From the Blog

2016 Fire Prevention Week Recap

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During the 2016 Fire Prevention Week activities the Highland Park Fire Department was very busy. Firefighters spent two full days visiting our schools and day care centers teaching our youth about fire safety. They covered all aspects of the subject from who to call in an emergency to mapping out and practicing home fire drills and finally stressing this years theme of Fire Prevention Week Don’t Wait, Check the Date. This years theme was to inform you that smoke detectors do expire and that their life expectancy is no more then ten years.

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The week built up to our open house in which the public was invited in to see our apparatus and equipment. The Old Bridge Fire Prevention Bureau brought their Fire Safety Trailer which is set up to teach the various aspects of home fire safety. Firefighters performed a brief demonstration of how our Ladder Truck can be used to perform roof rescues. In this situation to lighten the situation Sparky the Fire Dog was rescued from the roof of fire headquarters.

A special thanks to all of our firefighters and their families, The Highland Park Police Department, the Middlesex County Fire Marshal’s Office, and Old Bridge Fire Prevention Bureau for helping to make this week a success!!

Every smoke alarm has an expiration date: What’s yours?

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Highland Park Fire Department urges all Highland Park residents to know how old their smoke alarms are, and to replace them every 10 years

Does your home have a smoke alarm? According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the answer is likely yes: NFPA research shows that most American homes have at least one. But do you know how old your smoke alarms are? If you’re like most people, you’re probably not so sure.

A recent survey conducted by NFPA revealed that only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced. That lack of awareness is a concern for the Highland Park Fire Department and NFPA, because smoke alarms don’t last forever.

“Time and again, I’ve seen the life-saving impact smoke alarms can have in a home fire, but I’ve also seen the tragedy that can result when smoke alarms aren’t working properly,” says Chief Jay Littman of the Highland Park Fire Department. “That’s why we’re making a concerted effort to educate Highland Park residents about the overall importance of smoke alarms, and that they do have a life limit.”

NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code®, requires smoke alarms be replaced at least every 10 years, but because the public is generally unaware of this requirement, many homes have smoke alarms past their expiration date, putting people at increased risk.

As the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, NFPA is promoting this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years,” to better educate the public about the critical importance of knowing how old their smoke alarms are and replacing them once they’re 10 years old. Fire Prevention Week is October 9-15, 2016.

The Highland Park Fire Department will be visiting local schools and daycares to educate children about fire prevention this week. Also, there will be an open house at the Highland Park Fire Department, 220 S 5th Ave. on October 13th from 6-9PM in support of Fire Prevention Week and this year’s campaign. The event will include fire safety demonstrations, snacks and drinks, a bounce house, a chance to see the fire engines and meet the firefighters of Highland Park. All residents of Highland Park are invited to attend.

To find out how old your smoke alarm is and its expiration date, simply look on the back of the alarm where the date of manufacture is marked. The smoke alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date (not the date of purchase). The Highland Park Fire Department also says smoke alarms should be tested monthly, and that batteries should be replaced once a year or when they begin to chirp, signaling that they’re running low.

For more information on smoke alarms and this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Don’t Wait: Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years”, visit www.firepreventionweek.org.

Emergency Ladder Bailout Training

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On August 28, 2016 the Highland Park Volunteer Fire Department gathered for specialized emergency ladder bailout training. Emergency ladder bailouts are used when conditions inside a building become untenable and firefighters have no other way out. This training is something we hope to never have to do at an actual fire, however if conditions warrant it our firefighters are now trained and prepared to keep themselves safe. Our training was held at the Piscataway Fire School and started with the use of a prop to simulate a window approximately six feet off the ground. This enabled firefighters to learn proper techniques and get used to working off the ladder at lower angles.

Next firefighters performed these same maneuvers out of a second story window. For the sake of safety during these evolutions firefighters were tied off to prevent from falling. All in all it was a great day of training for all. Thank you to the Highland Park First Aid Squad for accompanying us to the drill and to the East Franklin Fire Department for standing by in our quarters to cover the town while we where away.