As temperatures begin to drop, the Ocean City Fire Department is hoping that calls for frozen pipes in residential and commercial properties throughout the resort town will also decrease. This year, the Ocean City Fire Department is reminding citizens and property owners to follow simple maintenance tips to ensure that fire sprinklers and domestic pipes do not freeze and break due to recent dip in temperatures.
“Frozen pipes can cause thousands of dollars in water damage as well as rendering fire sprinkler systems inoperable,” said Ocean City Fire Marshal David Hartley. “Maintaining wet pipes above freezing are a key concern. Domestic water pipes can be insulated or wrapped with an approved UL listed heat tape. In the event that a unit is unoccupied for the winter season, domestic water pipes can also be drained.”
Wet sprinkler systems, however, usually cannot be wrapped with a heat tape. All sprinklered areas of a building should be checked to make sure they are above freezing. Setting a unit thermostat to keep pipes around 40 degrees Fahrenheit will help prevent these pipes from freezing. With regard to dry sprinkler systems, auxiliary condensate drains should be drained by a licensed sprinkler company or person knowledgeable about sprinkler systems.
Finally, emergency contact numbers should be posted on the outside of the building, which can help the fire department contact responsible parties in the event of a pipe break. Also, key lock boxes, which can be purchased from the fire department headquarters at 15th Street, can allow access into a building in the event of an emergency to allow firefighters to turn off water mains and minimize damage within units.
For more information on precautionary measures to take to prevent pipe breaks, contact the Ocean City Fire Department, Office of the Fire Marshal at 410-289-8780.
(November 3, 2014) – As temperatures begin to cool, it’s time to start trading in an ocean view for a cozy space near the fireplace. Before firing up the woodstove, the Ocean City Fire Department would like to remind citizens and visitors to consider fire safety as they begin to utilize various heating sources in their homes.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths. Usually, fires caused by heating appliances occur because the devices weren’t cleaned regularly, were placed or installed too close to combustible materials, had design or operational flaws, or were fueled improperly.
Here are a few tips from the OCFD to help prevent a heating-related fire in your home:
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from all heating devices.
- Have heating equipment, including chimneys and flues, cleaned and inspected at least annually by a professional.
- Always use the right kind of fuel for your heating equipment, as specified by the manufacturer.
- Fireplaces should always be screened during use to keep embers and sparks from igniting floor coverings within your home.
- Do not use your oven or stovetop to heat your home.
- Inspect electric heaters for damage, like frayed or worn cords, every year.
“Although good maintenance of equipment and safe, diligent use of heating equipment can help lessen the risk of a home fire, it cannot entirely prevent it,” commented Ocean City Fire Marshal David Hartley. “Working smoke alarms are vital in notification of a fire, allowing you and your family adequate time to escape. Install at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your home (including the basement) and outside each sleeping area. It’s a good idea, especially if you sleep with your doors closed, that a smoke alarm is also installed inside your bedroom. Alarms must be tested every month, and have their batteries replaced twice a year.” In addition, listed CO detectors should be installed in a central location outside of all sleeping areas if your home contains any fuel burning equipment. Test CO alarms monthly and replace the batteries according to the manufacturers recommendations, which is typically twice a year.
For more winter safety tips, contact the Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office at 410.289.8780 or visit: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/fa-249f.pdf. ###
(October 20, 2014) – Halloween is a fun time of the year for kids and the Ocean City Fire Department is reminding citizens that taking a few simple fire safety precautions will keep the spooky holiday safe. To make trick-or-treating safe for everyone, the Ocean City Fire Department is encouraging residents and visitors to plan ahead by following a few easy safety tips.
- Choose a safe costume: When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long trailing fabric. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see out.
- Decorate safety: Use Flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candle in a jack-lantern, however; if you use a real candle, be sure to use extreme caution. Decorations such as dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable so keep these decorations well away from open flames and heat sources. Also, remember to keep exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.
- Light up their costumes: Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part of their costume.
- Party Safe: If your children are going to Halloween parties at others’ homes, have them look for ways out of the home in case of an emergency.
- Stay away from flames: Tell children to stay away from open flames and be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire.
“Decorations are the first thing to ignite fires in 1,000 reported home fires each year,” said Ocean City Fire Marshal David Hartley. “By planning ahead and following a few simple precautions our residents and visitors are likely to have a fun and fire safe Halloween.”
It is important to note that the Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office does not allow any hay decorations within any place of assembly. Anyone with questions pertaining to Halloween fire safety should contact the Ocean City Fire Department, Office of the Fire Marshal, or visit www.nfpa.org.
Dear Ocean City Resident & Town of Ocean City Friend,
The Ocean City Fire Department would be honored to include the Ocean City community in a very special celebration and dedication of Fire Station 4, located at 12925 Coastal Highway. Please share this invitation with your civic organization, neighbors, family and friends.
All are welcome.
We hope to see you there.
The Officers and Members of the Ocean City Fire Department cordially invite you to attend the dedication and open house for the new Fire Station 4.
Date: Saturday, October 25
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Station 4 – 12925 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, Maryland 21843
Please join us as we celebrate the new Station with a formal Ribbon Cutting ceremony, Fire Station tours and a Flag Ceremony. Light refreshments will be provided. All are welcome, so please bring family, friends and neighbors to our community celebration.
Cardiac Arrest is a medical emergency in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. Last year, the Ocean City Fire Department responded to more than 50 cardiac arrest calls, contributing to approximately 359,000 incidences of cardiac arrest that were recorded in the United States alone.
“According to the American Heart Association, you can improve a victim’s chances of surviving cardiac arrest with three steps,” commented Ocean City Firefighter Paramedic Kim Tull. “The three steps include immediate recognition of cardiac arrest and activation of the emergency response system (911), Early CPR with an emphasis on chest compressions, and Rapid defibrillation (AED).”
AED’s are portable devices that can check a person’s heart rhythm and if needed, it can send a shock to the person to restore their heart rhythm. “They are safe, effective and easy to use,” Tull continued. “The Town of Ocean City has AED’s in specific locations throughout the town to promote early defibrillation in the event of cardiac arrest.”
According to the Ocean City Fire Department, knowing where the closest AED is located can save minutes in an emergency. The town’s public access AEDs are located at Eagles Landing, the Ocean City Airport, City Hall, the Roland E. Powell Convention Center, and various public buildings including the wastewater plant, the transportation building, the public safety building and Northside Park.
“Becoming familiar with CPR and AED use could save a life,” Tull finished. For more information, or to learn more about the town’s public AED’s, contact the Ocean City Fire Department’s Training Department at 410.520.5421.