- Smoke outside. Many things in your home can catch on fire if they touch something hot like a cigarette or ashes. It is always safer to smoke outside.
- Put cigarettes out all the way. Do this every time. Don’t walk away from lit cigarettes and other smoking materials. Put water on the ashes and butts to make sure they are really out before you put them in the trash.
- Be alert. Do not smoke after taking medicine that makes you tired. You may not be able to prevent or escape from a fire if you are sleepy or have taken medicine that makes you tired.
- Never smoke around medical oxygen. Medical oxygen can explode if a flame or spark is near. Even if the oxygen is turned off, it can still catch on fire.
- Never smoke in bed. Mattresses and bedding can catch on fire easily. Do not smoke in bed because you might fall asleep with a lit cigarette.
- Put your cigarette out in an ashtray or bucket with sand. Use ashtrays with a wide base so they won’t tip over and start a fire.
Did you know?
More than 150 people in the U.S. die every year from accidental nonfire-related carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide or CO is a colorless and odorless gas. CO poisoning can occur when a fuel-burning appliance or machine, such as a furnace, heater or generator, is not working or vented properly. Breathing in CO at high levels can be fatal.
Learn what you can do to protect your family from the dangers of CO.
- Install and maintain CO alarms inside your home to provide early
warning of CO.
- Install CO alarms in a central location outside each separate sleeping
area and on every level of your home.
- Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from all
doors, windows and vents.
- Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of
snow and other debris.
While at the scene of a motor vehicle collision involving a tractor-trailer that had run off the side of a highway due to icy conditions, the driver of a second vehicle, a pickup truck pulling a trailer, lost control and crashed into scene. Several people were struck and injured, including Deputy Fire Chief Russell Achord, who was pinned under a vehicle. Fellow responders rushed to extract Chief Achord and provided medical aid measures while he was transported to the West Feliciana Hospital where he died from his injuries.
Incident Location: Southbound US 61 north of LA 421 (Approximate U.S. National Grid: 15R XQ 5822 1920)
• Keep anything that can burn, such as bedding, clothing and curtains, at least 3
feet away from the heater.
• Make sure the heater has an automatic shut-off, so if it tips over, it shuts off.
• Turn heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
• Plug portable heaters directly into outlets and never into an extension cord or
• Only use portable heaters from a recognized testing laboratory.
• Keep a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace to prevent embers or
sparks jumping out.
• Do not burn paper in your fireplace.
• Put the fire out before you go to sleep or leave your home.
• Put ashes in a metal container with a lid, outside, at least 3 feet from your
• Make sure your wood stove is 3 feet from anything that can burn.
• Do not burn paper in your wood stove.
• Put the fire out before you go to sleep or leave your home.
• Have your chimney inspected and cleaned each year by a professional.
• Have your furnace
inspected each year.
• Keep anything that can
burn away from the
• Only use kerosene heaters
from a recognized testing
• Make sure the heater has an
automatic shut-off, so if it tips
over, it shuts off.
• Refuel your cooled heater
For more information and free resources, visit
Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem
Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.
Pipes that freeze most frequently are:
- Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
- Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
- Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.
How to Protect Pipes From Freezing
Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:
- Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer’s or installer’s directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
- Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
- Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
- Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a “pipe sleeve” or installing UL-listed “heat tape,” “heat cable,” or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
- Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
- If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
- Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
Portable generators are useful during winter storms, but if not used safely, they can cause injuries and death.
- Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from all doors, windows and vents.
- Make sure you have carbon monoxide alarms in your home.
- Do not use a generator in a wet area. This can cause shock or electrocution.
- Connect appliances to the generator with heavy-duty extension cords.
- Do not fuel your generator when it is running. Spilling gas on a hot engine can cause a fire.
INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) Thinking about ice skating or fishing on the pond in your neighborhood? Bad idea, says a new video released Friday.
Mike Pruitt, Wayne Township Fire spokesman, and Indiana State Police spokesman Sgt. John Perrine shared a video to YouTube titled “Stay Off The Ice,” which warns about the safety hazards that exist on frozen ponds in the winter. The ponds, specifically ponds in residential neighborhoods, can become a “death trap” in the winter, Pruitt warned.
“Unfortunately, here in Indiana, we have so much thawing and freezing of our ice, especially on ponds and neighborhoods, that it really becomes extremely dangerous,” said Pruitt.
The officials warned residents to stay off the ice at all times. They urged people to prohibit kids from playing on the ice of ponds, and to call for help if a dog ventures onto ice.
If there’s any question about the safety of the ice, Pruitt warned: “assume that it’s not safe.”
For ice fishing, the officials said Indiana DNR offers information on safe ice fishing conditions and locations.
This page explains what actions to take when you receive a winter weather storm alert from the National Weather Service for your local area and what to do before, during, and after a snowstorm or extreme cold.
Know your risk
A winter storm occurs when there is significant precipitation and the temperature is low enough that precipitation forms as sleet or snow, or when rain turns to ice. A winter storm can range from freezing rain and ice, to moderate snowfall over a few hours, to a blizzard that lasts for several days. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures.
Winter storms can cause power outages that last for days. They can make roads and walkways extremely dangerous or impassable and close or limit critical community services such as public transportation, child care, health programs and schools. Injuries and deaths may occur from exposure, dangerous road conditions, and carbon monoxide poisoning and other conditions.
Winter storms and colder than normal temperatures can happen in every region of the country.
Winter storms can occur from early autumn to late spring depending on the region.
