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Maitland City Talk

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This year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week is rather straightforward, “Protect Your Family from Fire,” something we all desire.

What’s the best way to protect your family from fire you may ask? Why, be ahead of the game, of course. With more than 360,000 home fires reported in the United States in 2009, according to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), your best defense is a good offense. That’s why Fire Departments nationwide are teaming up with NFPA and each other during the week of Oct. 9-15 to let our communities know: “It’s Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!”

This year’s campaign focuses on preventing the leading causes of home fires — cooking, heating and electrical equipment, as well as candles and smoking materials. Additionally, it urges people to protect their homes and families with life-saving technology and planning.

In 2009, 2,565 people died in home fires. Nearly all of these deaths could have been prevented by taking a few simple precautions such as having working smoke alarms and a home fire escape plan, keeping things that can burn away from the stove, and always turning off space heaters before going to bed. Fire can be a dangerous opponent, but by anticipating the hazards, you are much less likely to be one of the nearly 13,000 people injured in home fires each year.

Maitland Fire Rescue would like to offer the following tips for protecting your home and family from fire:

• Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.

• Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.

• When grilling outside, keep the barbeque grill or other cooking appliance at least 10 feet away from your home.

• Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around cooking appliances, open fires and space heaters.

• Replace or repair damaged or loose electrical cords.

• If you smoke, smoke outside. Use deep, wide ashtrays on a sturdy table.

• Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.

While preventing home fires is always our No. 1 priority, it is not always possible; residents need to provide the best protection to keep their homes and families safe in the event of a fire.

This can be achieved by developing an escape plan which you practice regularly and equipping homes with life-saving technologies such as smoke alarms and home fire sprinklers.

The following tips will help keep your family safe if there is a fire in your home:

• Install smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home (including the basement).

• Interconnect all smoke alarms in the home so when one sounds, they all sound.

• Test smoke alarms at least monthly and replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond when tested.

• Make sure everyone in your home knows how to respond if the smoke alarm sounds.

• Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible ways out. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors.

• Consider purchasing a small fire extinguisher for your kitchen and/or attached garage area.

• If you are building or remodeling your home, consider installing home fire sprinklers.

The Maitland Fire/Rescue Department will provide fire safety educational programs at both public and private schools during Fire Prevention Week and throughout the month of October to promote “It’s Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!” Through these educational activities, children and their parents can learn more about the power of prevention and available technologies to protect their own families from fire.

To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities in Maitland, contact Fire Marshal Dennis Marshall at 407-539-6228 or dmarshall@itsmymaitland.com. To learn more, visit firepreventionweek.org

—Dennis Marshall, Fire Marshall

Maitland Fire/Rescue Department

City Council Agenda of Oct. 10, 2011

Public Hearings:

Ordinance - Petition #2011-02 Chapter 7.5 Land Development Procedures

Ordinance - Petition # 2011-01(AZ) and Land Development Regulation Amendment

Decisions:

Re-instate K-9 Program

Join the Drug Enforcement Administration Tactical Diversion Task Force

Resolution – Referendum Election – Economic Development Tax Exemptions

For updates, visit www.itsmymaitland.com