Fires

Wayne Alarm: Fire system up to code?

SAFETY TIP OF THE DAY

SPONSORED BY WAYNE ALARM AND HONEYWELL.

At Wayne Alarm, we always make sure our customers and clients are fully prepared in case of any emergency. And with warmer weather fast approaching, it is important to make sure your fire system is still reliable, inspected, tested and maintained. A quarterly check on your system can make a huge difference in your safety. So how can homeowners or business owners keep their systems updated? Follow these tips below:

  • Make sure Wayne Alarms fire system is up to date with its detection alarm. Without this feature, the system would fail to notify you if smoke appears or to dispatch the firefighters to save your home and evacuate your family.
  • Check your fire exits to make sure doors easily open and no objects are blocking the exits. It’s also important to ensure that it is properly marked and everyone will have no trouble finding it.
  • Make sure there are no flammable objects or substances in or near the exits. If so, it is best to store them away in the right place to prevent any fire.

On average, there are over 374,000 residential fires and over 2,000 deaths. Don’t let yourself become a statistic. These additional tips could make a huge difference to avoid any fire.

  • Smoking – If you smoke, make sure you do so in areas where it is not prohibited. Or if you smoke, make sure it is only fire-safe cigarettes. Since fires and deaths result from fires that have started in a living/family rooms, or bedrooms, it is better to smoke outside instead. Most importantly, keep lighters, matches and cigarettes out of reach of children.
  • Electrical – When using electrical kitchen appliances make sure they are put into a receptacle outlet one at a time, as the outlet can dangerously heat up.

Call us today to schedule for a free in-home consultation.

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www.waynealarm.com

Wayne Alarm: Fire system up to code?

SAFETY TIP OF THE DAY

SPONSORED BY WAYNE ALARM AND HONEYWELL.

At Wayne Alarm, we always make sure our customers and clients are fully prepared in case of any emergency. And with warmer weather fast approaching, it is important to make sure your fire system is still reliable, inspected, tested and maintained. A quarterly check on your system can make a huge difference in your safety. So how can homeowners or business owners keep their systems updated? Follow these tips below:

  • Make sure Wayne Alarms fire system is up to date with its detection alarm. Without this feature, the system would fail to notify you if smoke appears or to dispatch the firefighters to save your home and evacuate your family.
  • Check your fire exits to make sure doors easily open and no objects are blocking the exits. It’s also important to ensure that it is properly marked and everyone will have no trouble finding it.
  • Make sure there are no flammable objects or substances in or near the exits. If so, it is best to store them away in the right place to prevent any fire.

On average, there are over 374,000 residential fires and over 2,000 deaths. Don’t let yourself become a statistic. These additional tips could make a huge difference to avoid any fire.

  • Smoking – If you smoke, make sure you do so in areas where it is not prohibited. Or if you smoke, make sure it is only fire-safe cigarettes. Since fires and deaths result from fires that have started in a living/family rooms, or bedrooms, it is better to smoke outside instead. Most importantly, keep lighters, matches and cigarettes out of reach of children.
  • Electrical – When using electrical kitchen appliances make sure they are put into a receptacle outlet one at a time, as the outlet can dangerously heat up.

Call us today to schedule for a free in-home consultation.

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www.waynealarm.com

Wayne Alarm: Tips for a pet-friendly home

SAFETY TIP OF THE DAY

SPONSORED BY WAYNE ALARM AND HONEYWELL.

Our four-legged fur friends are not just pets, but a part of our families. Their safety is just as important as ours. Whether is making sure they get enough nutrition in their food or ensuring pavements are not too hot or cold to protect their paws, their safety is just as important. Follow along for some pet-friendly protocols to have in your homes for their safety:

  1. The best way to minimize damage is to create a space just for your furry friend. This helps acclimate and dog friendly near their bed can make a difference.
  2. Dogs enjoy hiding and running around and it can sometimes be too dangerous for them. The best way to prevent them from running out unsupervised is with deadbolts on doors, locks on windows and even baby gates on stairs. Cabinet doors should also maintain secure with latches, as it can cause your dog to get trapped in the cabinet.
  3. Get rid of dangerous items that they can reach and bite such as electrical cords by using cords protectors. Safely store detergents and other household cleaners in locked cabinets or high on a shelf. Be aware that trash cans can also be dangerous for their consumption, consider a closed-lid trash can instead. Prevent falls and kitchen fires by not allowing pets in the kitchen when cooking or when stove is on.
  4. Invest in a video surveillance security to keep track of what your dog does at home when you are not around. View live footage of your pets from work or anytime you are away from home, ensuring they are okay and not in any danger.
  5. It is common for pets to accidentally trigger home security motion detectors and cause false alarms. This is dangerous because an emergency personnel may not know if it is a real threat or if a pet triggered the alarm. The best way to prevent this is to ensure your system accommodates animals during the installation stage.

