AMERY FIRE DEPARTMENT
founded in 1891

Located on Keller Ave across from Soo-Line Park
101 Keller Avenue S, Amery, WI  54001
Fire Department Office 715-268-7406 or Emergency 911
Frequency of Page - 154.025
Polk County Fire - 154.235

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Fire Safety  Home

Prevention and Fire Safety

After the Fire Tips
Holiday Safety Tips

Escape Planning
(coming soon)
Kitchen Safety
(coming soon)
Carbon Monoxide Facts and Questions
Smoke Detectors
Fire Safety Guidelines

 

Holiday Safety Tips

Each year as the holiday season approaches our thoughts tend to drift towards
decorating our homes, purchasing presents and entertaining our family and friends.
Fire is often the last thing on our minds, however for the Amery Fire Department
serving the township the holiday season brings an increase awareness of the dangers involved in the holiday season.

The Amery Fire Department offers the following tips to help keep the holiday season safe.

 

CHRISTMAS TREES

When selecting a tree, check to see that the needles are flexible and firmly attached
to the tree. If the tree is already shedding needles, the tree is too dry and should not
be purchased. Once a tree is selected, leave it outside until it is time to decorate it.
Prior to bringing the tree inside, trim at least a one-inch piece from the bottom of the
trunk. This increases the tree's ability to absorb water. When the tree is brought inside
be sure the tree is securely fastened in a sturdy holder filled with water. During the
period of time that your tree is indoors, water it regularly. Do not locate the tree in an
area where it will be subjected to intense heat, such as near a woodstove, fireplace,
radiator or heater vent. Be careful not to block exit paths and doorways with the tree.

When you are finished with the tree, remove all lights, stands and decorations from
the tree and place it at the curb.

LIGHTS

Use Christmas lights which utilize lower wattage bulbs or are of the "twinkle" type
since they generate less heat under prolonged use. Inspect the strings of lights to be
certain that all of the lights used are in good working condition and operating properly.
Tighten loose bulbs to prevent arcing. Never use candles or any open flame device on
Christmas trees. Don't overload electrical circuits by plugging too many cords into a
single outlet and avoid the use of lightweight extension cords. Christmas lights should
always be turned off when no one is home or whenever everyone has retired for the evening.

 

DECORATIONS

All decorations should be noncombustible or flame retardant, and should not be placed
near heat sources. Candles should be placed away from flammable materials such as
curtains and utilized in areas where they won't be knocked or blown over.
Additionally, candles and matches should be kept out of reach of children and blown
out when you leave the house or go to bed.

Finally, when you are entertaining quests in your home who smoke, provide large ash
trays and allow ashes to cool overnight before placing them in the trash. Check for
smoldering cigarettes in the cushions of the upholstered furniture before going to bed.
Cigarette fires are still the leading cause of fire fatalities in the home.

Your questions, comments and suggestion for future articles may be directed to the
fire prevention department.

 

Escape Planning

Kitchen Safety

Carbon Monoxide Facts and Questions

Some people call carbon monoxide the silent killer! 
Here is a list of commonly ask questions about Carbon Monoxide and detectors!

WHAT IS CARBON MONOXIDE (CO) AND WHY DO I NEED A CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR?

WHAT ARE THE MEDICAL EFFECTS OF CARBON MONOXIDE AND HOW DO I RECOGNIZE THEM?

THE FOLLOWING TABLE DESCRIBES THE SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH A GIVEN CONCENTRATION OF CO.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS AND HOW DO THEY WORK?

ARE SOME TYPES OF DETECTORS BETTER THAN OTHERS? HOW DO I SELECT THE BEST DETECTOR FOR ME?

HOW MANY CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS SHOULD I HAVE AND WHERE SHOULD I PLACE THEM?

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON CAUSES OF CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR ALARMS?

WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN MY CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR GOES OFF?

WHAT CAN I EXPECT TO HAPPEN IF I CALL 911?

WHERE CAN I GET FURTHER INFORMATION CONCERNING CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS?

WHAT IS CARBON MONOXIDE (CO) AND WHY DO I NEED A CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR?

