When preparing for the outdoor season, if you choose to burn, please remember the rules. You can only burn twigs, branches and logs, no brush materials, leaves or lawn clippings. Burning can be done any day of the week from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and when the wind is less than 10 mph.
Be sure you have a hose handy for quick extinguishment, should things get out of hand. Use caution when burning and do not burn too close to any structures. Along with that, remember, this includes cooking on an open-flame grill. Do not place your grill in the garage or on your deck or balcony, especially if you live in a multi-family unit.
The Hampshire Fire Department has been busy this past winter with weather related emergencies and we would like to make sure that everyone is prepared for the outdoors as the weather becomes nicer and people venture outside. It is imperative that we be ready for any emergency situation that may come up and we’d like to pass on these tips to you to help keep you and your family happy, healthy and safe, no matter what your adventures may.
The spring brings us some times of unsafe weather with tornados, storms, floods and the conditions resulting from these weather changes and it is important that wherever you go, you are prepared for what the weather has in store.
Tornados can occur when the weather is unstable and conditions deteriorate, but your family needs to have a plan in place should this type of emergency occur. Luckily we have many advanced weather reporting venues and rarely should we be unprepared regarding notification of a potential threat.
Tornado Watches are issued in the event that conditions could get worse and a tornado could develop, but one has not yet been spotted. This is the time to take care of items outdoors that need to be stored and to be ready to move to a safe area should the watch become a warning.
Tornado Warnings are issued when a tornado has been spotted. When a tornado is spotted near the area you are at, most weather channels will put out an alert system and your community safety sirens (if you have them) will sound. This is a warning to take immediate cover, since a tornado has been spotted.
If you are at home during a tornado emergency, move to the lowest floor in your home and to the most protected room without windows; possibly an interior closet or bathroom. If you do not have a basement, get to a bathroom and use the tub as shelter, pull a mattress in over you for protection and bring a first aid kit and flashlight if possible.
Be sure to inform your children of what to do in an emergency so they too can be prepared if you are not home. If you are away from home and the weather starts to turn and tornado watches are being issued, look for a tornado shelter sign or a sturdy building. If you are in a car, do not try and out run the tornado, get out of your vehicle and lay flat in a culvert or ditch and cover your head.
This type of emergency may never affect you, but is better to be prepared just in case.
Travel Tips and Safety
Travel season is here and with so many people on the go, it is important to remember some basic safety travel tips as well. When traveling in the car, be sure to buckle up and have children in properly fitting child restraints or safety seats. Do not talk or text and drive and obey speed limits, especially in work zones. This is important for those in the vehicle and those working on the road, be alert! On the CBS Morning news May 28 it has been reported that vehicle accidents are up more than 8% over the same time last year and over 11% since March. The rate of increase is believed to be caused by the lower gas prices and officials expect it to be a rough summer with the amount of travel expected to take place.
Hotel & Motel Safety
Upon arrival at your special destination, be sure to talk about an escape plan. Check your smoke detector, find your two ways out and know if your windows open or not for possible escape. Be sure to know how your door lock works. There should be emergency exit light near the floor in many hotels/motels to help light the way, if there is a need to crawl to safety. Choose a safe meeting place and be prepared!
According to the National Fire Safety Council, almost 7000 people drown every year and for children it is the second leading cause of death, so water safety is imperative. When enjoying a water vacation there are several important things to remember. If you do not know how to swim, take lessons, never swim alone and do not swim in restricted areas. If you see someone in trouble, yell for help, do not attempt a rescue yourself, if possible, try and throw a safety device if one is available. If you have water in or near your home, be sure to watch small children and always lock up the water play object or area when unattended.
Leave fireworks to the professionals! Each year there are multiple injuries as a result of fireworks, whether by direct contact or from fires started by the use of fireworks. Obey all laws having to do with fireworks, they are there for a reason. If you use fireworks, be safe; only set them off outside, have adults take charge of setting them off and making sure they land safely. Do not drink alcohol while using fireworks and be sure to have water handy, should there be a need to extinguish a fire due to embers reaching the ground or a structure.
Allergies/Bites & Stings
The warmer weather brings people outside, but it also brings out insects that sting or bite. If someone has a known allergy to bees, wasps or insects, an EPI pen is a must. According to WEB MD, people that have had an allergic reaction to a sting or bite are more than 60 percent likely to have a similar or worse reaction should they be bitten or stung again. For the majority of people a sting or bite may cause tenderness, pain, swelling, a rash or itchiness.
For those that have a moderate reaction they will also have tenderness, pain, a rash, itchiness and swelling, but the swelling may extend further beyond the site of the injury. For both of the above injuries, cleaning the injury, applying ice and if necessary, something for pain would be the treatment.
For those who have a severe reaction immediate attention is necessary. Call 911 and get emergency medical services on the way. The person experiencing the bite or sting may have swelling of the site, mouth and throat, making it difficult to breathe and swallow. They may have hives or a rash, anxiety, a rapid heartbeat and be in distress. These people need immediate attention, but if that is not available, hopefully they have an EPI pen, which should be used as soon as possible. If you are with someone who uses an EPI pen, be sure you are instructed on how to use the pen in case of an emergency.
Most people look forward to the warm weather here in the Midwest because that means picnics, outdoor fests, family gatherings and vacations. That also means we have to be more aware because children are out of school and experiencing new things and they are not always safe when they are doing so. As an adult or parent, please be sure to share with your children the importance of warm weather safety no matter where they are and by all means enjoy!
For more information on any of these topics and more, please go to the National Fire Safety Council website by clicking on the link.
Do you want to Adopt-A-Hydrant? The Hampshire Fire Protection District has many families who have already taken part in our Adopt-A-Hydrant Program and have made a difference with their creative designs. By adopting the hydrants residents promise to make sure the hydrants are in good shape and that they are free from obstructions such as snow, brush, weeds etc. They also help us to make sure they have all the necessary parts and the hydrant is not in bad shape.
The village has decided this year that they would like to participate by adding a little more to the program by creating a contest around the beautification of the hydrants. Details on the contest are still being worked out, so be sure to watch our website as well as the village website for upcoming information.
Fire Protection District