For additional safety information and security system installation, contact Wayne Alarm by calling us at: 781-595-0000 or visiting us online at www.waynealarm.com.

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Wayne Alarm: Be safe in your apartment

SAFETY TIP OF THE DAY

SPONSORED BY WAYNE ALARM AND HONEYWELL.

Apartment fire are much more common than we all might like to think, which is a little frightening to think about. Whether your residence is a single-family home or an apartment, it’s important to take the calm and proper steps that can save your life. The majority of fire are results of kitchen/cooking, heating equipments such as space heaters, and even arson which includes children at times playing with fire.

So you might ask yourself: Well, I live in an apartment. What can I do if I’m ever in this situation?

Performing a fire inspection and ensuring that everything is up-to-code can make a big difference. Here are some tips to ensure you are prepared and safe in case of any fire emergency:

Make sure all exit and stairwell doors are marked, not locked or blocked by security bars.
It’s very important to know the locations of all exit stairs from your floor level, in case you need to get out in an emergency.
If there are not a number of adequate working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, contact your landlord.
If ever stuck inside your apartment and you can’t find any exit, try to stuff wet towels or sheets around the door and vents. This helps to keep the smoke out.
Here are some ways to ensure that you stay safe on a daily basis throughout your apartment:

Don’t leave cooking food unattended
Always ensure that your stove or oven is off if you’re not in the room or leaving your apartment. It’s also very, very important to never use your oven as a source to heat your home.
Make sure there’s a three feet distance with household combustibles from heating equipments: space heaters, fireplace, or wood stoves. In addition turn portable heaters off when leaving a room or going to bed.
Replace any worn electrical cords. Use power strips if additional outlets are needed.
If using an electric space heater, use a heavy-duty cord of 14-gauge wire or larger. Otherwise, avoid using one at all cost.
Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
Unless specified, don’t use electric space heaters in damp, wet areas.
It’s very important to always be aware of using the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.

In case you ever do find yourself in a fire:

Always check doors before opening them. If the door feels cool, open it slowly and stay low to the ground and leave the building as soon as possible. If the door is warm, use wet towels or beddings to seal the door and vets. Proceed to a window, and if there is no smoke outside, signal for help. If you are able to, call 9-1-1 and make them aware that you are trapped in the building.

Don’t ever use an elevator during a fire. Always use the stairs!

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Saugus looks through lens on fire safety

ITEM PHOTO BY SPENSER HASAK
Saugus firefighter Paul Sullivan demonstrates the Bullard T3MAX infrared camera on firefighter Ryan Poussad.

By BRIDGET TURCOTTE

SAUGUS — The Saugus Fire Department will purchase three new thermal imaging cameras to assist with rescues, thanks to a $30,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“Thermal imaging cameras are fantastic tools to find fire,” said Fire Chief Michael Newbury. “They’re the best tool that I’ve seen in my career to find fire victims.”

The devices cost between $10,000 and $11,000 each and are mounted inside each truck to be used during any situation that includes smoke, said Newbury.

“If you can’t see because of the smoke, you point the camera in the direction of the smoke and it identifies where the hot spot is so you can find the fire and put it out,” said Newbury. “At the same time, you can see people or at least the outline of the body. It picks up on different temperatures so at 98.6 degrees, you could see (a person).”

The cameras are also lent to the Police Department when officers are looking for a missing person. Wooded areas can easily be scanned to identify if a person is there but can’t easily be spotted.

Saugus was one of nine fire departments in the state to receive more than $1.25 million in round six of the 2016 Assistance to Firefighters Grants. The awards are intended to provide critical resources to train and equip emergency personnel to meet official standards, increase efficiency and interoperability, and help make departments and the communities they serve more resilient.

