Ocean City Fire Department Reminds Citizens to Take Precautions to Avoid Frozen Pipes

FrozenPipe1As 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.



Tis the Season! Holiday Shopper’s Fair returns to Roland E. Powell Convention Center!

(November 10, 2014) – Tis the Season! The whole family will enjoy a visit to the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, November 28-30, for the 32nd Annual Holiday Shopper’s Fair.  The Holiday Shopper’s Fair, which was started in 1983 as  part of the effort to bring visitors to the resort in the shoulder season, attracted 2,000 people with 66 vendors its first year in Ocean City. This year, the shopping extravaganza will feature more than 120 vendors with an estimated 9,000 people visiting the three-day tradition, which is sure to put everyone in the holiday spirit.

This year’s fair features unique gifts for everyone on your shopping list, including art and craft items, hand painted furniture, quilted handbags, ornaments, candles, jewelry, florals and other specialty gift items. You’ll also find toys, pet items and sports related memorabilia, nautical items, stained glass, country woodcrafts, lighted baskets and ceramics.  Vendors will also offer honey-roasted almonds and chocolates, Greek pastries, assorted cakes and cookies for gift giving.

Non-profit organizations will also be on hand including Delmarva Cat Connection with cat/kitten adoptions and art and craft items, and Town Cats with adoptions, puzzles and other gift items for sale. Quilters By The Sea will sell raffle tickets for a quilt. The Marine Corps League will be on hand for Wounded Warriors and Toys for Tots.

Face painting and games will be offered this year for children and these activities are included in the price of admission to the show. Santa will be making a daily appearance from 11am to 3:30pm on Friday and Saturday, and 11am to 2pm on Sunday. Be sure to stop by and leave your Christmas wish list.

Door prize drawings will be held every hour on the half hour (must be present to win) and for the non-shopper, a television room will be open showing football games. Show hours are Friday, November 28, and Saturday, November 29, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, November 30, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $3 for the weekend. Children 13 and under are admitted free.  For more information about the 32nd Annual Holiday Shopper’s Fair, call 1-800-OC-OCEAN, 410-289-2800 or e-mail mcollins@oceancitymd.gov.





22nd Annual Winterfest of Lights Opening November 20

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(November 5, 2014) – The Town of Ocean City will be a bit brighter beginning November 20, when the Winterfest of Lights celebrates its 22nd year illuminating Northside Park.  Named a prestigious Top 100 Event for 2013 by American Bus Association and voted “Maryland’s Finest Holiday Tradition” by Maryland Life Magazine, Winterfest of Lights is a winter paradise for the whole family to enjoy. 

The Winterfest Express takes guests on a ride through a mile-long animated wonderland of dazzling lights and spectacular displays, including the Twelve Days of Christmas and additional fairytale favorites.  Christmas carols float through the air and throughout the Winterfest Village, which is located inside a festive and heated pavilion.  

To celebrate the spirit of the season, visitors can sip hot chocolate from The OC Recreation Boosters Café or browse the Yukon Cornelius Gift Shop for that special stocking stuffer or OC souvenir.  In celebration of 50 years of the Boardwalk Tram,  guests can take their photo at Winterfest’s very own Instagram photo spot, with a classic Winterfest Express tram car.

Don’t forget to visit Santa with your wish list and meet Mrs. Claus, who makes her first appearance at Winterfest. Whereas Santa is all about giving to others as a sign of appreciation, Mrs. Claus is here to spread her wisdom on staying healthy and lending a helping hand. This iconic couple will be on site to delight adults and kids alike through December 23. 

The special opening ceremony, which kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 20, at Northside Park’s Winterfest Village at 127th Street and the bay, is free and open to the public.  The ceremony features Ocean City Elementary School’s “OC Stars” performing holiday songs and dance.  In addition, Mayor Rick Meehan will “flip the switch” to light the Christmas tree and officially open the Winterfest of Lights.  Even Santa will make a surprise appearance for the opening ceremony, which will feature free rides on the Winterfest Express train for the remainder of the evening.

Adding to the excitement of Winterfest of Lights, the Jingle Bell Run and the New Year’s Eve Fireworks show will both be returning for a third year. The Winterfest of Lights Jingle Bell Run, which will take place on Sunday, December 7, is sponsored by the Town of Ocean City’s Recreation and Parks Department and OC TriRunning.  The race takes runners through an animated course of dazzling lights and spectacular displays at Northside Park.  The New Year’s Eve celebration, which also takes place at Northside Park, will celebrate the beginning of 2015 with live entertainment, free give-always, warm hot chocolate, and the opportunity to ride the Winterfest of Lights.

Winterfest of Lights is located at Northside Park, 125th Street & the Bay.  Beginning November 20, the hours of operation will be Sunday-Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.  Winterfest tickets are available and can be purchased in advance at the Ocean City Community Center and the Convention Center.  Admission is $5.00 for those 12 years & older and FREE for those 11 years and younger.

With more than one million holiday lights sparkling throughout the town, Ocean City’s Winterfest of Lights will create a long lasting holiday memory for you and your family.   For more information, visit http://oceancitymd.gov/recreation_and_parks/specialevents.html or call 410-250-0125.




Think Fire Safety During Winter Heating Months

winterheating(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:

  1. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from all heating devices.
  2. Have heating equipment, including chimneys and flues, cleaned and inspected at least annually by a professional.
  3. Always use the right kind of fuel for your heating equipment, as specified by the manufacturer.
  4. Fireplaces should always be screened during use to keep embers and sparks from igniting floor coverings within your home.
  5. Do not use your oven or stovetop to heat your home.
  6. 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. ###





Kenneth “Kenny” Jordan Retires After Nearly 38 Years with Town of Ocean City

Kenny Retirement(October 28, 2014) – Kenneth Jordan, more fondly known by his colleagues as “Kenny,” has retired after nearly 38 years with the Town of Ocean City.  Jordan, who joined the town in 1976, has been a member of the Engineering Department for the length of his career.

While Jordan’s formal responsibilities as an Engineer Associate included updating city maps, drawings as requested, the review of subdivisions and approval of site plans, he also assisted with the installation of city sidewalks and the upgrading of city streets.  An avid historian, Jordan also worked with Auto Cad and Liserfiche programs, drawing maps and recording files.

Throughout his career with the town, Jordan worked under five mayors and 37 councilmembers.  “I have had the privilege to work under many different elected officials, with many different views and opinions,” Jordan stated.  “The one thing that has stuck with me like a frying pan without Teflon was the research of history on any topic.  I found, in the end, I became a part of the history.”

Jordan, who worked as a teacher in Wicomico County before joining the Town of Ocean City, plans to further his learning and occupation opportunities.  “My future plans include time with my family, new employment and further education,” Jordan continued.  “I am looking forward to traveling with my wife, Cathy, working on my hobbies, researching my family history and enjoying myself.”