The US Fire Administration reports that fires kill more than 4,000 Americans each year and approximately injure 20,000 more. U.S. fire departments respond to nearly 2 million fires each year, with three-quarters of them occurring in residences.
A home is often referred to as a safe haven. This month, make sure your home is protected from (and your family is prepared for) a fire. Here are 10 simple tips to help you avoid fires and reduce the risk of injury should one occur:
1) Smoke Alarms – These are still a very important addition to your home. Smoke alarms are widely available and inexpensive. Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home and test it monthly.
2) Prevent Electrical Fires – Don’t overload circuits or extension cords. Cords and wires should never be placed under rugs or in high traffic areas. Avoid loose electrical connections by checking the fit of the plug in the wall outlet. If the plug loosely fits, inspect the outlet right away. A poor connection between the plug and the outlet can cause overheating and can start a fire in minutes.
3) Keep Plugs Safe – Unplug all appliances when not in use. Follow the manufacturer’s safety precautions and use your senses to spot any potential disasters. If a plug is overheating, smells strange, shorts out or sparks – the appliance should be shut off immediately, then replaced or repaired.
4) Alternate Heaters – Make sure there is ample space around any portable heating unit. Anything that could catch fire should be at least three feet away. Inspect your chimney annually and use fire screens to help keep any fires in the fireplace.
5) Fire Safety Sprinklers – When combined with working smoke alarms, home fire sprinklers greatly increase your chance of surviving a fire. Sprinklers are affordable and they can increase property value and lower insurance rates.
6) Create An Escape Route – Create and practice your escape plan with your family from every room in the house. Practice staying low to the floor and checking for hot doors using the back of your hand. It’s just like a routine school fire drill – but in your home.
7) Position Appliances Carefully – Try to keep TV sets, kitchen and other appliances away from windows with curtains. If there is a wiring problem, curtains can spread a fire quickly. Additionally, keeping your appliances away from water sources (like rain coming in from windows) can help prevent wiring damage which can lead to a fire.
8) Clean Dryer Vents – Clothes dryers often start fires in residential areas. Clean the lint filter every time you start a load of clothes to dry or after the drying cycle is complete. Make sure your exhaust duct is made of metal tubing and not plastic or foil. Clean the exhaust duct with a good quality dryer vent brush to prevent blockage & check for lint build up behind the dryer at least twice a year.
9) Be Careful Around the Holidays – If you fill your home with lights during the holiday season, keep them away from anything that can easily catch fire. Check all of your lights prior to stringing them up and dispose of anything with frayed or exposed wires.
10) Conduct Regular Inspections – Check all of your electronic equipment and wiring at least once a month. Taking a little time to do this each month can really pay off.
Following these simple tips could potentially save your life or the life of a loved one. Pass this list on to your friends and family and make this fire prevention month count!
Battalion Chief Joe McRae,
Lone Peak Fire District
School Bus Safety
Taking the bus for the first time is a big step for your child. Help your kids get a gold star in bus safety by following these tips.
The Hard Facts
School buses are the safest mode of motorized transportation for getting children to and from school, but injuries can occur if kids are not careful and aware when getting on and off the bus.
Walk with your kids to the bus stop and wait with them until it arrives. Tell kids to stand at least three giant steps back from the curb as the bus approaches and board the bus one at a time.
Teach kids to wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before getting off and never to walk behind the bus.
If your child needs to cross the street after exiting the bus, he or she should take five giant steps in front of the bus, make eye contact with the bus driver and cross when the driver indicates it’s safe. Teach kids to look left, right and left again before crossing the street.
Instruct younger kids to use handrails when boarding or exiting the bus. Be careful of straps or drawstrings that could get caught in the door. If your children drop something, they should tell the bus driver and make sure the bus driver is able to see them before they pick it up.
Drivers should always follow the speed limit and slow down in school zones and near bus stops. Remember to stay alert and look for kids who may be trying to get to or from the school bus.
Slow down and stop if you’re driving near a school bus that is flashing yellow or red lights. This means the bus is either preparing to stop (yellow) or already stopped (red), and children are getting on or off.
Have a safe and fun day at school.
