January 11, 2022
Middletown Township Fire Marshal Buddy Skelly, Middletown Township Fire Chief Bernard Chenoweth, and members of both respective agencies extend their deepest and heartfelt condolences to all the families who suffered catastrophic losses due to the fires in New York City and Philadelphia.
In light of these tragic events, they would like to remind the community of important fire safety precautions to follow where you live and work:
Close your doors: The importance of "closing doors" has been in the forefront of several deadly fires. Closed doors can and will prevent smoke and fire from rapid spread and will buy precious time which can aid in your escape and rescue.
Ensure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working: These devices should be in every home and business, in good working order, and checked regularly.
Be careful with space heaters: Kerosene heaters are illegal in all but one- and two-family homes in New Jersey. Use manufacturer recommended fuel only. Store fuel and always refill outdoors. Keep heater 3 feet away from everything. Never move it while in use. Keep pets and small children away.
Use wood & coal stoves properly: Use only seasoned wood or coal in the respective stove type. Dispose of ash in an approved covered container, outdoors, and away from the home by at least 15 feet. Check flue pipes and clean all chimneys annually. DO NOT use lighter fluid or flammable liquid to light a fire. Keep stove door closed and use a fire screen.
Keep electric heaters current: Make sure your electric heater has independent lab approval and a "tip switch" that would shut off the appliance if it is moved. Exposed element heaters are being phased out. Look for UL approved self-contained fluid heat transfer units. Keep heater away from flammables, including curtains, shag rug, and clothing. It should only be used on a level hardwood or vinyl surface. Plug device directly into an approved wall receptacle. If an extension cord is necessary, only use a UL approved extension cord and monitor regularly for heat to the touch. Unplug immediately if any cord is hot to the touch.
Have a plan: Know what to do if you experience a fire. Have at least two means of egress and be sure they are clear and unobstructed (i.e., no snow blocking them). The plan needs to be discussed with all the members of each household. If you rent, please purchase renter's insurance. This very inexpensive insurance has proven to be an incredible asset to anyone who has suffered a fire loss.
The members of the Middletown Township Fire Prevention Office and Middletown Township Fire Department pray for all those affected by these recent tragedies and are here to serve the citizens of our community.
Any questions, please call the Middletown Fire Prevention Office at 732-615-2272.