A Memorial Day low point for veteran

Other towns received money for breathing apparatuses, rapid intervention packs, sprinkler systems, chest compression devices, power stretchers, and training costs.

“Our firefighters play an integral role in keeping our communities safe,” said U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) in a statement. “They deserve top-quality equipment to do their jobs, and this federal grant will enable the Saugus Fire Department to upgrade its thermal imaging cameras so they can quickly and safely fight fires and save lives. I am grateful to FEMA for recognizing the need to invest in our local fire departments.”

Several of the Saugus Fire Departments thermal imaging cameras date back more than a decade. Saugus applied for the grant after searching for parts to repair an old device with a broken screen. Newbury was told the parts are no longer available.

The three new cameras will be secured on Engine 3, Engine 1, and Ladder 1; the station’s three front line vehicles. The older cameras will drop to reserve status and be used as backups until they no longer work, he said.

Newbury said he is grateful Town Manager Scott Crabtree allowed the department to apply for the funding.


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemilve.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte

Wayne Alarm: Security tips kids should know

SAFETY TIP OF THE DAY

SPONSORED BY WAYNE ALARM AND HONEYWELL.

There are times when we must leave our kids home alone. However, when they are home alone it’s important that they know how  to remain safe, who to call in case of emergency or what to do at any situation. Although 911 is the perfect number your children  should call in an emergency, it’s important to know more. Follow these helpful tips to teach your kids about home security.

  1. Security Alarm Basics – Begin by teaching them how your specific alarm systems works, and how to turn it off. Also teach your child what can trigger the alarms from going off. It’s also important to go over how they can use the alarms to warn neighbors or anyone else in the area if a problem occurs. A cool way to keep your kids safe is to create a family safe code, one that you can only know and they can use if they are ever a stranger comes to the door.
  2. Don’t Open the Door to Strangers – It’s important that young children know to never open the door to anyone else other than mom and dad, unless specified. If your home doorbell rings, and you’re not home, it’s better to let your kids know who they can let into your home when you’re not there. Also remind them to not leave any windows open, making sure all doors are safely locked.
  3. Security Passwords – Teaching your kids to be the only one, besides you, who can know the passwords to the security system or their email and social media accounts. Remind them that giving it out their passwords to others can have serious consequences.
  4. Security Cameras – Remind your children that security cameras are strictly for security purposes and not playtime. For example, they should know what unwanted events they should watch out for. If you have security cameras installed, teaching them the difference is vital to their safety.
  5. Fire Prevention – Teaching fire prevention to your kids can help them when it comes to their safety. They should know the dangers of using  lighters or matches. In addition children should be taught not to use the stove or oven unless you’re at home. It’s also important to go over a fire escape plan that includes dropping to the floor or having a cloth over the mouth to avoid inhalation of smoke. You can also teach them how to use an extinguisher if the child is old enough.

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Peabody finds cash to cover safety costs

By ADAM SWIFT

PEABODY — A combination of injuries, special details, and how police officers are compensated through the state’s Quinn Bill resulted in a nearly $1.5 million cost overrun for police and fire overtime costs for the current fiscal year.

The City Council’s finance committee approved pulling that money from various sources, primarily the city’s reserve funds, to cover those costs.

Mayor Edward A. Bettencourt Jr. said the police and fire overtime budgets, along with special education spending in the schools and the city’s snow and ice removal costs, are the toughest budgets to predict from year to year.

“It’s impossible to predict what the number of injuries are going to be,” said Bettencourt. “We give our best guess to what the overtime budget is going to yield, like the snow and ice removal, and at the end of the fiscal year we try to make the adjustments.”

On the police side, Bettencourt told councilors on Thursday that Chief Thomas Griffin’s request for a transfer totaling nearly $750,000 was driven by a number of officers who have been out on duty injury or extended sick leave (including a dozen who have been out for a month or more at a time).

He also attributed the transfer to the need for added patrols and investigations related to drug law enforcement, and dispatcher coverage along with overtime coverage to cover the city’s centennial celebrations.

Landfill extension plan filed in Saugus

Councilor-at-Large Anne Manning-Martin raised questions about the $225,000 in additional money requested to pay out how police officers are compensated through the Quinn Bill, which provides career incentives for officers.

“How did you overshoot the runway so much?” she asked city Finance Director Michael Gingras. “That is a significant amount.”