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and toxic gas produced as a by-product of combustion. Any fuel burning appliance, vehicle, tool or other device has the potential to produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide gas. Examples of carbon monoxide producing devices commonly is use around the home include:

The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that approximately 200 people per year are killed by accidental CO poisoning with an additional 5000 people injured. These deaths and injuries are typically caused by improperly used or malfunctioning equipment aggravated by improvements in building construction which limit the amount of fresh air flowing in to homes and other structures.

While regular maintenance and inspection of gas burning equipment in the home can minimize the potential for exposure to CO gas, the possibility for some type of sudden failure resulting in a potentially life threatening build up of gas always exists.

WHAT ARE THE MEDICAL EFFECTS OF CARBON MONOXIDE AND HOW DO I RECOGNIZE THEM?

Carbon monoxide inhibits the blood's ability to carry oxygen to body tissues including vital organs such as the heart and brain. When CO is inhaled, it combines with the oxygen carrying hemoglobin of the blood to form carboxyhemoglobin. Once combined with the hemoglobin, that hemoglobin is no longer available for transporting oxygen. How quickly the carboxyhemoglobin builds up is a factor of the concentration of the gas being inhaled (measured in parts per million or PPM) and the duration of the exposure. Compounding the effects of the exposure is the long half-life of carboxyhemoglobin in the blood. Half-life is a measure of how quickly levels return to normal. The half-live of carboxyhemoglobin is approximately 5 hours. This means that for a given exposure level, it will take about 5 hours for the level of carboxyhemoglobin in the blood to drop to half its current level after the exposure is terminated.

THE FOLLOWING TABLE DESCRIBES THE SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH A GIVEN CONCENTRATION OF COHb.

% COHb
10%
15%
25%
30%

45%
50%
Symptoms and Medical Consequences
No symptoms. Heavy smokers can have as much as 9% COHb.
Mild headache
Nausea and serious headache. Fairly quick recovery after treatment with oxygen and/or fresh air.
Symptoms intensify. Potential for long term effects especially in the case of infants, children,
the elderly, victims of heart disease and pregnant women.
Unconsciousness
Death.

Since one can't easily measure COHb levels outside of medical environment, CO toxicity levels are usually expressed in airborne concentrations levels (PPM) and duration of exposure. Expressed in this way, symptoms of exposure can be stated as follows:

PPM CO
35 PPM
200PPM
400 PPM
800 PPM

1600 PPM
6400 PPM
12,800 PPM


Time
8 Hours
2-3 Hours
1-2 Hours
45 minutes

20 minutes
1-2 minutes
1-3 minutes
Symptoms
Maximum exposure allowed by OSHA in the workplace over an eight hour period.
Mild headache, fatigue, nausea and dizziness.
Serious headache - other symptoms intensify. Life threatening after 3 hours.
Dizziness, nausea and convulsions. Unconscious within 2 hours.
Death within 2-3 hours.
Headache, dizziness and nausea. Death within 1 hour.
Headache, dizziness and nausea. Death within 25 - 30 minutes.
Death

As can be seen from the above information, the symptoms vary widely based on exposure level, duration and the general health and age on an individual. Also note the one recurrent theme that is most significant in the recognition of carbon monoxide poisoning - headache, dizziness and nausea. These "flu-like" symptoms are often mistaken for a real case of the flu and can result in delayed or mis-diagnosed treatment. When experienced in conjunction with the sounding of a carbon monoxide alarm these symptoms are the best indicator that a potentially serious buildup of carbon monoxide exists. This comment will be returned to later.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS AND HOW DO THEY WORK?

There are a number of different types and brands of carbon monoxide detectors on the market today. They can be most easily characterized by whether they operate on household current or batteries. Underlying this, in most cases, is the type of sensor employed in the detectors operation. Detectors using household current typically employ some type of solid-state sensor which purges itself and resamples for CO on a periodic basis. This cycling of the sensor is the source of its increased power demands. Detectors power by batteries typically use a passive sensor technology which reacts to the prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide gas.

ARE SOME TYPES OF DETECTORS BETTER THAN OTHERS? HOW DO I SELECT THE BEST DETECTOR FOR ME?