Battalion Chief Joe McRae
General Tips for Riding a Motorcycle Safely
Motorcycle safety is a growing concern nationwide. More and more people are turning to motorcycles as
their primary mode of transportation. When ridership increases, risk increases. Below are a few tips that
can improve your level of safety:
Conduct a pre-ride check to identify any mechanical defects that could jeopardize your safety.
Signal your intentions.
Make sure your headlight works and is on day and night.
Use reflective strips or decals on your clothing and on your motorcycle.
Flash your brake light when you are slowing down and before stopping.
Dress for Safety.
Wear a D.O.T. approved helmet and eye protection.
Wear bright colored clothing, over the ankle foot protection, long pants, long-sleeved shirt, and full-fingered gloves.
Use Common Sense.
Keep a safe distance from other motorists and give yourself enough time to react to dangerous situations.
Use lane positioning to be seen; ride in the part of a lane where you are most visible.
Avoid weaving between lanes.
Don't ride when you are tired or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
If someone has had too much to drink, intervene.
Be Courteous and Responsible.
Respect other drivers.
Don’t speed; know the local traffic laws and rules of the road.
Be Prepared. Practice.
Develop your riding techniques before going into heavy traffic.
Know how to handle your bike in conditions such as wet or sandy roads, high winds, and uneven surfaces.
Read fellow riders’ safety tips and share your own at www.LiveFreeRideAlive.com.
During spring riding, be cautious of gravel buildup from winter road maintenance on the edges of roadways and near intersections.
How to drive safely around motorcycles
Here are 5 general rules to bear in mind the next time you share the road with motorcycles.
Follow the 4-second rule
Increase your driving distance when you find yourself behind a motorcycle and maintain a cushion of at least 4 seconds. This cushion gives you time to react to the unexpected.
Respect Mother Nature
You already know it's important to adjust your driving when Mother Nature rears her rainy head. But inclement weather is even more hazardous for bikers than for drivers. So if you spot a motorcycle ahead during not-so-awesome weather, give him a little extra space.
Look before you turn
40 percent of 2-vehicle, fatal motorcycle accidents in 2012 were the result of a car trying to turn left while the motorcycle went straight. If you see a motorcycle at an intersection, attempt to make eye contact with its rider before turning in its direction. If you have to pass or drive next to a motorcycle with a lingering turn signal, proceed with caution.
Check your blind spots often
Since motorcycles are smaller than cars, it's that much easier for them to slip into your blind spot — especially when they're attempting to pass you. Swivel your head to check your blind spots regularly and, in particular, before changing lanes.
Be a pal
This tip goes for all kinds of safe driving: just be nice. Cut other drivers and riders a little slack and remember that we all make mistakes. It'll be good for your blood pressure and your driving record.
now spread the word through good, safe driving
By watching out for each other and understanding the obstacles faced (and posed) by motorcycles, we can avoid needless accidents and safely share the road with our 2-wheeling friends.
Be Safe and have a fun filled summer.
Lone Peak Fire
Battalion Chief Joe McRae
Spring Runoff 3/22/2015
Springtime in the Rockies is a dynamic season that includes runoff – when melting mountain snow flows into rivers raising water levels. Spring runoff typically starts in April and peaks in June. Each spring there is a chance of warm temperatures and high levels of snow pack which will result in higher flows and rising water levels along streams and rivers. Sudden, prolonged warm spells combined with heavy rains increases the chances of localized flooding. This can generally be forecasted using information on snow pack, predicted weather, and knowledge of stream channel capacities. These forecasts generally create a foundation for an enhanced level of readiness. It is ultimately every citizen’s responsibility to protect their own
private property and to consider how the risks on his or her property affect
neighbors up and downstream. The Lone Peak Fire District encourages
residents to reach out to their neighbors and work together to address
Some actions private property owners can take to protect property are:
Remove debris (sediment) from the ditches to increase channel capacity.
Protect buildings by purchasing and keeping sandbags on hand.
Stabilize banks at risk for erosion such as those undercut and unstable.
During runoff, residents and guests should stay a safe distance from stream and river banks, which in some areas have eroded and are less stable. Report any overflow of rivers or streams. If significant property damage is imminent or if the conditions present a life safety hazard, call 9-1-1.
Battalion Chief Joe McRae
Special Suicide Meeting 2/27/15
UTAH COUNTY — One suicide and two attempts in the span of a week
at Lone Peak High School in Utah County are prompting heightened
focus on the issue.
FOX 13 News has confirmed that a person who jumped to their death
at a FrontRunner stop Wednesday was a student at the school.
“It’s very emotional,” said Chief Joseph McRae of the Lone Peak Fire
McRae’s department is not unaccustomed to responding to suicides in the community. In November of last year, they saw two suicides within two weeks in the Alpine School District. The numbers prompted the school to host a suicide prevention forum with parents and staff. Since then, their efforts have only increased. Recently, the school created a video with a message from teachers to students: “We see you.”
“I have kids that go here,” McRae said. “I feel the pain of these parents, principal, students. It’s hard. Obviously, with our youth, there is something that’s lacking. I think that as parents and leaders we’re doing everything we can to address this, try to change this.”
That effort begins with communication, according to Taryn Aiken of the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. A parent in Pleasant Grove, Aiken said the public needs to become more comfortable with talking about suicide in schools and in the community.
“I think the stigma that surrounds suicide and mental illness is what we’ve got to eliminate,” Aiken said.
Studies show that a series of suicides or attempts so close together, like those at Lone Peak, are becoming more common due to social media and a lack of appropriate discussion on the issue. Aiken worries about the impact sites like Twitter and Facebook can have on a young person battling depression.
“Unfortunately, somebody posts something and then you get this barrage of people that feed into it and encourage,” she explained. “Somebody that’s not at risk for suicide, that isn’t already struggling, isn’t going to see that somebody died and go, ‘Oh, that’s my option.’ Somebody that’s already struggling that sees somebody die, that’s now out of pain, and the amount of attention, then yeah.”
Lone Peak is working with the organization Hope4Utah to address the problem in the school. Friday, members of the group plan to sit down with community and church leaders to help educate them on how to better discuss suicide and depression with their residents.
“It’s so important for parents to talk to their kids,” McRae said. “What may not seem like a big problem to us could be a crisis for them. We need to communicate.”
For more information about suicide prevention, visit Hope4Utah’s website.
If you are having suicidal thoughts or know someone who is struggling, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The hotline is staffed 24/7
UTAH COUNTY, Utah –
A mother and daughter are in the hospital after colliding with an SUV in Utah County Monday night.
The mother is seriously injured but is expected to recover.
Sadly, the prognosis is not as bright for her 16-year-old daughter, a high school sophomore.
Fire crews responded to a blaze in Alpine that was sparked by juveniles who
were playing with a lighter and igniting the highly flammable seeds from
Brad Freeman with the Lone Peak Public Safety District said a fence may
havebeen damaged but no structures sustained damages and no one was
injured by the fire, which was in the area of Canyon Crest Road and Ridge
Drive in Alpine...
Brush Fire in Alpine 5/2/2015
Benefit Ride 5/9/2015
Not too long ago Lone Peak Fire lost one of their beloved part-time captains, Andy Walkingshaw, to a heart attack. Andy was an amazing addition to our department and we truly miss him. We want everyone to know that the Fire & Iron Motorcycle Club is putting on a breakfast and memorial ride in his behalf on May 9th at Timpanogos Harley in Lindon. All proceeds go to Andy's family.
Click the button for more information.
Message from the Fire Chief, Freeman:
We had a busy January with over 100 calls for emergencies and many PR events. We were able to secure a demo fire truck as part of our purchasing process to save the district $50,000 over the next lowest bid.
New Firefighters / Paramedics
Capabilities: Two patient transport and care
Application: 4x4 unit. Canyon Rescue. Great unit for bad roads.
5th Grader Cadet Program
At Lone Peak Fire we have implemented a new cadet program for all the 5th grade students in our district. Each student will meet with our trained firefighters/paramedics one day a week for four weeks and review preventative instructions. Topics such as CPR, drugs, and fire safety are discussed. After attending the presented classes and completing weekly homework assignments each student is then graduated as a Lone Peak Fire Cadet.