outlined below as they begin cooking out this summer.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services (DFS), Massachusetts fire departments responded to 431 fires involving grills, hibachis and barbecues between 2011 and 2015. These fires caused 20 civilian injuries, three firefighter injuries and $3.5 million in property damage.
“Residents should be cautious and aware when it comes to outdoor grilling this summer,” Chief Stowers said. “We want residents to enjoy themselves and have fun, but we are advising everyone to follow grilling safety guidelines while they do so.”
In order to prevent grilling fires and keep residents safe while cooking outdoors, Chief Stowers recommends the following tips provided by DFS:
Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors.
Place grills away from the house, deck railings and out from under eaves of overhanging branches.
Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grilling area. Children should never play near grills or propane cylinders.
Never leave a burning grill unattended.
Gas Grill Safety
Make sure the lid of a gas grill is open when you light it. Propane can build up inside and when ignited, the lid may blow off.
Check that all connections are tight before turning on the gas.
Clean the grease trap every time you grill.
If you smell gas while cooking, turn the grill off and move away from it. Call 911 from a safe location. Do not move the grill.
Store propane cylinders upright in an outdoor, shaded area. Cylinders should not be used, stored or transported where they can be exposed to high temperatures.
Charcoal Grill Safety
Use only charcoal starter fluid. Never used gasoline or kerosene to start a fire in a grill and never add lighter fluid to burning briquettes or hot coals.
Always use charcoal grills in a well-ventilated area. Charcoal briquettes give off carbon monoxide, which can be deadly.
Properly dispose of grill ashes. Allow the coals to burn out completely and then cool for 48 hours before disposal. If you must dispose of ashes before they are completely cooled, thoroughly soak them in water before putting them in a metal container.
Anyone who has questions about grilling safety should contact the Maynard Fire Department at 978-897-1015.
As summer approaches, Chief Anthony Stowers and the Maynard Fire Department would like to remind residents to be safe while swimming in both public and private pools, as well as participating in recreational activities on the Assabet River.
The Town of Maynard Public Safety Communications Department (Police and Fire Dispatch) has initiated a new program to assist seniors living in the Town of Maynard. Having seniors in our community that do not have family or friends checking up on them regularly has led the public safety department to develop a “Senior Citizen Emergency Database Program”.
This program allows the public safety communications department to document in a computer database the names of senior citizens, where they reside, and important contact information. In addition, information concerning current medications and potential special needs during an unusual inclement weather event or natural disaster will be on file.
Fire Chief Anthony Stowers announces that the Maynard Fire Department is beginning to remove hard-wired street boxes in town, as part of its process of modernizing its fire notification system.
The venerable old street boxes were manufactured by The Gamewell Co. of Newton, and have been in service since the 1800s. They rely on a hard-wired telegraph system that sends a numerical code to the dispatch center, corresponding with its location, when someone pulls the handle.
The system requires extensive upkeep and costly repairs, and in today’s day and age of cell phones, the boxes are not being used as much as they were in years past.
The boxes will soon be replaced by radio boxes, which are less costly and require less maintenance. The radio boxes work much the same way cell phones operate, and they are able to relay more information, much quicker.
“The street boxes served our department well over many decades, but times have changed,” Chief Stowers said. “New technology will allow us to receive vital information quicker with much lower maintenance costs.”
Crews are starting at Mockingbird Lane and will continue through town until every box is removed and upgraded. The total upgrade process is expected to take up to two years.
As part of our continuing effort to meet our mission and reduce community risk, the Maynard Fire Department will be starting a new round of pre-fire planning and fire safety surveys in commercial occupancies here in Maynard.
What this involves is firefighters going into commercial occupancies and conducting a comprehensive pre-fire plan. This pre-fire plan will give us information vital to protecting that building and other buildings around it in the event a fire breaks out. The second part is to conduct a fire safety survey on each commercial property in the community. This purpose of this part of the project is to help the building owner or manager keep their property as safe as possible to reduce the risk of a fire occurring and lessening the chance the buildings occupants will be harmed in the event there is a fire.
We have scheduled these pre-plans and safety surveys to occur throughout the year. Each group of firefighters has been assigned specific buildings and a month in which to conduct pre-fire plans and safety surveys. We ask that you cooperate with our firefighters as our ultimate goal is to protect you, your business and its patrons and ultimately the residents and visitors of Maynard. If our firefighters have visited you at a bad time, we ask that you try and reschedule a more convenient time with them before they leave. Certain occupancies in the community are required to have a safety survey conducted more than once a year, specifically churches are required to be surveyed (2) annually and schools (4) times annually. These occupancies may need to have specific times and a date assigned to them to ensure a property representative is available to assist in the survey. This process is not meant to be, and should not be disruptive to your operation.
During this process our firefighters will be requesting certain information from you as the property representative. This request will be for up to date contact information so that in the event we need to contact a building representative after hours, we have the correct information. Part of this information will be a valid email address if you have one. The reason for this is to give us the ability to email you a copy of our inspection report when it is complete. Your insurance carrier may have an interest in seeing this report or the building owner may like a copy if that is not you. This is part of our effort keep costs down by using and storing less paper moving forward.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.
This month the Maynard Fire Department has seen a rise in carbon monoxide related calls. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that can build up in your home and cause serious health problems or even worse. Every year about 500 people die as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning in their home.
This deadly gas is produced through incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. In other words if it burns wood, gasoline, propane, natural gas, kerosene, diesel fuel or fuel oil, it can cause carbon monoxide. These include appliances such as heaters, stovetops, boilers, furnaces, woodstoves, hot water heaters, clothes dryers and more! Please make sure you have you appliances serviced regularly. Often symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are overlooked because they are similar to those of the flu.