Regardless of the type of sensor used all detectors sold on the market today should conform to minimum sensitivity and alarm characteristics. These characteristics have been defined and are verified by Underwriters Laboratory in their standard for carbon monoxide detectors UL 2034. This standard was most recently revised in June of 1995 and went into effect in October of 1995. This revision specified additional requirements regarding identification of detector type, low-level (nuisance) alarm sensitivity and alarm silencing. Under no circumstances should one purchase a detector that is not UL listed.

Each of the two types of detectors mentioned previously has applications in the home along with associated advantages and disadvantages. The proper detector for each application or installation should be chosen based on the application requirements and the products specifications. The following are the principle advantages and disadvantages of the two different types of detectors:

Characteristic

Cost

Ease of Installation

Maintenance



Reaction Time
/Exposure

Level Display




Household Current

$30 - 50

More difficult, requires outlet near detector or hard wiring.

No maintenance required during life of product (5-10 years).
Detector becomes more sensitive with age.

Gives continuous display of CO levels updated every few minutes.

Will reset immediately once CO problem is corrected.



Battery Operated

$30-$50


Less difficult. Can be placed anywhere needed.

Requires periodic replacement of battery/sensor module every 2-3 years at a cost of $20.
Reaction time depends on concentration level and duration of exposure.
Display information is limited.


Reset time depends on exposure concentration and duration.
May require removal of sensor pack. A silence button, however, is now provided/required.



HOW MANY CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS SHOULD I HAVE AND WHERE SHOULD I PLACE THEM?

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends a detector on each floor of a residence. At a minimum, a single detector should be placed on each sleeping floor with an additional detector in the area of any major gas burning appliances such as a furnace or water heater. Installation in these areas ensures rapid detection of any potentially malfunctioning appliances and the ability to hear the alarm from all sleeping areas. In general carbon monoxide detectors should be placed high (near the ceiling) for most effective use. Detectors should also not be placed within five feet of gas fueled appliances or near cooking or bathing areas. Consult the manufacturers installation instructions for proper placement of a detector within a given area.

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON CAUSES OF CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR ALARMS?

There are many conditions which can cause a carbon monoxide to alarm. Most are preventable and few are actually life threatening. Ideally through proper placement of the detector and education of the users the number of preventable calls can be minimized and activation will only occur in the more serious situations.

Preventable causes of CO alarm activation and the recommended preventive action are as follows:

Cause

Inadequate fresh air venting of the home.

Running gas powered equipment or automobiles in a home or garage.


Charcoal grilling in the home or garage.

Malfunctioning appliances or equipment in the home.


Malfunctioning or overly sensitive alarm.



Preventative Action

Have a heating contractor install a fresh air
makeup system in the home.
Gas powered equipment or vehicles should never be operated within a home or garage, even if the garage door is open.
Since most homes are typically at a lower pressure relative to the outside air,
the gas can actually be drawn into the home.
Charcoal grilling is a tremendous producer of carbon monoxide gas.
Charcoal grills should never be operated in the home.
All fuel burning appliances or equipment in the home needs periodic inspection and preventative maintenance.
While all fuel burning appliances will produce some CO gas,
regular preventative maintenance can keep this to a minimum.
Buy only UL Listed alarms conforming to the latest revision (June 1995) of UL Standard 2034.
This revision includes new requirements to minimize nuisance alarms.


While many causes can be prevented others can not and may occur unpredictably. Not only are these problems harder to predict but they also tend to be more serious in nature. Examples of these type problems are:

Minimizing preventable events allows everyone to take other less preventable and predictable events more seriously.

WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN MY CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR GOES OFF?

First and foremost, stay calm. As mentioned previously most situations resulting in activation of a carbon monoxide detector are not life threatening and do not require calling 911. To determine the need to call 911, ask the following question of every one in the household:

"Does anyone feel ill? Is anyone experiencing the "flu-like" symptoms of
headache, nausea or dizziness?"

If the answer to the above by anyone in the household is true, evacuated the household to a safe location and have someone call 911. Failure to evacuate immediately may result in prolonged exposure and worsening effects from possible carbon monoxide gas. The best initial treatment for carbon monoxide gas exposure is fresh air.

