2012-10-10 / Local & State

Residents: Prepare For Cooler Weather

By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

NEWS EDITOR

With residents already experiencing spells of chilly autumn weather, residents are not only reminded to begin making preparations for the use of residential heaters ranging from furnaces and wood stoves to electric space heaters but to take that extra lifesaving step and change the batteries in their smoke detectors.

October is Fire Prevention Month, according to McConnellsburg Volunteer Fire Co. Chief Larry “Pete” Lynch, and homeowners as well as renters need to take this time to make additional safety precautions to ensure their residences are ready for these cool mornings and even colder nights.

Even though it’s common for residents to warm up by turning on their space heaters in the early morning or evening hours, these heaters have been dormant for months and as a result should be cleaned and inspected prior to use, Lynch told the “News.”

In addition to checking portable heaters, individuals should also take the time to have their chimneys inspected and cleaned. In conjunction with this reminder, Chief Lynch said the Mc- Connellsburg Volunteer Fire Co. is continuing to provide home safety inspections of both chimneys and flues. While there is no charge for this service, donations are welcomed.

Lynch further stated the company is currently offering smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as well as fire extinguishers to lowincome families and senior citizens. Installation is also available for those in need of an extra helping hand.

“Most residents feel that a fire would never happen in their homes. It is extremely important that smoke detectors be installed in every residence. The cost of a simple smoke detectors is $10. For one small investment you can save your family and your family’s belongings,” added Lynch.

As part of Fire Prevention Month, the volunteer firefighters in McConnellsburg will be taking their fire safety tips and instructions on the road this week to visit with residents and staff of Fulton County Medical Center, local daycare centers, area schools and senior citizen centers. Smokey Bear is slated to be on hand for this weeklong instructional event.

As a follow-up, company members are slated to host an open house at the firehall between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 13. Individuals can stop by for a free hot dog, chips and drink and take a few minutes to tour the state-of-the-art facility on East Maple Street. LifeNet helicopter is tentatively scheduled to be on hand as well.

Furthermore, certified local instructors will be offering free, hands- on CPR training to interested residents between 10 a.m. and noon and again from noon to 2 p.m. No advance sign-up is necessary.

While on site, Lynch stated individuals are encouraged to check out the new facility improvements, which include a newly surfaced parking area to the rear of the equipment building. The blacktop project was paid in part by donations from supportive residents and is the finishing touch in ongoing facility plans.

Lynch noted the improved parking area can be used during fire company events and also during the week by individuals coming to downtown McConnellsburg on business.

In capping off the facilities’ project, the fire company hopes to enlist the services of the Fulton County Master Gardeners. With their assistance and guidance, the company wishes to make landscaping improvements to a fenced-in grassy lot located adjacent to the rear parking lot.

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