Gingras said that under the latest collective bargaining agreement, police officers can now roll those career incentives from the Quinn Bill into their base pay, rather than receiving a lump sum payment as they have in the past. He said the number of employees opting to take that option was not anticipated.

Normally, the obligations would accrue and be paid in November during the next budget cycle, according to Bettencourt, with some overage in salary and overtime attributed to the timing change.

The $692,000 in overages for the fire department budget was driven primarily by overtime to cover for 14 firefighters who were out for extended sick leave, as well as for a number of major fires the city faced over the past year.

“Fourteen firefighters seems like a very significant number,” said Ward 2 Councilor Peter McGinn. “That seems like a real outlier and I’m not sure how you anticipate for that.”

Swampscott beach fire debate heats up

ITEM FILE PHOTO
Phillips Beach in Swampscott is pictured in February 2017.

By GAYLA CAWLEY

SWAMPSCOTT — The Conservation Commission didn’t say no to cooking fires on Phillips Beach, but they didn’t say yes either.

A public hearing was held during a conservation commission meeting Thursday night, regarding the notice of intent filed by the Board of Selectmen to allow residents to have cooking fires on Phillips Beach.

The discussion was continued to the commission’s next meeting, with no vote taken. Conservation commission members raised concerns about how the fires would be regulated to protect the vegetation and about the timeframe they would be allowed. Patrick Jones, a selectman, asked for the continuance to discuss the concerns with the board and possibly limit the number of days and hours the fires would be allowed.

The conservation commission reluctantly gave the go-ahead for cooking fires on Fisherman’s Beach last July, after deciding the area did not fall under its jurisdiction, because of the lack of vegetation that would be affected.

But the commission found that the conservation area at Palmer Pond and dune vegetation would be altered at Phillips Beach, and the activity would apply to the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act, leading them to require town officials to file a notice of intent for fires there.

Jones said the request was for up to four cooking fires in designated areas, where a permit would have to be obtained by the fire department. The time proposed was 6 to 11 p.m. with a $25 nonrefundable charge and a $50 deposit, which is meant to give incentive for people to clean up the area. Fires would have to be extinguished by water, and could not be buried.

“The reason we’re bringing it forward is because many residents continue to ask for this overwhelmingly,” Jones said.

‘This is not something we get used to’

Jones said even with no fires being allowed at Phillips Beach, there were still illegal fires occurring last year. The intent is to regulate them, he said.

Tom Ruskin, chairman of the commission, said last July that he was concerned with the vegetation going up in smoke. He said on Thursday that last summer was a compromise, with the commission finding that there was no threat to vegetation on Fisherman’s Beach, and allowing beach fires there. He said the commission has to weigh the benefits for the town of having beach fires versus protecting the environment. The commission has been liberal for the past 10 years, he said, in allowing people to enjoy the town.

“Now you’re asking us to threaten one of the most precious gems in town, this Palmer(s) pond,” Ruskin said. “If that place burns down, that’s it. It’s not worth experimenting. We don’t take chances experimenting with something like Palmer(s) Pond.”

Ruskin said he knows the commission would say “yes” to the beach fires on Phillips Beach if they could be ensured that the vegetation would be protected. If there couldn’t be a police or fire detail for regulation during the proposed timeframe for cooking fires, he suggested having fewer days they could be allowed. He said maybe the town could only afford to have a detail to monitor the fires from 7 to 11 p.m. for two days, and maybe they should only be allowed on a Friday and Saturday.

Ruskin said the regulation could also be someone getting paid to monitor the cooking fires and call police if something goes amiss.

The system last year on Fisherman’s Beach was, once permission was granted, a placard was given to someone to mark their fire. The fire must be attended to at all times by an adult who lives in town. Fire Chief Kevin Breen said up to four permits can be issued for Fisherman’s Beach.


Gayla Cawley can be reached at gcawley@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.

 

Zion Baptist Church marks 115 years

ITEM PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
The committee for the 115th anniversary of Zion Baptist Church, from left: Brenda Womack, David Murray, Thelma Riley, the Rev. Dr. Kirk B. Jones, Starry Poe, Rochelle Bluefort, Brenda Newell, and Deacon Jerry Alleyne.

By GAYLA CAWLEY

LYNN — Zion Baptist Church will celebrate its 115th anniversary in June, marking the occasion with a banquet fundraiser and a service.

