Written by Owen Magee, firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 28 December 2012 00:00
The Hicksville Fire Department’s 2nd Annual Holiday Fire Safety Open House on Dec. 2 called attention to the many fire and emergency issues that our community faces every year.
Malfunctioning smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, food on the stove fires and overloaded electrical circuits are only some of the dangers posed in local Hicksville homes.
During the event, information was available to residents on how avoid mishaps that would cause the fire department to respond to your house. The fire department responds to 800-900 fire calls every year. Most of these alarms are preventable. Some of these mishaps have resulted in serious fires.
A recent bedroom fire damaged the second floor of a home on Underhill Avenue in Hicksville and multiple units responded and brought the fire under control quickly. The fire was traced to an overloaded outlet strip in the bedroom. Improperly used outlet strips have been responsible for at least three fatal fires in Hicksville alone during the last few years, according to the fire department.
As noted at its open house demonstration fire, outlet strips are not made to supply electricity to appliances such as irons and vacuum cleaners. The strips are also not able to handle numerous transformer plugs; if you have a surge protector strip, it’s only protected if it’s plugged into a grounded outlet (many outlets in older homes are not grounded). To see if you have a grounded outlet, a simple, cheap detector type plug can be purchased at a local hardware or home improvement store to test your outlets.
“Yes, we bribed you into attending with Santa and fire engine rides, which we know all the children enjoyed, but we hope you took home the safety information we provided to help make your home safer,” said one Hicksville firefighter.
If you have any questions, please contact the Hicksville Fire Department at (516) 933-6444. The HFD would also like to wish all local residents a very happy holiday season and a happy fire-safe New Year.