As the Massachusetts State Fire Marshal and the head of the Department of Fire Services, I am very proud of the progress we have made to provide much needed resources to the fire service community. As you browse through our website, you will see all the services provided by the Department of Fire Services whether it is for training, uniform application of the fire codes, fire data, hazardous materials response, life safety education, or fire investigation.
Peter J. Ostroskey
State Fire Marshal
Included in this month’s Briefs are information on the Keep Warm, Keep Safe Public Awareness Campaign and the Massachusetts Firefighter Service Award Program which is available to any Massachusetts firefighter who has served for any period of time totaling 20 or more years, in five year increments, i.e., (20, 25, 30, etc.).
Also included are several training opportunities and public safety information.
Please be sure to avail yourself to all of the important information contained in the January DFS Briefs.
All Hands Herald
The January issue of the All Hands Herald file size 3MB has been posted online. It contains information for the fire service about DFS programs, training and initiatives. The top stories on are the new smoke alarm regulations, the 26th annual Firefighter of the Year Awards, the Keep Warm, Keep Safe winter heating safety campaign, and new MFA Impact programs both field and online. In addition, there’s news from the plans review desk and the fire investigation unit.
State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said, “Start the new year off right by promptly disposing of your Christmas tree. A dried out Christmas tree will ignite quickly and spread a fire very fast.” Take advantage of community pick-up days or recycling programs, many of which start this week. To find out if your community has a Christmas tree recycling program, contact your local public works department or recycling committee. The Mass. Department of Environmental Protection has information on Christmas tree recycling at www.mass.gov/DEP.
Members of the Career Recruit Firefighter Class #250 graduated on Friday, December 23, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. in a ceremony at the Department of Fire Services, One State Road, Stow, MA. The graduates represent the 20 fire departments of: Boxford, Devens, East Bridgewater, Everett, Falmouth, Hanson, Harwich, Holden, Hopkinton, Lakeville, Medford, Methuen, Newton, Norwood, Salem, Seekonk, Westwood, Weymouth, Winthrop and Woburn. The keynote speaker was Medford Fire Chief Frank Giliberti, Jr.
The cold weather is arriving early this year. Let’s hope it doesn’t stick around, but in the mean time it’s important to keep warm and keep safe this winter. If you’re using the fireplace, woodstove or pellet stove for some extra warmth, keep youngsters and anything that can catch fire at least three feet away and be sure to dispose of the ashes safely. Here are some more tips for heating safely with solid fuels. Using a space heater? Remember space heaters need space. Be sure to place it three feet away from things that can catch fire like furniture, bedding, newspapers, and clothing. Avoid using an extension cord, but if you must, make sure it is rated for the appliance.
State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey announced that Monday, December 12, 2016 will be Candle Safety Day and advised consumers to use candles safely during this holiday season and throughout the year. The second Monday in December has been established as Candle Safety Day by MGL C.6: S.12XX to promote the safe use of candles in the Commonwealth. State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said, “Starting with Halloween, we use candles to celebrate many of the winter holidays. Sadly, the increased candle use at this time of year causes an increase in candle fires.” In the past five years, more candle fires happened between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve than any other time. DFS has more candle safety tips.
New Smoke Alarm Regulations When Selling Older Homes
No Expired Alarms; Replacement Alarms Must Have 10-year Batteries
Starting December 1, older one- and two-family homes cannot be sold with expired or out-of-date smoke alarms. The Board of Fire Prevention Regulations has revised the State Fire Code to require that one- and two-family homes built before 1975 must have working smoke alarms that have not expired. Working smoke alarms installed prior to December 1, 2016 (that met previous requirements) can continue to be used until they are 10 years old or have exceeded the manufacturer’s recommended life, whichever occurs first. Read the full press release on New Smoke Alarm Regulations. Realtors and homeowners can find out more on the Smoke Alarm Regulations page where they will find the Consumer’s Guide to Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms Requirements When Selling One- and Two-Family Homes.
Taking Action Against Cancer
Cancer is becoming an ever-increasing cause of firefighter deaths. Firefighters have much higher rates of cancer than the residents they serve because of exposure to carcinogens on the fireground and in the firehouse. This course will provide information on immediate actions that all ranks from firefighter to chief can take to reduce the occupational cancer risk and how the nonprofit Firefighter Cancer Support Network can help firefighters cope with cancer. The course will address the importance of promoting a new culture of safety and fitness by developing the mindset that firefighters are tactical athletes in order to help prevent cancer, heart disease, and injuries within their departments.
Fire chiefs and training officers can request this Impact course for their department by using the Mass. Firefighting Academy’s Course Request Form .
FCAM Technical Rescue Subcommittee Video
Watch this 4-minute video made by the Fire Chiefs’ Association of Massachusetts’ Technical Rescue Subcommittee. It showcases the vast and diverse technical rescue capabilities in the Commonwealth.
MFA Training Videos on YouTube™
Have you had a chance to look at the training videos that the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy (MFA) has posted a on the DFS YouTube™ Channel (www.youtube.com/DFSOSFM)? The first series has 19 training videos on ladders of all heights and maneuvers.