Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New from York County


Trick or Treating on Oct. 31 between dusk and 8 p.m.
October 4, 2011
This year's hours for trick-or-treating in York County will be from dusk until 8 p.m. on Halloween, Monday, Oct. 31. 
Children age 12 or younger may trick-or-treat and should be accompanied by an adult. Residents are asked to turn on porch lights to identify homes that wish to receive trick-or-treaters.
To ensure a safe Halloween experience, the York County Department of Fire and Life Safety and the York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office recommend the following safety tips:
  • Use makeup instead of masks. Plastic or rubber masks can impair a child's vision. If masks are worn, advise children to lift their masks while traveling from house to house and when crossing the street.
  • Make sure costumes and shoes fit properly to avoid tripping hazards. 
  • Purchase Halloween costumes (including wigs, capes and props) that feature a "flame-resistant" or "flame-retardant" label.
  • Bright and/or light-colored costumes are easier to see at night.
  • Carry a flashlight or light-stick, and attach "glow-in-the-dark" items or reflective tape to the front and back of children's costumes.
  • An adult should accompany younger children. Older children not accompanied by an adult should travel in groups of at least three. Plan an itinerary and set a time for children to return home.
  • Avoid houses where porch lights are off. 
  • Do not allow children to accept unwrapped candy or fruit, and check all treats before allowing children to eat them. Any suspicious candy should be reported to the Sheriff's Office as soon as possible.
  • Keep children away from candles and other flame sources, especially when in costume. Advise children to stay away from jack-o-lanterns with candles and all open flames and heat sources. Be sure children know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothes catch fire. 
  • Keep your jack-o-lanterns away from landings or doorways where costumes could brush against the candle flame. Consider using a glow stick or battery powered light instead of candles.
  • Dried flowers, cornstalks, hay, and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and all decorations away from all open flames and heat sources.
  • Keep all exits (doors and windows) clear of decorations to keep escape routes open.
  • If your child is attending a party or sleepover at someone else's home, instruct them to locate the exits and plan how they would get out in an emergency.
# # #
Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 9-15

October 4, 2011 

What's the best way to protect your family from fire? Be ahead of the game.
With more than 360,000 home fires reported in the United States in 2009, your best defense is a good offense. That's why the York County Department of Fire and Life Safety is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association Oct. 9-15 to let our community know "It's Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!"
This year's campaign focuses on preventing the leading causes of home fires: cooking, heating and electrical equipment, as well as candles and smoking materials. Additionally, it urges people to protect their homes and families with life-saving technology and planning.
"In 2009, 2,565 people died in home fires," said York County Fire Chief Stephen Kopczynski. "Nearly all of these deaths could have been prevented by taking a few simple precautions like having working smoke alarms and a home fire escape plan, keeping things that can burn away from the stove and always turning off space heaters before going to bed. Fire is a dangerous opponent, but by anticipating the hazards, you are much less likely to be one of the nearly 13,000 people injured in home fires each year."
The York County Department of Fire and Life Safety offers the following tips for protecting your home and family from fire:
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment.
  • Have a three-foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters.
  • Replace or repair damaged or loose electrical cords.
  • If you smoke, smoke outside.
  • Use deep, wide ashtrays on a sturdy table.
  • Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.
"While preventing home fires in York County is always a priority, it is not always possible," Kopczynski said. "York County's residents need to provide the best protection to keep their homes and families safe in the event of a fire. This can be achieved by developing an escape plan which you practice regularly and equipping homes with life-saving technologies like smoke alarms and home fire sprinklers."
The following tips will help keep your family safe if there is a fire in your home:
  • Install smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home (including the basement).
  • Interconnect all smoke alarms in the home so when one sounds, they all sound.
  • Test smoke alarms at least monthly and replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond when tested.
  • Make sure everyone in your home knows how to respond if the smoke alarm sounds.
  • Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible ways out.  Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors.
  • If you are building or remodeling your home, consider installing home fire sprinklers.
The Department of Fire and Life Safety will be hosting two fire station open houses during Fire Prevention Week to promote "It's Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!" Through these educational, family-oriented activities, residents can learn more about the power of prevention and available technologies to protect their own families from fire.
Sunday, Oct. 9 – 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Fire Station Open House
Fire Station No.1 5751 George Washington Memorial Hwy. in Grafton
Saturday, Oct. 15 – 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Fire Station Open House
Fire Station No. 3 114 Hubbard Lane, in Bruton
If you cannot attend one of the scheduled events, York County Fire Officials invite you to stop by any fire station for additional information and/or call 757-890-3600 weekdays between 8:15 a.m. and 5 p.m. To learn more about "It's Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!" visit NFPA's website at www.firepreventionweek.org.

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