If the answer to the above by everyone in the household is no, the likelihood of serious exposure is greatly diminished and one probably does not need to call 911. Instead, turn off any gas burning appliances or equipment, ventilate the area and attempt to reset the alarm. If the alarm will not reset or resounds, call a qualified heating and ventilating service contractor to inspect your system for possible problems. If at any time during this process someone begins to feel ill with the symptoms described above evacuated the household to a safe location and have someone call 911.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT TO HAPPEN IF I CALL 911?

What to expect when calling 911 is based on the polices and procedures of the public safety agencies serving your community and will vary from area to area. Most public safety agencies are, however, recognizing the dangers posed by carbon monoxide gas and are adopting similar procedures to the one described below. These procedures are based on information developed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and other national and regional associations. The objective of these procedures is to quickly determine the severity of the situation and provide the proper emergency response. The following is a summary of what one can expect to happen if they call 911 because a carbon monoxide detector is sounding:

When initially calling 911 be prepared to provide the following information:

The dispatcher will determine the response required based on the answers to the above - most significantly whether or not anyone is feeling ill.

If anyone is feeling ill and/or you can not or have not been able to evacuate everyone, law enforcement, medical and fire personnel will be assigned to the call on an emergency basis. Law enforcement to assist with the immediate evacuation of individuals, medical to treat any victims and fire to monitor for CO gas and assist with the other activities.

If no one is feeling ill, you may be advised to contact your local heating contractor or gas company to assist you or, more likely, fire personnel will be dispatched on a routine basis to monitor for CO gas and advise if a 'real' carbon monoxide problem exists.

As mentioned previously, response policies vary by community and you may wish to call your local fire or police non-emergency number to ask what their particular policies are.

WHERE CAN I GET FURTHER INFORMATION CONCERNING CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS?

Several manufacturers of carbon monoxide detectors offer toll free numbers for additional information regarding their products. Theses numbers are as follows:

Manufacturer
American Sensors
Everlert
Enzone
First Alert
Jameson
Lifesaver  (Kidde)
Nighthawk  (Kidde)
Quantum
Radio Shack
S-Tech
Number
800-387-4219

800-448-0535
800-323-9005
800-779-1719
800-880-6788
800-880-6788
800-432-5599
Contact your local store
800-643-5377

 

Smoke Detectors

You should test all smoke detectors at least once a month by pushing and holding the
test button. When you change your clocks
in the spring and fall you should also replace the batteries in all of
your smoke detectors. Also it's a good idea to vacuum your
detector, so that cobwebs and dust particles do not prevent the
detector from working properly.

If your smoke detectors are older than 10 years old, you need to
replace them. Detectors only work properly for about ten years.
Smoke detectors can be purchased from most hardware and general drug stores.
Smoke alarms are required outside each separate sleeping area and on each level of your
house, including basements, but excluding unfinished attics and crawl spaces. Smoke
detectors should be placed on the ceiling at least 4 inches from the nearest wall or high on a
wall, 4 to 12 inches from the ceiling. If you have a high - pitched ceiling, mount the alarm
near the highest point. In general, you should put your alarm squarely in the path smoke
would probably take if it were heading upstairs or through your home, toward your
bedrooms. Protecting the bedrooms at night – where you’re most at risk from fire because
you’re asleep – is the top priority. That’s when most fire deaths occur.

Most manufacturers of carbon monoxide detectors make smoke alarms
and vice versa.  Click here to see a list.

To read about smoke detectors and how they work click here!!

Below are some great websites for information about fire prevention!
Home Safeguard
Fire Prevention from Kidde Inc.

Home Planning from Kidde Inc.

Fire Prevention from the US Government
Testing your Smoke Alarms

Fire Control

 

Fire Safety Guidelines

We should all follow the guidelines of the Uniform Fire Code. These codes are law. These codes are intended to help prevent fires from starting and protect your home in the event of a fire. It is very important to understand that by following these codes you give the firefighters a better chance of saving your home.

Yes! You must receive a burn permit from the Township Offices and the City of Amery.  You can pick up a burn permit from the township office and city hall.

You may burn outdoors at any time so long as such burning is strictly for the preparation of food and is done within a grill, enclosed stove or fireplace.

Below is a list of acts that may cause a nuisance and should be avoided: