As 2018 comes to a close, we think back on what was the busiest year ever in the history of the Huntersville Fire Department. We surpassed 6,000 calls for service in 2018 (4,700 in 2017). We opened a brand-new Fire Station in Town (Station 4) and we took delivery of a brand-new Engine Company (Engine 4). We’re looking forward to seeing what 2019 has in store for us.
We thought we’d take this time to share a New Years countdown of sorts. Below is a list of the top causes/reasons for our responses last year (except Medical Calls). #HappyNewYear #OneTownOneTeam
- Cooking Fires – the leading cause nationwide for home fires. Unattended cooking, food left on the stove, cooking devices left on and unattended (ovens, stoves, grills, hot plates etc).
- Improper disposal of smoking materials – cigarette butts discarded improperly: in trash bags, trash cans, in containers on apartment balconies etc.
- Motor Vehicle Accidents – Speeding, aggressive driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and or drugs as well as distracted driving (texting, eating, pets in the laps of drivers, applying make-up and even reading books – all observed this year).
- Improper disposal of fire pit/grilling materials/fireworks – ash will retain heat for days & should be allowed to cool before disposal. When it’s time to dispose of the ashes, transfer them to a metal container and wet them down. Keep the metal container outside your home and away from any combustibles. DO NOT use a combustible container (such as the Town plastic trash bins).
- Battery Fires – avoid unattended charging of certain electronic items and batteries such as car batteries, electric scooters, golf carts, rechargeable devices such as mowers, trimmers, drills etc. A battery fire could happen if a device with a defective battery is left unattended and it overheats. If charging, hang out in the immediate area – never charge overnight while you’re asleep.
- Heating – Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment (furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater). Plug all heaters directly into a wall outlet – never use extension cords. Never leave heating equipment on when you’re asleep or away from home.
- Electrical Fires – Avoid overloading extension cords, never use extension cords with appliances. ALL electrical work should be conducted by qualified electricians. Do not blindly reset a tripped breaker – investigate the cause or seek the assistance of an electrician.
Our advice for 2019 – BE SAFE! Review these reasons and don’t become a 2019 statistic. Consider learning CPR and how to use an AED (Automatic, External Defibrillator). According to the American Heart Association, nearly 45 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims survived when bystander CPR was administered. Have working (and non-expired) smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home. We recommend a smoke alarm in every sleeping room and living space. We recommend a CO Alarm on every level of the home and that all of the alarms be ‘interconnected’. Keep in mind that smoke alarms expire every 10 years from its manufacturing date (stamped on bottom of the alarm) and CO alarms expire every 5-7 years. Remember: a ‘chirping’ alarm is telling you something (dead battery, missing battery, alarm is reaching its expiration date etc).
The men and women of Huntersville Fire Department wish you a Happy, healthy and prosperous 2019! As always, we’re on duty everyday – if you need us, call us. We’ll be there!