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Christmas Tree Fire Safety

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas! As wonderful as they are, Christmas trees add a fire hazard to your home. A dried out Christmas tree is incredibly flammable, and burns in just seconds! Between 2011-2015 the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported that an average of 200 building fires in homes were started by a Christmas Tree. On average, one out of every 32 Christmas tree related fires resulted in death, and even more of them resulted in injury. Although these fires are less common, they are more likely to be serious. 

“In one-quarter (26%) of the Christmas tree fires and 80% of the deaths, some type of heat source, such as candle or equipment, was too close to the tree.”- NFPA Holiday Report.

Here are ways to keep your home safe, while still enjoying your tree!

-Water your tree daily making sure that there is always water in at least half of the tree stand.

-Keep any sources of heat (including vents, woodstoves, space heaters, hot lamps/lights, radiators, and candles) away from the tree. (at least three feet)

-If you have a woodstove in your home, you may need to water more often as woodstove heat is more dry than heat by a furnace.

-Choose a tree with fresh green needles that do not fall off when touched.

-Use tested and qualified lights, and make sure no wires are worn or broken, make sure all bulb connections are tight, and read manufacturer’s instructions for number of strands to connect.

-Do not use lit candles to decorate a tree.

-Always turn off lights before going to bed, or use a timer to shut them off for you. 

Online Burning Permits

Construction began on the new addition to the Police Department on Monday October 9th.  We quickly realized that there would be obstacles issuing fire permits the way we have done for so many years, because the entrance to dispatch is completely blocked.

Due to the length of time that this project will take, the Police and Fire-Rescue Departments have made the decision to stop issuing hand written fire permits.  Instead we will use a third party electronic fire permit website called Warden’s Report.  This program is being used by many other fire departments across the state with success.

 

 

Fire permits will remain FREE of charge and you can obtain a burning permit via computer, tablet or cell phone by following the link below:

http://wardensreport.com/index.php

The link will take you to the Warden’s Report website where you will select YORK COUNTY, and then BUXTON in the drop-down menu.  You will then be asked to read the States outdoor burning regulations and click a box acknowledging that you have read and understand the regulations.  The system will ask for you to input the permit information, which is the same information that residents were asked to provide previously on a paper burning permit.

We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.  Although we hope that this saves you time in travel to and from dispatch, also in fuel costs.

ISO Public Protection Classification

BUXTON IS NOW AN ISO PPC CLASS 5!

Over the last 3-5 years the department has been actively improving our service delivery in a number of areas, from staffing to hydrants and purchasing modern fire apparatus.  Last winter our ISO PPC Classification data was reviewed and was released initially in April.  The department is happy to confirm initial reports that our rating would be lowered to a ISO PPC rating of 5/10 versus the community’s prior rating of 9/10.  Verisk (ISO) confirms that the rating change will take effect in August 2017 when it is released to the insurance industry and the community.  This reduction should impact residential and commercial property owners with an overall reduction of insurance costs.

Please follow the link to read the full report and classification information.  If you should have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the office.

Link to ISO PPC Report: BUXTON PPC RATE CHANGE 8-2017

Winter Holiday Fire Safety

Did you know?

Nearly half of holiday decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source.

– It’s fun to decorate for the winter holidays, but holiday decorations can increase your risk for a home fire. As you deck the halls this season, be fire smart.

– Inspect holiday lights each year before you put them up. Throw away light strands with frayed or pinched wires.

– Water your Christmas tree every day. A dry tree is dangerous because it can catch on fire easily.

– Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.

– If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be knocked down easily.

Thin Ice Conditions Continue Statewide

The Maine Warden Service is reminding anglers, snowmobilers and others who enjoy winter recreation on Maine’s lakes and ponds that ice conditions on many waterways throughout the state right now may not be safe to hold themselves or heavy equipment and vehicles.

“I can’t stress enough the importance of checking ice conditions right now,” said Game Warden Colonel Joel Wilkinson, “Folks really need to take the time to drill test holes as often as they can and proceed with great caution.”

