Winter Fire Safety Tips
In 2011, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 53,600 reported U.S. home structure fires, with associated losses of 400 civilian deaths, 1,520 civilian injuries, and $893 million in direct property damage. These fires accounted for 14% of all reported home fires.
Based on 2007-2011 annual averages:
Space heaters, whether portable or stationary, accounted for one-third (33%) of home heating fires and four out of five (81%) of home heating fire deaths.
The leading factor contributing to home heating fires (28%) was failure to clean, principally creosote from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.
Placing things that can burn too close to heating equipment or placing heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattress, or bedding, was the leading factor contributing to ignition in fatal home heating fires and accounted for more than half (53%) of home heating fire deaths.
Half (50%) of all home heating fires occurred in December, January and February.
Fireworks Are Illegal
All fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts. The possession and use of all fireworks by private citizens is illegal in Massachusetts. This includes Class C fireworks which are sometimes falsely called “safe and sane” such as sparklers, party poppers, snappers, firecrackers, spinners and cherry bombs, to name a few. Sparklers burn at 1800ºF.
It is illegal to transport fireworks into Massachusetts, even if they were purchased legally elsewhere. Illegal fireworks can be confiscated on the spot. Do not purchase fireworks through mail-order or on-line catalogues.
If you use fireworks children will imitate you, not realizing how very dangerous they are. Over sixty-five percent of the fireworks-related burn injuries reported by hospitals to the Office of the State Fire Marshal were children under age 18.
LOCK BOX Requirements
The Town of Harwich requires any home or business owner to install a lockbox on any property that has an alarm system that is monitored remotely. This includes medical alert buttons and fire alrm systems. These lockboxes are a safe and secure way to provide the Fire Department a key to the property in case of alarm activation. These lockboxes are opened by a special key that ONLY the fire department carries. These lockboxes are different than the ones distributed by the Harwich Water Department. Contact the HFD for more information at (508) 430-7546. Click here to download the NEW 2013 Lock Box Form