We are seriously low on Volunteer Firefighters! Our call volume is increasing and our staff numbers are at an all-time low. We once enjoyed the benefit of having more firefighters respond to a call than we had room for in our trucks! That is no longer the case. When the alarm sounds, we are fortunate to have two firefighters respond from any one station and currently some stations don’t have anyone to respond when an emergency occurs.
You can help make a difference by applying now to join the Illinois Valley Firefighters. Your community needs your help; please get involved. For more information about our upcoming fire academy call 592-2225 or stop by and pick up an application at 681 Caves Hwy. You can also click here to download the application.
Please join us in welcoming Dennis Hoke and his wife Connie from Colorado. Dennis has accepted the position of Fire Chief, effective February 3, 2013. Be sure to welcome them as they make the Illinois Valley their new home.
In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 9,600 home structure fires that were started by candles. These fires caused 90 deaths, 820 injuries and $370 million in direct property damage. Source:NFPA's Latest Estimates of Home Candle Fires - 2010 (PDF, 131 KB)
Remember, a candle is an open flame, which means that it can easily ignite anything that can burn. When using candles, make sure you apply the following safeguards:
Keep candles away from anything that can ignite. Candles should be at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn (such as curtains, bedding, carpet, paper products, Christmas trees, other combustible decorations, etc.) and there should not be any combustibles within several feet above a burning candle.
Always use sturdy non-combustible containers for candleholders. Use candleholders that are sturdy, won't tip over easily, are made of glass, metal, or ceramic and are large enough to collect all the dripping wax.
Remain in the same room as the candles; never leave them unattended. Unattended, abandoned, or inadequately controlled candles are the leading cause of home candle fires.
Place candles out of reach of children and pets, on a sturdy and uncluttered surface. Children tend to be fascinated with fire and do not see the danger. Matches or lighters should not be within the reach of children. Pets may knock over a candle.
Don't place the candles on windowsills or near drafts. Curtains are very flammable and could also knock down a candle when they are blown.
Always make sure the candles are out before leaving the room or going to bed. Consciously check the house. It only takes one time for disaster to strike if you forget.
Avoid buying candles that have combustibles embedded in or around them. These can easily ignite, spreading heat and fire.
Keep candlewicks trimmed to one-quarter inch.
Extinguish taper and pillar candles when they get within two inches of the holder or decorative material.
Extinguish votives and containers before the last half-inch of wax starts to melt.
Keep candles or open flames away from flammable or combustible liquids or vapor.
Open flame devices that use liquid or solid fuel must meet the following safety standards: These devices must be able to return to an upright position when knocked over or self-extinguish and not spill fuel or wax at the rate of more than 1/4 teaspoon per minute.
Make sure you have working smoke detectors in your home. It is recommended you have a smoke detector on every level of the home, in the immediate area outside of the sleeping rooms, and in every bedroom.
Portable electric heaters can bring fire or electric shock if not used properly
The Illinois Valley Fire District joins the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) in encouraging the safe use of portable electric heaters:
Read the manufacturer's instructions and warning labels before using your heater.
Never leave an operating heater unattended and always unplug the heater when not in use.
Unplug the heater by pulling the plug straight from the outlet. Inspect the power cord regularly, and never use a heater with a damaged cord.
Check periodically for a secure plug/outlet fit. If the plug does not fit snugly into the outlet or if the plug becomes very hot, the outlet may need to be replaced. Check with a qualified electrician to replace the outlet.
Do not use a power strip or extension cord to power your heater. Overheating of the power strip or extension cord could result in a fire.
Do not plug any other electrical device into the same outlet as your heater. This could result in overheating.
String the included power cord above any rug or carpeting. Anything you place on top of a cord - including furniture, may damage it.
Keep combustible materials such as furniture, pillows, bedding, papers, clothes, curtains, paint, gas cans and matches at least three feet from the front of the heater and away from the sides and rear. Do not block the heater's air intake or outlet.
Unless the heater is designed for outdoor use or in bathrooms, do not use in damp or wet areas. Parts in the heater may be damaged by moisture.
Place the heater on a level, flat surface. Only use a heater on tabletops when specified by the manufacturer.
Heaters should be kept away from pets and children and never used in a child's room without adult presence.
Seniors, the disabled, those living alone or in student housing may be at increased risk due to careless or improper use of heaters. If you know someone in this risk category, please share this safety list and your concerns.
To learn more, listen as FDNY Lieutenant Anthony Mancuso discusses portable electric heater safety
...and describes how you can receive AHAM's free "Stay Safe!" brochure, by calling (888) 785-SAFE or visiting:
Portable heaters, if used improperly, can be dangerous. Through data obtained by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in their 1998 “Residential Fire Loss Estimates” and National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) data, nationally there were 3,900 structure fires attributed to portable heaters, resulting in 110 deaths, 340 injuries, and causing $69,600,000 in damage. In Oregon, there were 30 residential fires in 2000 where civilian death(s) occurred. At least two deaths were caused by a heat source too close to combustibles. The Oregon Building Codes Division (BCD) issued a ruling (#93-73) which concludes, “portable electric heaters are not suitable for maintaining code-required room temperature in dwellings” and should not be used as the main source of heat. This is because portable electric heaters are designed for sporadic use, and are “liable to be abused and, therefore, malfunction sooner than a fixed unit.”
The chance of tragedy resulting from a portable heater can be greatly reduced if the following safeguards are applied: Select a heater that is UL approved with a tip-over feature.This feature will shut off the heater should it tip over.
Plug your heater directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord because it could become overheated and start a fire.
Check the electric cord on your existing unit for damage. If the cord gets hot, frayed, or cracked, do not use the heater. Have it serviced as soon as possible.
Keep electric heaters at least 36” from combustibles. Combustibles include blankets, furniture, clothing, paper, draperies, etc.
Vacuum any lint or dust from the heater. A dirty heater can overheat, resulting in fire. Make sure to unplug the heater before vacuuming.
The heater should have a working thermostat designed into it. This will insure that the heater will not overheat. The heater should have an element guard.This will prevent burns.
Turn off heaters when family members are sleeping or leave the house. Unattended heat sources are a major cause of fires.
Do not hang combustible items to dry over a portable heater. These may catch fire.
Keep heaters out of traffic areas or exit systems.
Blocked exits are a main source of fire death.
Always ensure an adult is present when using a portable heater around the home. Children or pets can easily tip over a heater and do not understand possible burn and fire hazards.
Do not use kerosene heaters in homes. These are not approved in the State or Oregon, are subject to sudden flare-up and omit poisonous fumes.
Ensure you have working smoke detectors and test them frequently. It is recommended you have a smoke detector on every level of the home, in the immediate area outside of the sleeping rooms, and in every bedroom.