Game wardens are suggesting that people test the thickness of the ice before venturing out by using a chisel or auger and to continue to assess the safety of the ice as you move out onto the lake or pond. If the ice is not thick enough to hold, turn around and go back to shore or a safe location.

The general guidelines for ice safety are a minimum of four inches of solid ice for on foot travel and six to eight inches for snowmobiles and ATVs. Due to uneven temperatures and high winds, ice conditions are currently very unpredictable and it is not advisable to drive vehicles onto the ice.

It is also important to remember that thick ice does not always mean safe ice. The varying weather conditions so far this winter make is possible for ice to be thick, but not strong. Weak or unsafe ice is formed when temperatures warm and break down the ice and the slushy surface then re-freezes. Great caution should also be used near inlets, outlets and springs holes.

For more winter safety tips, please visit:http://www.maine.gov/wordpress/insideifw/2014/12/31/ice-safety-tips/

Prepare for Winter Driving Conditions

Preparing Your Car and Yourself for Winter Driving

We have had an amazing fall this year. Above average temperatures, balmy evenings, and an abundance of sunshine has been enjoyed by all. Let’s face it, this is Maine, and now we are dealing with the first winter storm of the year.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to prepare your car or truck for the winter months. Good snow tires, new windshield wipers, and a properly operating battery are all essentials for dealing with Maine winters. A few other items could come in handy should you have an unfortunate skid into a snowbank or get stuck. Remember, many others in town may be having the same misfortune, stretching emergency services and available tow trucks. A small emergency shovel and container of sand (kitty litter) may be just enough for you to get out on your own. If not, an emergency flag (several styles are available at auto parts stores) should be placed on the top of your car as soon as possible. Turn on your 4 way flashers. If available, use your cell phone to call for help and remain in your car until it arrives. A blanket, bottle of water and snack food would also be useful in the unlikely event of an extended stay. Above all else, NEVER let your gas gauge get below half in the winter months.

Here are some additional tips for you to think about before you head out on the roads this winter:

Stock up with survival gear

If you have to drive and there’s a winter weather advisory in your area, do a little research via the internet, television, or radio to identify conditions and forecasts for you entire route.  If there’s a storm brewing, think twice before you venture out.  And if it’s already snowing, better to postpone your trip until the roads are clear.

But sometimes you’re already on the road when conditions become menacing.  In that case, be sure to have the right equipment and supplies in your vehicle. These include:

  • Fully charged cell phone and car charger or extra batteries
  • Shovel
  • Windshield scraper
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Bottled water
  • Snack food (nuts and fruit)
  • Extra hats, coats and gloves
  • Blankets and newspaper for insulation
  • Road salt and sand
  • Jumper cables
  • Emergency flares
  • Bright-colored cloth or flag
  • First aid kit

If you’re stranded

If, after taking every precaution, you find yourself trapped in a winter storm, these safety steps will help keep you safe until help arrives:

  • Stay in your vehicle; don’t leave it to look for help unless help is visible within 100 yards.
  • Hang a brightly colored cloth on the antenna to signal for help; or, after the snow stops falling, open your hood.
  • To keep warm, turn on the car’s engine for about 10 minutes each hour.
  • Keep your lights on and run the heater only while the car is running, to avoid running the battery down.
  • Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Open a down-wind window slightly for fresh air.
  • Do light exercises to stay warm: clap your hands, wave your arms, flex your legs.
  • If you’re alone, stay awake as much as possible.
  • If more than one person is in the car, take turns sleeping and huddle close together for warmth.
  • Wrap your body and head with extra clothes, blankets, newspapers, maps, or removable car mats.

Keeping yourself well-hydrated and fed is key to defending against frostbite and strain on your heart.  Eat high-energy snacks, and drink water – and don’t eat snow (it will lower your body temperature).   If you don’t have water, melt snow using a can and a candle (add them to your list of things to keep in your car).  Remember:  water has to reach a full   boil for a full minute to kill most germs, but boiling water won’t get rid of chemicals sometimes found in snow.

Safe Travels!

Do you need smoke detectors in your home of bedroom??