Before Snowstorms and Extreme Cold
- Make a Family Communications Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
- Make an emergency kit for at least three days of self-sufficiency.
- Keep space heater safety in mind: Use electric space heaters with automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing elements. Remember to keep all heat sources at least three feet away from furniture and drapes.
- Prepare your home:
- Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep the warm air inside.
- Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector.
- Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
- Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
- Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
- Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow – or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.
- If you have a wood burning fireplace, consider storing wood to keep you warm if winter weather knocks out your heat. Also, make sure you have your chimney cleaned and inspected every year.
- Have at least one of the following heat sources in case the power goes out:
- Extra blankets, sleeping bags and warm winter coats
- Fireplace or wood-burning stove with plenty of dry firewood, or a gas log fireplace
- Prepare your vehicle:
- Fully winterize your vehicle: Have a mechanic check antifreeze, brakes, heater and defroster, tires, and windshield wipers to ensure they are in good shape. Keep your gas tank at least half full.
- Keep an extra emergency kit specifically created for your car. In addition to the basic essentials, consider adding a portable cell phone charger, ice scraper, extra blanket, sand for traction and jumper cables.
- Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a complete list of recommended products.
- Sand to improve traction.
- Make sure you have a cell phone with an emergency charging option (car, solar, hand crank, etc.) in case of a power failure.
- People who depend on electricity to operate medical equipment should have alternate arrangements in place in case power is out for an extended period of time.
- Plan to check on elderly/disabled relatives and neighbors.
- Plan to bring pets inside.
- Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it in case you lose power.
- Fill a gallon container with water and place them in the freezer to help keep food cold.
- A NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts alerts and warnings directly from the NWS for all hazards. You may also sign up in advance to receive notifications from your local emergency services.
During Snowstorms and Extreme Cold
- Stay indoors during the storm.
- Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day; don’t travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule and your route; stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.
- Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways.
- Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter. Use caution, take breaks, push the snow instead of lifting it when possible, and lift lighter loads.
- Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
- If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
- Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
- Wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to reduce heat loss.
Cold Related Illness
- Frostbite is a serious condition that’s caused by exposure to extremely cold temperatures.
- a white or grayish-yellow skin area
- skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
- If you detect symptoms of frostbite, seek medical care.
- Hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature, is a dangerous condition that can occur when a person is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Hypothermia is caused by prolonged exposures to very cold temperatures. When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it’s produced. Lengthy exposures will eventually use up your body’s stored energy, which leads to lower body temperature.
- Warnings signs of hypothermia:
- Adults: shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech drowsiness
- Infants: bright red, cold skin, very low energyIf you notice any of these signs, take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95° F, the situation is an emergency—get medical attention immediately.
Caution: Each year, an average of 430 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning, and there are more than 20,000 visits to the emergency room with more than 4,000 hospitalizations. Carbon monoxide-related deaths are highest during colder months. These deaths are likely due to increased use of gas-powered furnaces and alternative heating, cooking, and power sources used inappropriately indoors during power outages.
- Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal¬ burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. Keep these devices at least 20 feet from doors, windows, and vents.
- The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire.
- Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.
- If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door.
- Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.
Stay or Go
- If stuck on the road to avoid exposure and/or when rescue is likely
- If a safe location is neither nearby or visible
- If you do not have appropriate clothing to go outside
- If you do not have the ability to call for help
- If the distance to call for help is accessible.
- If you have visibility and outside conditions are safe.
- If you have appropriate clothing.
- Once the storm has passed, if you are not already home, follow instructions from your local transportation department and emergency management agency to determine if it is safe to drive and, if so, which route will be safest for you to get home. Drive with extra caution.
After Snowstorms and Extreme Cold
- If your home loses power or heat for more than a few hours or if you do not have adequate supplies to stay warm in your home overnight, you may want to go to a designated public shelter if you can get there safely. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (e.g., SHELTER20472)
- Bring any personal items that you would need to spend the night (such as toiletries, medicines). Take precautions when traveling to the shelter. Dress warmly in layers, wear boots, mittens, and a hat.
- Continue to protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.
Smart phone chargers can and do cause fires! Look closely at this charger cord. The phone end was frayed, a condition all too typical of these popular devices. It was not plugged in to the phone at the time that it was discovered burning. This one was inside an automobile plugged into the car charger and laying idle on the console. This same thing can very easily occur in a house. These devices easily carry enough electrical current to start a fire! Always replace damaged or frayed charger cords. Never leave them plugged in when not in use. And never lay a charging phone on easily combustible surfaces, such as pillows, beds, couches or similar.
The Lyndon Fire Unit Citation Medal is a group action award presented in recognition of a superior performance of duty by a company or other group. The act or action must have substantially contributed to the saving of a life or be of some other important contribution to the departments operations. This medal recognizes the achievement of the company as a group rather than any single individual.
On 18 May 2017 Q 1654, 1st platoon, Captain Rich Bliven, Sergeant Ryan Helton, FF/ENG Stephen Dunlany and FF Matthew Newman responded as automatic aid to an MVA on US 60 along with companies from the Middletown Fire District. The MVA involved a high impact head on collision with patient entrapment. This resulted in a highly technical and difficult extrication including the precise cutting away of debris in very close proximity of the occupant. This company performed its duties flawlessly and expertly, eventually leading to the successful freeing of the occupant. Once free the crew continued to assist with medical care until the completed transfer to LMEMS.
The actions of this company are an example of a superior performance of duty and are in the highest traditions of the American fire service.