Friday, October 7, 2011

It's Fire Prevention Week

It’s Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!

Fire Prevention Week, October 9-15, 2011

What’s the best way to protect your family from fire? Be ahead of the game, of course. With more than 360,000 home fires reported in the United States in 2009, according to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), your best defense is a good offense. That’s why most local fire departments team up with NFPA during the October 9-15, 2011, to let the community know: “It’s Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!” This year’s campaign focuses on preventing the leading causes of home fires -- cooking, heating and electrical equipment, as well as candles and smoking materials. Additionally, it urges people to protect their homes and families with life-saving technology and planning.

“In 2009, 2,565 people died in home fires. Nearly all of these deaths could have been prevented by taking a few simple precautions like having working smoke alarms and a home fire escape plan, keeping things that can burn away from the stove and always turning off space heaters before going to bed,” says (Your Name, Title) of the (Your City/Town) Fire Department. “Fire is a dangerous opponent, but by anticipating the hazards, you are much less likely to be one of the nearly 13,000 people injured in home fires each year.”

The NFPA offers the following tips for protecting your home and family from fire:

Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.

Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.

Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.

Replace or repair damaged or loose electrical cords.

If you smoke, smoke outside.

Use deep, wide ashtrays on a sturdy table.

Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.

While preventing home fires is always the number one priority, it is not always possible, You need to provide the best protection to keep your home and family safe in the event of a fire. This can be achieved by developing an escape plan which you practice regularly and equipping homes with life-saving technologies like smoke alarms and home fire sprinklers.”

The following tips will help keep your family safe if there is a fire in your home:

Install smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home (including the basement).

Interconnect all smoke alarms in the home so when one sounds, they all sound.

Test smoke alarms at least monthly and replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond when tested.

Make sure everyone in your home knows how to respond if the smoke alarm sounds.

Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible ways out. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors.

If you are building or remodeling your home, consider installing home fire sprinklers.

Check with your local fire department to see if they will be hosting activities during Fire Prevention Week to promote “It’s Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!” Through these educational, family-oriented activities, residents can learn more about the power of prevention and available technologies to protect their own families from fire.

To learn more about “It’s Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!” visit NFPA’s website at

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Free I.D. Cards for Seniors

Supervisor Murray, Town Clerk Announce Free I.D. Cards for Senior Citizens

Taking a page from the very successful Town of Hempstead Child Identification Program, Supervisor Kate Murray and Town Clerk Mark Bonilla today announced that the town has begun offering free identification cards for senior citizens. The town introduced the program before 75 residents at the Wantagh Senior Center.

"These ID cards come not only with a person's name, description and photograph, but with detailed information on their allergies, doctor's contact data, family telephone numbers and other vital information, which can be very useful in the event of an emergency," said Murray. "We have seen great results from our Child Identification Program and we are hoping for the same for our seniors."

While many seniors are certainly enjoying their golden years here in the Town of Hempstead, several of them have physical ailments that can potentially put them at risk in certain situations. In an emergency, a town Senior I.D. card may help medical technicians to quickly determine how to treat a particular person, given their allergies and other related information.

This card can also be used for everyday activities: Heading to the movies? Doing some shopping? Show your Town of Hempstead Senior I.D. Card and take advantage of great discounts available to seniors.

So how can you get one?
For seniors who wish to participate in the program, the Town Clerk's office will provide them with easy-to-read information forms. The data is then immediately transferred onto small, wallet-sized identification cards and a larger 8" by 8" document that may be displayed on the senior's refrigerator door. The town is providing this service for free, and no records are kept by the town once an I.D. card has been created.

One of the great benefits of this program is that seniors no longer have to wait on long, slow-moving lines somewhere to get an identification card. Town Clerk staff will travel to libraries, senior centers and senior clubs to provide this service on location. It takes just a few minutes to create a Senior I.D. Card that will provide years of benefits for seniors.

"We encourage our seniors in the Town of Hempstead to take advantage of this great program," said Bonilla. "It's fast, it's simple and best of all, it's free!"

Supervisor Murray would like to thank Town Clerk Mark Bonilla, Department of Senior Enrichment Commissioner Johanna Scarlata, and the staff at the Wantagh Senior Center for their assistance in organizing today's event.

"What's more convenient than having your personal information, physicians' contacts and emergency numbers all in the palm of your hand?" said Murray. "We in the town are happy to provide this free service for our Seniors."