Do you have a working smoke detector in your home?

This year we are focusing our fire prevention effort on ensuring there are working smoke detectors in the homes of our community.

If you do not have working smoke detectors in your home, or if you do not have working smoke detectors in your bedrooms, please let us know.  We have received a couple of small grants to purchase smoke detectors, and we will come to your home to discuss fire escape planning with you and your family, and install the grant funded smoke detectors.

If you are in need, please email bfreeman@buxtonfr.org for more information.

Fire Prevention 2015

OCTOBER IS FIRE PREVENTION MONTH!!

This year, fire departments across the country, including your department here in Buxton, will partner with the National Fire Protection Association, to spread the word about the need for WORKING smoke detectors inside, and outside our bedrooms.  Aside from subtle reminders to change the batteries in your smoke detector when you set your clocks for daylight savings time, it is important to ensure that your home is properly covered with smoke detectors in case of a fire.  Below is a checklist for you to use in your home.  Take a second and run through the list with your family.  You can also find more information on NFPA’s Website at NFPA.org and the form can be found in PDF format for easier printing.

Aside from the “HEAR THE BEEP WHERE YOU SLEEP” message, our members will visit daycares and schools in the community.  If you are interested in having us come visit your daycare or school, or you would like to bring your class to the fire station, please email Brianna Freeman at bfreeman@buxtonfr.org or Chief Schools at nschools@buxtonfr.org .

Welcome from Chief Schools

Welcome to Buxton-Fire Rescues Official Website.  Below please find information about our Community, Department, and the way we deliver services to our Community.  If you should have any questions about our department do not hesitate to contact me at nschools@buxtonfr.org

The Town of Buxton, Maine, is located in Northern York County bordering Southern Cumberland County, and the communities of Saco, Hollis, Standish, Gorham, and Scarborough.  The Town is 10 miles from the City of Portland with a metro population of 230,000 people.  Buxton also borders the City of Saco with a total population of 18,241.  Also bordering the towns of Scarborough (Population: +17k) and Gorham (Population: +14k), both with broader commercial and business base. Buxton has a slow, but growing residential base, with a slim and frozen commercial base.  Currently the breakdown for land use is as follows: 60% open space, 5% commercial and 35% residential (Town of Buxton Assessor’s Office), with a total population of 8,100 residents, with 21% of those residents being under the age of sixteen.

Buxton has become a bedroom community, where 94% of workers (+16 years old) commute to and from work each day.  The remaining 6% of workers (less than 250 people) carry on traditions in farming and agriculture, and other work at home.  The mean family income in Buxton is $75,153, in line with the State of Maine’s mean family income.  The Town of Buxton has a tax rate of $11.90 per thousand (at 100% of market value), where surrounding communities have comparable tax rates including: Gorham $16.30, Scarborough $13.80, Standish $11.60, Hollis $10.35 and Saco $18.30.  One of the attractions for homeowners and builders to locate in Buxton is due to the ability to build a large home, with a low mill rate, just outside of a metro area, yet still be within a short commute to the city, or to work.

The Department provides fire, rescue, and emergency medical services through a combination fire-rescue department.  The department operates from three stations strategically located to protect the 40.5 square mile community, with the following equipment: 2-Advanced Life Support Ambulances, 2-Tanker/Pumpers (+2,500 gallons), 1-Tanker, (+2,500 gallons), 2-Pumpers, 1-Rescue Pumper, 1-Quint, 1-Brush Truck, 1-Forestry Truck, and support vehicles.

The department is made up of the following employees: 1 Full Time Fire-Rescue Chief, +/- 40 Per Diem (Part Time) employees, 4 – Full Time Firefighter/Paramedics, and +/- 50 Volunteer (Paid Per Call) employees.  The approximate call volume per year is between 1,000-1,100 fire/rescue calls.  The department’s paid staffing level is three (3) per twenty-four (24) hour period, who are assigned to handle both fire and emergency medical calls.  The department also uses Student Live In’s from Southern Maine Community Colleges’ Fire Science Program to supplement volunteer staffing.

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