Alamogordo Department of Public Safety will soon be split into two departments. ADPS will divide into a separate police department and a fire department on July 1.
It’s some of the changes occurring within ADPS since director Robert A. Duncan took the helm in January.
Duncan also wanted to start a weekly crime prevention article to be featured in the Daily News. This is the premiere of the Alamogordo Department of Public Safety’s Crime Prevention Tip of the week.
It’s a way for the department to make the general public aware of crime in the city and a way for them to take measures to help prevent crime from happening.
After July 1, the Daily News will gladly change it to Alamogordo Police Department’s Crime Prevention Tip of the week. We’re just waiting for the separation to become official or director Duncan to take out his whiteout correction fluid and change the name of the department on the official letterhead and officer uniform patches.
This column or article will be an ever-growing, evolving medium for crime and fire-safety tips. And yes, at times, it will be titled the Alamogordo Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Safety Tip of the week.
So without further ado, the Alamogordo Department of Public Safety Crime Prevention Tip of the week premiere article.
Property crime is the number one crime in the U.S. Statewide, Alamogordo ranks second to Rio Rancho in property crime. Rio Rancho has about the same population and demographics as Alamogordo.
Alamogordo had 192 automobile larcenies, or people having their vehicles broken into and their personal items stolen from their vehicle. Of the 192 break-ins, 109 vehicles were left unlocked by the owner.
With residential burglaries or break-ins, there were 163 break-ins or theft of valuables from homeowners. Of the 163 burglaries, 47 homeowners did not lock their doors or left a window to the residence unlocked.
Alamogordo had 32 vehicles stolen from car owners in various areas of the city. Of the 32 vehicles, ADPS officers recovered 23. The remaining vehicles were never recovered or were recovered in another jurisdiction.
Sgt. Tracy Corbett said she wants citizens to be aware that crime does happen in Alamogordo.
“We want people to lock their houses and vehicles,” Corbett said. “It’s more to protect their valuables and not out of fear of violent crime. It’s more of awareness and protection of their property than fear. This is a very safe community, but we still have crime and crime of opportunity is usually the number one crime committed by the criminal element in our community.”
She said she also wants to remind citizens that criminals walk through parking lots and neighborhoods checking car doors or doors to homes to see if the door is unlocked to steal valuable items.
“It’s a huge part of our property crime,” Corbett said. “They hit one of our neighborhoods one night by checking door handles and went into unsecured or unlocked vehicles and homes. People should keep valuables secured. In vehicles, people need to put valuables out of sight by placing them under their seat or locked inside the trunk of the vehicles. Owners of vehicles with a sunroof should push the interior cover of the sunroof closed when parking the vehicle.”
She said she also wants to warn women who carry a purse while shopping in a business.
“They need to keep their purse with them at all times,” Corbett said. “I don’t know how many times a person will put their purse in a shopping cart then walk away from the cart and leave their purse in it. Right there is a crime of opportunity. It’s all about awareness and people’s surroundings.”
She said she wants people to be secure in their community by being proactive.
“During the summertime, we do see people leaving their vehicles running while they run into a store,” Corbett said. “It’s another crime of opportunity. We’ve all probably been guilty of that.”
Contact Duane Barbati at firstname.lastname@example.org Follow him on Twitter @DuaneBarbati
Fred Squillante | Dispatch
Malik Roberts, 17, dumps a bucket of water during a competition between firefighters and Gahanna Lincoln High School students at Mifflin Township’s Fire Station 131.
They laughed as they crawled on the floor, hoods over their heads, clawing for an exit. They had just 60 seconds to escape.
“You can’t breathe,” Mifflin Township Fire Lt. Mark Hendricks told them. “The carpet’s hot. It’s melting. What are you going to do?”
“Cry?” one student said.
More laughter. But there was a sobering undercurrent to this exercise, a gravity that firefighters hoped these graduating seniors would feel. The name of the game was Get Out Alive. Only two of the four did.
