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GOHS Awards $163K Grant to 
Atlanta Fire Rescue Department

A glance at news involving the AFRD including safety tips to help protect yourself and your home from the potential threat of fire during or after a winter storm.

The City of Atlanta and Atlanta Fire Rescue Department (AFRD) has received a $163,400 grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS).

The grant, which will continue through September of 2013, will help finance programs, which provide Child Car Safety Seats, proper installation instruction, and safety education to residents of City of Atlanta.

As a previous grantee of GOHS, the AFRD and the GOHS have successfully collaborated to implement the Child Car Safety Seat Program, which has gained national prominence in its field.

AFRD 2012 at a Glance

The mission of the AFRD is to provide prompt quality service to its stakeholders, promote safety and security, enhance sustainability, and enriche quality of life through professional development and dedication to service. In the 2012 calendar year, AFRD responded to more than 95,000 calls for service that resulted in 43 resuscitations, seven rescues, 84 newborn delivers, and five fire deaths.

USFA Focus on Fire Safety

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) and the AFRD is working together to remind everyone that home fires are more prevalent in winter than in any other season. This is due in part to an increase in cooking and heating fires. Winter storms that can interrupt electrical service and cause people to turn to alternative heating sources also contribute to the increased risk of fire in winter.

The USFA and AFRD encourages you to use the following safety tips to help protect yourself, your family and your home from the potential threat of fire during or after a winter storm. You can greatly reduce your chances of becoming a fire casualty by being able to identify potential hazards and following the outlined safety tips.

Some Types of Fire Related Hazards Present During and After a Winter Storm

  • Alternative heating devices used incorrectly create fire hazards.
  • Damaged or downed utility lines can present a fire and life safety hazard.
  • Water damaged appliances and utilities can be electrically charged.
  • Frozen water pipes can burst and cause safety hazards.
  • Leaking gas lines, damaged or leaking gas propane containers and leaking vehicle gas tanks may explode or ignite.
  • Generators are often used during power outages. Generators that are not properly used and maintained can be very hazardous.

Chemical Safety

  • Look for flammable liquids like gasoline, lighter fluid and paint thinner that may have spilled. Thoroughly clean the spill and place containers in a well-ventilated area.
  • Keep flammable liquids away from heat sources.

Electrical Safety

  • If your home has sustained flood or water damage, and you can safely get to the main breaker or fuse box, turn off the power.
  • Assume all wires on the ground are electrically charged. This includes cable TV feeds.
  • Look for and replace frayed or cracked extension and appliance cords, loose prongs and plugs.
  • Exposed outlets and wiring could present a fire and life safety hazard.
  • Appliances that emit smoke or sparks should be repaired or replaced.
  • Have a licensed electrician check your home for damage.

Gas Safety

  • Smell and listen for leaky gas connections. If you believe there is a gas leak, immediately leave the house and leave the door(s) open.
  • Never strike a match. Any size flame can spark an explosion.
  • Before turning the gas back on, have the gas system checked by a professional.

Generator Safety

  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines when using generators.
  • Use a generator or other fuel-powered machines outside the home. CO fumes are odorless and can quickly overwhelm you indoors.
  • Use the appropriate sized and type power cords to carry the electric load. Overloaded cords can overheat and cause fires.
  • Never run cords under rugs or carpets where heat might build up or damage to a cord may go unnoticed.
  • Never connect generators to another power source such as power lines. The reverse flow of electricity can electrocute an unsuspecting utility worker.

Heating Safety

  • Kerosene heaters may not be legal in your area and should only be used where approved by authorities.
  • Do not use the kitchen oven range to heat your home. In addition to being a fire hazard, it can be a source of toxic fumes.
  • Alternative heaters need their space. Keep anything that can catch fire at least 3 feet away.
  • Make sure your alternative heaters have 'tip switches.' These 'tip switches' are designed to automatically turn off the heater in the event they tip over.
  • Only use the type of fuel recommended by the manufacturer and follow suggested guidelines.
  • Never refill a space heater while it is operating or still hot. Refuel heaters only outdoors.
  • Make sure wood stoves are properly installed, and at least 3 feet away from anything that can catch fire. Ensure they have the proper floor support and adequate ventilation.
  • Use a glass or metal screen in front of your fireplace to prevent sparks from igniting nearby carpets, furniture or other items that can catch fire.

and Remember...

  • Always use a flashlight - not a candle - for emergency lighting.
  • Some smoke alarms may be dependent on your home's electrical service and could be inoperative during a power outage. Check to see if your smoke alarm uses a back-up battery and install a new battery at least once a year.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home and inside and outside of sleeping areas.
  • All smoke alarms should be tested monthly. All batteries should be replaced with new ones at least once a year.
  • If there is a fire hydrant near your home, keep it clear of snow, ice and debris for easy access by the fire department.

AFRD Safe Place off the Streets (Safe SPOTS)

SafeSPOTS is a program designed to provide immediate assistance to individuals and families facing child and/or domestic violence at any time the need arises. Atlanta Firefighters, within the confines of Fire Stations, will utilize its facilities as “SafeSPOTS” for: Abandoned infants, abused children, victims of commercial sexual exploitation of children, victims of sexual assault, and victims of domestic violence.

“SafeSPOTS” is a temporary haven where abandoned infants can be left until: They are received by medical facilities and/or assistance is provided by the Department of Family and Children Services (DAFACS); victims of abuse can come to receive emergency medical treatment for their injuries; transportation can be established in confidentiality away from an aggressor; confidential notification of law enforcement officials is made for domestic abuse incidents, if requested by persons 18 years of age or older. Mandatory reporting is required if victim is under the age of 18.

Smart911

An enhanced 911 information system for City of Atlanta residents is available, and is being used by emergency dispatchers. The Atlanta Fire Rescue Department is not only urging residents to register for Smart911, but its employees as well.

When registering, the system allows users to enter whatever personal information that they feel comfortable with sharing via on line registration. This information can include a home or work address, information about disabilities, medications, alternate contact numbers, pictures, automobile descriptions, and other information that may be pertinent for first responders, during an emergency.

Remember - anyone that lives, works, or plays within the City could potentially benefit from first responders having the preregistered information available. Additionally, when traveling abroad any jurisdiction that utilizes Smart911 will have your information readily available, making registration a win for everyone.

To register, simply visit www.smart911.com to create your personal safety profile.

Battalion Reports

Each fire battalion* have activities and challenges that are specific to their geographical territory: 

1. Recent major incidents/events

2. Explanation of Fire and EMS SORC (Standard of Response Coverage) for the last reporting period

3. Facility/Equipment updates

*When time allows provide battalion specific reports

The public is welcome to come participate and learn more about the AFRD and the services that it provides (please see AFRD Community page), while enhancing your knowledge base about emergency preparedness.

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