2013-10-10 / Front Page

Residents: Prepare For Cooler Weather

October is Fire Prevention Month; Halloween parade to follow new route
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

NEWS EDITOR

With Fulton County already catching glimpses 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 ensure additional safety precautions are made to be certain 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 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 McConnellsburg 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 detectors to low-income families and senior citizens. Installation is also available for those in need of a 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 detector is $10. For one small investment you can save your family and your family’s belongings,” added Lynch.

As part of Fire Prevention Month and National Fire Prevention Week that runs October 6 through October 12, 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.

Looking ahead to the end of the month, Lynch stated some changes are under way for the much-anticipated annual Mc- Connellsburg Firemen’s Halloween Parade. Scheduled for Thursday, October 31, beginning at 7 p.m., the event will no longer run along Lincoln Way due to “state permit issues,” the fire chief said.

As a result, parade lineup will form in front of Carbaugh’s Coin Laundry. The parade route will run from East Maple Street to the McConnellsburg Firehall. Following the event, area children are welcome to swing by the firehall to enjoy light refreshments. Tips for home heating inspections

 Electric heaters should be checked for loose debris that could have fallen against the baseboard heating elements since their last use. The exterior should also be cleaned and double check that no furniture or curtains are in contact with the heater.

 Heat pumps should be visually inspected to determined if shrubbery or other items have fallen against the units. Inside cold air return filters should be changed, while vents should be dusted and cleared of obstructions.

 Fuel oil/gas furnaces must be inspected and cleaned by a trained technician. Do not fix any problems or make adjustments yourself!

 Fireplaces should be cleaned and inspected by a licensed chimney sweep. Don’t forget to use a heavy screen in front of the fireplace when it is in use!

 Wood stoves cause more fires than any other heat source. Never put anything other than seasoned firewood in your stove. The use of other products could cause the flue or ventilation pipe to become clogged.

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