You may have seen us “hanging around” Fire Headquarters recently. Last month, many of our members took part in a week long rope operations training course at our central station. They refreshed and practiced valuable skills including knots, anchors, hauling & lowering systems, rappelling, ascending, litter tendering, and more. These skills are the foundation of many rescue functions outside of vertical rope rescue that the fire department may perform. Just a few examples include low-angle rescue (i.e. highway embankments), confined space rescue, and water rescues. As of July 1, 2019, Rescue 1 is staffed with dedicated personnel who have completed training in the many technical rescue disciplines to ensure an increased level of service is always available in our community.
In order to obtain Eagle Scout rank, Matt Sweeney has decided to create a display cabinet for Fire Headquarters. His hard work will result in historical artifacts, such as ledgers, helmets, photos, and other traditional pieces, finally being on display as they should be in our central station. Part of obtaining Eagle Scout rank includes raising funds for the project. The ability to donate to his fundraising efforts, a complete description of the project, his personal reason for selecting Billerica Fire as the recipient, along with progress pictures are all viewed on Matt’s “Go Fund Me” page by clicking here. Check back for photos of the finished product in the near future!
The Billerica Fire Department, Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, & Massachusetts State Fire Marshal are asking that while you’re changing your clocks this weekend, you also check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. We also request that you check the alarms in the homes of elderly relatives and neighbors who may struggle or be unable to check their own.
Do my alarms need fresh batteries? Unless you have newer alarms with 10-year sealed batteries (most of us do not have these), your alarms probably need fresh batteries! Even hard-wired alarms depend on battery backup when the electricity is out. Still not convinced? Keep in mind that power is sometimes lost during emergencies such as fires – the battery power source is absolutely essential. Please, replace your batteries and press “test” to ensure you have working alarms in your home.
Do the alarms need replacing? The Massachusetts State Fire Marshal’s press release reminds us that “smoke alarms need to be replaced after ten years usually, and carbon monoxide alarms usually after 5-7.” Like anything else in your home, these alarms are only reliable for so long. All alarms should have the date of manufacture visible on the device. It’s likely displayed on the back of the alarm which can be easily checked while replacing the batteries. A smoke alarm that shows a date that is prior to November 2008 should be replaced. You can check the manufacturers recommendations for more information on your specific alarms.