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The original item was published from 5/1/2020 2:04:00 PM to 5/16/2020 12:00:05 AM.

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Posted on: May 1, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Important Message from ERFD Chief Mark Dickinson

ERFD_PatchThe Elk River Fire Department is urging residents to remember fire safety as we deal with the “new normal.” As many find themselves now working from home to isolate and while practicing physical distancing - please remember the importance of preventing home fires. 

Along with other essential services, the fire department has had to implement response safeguards and physical distancing protocols. Residents are advised of the following changes to fire department services during this time:

  • Proper Personal Protective Equipment needs to be worn by responders during emergency responses. This is for your safety as well as our responders.
  • During the stay at home order issued by Governor Walz, we are not allowing the public to access the fire stations for tours or public education events.
  • Single Family Home Rental inspections are being conducted on a case-by-case basis. Inspections required in basements or existing homes where there are numerous and/or ill people are being delayed until a later date. If possible, please allow the inspector to enter and exit through a separate entrance. It is also beneficial if residents go outside or to a different area of the home while the inspection is conducted. When complete, the Inspector will exit the building and visit with you outside. 
  • The Fire Prevention Specialist will initiate courtesy inspections at local restaurants per the 2015 MN Fire Code. This inspection is free of charge and will be conducted in a timely manner to minimize business interruption. He will inspect kitchen hoods/ducts for cleanliness and functionality. He will also be available to assist with any questions or concerns that you or staff may have regarding this requirement. We want to help you keep your establishments fire safe. 

Fire Chief Mark Dickinson is also urging the public to remain vigilant in the ongoing battle to prevent unintentional fires and injuries by practicing fire prevention and fire safety during these extraordinary times. “Regardless of the circumstances, additional time at home with family members provides an excellent opportunity to discuss fire safety and review your home fire escape plan,” said Chief Dickinson. 

Here are some simple things people can do to protect themselves and their families: 

  • If you smoke, smoke outside. Use a deep ashtray filled with sand or water. Make sure cigarettes are extinguished completely, every time.
  •  Keep an eye on what you fry. While staying home will likely involve more cooking, remember to pay attention to what’s on the stove. If you need to leave the kitchen, turn the burners off. Keep pets and young children at least three feet away from the hot surfaces.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms using the test button. If the alarm fails to sound, replace batteries or, if you have lithium-ion 10-year battery-powered alarms, replace the device. Replace all smoke alarms, even hard-wired alarms, every 10 years.
  • Practice your home fire-escape plan to make sure everyone in the household knows what to do if a fire occurs. Designate someone to help older adults, children, and anyone else who might need help escaping. For more information click here.
  • Use care when recharging electronic devices such as laptops, tablets, or mobile devices. Check electrical cords and charge cables to ensure they are in good condition. Don’t overload electrical circuits. Place electronics on hard surfaces when recharging to avoid the risk of overheating.  

As the Elk River Fire Department continues to do its best to protect the community under these extraordinary circumstances, it is imperative for members of the public to do all they can to protect themselves and their families from the risk of fire and carbon-monoxide poisoning. 

For more information about fire safety, contact our Fire Prevention Specialist Jeff Smith at 763-635-1111 or visit the city’s website and ERFD Facebook page.

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