City of Henderson Announcements

Posted on: January 2, 2018

Severe cold spell creates firefighting challenges

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HENDERSON, Ky. – Working outdoors in extreme cold is always challenging regardless of the type work, but when water is involved the hazards definitely multiply.

That’s what the Henderson Fire Department has been dealing with this last several days as the temperatures have plummeted.

“Everything we use to put out a fire has a water base,” said Henderson Fire Chief Scott Foreman. Hoses that have been at the scene of an emergency can also freeze, break and leak, and water can get spilled from trucks pumping water Causing hazardous conditions.

“The roads can be icy when we leave a scene,” he said. “Ladders we climb become slick. Everything becomes slick on the emergency scene.”

The city has been fortunate not to have had significant snowfall just yet this winter, but if it happens and you’re already out shoveling, clearing a 3-foot space around hydrants is very helpful, Foreman said.

“When it’s this cold, it typically increases our number of call outs,” said Henderson Fire Chief Scott Foreman.

Citizens also sometimes resort to extreme measures to stay warm.

“Of course, the biggest thing to be aware of it safety with space heaters,” he said.

As electrical devices and furnaces work extra hard to provides warmth, people detect unusual odors, which can prompt a call to the Fire Department.

Another thing that happens in cold weather is that pipes can freeze and residents sometimes try to thaw them by “using means of heating that’s not proper,” Foreman said.

He said that Fire Department has already dealt with a frozen hydrant on one emergency call when they needed to access water. He urges citizens who observe a leaking hydrant to report it so it can repaired.

Here is some information from the National Fire Protection Association and other sources:

Peak months for electrical fire deaths are December through March. Space heaters are the type of equipment most often involved in home heating equipment fires, figuring in two of every fire fires (40 percent).

Home electrical fire deaths peak between midnight and 6 a.m. Make sure your smoke detectors are in good working order and review your family fire emergency plan.

Plug only one heat-producing appliance (such as a coffee maker, space heater or microwave) directly into a wall outlet at a time.

Extension cords should only be used temporarily. Never use an extension cord with a heat-producing appliance.

Make sure you space heater has an automatic shut-off should it tip over.

Always use a metal or heat-tempered glass screen when using your fireplace.

Keep wood stove doors closed unless adding wood or pellets or stoking the fire.

Carbon monoxide detectors save lives, but less than one-third of American homes have one installed. Some tips: Replace the battery of your home’s CO detector each spring and fall. Do not heat your home with a gas range or oven. Never run a car or truck inside an attached garage.

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