FLSB May 2016.pub

Fire and Life Safety Bulletin
May 2016
Arson Awareness Week is May 1-7, 2016
According the the United States Fire Administration’s National (USFA) Fire Incident
Reporting System data and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an estimated
average of 316,600 intentional fires are reported to fire departments in the United States each year causing
injuries to 7,825 firefighters and civilians. Arson robs communities of its valuable assets, lives, and property.
Arson destroys more than buildings; it can devastate a community resulting in the decline of the neighborhood
through increased insurance premiums, loss of business revenue and a decrease in property values.
Neighborhoods can reduce the likelihood of arson occurring by promoting neighborhood watches, educating
people about recognizing and reporting unusual activities, and implementing improved internal and external
security for homes and businesses.
Arson prevention projects should focus on identifying and removing what could burn or materials that an
arsonist could use to start a fire:
Clean up the neighborhood by removing garbage, and excess vegetation that is ignitable.
Remove all possible sources of ignition such as flammable liquids and unused gas containers.
Remove abandoned vehicles. These are favorite targets for arson.
Secure abandoned and vacant homes which are potential arson targets.
Communicate with the owner that authorities are concerned about vacant property and why.
Owners of vacant property should have all utilities disconnected and removed.
Encourage Neighborhood Watch members to patrol these areas and write down descriptions, license
plates of suspicious vehicles and potential suspect descriptions. Do Not physically get involved.
Places of Worship
These facilities are often targets of arsonists since they are vacant much of the time and there is often cover for
them to move easily around undetected. The burning of a place of worship is a stressful event; it not only
devastates the affected congregation but wounds the entire community. Whether the motivation behind the
arson is hate or reckless vandalism, a congregation views it as an attack on their life and beliefs.
External Security
Community Awareness
Illuminate the exterior and entrances.
- Keep congregation leaders informed of problems.
Keep shrubbery and trees trimmed.
- Be aware of disgruntled individuals.
Secure the building at all entry points.
- Be aware that vandalism may precede arson.
- Open lines of communication with fire & police.
Internal Security
- Promote neighborhood watches and educate
Windows and doors must be secured
neighbors with the lighting arrangements.
when the building is not occupied.
- Educate neighbors on recognizing unusual
Install burglar and fire alarm with phone dialer
Keep a current list of individuals that have
- Write down license plate numbers of suspicious
access to keys & change locks periodically.
vehicles and inform the proper authorities.
Walk through the building and check to see that
- Do not advertise on signs or bulletins when the
no unauthorized person has entered the building
place of worship will not be in use.
and is hiding somewhere
Visit our website at www.RFDGOV.com for more safety tips.
Use Chain Saws Carefully
As we all go about our spring yard cleaning, some of you may find
The need to utilize a chain saw. By their very nature they are a
dangerous piece of equipment. In the blink of an eye, an errant
movement or slip and fall can result in a traumatic injury that can
be life threatening. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration
recommends the following safety tips:
> Read the manufacturer’s operating guidelines before using the saw.
> Check the controls, chain tension and handles before starting the saw.
> Make sure the chain is sharp and the lubrication reservoir is full.
> Start the saw on the ground or on another firm support at least 10 feet
from the fueling area.
> Be sure the chain’s brake is engaged if so equipped.
> Clear away dirt, debris, small tree limbs and rocks from the saw’s
chain path.
> Wear proper protective equipment; including hand, foot, leg, eye, face,
hearing and head protection.
> Be cautious of saw kick-back. To avoid kick-back, never saw with
the tip.
Electrical Safety Tips for Spring
Nothing is more important to the Richmond Fire Department than your safety and
well-being. Please review the following precautions.
Never use electrical appliances close to water. Electricity and water do not mix!
Purchase child-safety plugs for electrical outlets.
Check all electrical and extension cords to make sure they aren’t cracked, frayed or covered by rugs.
Use appropriate wattage light bulbs for lighting fixtures.
Odors, hot switches, loose plugs and damaged insulation are signs of potential
hazards and should be examined by a qualified electrician.
Never use electrical power tools in the rain or in wet conditions.
Inspect power tools and electric lawn mowers before use for frayed cords or broken housing.
Unplug all power tools when they are not being used.
Be on the lookout for overhead wires and power lines , especially when using a metal ladder.
Stay away from substations, pad-mounted transformers and downed power lines.
Important Notice! Unattended cooking is the leading cause of residential fires in our city.
Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food. Use a timer to
remind you that you are cooking. Keep anything that can catch fire, like oven mitts, wooden
utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains, away from your stovetop. If you have a kitchen
fire, just get everyone out, close the door behind you and dial 911 from your meeting place.
Do you have a working smoke alarm? The Richmond Metro Fire Departments offer
free smoke alarms, batteries and installation. Call the Metro Richmond Fire Safety Hotline
toll-free at 1-888-537-5967 to schedule a visit from your firefighters. If you would like, we
can even conduct a free home safety survey while we are there. Call today!