In the past 13 years, 119 U.S. college students didn’t make it out, Hendricks said. They were the victims of 82 fires on or near their campuses. Among those was the 2003 house fire near Ohio State University that killed five OSU and Ohio University students who’d gathered for a birthday party.
“I’m asking you: Start caring,” Hendricks said.
Over the past two days, as some 240 Gahanna Lincoln seniors wrapped up their high-school careers, they walked down to Station 131 for 90 minutes of fire-safety training. The program, called “Know 2 Ways Out,” offered the teens some practical emergency tips for their transition to college. They learned how to use a fire extinguisher, how to put out a grease fire and how to identify exits in a smoky room.
They got a few stern warnings, too: Don’t pull fire alarms for fun. Don’t ignore fire alarms. Always know at least two ways out of a house, a bar, a dorm.
Fire Chief Tim Taylor showed the students harrowing video shot at the Station nightclub in West Warwick, R.I., on the night in 2003 when pyrotechnics fired during a rock show set it ablaze. The club was engulfed in minutes. One hundred people who’d come out to listen to music died.
“It’s important that you know this kind of thing happens,” Taylor said.
“Know 2 Ways Out” was a new approach to a three-decade relationship between the school and department, firefighter and coordinator Chuck Wilhelm said. For years, students would sit in the bay and watch a presentation. Organizers decided there was a better way. This year seniors went through a series of hands-on stations. They performed CPR. They saw real fire. They got a little wet.
It was eye-opening for 18-year-old Connor Prusz, who discovered that there was something he didn’t know about a fire extinguisher — how to use it.
“I didn’t know that you had to pull the pin,” he said.
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Be prepared with these tips for preventing and controlling fires in the home.
1. Before buying a fire extinguisher, check its intended purpose. Some extinguishers effectively treat a few or all of the following varieties of fires: trash, wood, paper, liquids, grease and electrical.
2. Position fire extinguishers throughout your house and on all levels, including along the hallways outside bedrooms and bathrooms. Install the kitchen fire extinguisher near the stove but not directly under it. You don’t want to be stumbling around beneath the flames in the event of a stovetop fire. Mount it off-center along the interior of a cabinet door to take up as little space as possible.
3. Be sure extinguishers are full and ready for use. If they’re battery-powered, remember to check them regularly. It’s a good idea to change the batteries twice a year, perhaps at the same times that you change your clocks in the fall and spring.
4. Don’t fight a grease fire with water. When cooking, keep a box of baking soda readily available to put out any grease fires, or extinguish the flames with a lid.
5. When fighting a fire with an extinguisher, stand 6 feet away and sweep the nozzle back and forth.
6. Install smoke and heat detectors to notify your family and allow plenty of time to escape during a house fire.
7. Develop a family escape plan, with evacuation routes from each room.
8. Place stickers or decals on children’s windows to assist firefighters in identifying those rooms.
9. Make sure your whole family knows how to set off any home panic buttons to notify authorities and other family members of a house fire.
For thousands of other ideas visit www.hgtv.com. Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — State officials say it’s a good time of year to check batteries in home smoke detectors.
The office of the State Fire Marshal is reminding residents still changing clocks from the weekend time change to also check smoke detectors.
Officials say it’s a good idea to change batteries twice a year.
State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis says it can make the difference between life and death.
The office says that of the more than 17,000 fire-related incidents last year, smoke alarms failed to operate in about 800.
Fire officials say smoke alarms should be installed within 15 feet of all sleeping areas.
Myrtle Beach Fire Battalion Chief Bruce Arnel says there are a number of things residents can do to prevent a fire their home.
— Check smoke detectors monthly, and change batteries twice a year
– Have a fire extinguisher in your home, preferably not near the stove
– Do not leave grills or stoves running unattended, and do not use them as heaters
– Keep space heaters at least 3 feet from all walls, furniture and curtains
– Do not dispose of cigarettes in disposable cups or garbage cans; use metal or glass ash trays
– If a small fire does start, use a fire extinguisher or suffocate the flame with a kitchen pan lid
Arnel says proper fire prevention largely relies on common sense.