Zion Baptist Church is the oldest continuous black church on the North Shore in the same location, according to Deacon Gerald Alleyne.

The anniversary is on June 22, 115 years after Zion Baptist Church opened its doors in 1902. A two-day celebration will mark the anniversary, with a jazz banquet on Saturday, June 24 at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in Wakefield, from 5 p.m. to midnight. The next day there will be a service at Zion at 10:30 a.m.

The church has survived two fires, one in 1949, that required the church to be rebuilt, according to a history of the church provided by Alleyne.

Rev. Dr. Kirk B. Jones, the senior pastor, said to come back from the fires demonstrates their commitment to God, to their faith and to the community. He said the church is a resource of inspiration for its members, but it’s also a source of social strength to the community.

“So, as pastor, I see us embracing our past so that we can draw strength to do those things that they did and even more in today’s world,” Jones said.

Animal magnetism at Lynn Museum

Jones said money raised from the banquet will in turn help the church support its continued general programs, other ministries in the greater Lynn community, and a program it has to support those recovering from addiction. He said the banquet is a sign of the church’s commitment through linking spirituality and jazz, something it wants to expand on.

Thelma Riley, anniversary chair, said the goal is to raise $115,000, and the church has asked the congregation and the community for a dollar for every year the church has been in service.

The roots of Zion Baptist Church started with the Loyalist movement during the end of the American Revolution, and the freed slaves who came to Nova Scotia with the promise of land, freedom and work. Around 1880, a considerable number of Negroes who had settled around Annapolis Royal, Digby and Weymouth, Nova Scotia, then settled in Lynn. This group became so large that they wanted their own church to worship, according to a history of the church provided by Alleyne.

“I think it says a lot in the form of being faithful and steadfast,” said Brenda Newell. “When you think about 115 years ago, those persons coming from Nova Scotia, I’m sure that they came with a dream and not knowing what to expect, and when they arrived here and started their small congregation, it was just their faith that I think kept them going and the congregation grew. All that love that was brought here, instilled in the hearts of parishioners, it’s still here today. That has never ceased and that’s something that we can grow on, encouraging each other, loving each other.”


Gayla Cawley can be reached at gcawley@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.

Deadliest fire month demands a plan

There are 11 days left in March and it is already the deadliest month for fires in Massachusetts in the last five years, according to state Department of Fire Services statistics.

Eleven people died so far in fires in March. This is a grim and intolerable statistic that can be reduced through a concerted effort combining technology, economic incentives and enforcement.

Fire has been a potential deadly threat for as long as human beings have existed. The tragedy of fire deaths in 21st-century America is magnified by the knowledge that planning and precautions can end fire fatalities.

Far too many fires are attributable to human error, including faulty electrical systems, careless smoking and misused candles. Fire departments, including Lynn’s, spend time and money ensuring more buildings have smoke alarms and more children learn fire safety basics.

These efforts are paying off and modern home construction methods help confine fires until they can be extinguished. But more can be done to reduce fire risk and avoid fatalities.

Fire departments should be given increased resources and responsibility for conducting fire safety-related building inspections. In some instances, town or city fire departments and building or inspection departments should be merged to ensure all available expertise is focused on eliminating fire hazards.

Two-alarm fire in Swampscott

Inspectors and firefighters often work closely to identify buildings where fire hazards exist in the form of inadequate fire protection, faulty structures and hazardous material storage. But landlords and building owners should know fire departments and inspectors will take steps to end fire deaths by accelerating and stiffening enforcement.

Insurance companies also have a role to play in ending fatalities. Industry representatives and state legislators should formulate policy discount measures designed to serve as incentives for building owners to upgrade fire safeguards.

It is expensive for a small landlord or even a multi-property owner to add sprinklers or point-of-origin fire retardant systems. But insurance companies can reduce costly claims filed in the wake of fires by providing significant premium discounts to owners who are willing to spend money on fire safety.

The last element of stepped-up fire safety enforcement is technology. All efforts must be undertaken to improve fire-retardant material and to develop fire suppression equipment suitable for installation in residential buildings as well as commercial properties.

Technological innovators only need a market to spur their efforts to develop fire safety technology. Improved technology combined with reasonable discount incentives and increased enforcement can represent a three-pronged approach to ending fire tragedies.