This weekend we convert from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time. This is an excellent opportunity to also make sure that your smoke alarm is working and change the batteries.In a fire situation, early warning is critical to survival. The types of materials that are burning in today’s home fires are far more deadly than material found in our parents' and grandparents' homes. The prevalent use of synthetics (plastics and other composites) make for a “witches brew” of toxic smoke. The time for you to safely escape is (on average) less than 3 minutes, so time is of the essence.Last week, the region experienced a tragedy where an infant lost his life in a house fire in a neighboring county. Local media is reporting that there was a least one non-functioning smoke alarm in the area of the fire’s origin. In the United States, more than 23 million homes are at risk with non-working smoke alarms. In fact, 2/3rds of all fatal fires occur in homes with either no smoke alarms or inoperable smoke alarms. One startling statistic is that the number of homes with an inoperable alarm outnumber those with no smoke alarm.Goochland County Fire-Rescue wants you and your family to have the best chance of surviving a fire in your home. This weekend as you change your clock, please inspect and maintain your smoke alarm and change the batteries.
The VA Department of Forestry burn laws go into on February 15th and remain in effect until midnight of April 30th. Also known as the “4 pm law,” open burning is permitted from 4pm until midnight and is required to be constantly attended at all times. The listed dates are typically the more dangerous fire season due to dry materials that have fallen over the winter and higher winds during the daytime hours. For more information, contact the local VA Department of Forestry at 556-4145.