“It’s frustrating for us when we respond to a fire that is preventable, and most fires are preventable,” Arnel says.
He adds the majority of fire related deaths are a direct or indirect result of improperly disposed cigarettes or unattended grills or stoves.
Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.
In the wake of a blaze in a Brookline apartment building that displaced eight Boston University students last week, campus and local fire officials are offering important reminders on how to prevent and safely escape residential fires.
The fire at 46 Carlton Street was reported at 10:28 a.m. on Sunday, February 3, by a resident after smoke triggered the building’s smoke alarms, according to Mark Jefferson, deputy chief of the Brookline Fire Department. The fire, which caused water damage to the first floor and basement of the three-story building, was caused by an improperly wired, unvented ceiling fan in the second floor bathroom, according to an incident report. There were no injuries in the single-alarm fire, which spread to the second-floor ceiling.
None of the students, whose identities were not released because of privacy concerns, will be able to return to the building for the foreseeable future, according to Katherine Cornetta Hasenauer, a spokesperson from the Dean of Students office. A BU official has reached out to each student to help find accommodations on and off campus, as well as to help notify faculty about any fire-related academic hardships, Hasenauer says.
“I talked to the building manager to inform her that all alarms have to be restored before anyone can reoccupy the building,” says Jefferson. But he says that according to the report, after smelling smoke and hearing the alarms, the first call placed was to the building manager, followed by a call to the fire department.
“Always call the fire department first,” advises Jefferson, and then evacuate the building immediately. He recommends that residents of apartment buildings develop their own evacuation plans. “Motels and hotels are required to post these plans, but in residential buildings it’s something you’ve got to do on your own,” he says, adding that anyone can seek the department’s help and advice developing evacuation plans by calling the fire prevention line at 617-730-2266. For students living off campus, he says, “the best protection comes from properly placed and maintained smoke detectors.” Although all buildings are required by state law to have these, students should check to see that the alarms are working, he says, and insist that their landlords replace them if they are not.
Kenneth Elmore, dean of students, is urging students on campus and off to take stock of their surroundings and brush up on fire safety. “Now is a great time to go home and take the time to look at your living space, and make sure things like smoke detectors are working, that you have clear ways out of the building,” says Elmore (SED’87). “If you live off campus, it might be a good time to check in with the owner of your building. And when you go to visit places, take a measure of how you can get out in an emergency, whether it is an auditorium, a classroom, or a friend’s apartment.”
BU’s safety website lists the University’s fire safety regulations and questions to ask landlords if you’re renting an off-campus apartment, including whether the unit has a smoke alarm and whether there is access to more than one exit. Among the site’s tips:
- Avoid starting open flames, especially candles, which among college students are the top fire-starter
- Avoid overloading electrical outlets
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy
- Plot escape routes in case of fire and keep them clear of debris
- When an alarm sounds, take it seriously
The city of Boston also offers an informative home fire safety website. Among the tips:
- Make sure smoke detectors are outside of each separate sleeping area
- Make sure carbon monoxide detectors are on each level of your home
- Test and check batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace them if you’re not certain they are fully charged.
- Hold a home fire drill to practice an escape plan
- Avoid using a gas stove or oven for heat to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
An apartment fire reported in Canton Township Sunday and a devastating house fire that displaced a young Ravenna family of three early Saturday are just two and three back-two-back fires reported in our area, in the past couple of days.
The number of house fires reported is known to increase during the Winter months. But with so many house fires occurring so close to the holidays, fire officials are taking time to remind people there are tips you can follow to not only save your home from a fire, but also save a life.
“I think people just don’t practice because of the holidays. There’s a lot more going on, shopping, making sure all of your Christmas presents are purchased and just celebrations, getting food ready for the holidays and you just forget about the daily things of making sure everything’s safe around the house,” said Parma Fire Department’s Public Information Officer, Doug Turner.
To help remind folks of potential fire dangers, Turner used his own home as an example and walked NewsChannel5 around some areas of potential hazard.
