NEW HAVEN FIRE MARSHALL AND LCI LAUNCH WINTER FIRE SAFETY CAMPAIGN
(12/11/2008) EDUCATION CAMPAIGN TO FOCUS ON PREVENTING FIRES FROM ALTERNATIVE SOURCES OF HEAT DURING WINTER MONTHS
NEW HAVEN- The Office of the Fire Marshall and the Livable City Initiative (LCI) have joined forces to educate New Haven residents about the dangers of utilizing alternative sources of heat. Many sources of alternative heat can cause fire and injuries. Today, the City launched a public education campaign to help residents recognize which sources of heat are safe and which are dangerous.
At a demonstration that took place at the New Haven Fire Training Academy today, Joseph Cappucci, the city Fire Marshall and Rafael Ramos, Deputy Director of LCI, talked about dangerous heating practices that the City has found in a number of residences in New Haven and shared tips for protecting families from incidents of fire this winter. The urgency for this campaign stems from an increased chance of residents using alternative sources of heat during these difficult economic times in an effort to save money.
“When the weather gets cold and families are already struggling with their bills, it’s possible that they may become desperate and turn to forms of heat that could create risky situations,” said Cappucci. “We’re launching this campaign to help educate families about the consequences of alternative sources of heat.”
LCI Neighborhood Specialists and Inspectors will be distributing informational flyers in their assigned neighborhoods of the City to ensure that residents have access to the do’s and don’ts of home heating.
The City of New Haven has a zero tolerance policy for No Heat. Connecticut General Statutes 19A-109 Provisions of Utilities requires that the minimum standard for heat temperature in a dwelling unit or work place, not be less than 65°. Living in a residence where the temperature falls below 65° can be injurious to the occupants.
The policy of the Housing Code Enforcement Division of the City of New Haven, Livable City Initiative Bureau is that a complaint of No Heat be addressed immediately (24 hours/day, 7 days/week); recognizing that people use dangerous alternatives to conventional heating systems and/or electric systems such as, but not limited to:
- Gas and/or electric cooking stoves
- Kerosene Heaters
- Antique (obsolete) electric heaters
- Improperly installed wood stoves*
- Construction site type heaters
- Dysfunctional fireplaces
- Electric gas-fired generators
- Improper use of electrical extension cords
*all fuel-burning heating systems require a permit and inspection from the Building Department.
To make a complaint of No Heat, residents can call 203-946-8683 or 203-946-7090 Monday – Friday between the hours of 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. For after-hour complaints, Holidays and weekends the contact number is 203-946-6327.
LCI will investigate all complaint. If the No Heat incident is due to a mechanical malfunction, the property owner will be informed of the situation and will be ordered to correct the condition immediately. LCI will refer the property owner to any public and/or private agency that can assist in remedying the situation and monitor the progress to ensure the health and safety of the occupants. When there is No Heat due to lack of fuel and the resident is responsible for the fuel, LCI will refer the resident to any public and/or private agency that can assist them in remedying the situation while monitoring the process and its results. When a complaint is generated from a privately owned, owner-occupied home, LCI will refer the property owner to any public and/or private agency that can assist in remedying the situation. LCI will also assist with temporary measures and monitor the progress to ensure the health and safety of the occupants.
Some of the Emergency Services Available are:
Community Action Agency
781 Whalley Avenue, New Haven, CT 06511
Southern Connecticut Gas Company
855 Main Street, 8th Floor, Bridgeport, CT 06604
Phone: 1-800-659-8299 – Customer Service and Hardship Program
United Illuminating Company
P.O. Box 1564, New Haven, CT 06506-0901
Phone: 203-499-3333 – Customer Service and Hardship Program
1-877-947-3873 - Weatherization Program & CT Energy Efficient Program
The Fire Marshall has the developed the following set of tips that homeowners should follow:
1. Never use any gasoline powered equipment inside your home that should be used outdoors
2. Kerosene heaters are illegal per City Ordinance 13-828(5) (These heaters are unvented and fueled by combustible or flammable liquids
3. Propane type construction heaters should not be used in-doors as a source of residential heat.
4. Older electric heaters which may have frayed cords or no safety devices are dangerous and should not be used.
5. The use of a gas oven for heat is deadly as this will start to register CO on meters as is burns for long period of time.
6. Have your heating equipment, chimneys and fire places inspected and serviced yearly by a licensed technician.
7. Check your smoke detectors.
8. We recommend that every household have CO (Carbon Monoxide) detection. According to State law, only new construction projects are required to feature them.
9. Don’t use charcoal grills or gas grills inside your home.
10. Keep all combustibles at least three feet away from any heating appliance.
Heating fires are the second leading cause of all residential building fires (second only to cooking fires).
Contact Name: Jessica Mayorga
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Phone: 203-946-7660