The first item he visited was the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. “You should have one on every floor… but you can’t have enough of them. The more in your house the better,” said Turner.
He also suggested practicing a fire drill at home when the alarm goes off so that kids, especially, know what to do in case of a fire or carbon monoxide emergency.
Turner’s second tip involves flammable items. More specifically, Turner said to keep anything flammable away from:
If you own a live Christmas tree, Turner said to make sure you water it so the tree does not dry-out and in turn, become flammable itself.
In the kitchen, “… anytime you’re cooking around the holidays or anytime during the year, you to make sure that you don’t leave the stovetop or the oven unattended,” said Turner. But if you do need to leave, Turner said, “… make sure to take something that’s going to remind you that there is cooking on the stove.”
For grease fires, Turner noted it’s important to NOT put water on the fire but instead, place a lid over the pot to help contain the fire.
Even outside, Turner said there’s a few things you can do to prevent a fire. One is checking connections on Christmas lights.
A second, is because careful of where you dispose of those burning embers from your fireplace. Too close to the home, could potentially start a house fire.
These tips seem easy enough but Turner said most people don’t remember to practice them during the holidays.
“Any time we go to a fire and see the damage and the family comes back, it’s a tragedy for them so be safe and use common sense, ” said Turner.
For more fire safety tips, you can visit the National Fire Protection Association’s website at: www.NFPA.org
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
The Airdrie Fire Department wants to send a message to ensure residents have an enjoyable Christmas season.
All through the year, we promote fire safety, but there are many more incidents (that can affect) fire safety at this time of year, said Deputy Fire Chief Garth Rabel.
Important fire safety tips to remember at this time of the year include staying in the kitchen while cooking, not leaving candles unattended, keeping Christmas trees well watered, not overloading electrical outlets with lights and decorations, keeping matches and lighters out of childrens reach, dont run space heaters near curtains and furniture, stub cigarettes out completely and dispose of them safely and dont mix alcohol and fire, as many fire deaths occur when people are cooking or smoking while under the influence.
According to the Airdrie Fire Department, its important to install at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home, test it monthly, change the battery yearly and create and practice a fire escape plan with your family.
Rabel said home safety devices, such as carbon monoxide testers, smoke alarms and extinguishers, could make good holiday gifts.
If you have someone going into a new home, or kids moving out there are a lot of neat things you can give as a gift, he said. You can also download fire safety plans and start to put some thought into a gift a family can use year round.
According to Kevin Haslbeck, communications advisor for FortisAlberta, not only does the season have increased risk of fire, but residential electricity consumption doubles on average during the cold winter months.
Haslbeck suggests residents use LED lights, which use 90 per cent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, for their holiday decorating.
LED lights are not only more energy efficient, but because they dont get as hot, they are less likely to cause a fire, he said. They also wont shatter and cause a safety hazard that way.
Haslbeck also offers other tips such as using a block heater with a timer when plugging in your vehicle overnight.
According to Haslbeck, vehicles only require four hours of plug-in time, any more is a waste of time and money. He also advises residents to consider putting on a warm sweater, cozy slippers, and sipping some hot cocoa rather than turning up the thermostat to save money on energy.
Other energy savings tips include, baking multiple recipes at one time and resisting the urge to sneak a peak as energy is released every time you open the oven door; allowing food to cool before placing in the fridge or freezer as appliances have to work extra hard to bring down the temperature; operate your dishwasher with a full load and air dry the dishes once the dry cycle starts, turn off the dishwasher and open the door.
During the holidays you have a lot of extra stuff plugged in, including power bars, said Haslbeck. It is always a good idea to check cords carefully to ensure there is no tears or fraying, because that is where you will run into the fire safety hazard.
Particularly around the holidays, safety and energy efficiency arent usually top of mind, its about having fun, and part of that fun is having more stuff plugged in, he said.
In order to fully enjoy your holiday, take a few simple checks, consider what the consequences are for using all this energy.
For more information, visit www.fortisalberta.com
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