April 30, 2013 (San Diego's East County)--We will be experiencing an extremely high fire danger for the next 72 plus hours. High pressure is building over Southern California. Lack of rain has resulted in critically low fuel moisture content level. Warm temperatures with strong gusty off-shore winds will increase the threat of wildfire.
Wildfires affect everyone as resources from areas not serving in wildland urban interface (WUI) are called to assist leaving areas short staffed until personnel can be recalled. Please advise homeowners to do their part by:
April 27, 2013 (San Diego) – Boston, Ricin, West Texas, what’s next? I didn’t think I’d be addressing this as the “safety topic” for the week, however. It’s been very tough last week for most of the Nation. There is something we can do!
"Homeland Security starts with Hometown Security, and all of us play a critical role in keeping our Country and communities safe,” says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. No matter what you do, day to day activities like driving, going to work, or walking down the street include some threat to your personal safety. Either through crime or circumstance, people and events can be unpredictable. This was evident last week in Boston.
April 18, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Create a zone around your house that will slow the wildfire down and possibly direct it around your home. To do this, you must view your yard as a fuel source. Fire will only burn if fuel is present. Fuel can be your landscaping, woodpiles, decks, etc. To create your defensible space, take the following steps within 30 feet of your home, 50 feet if you live in a heavily treed area or 100 feet if your home is on a hillside. If you live in California, a minimum of 100 feet is required (some areas may require more. Check with your local fire department).
April 14, 2013 (San Diego) – Let’s Rock! The month of April is declared “Earthquake Preparedness Month” by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services according to Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. We are “way” over-due for an earthquake. This week we’ll focus on general earthquake safety and next week we’ll review earthquake preparedness at work. Now is the time to prepare, not afterwards says Chief DiGiovanna!
April 3, 2013 (San Diego) – It’s springtime so naturally people and snakes begin to share the outdoors and encounters with snakes become inevitable. Were all enjoying the nice weather at taking more hikes and outdoor activity increases says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. California has a variety of snakes, most of which are benign. The exception is California’s only native venomous snake - the rattlesnake.
Rattlesnakes generally strike when threatened or deliberately provoked, but given room they will retreat. The potential of running into a rattlesnake should not deter anyone from venturing outdoors, but there are several precautions that can be taken to lessen the chance of being bitten when out in snake country - which is just about anywhere in California says Chief DiGiovanna.
How do you keep firefighters and paramedics out of your home?
February 25, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- No joke here… You can start by taking care of yourself and eating right! That’s right says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna, your local firefighters and paramedics respond to thousands of medical related calls each year (approx 75% are medical related calls). This Friday is March 1st and March is National Nutrition Month!
February 20, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--Who would think that the danger exists in doing such a daily household chore such as laundry? Recent incidents across the country point to the dangers of dryer fires. In fact, on average, over 13,000 fires start in our laundry rooms in the United States each year, resulting in deaths and close to $10 million in property damage says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Nearly 4,000 of these fires arise from lint buildup and overheated motors that occur when people fail to clean their dryer vents. The following advice can help you prevent a disaster.
January 26, 2013 (San Diego) – Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely. In the home, the leading cause of CO is heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel which can be sources of carbon monoxide says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.
CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home DiGiovanna recommends. “When one sounds, they all sound!”
January 26, 2013 (San Diego) – It’s been unusually cold and more cold weather is in store this winter. During the cold winter months nothing beats a nice fire in the fireplace. Fires may keep us warm, however, there are hazards that need to be addressed says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) encourages you to practice the following fire safety steps to keep those home fires safely burning says DiGiovanna. Remember, fire safety is your personal responsibility ...Fire Stops With You!
January 10, 2013 (San Diego) – People aren't the only ones who value a dry, cozy home in cold weather according to Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Rodents do, too. "As it gets colder, everything that was out tends to want to find some sort of harbor inside," says Chief DiGiovanna. They scurry in our walls and above our heads during the night, they raid our food and ruin it with their feces, and they reproduce wildly, creating more and more inhabitants for us to worry about. Rats, mice and squirrels also do a lot of damage to your home's structure, insulation, pipes and even electrical wiring.
December 28, 2012 (San Diego's East County)--New Year's Eve is a night to have fun and celebrate the coming year. However, safety is a must when participating in the festivities.
Whether you're staying in and celebrating with friends and family, or you're traveling to a party or city bash, following a few safety tips will ensure that you're safe and sound when the clock strikes midnight, ringing in the New Year!
December 20, 2012 (San Diego) – Well Christmas is officially here! The last couple weeks we have focused on both outdoor and indoor holiday safety. Christmas day will arrive soon and there’s a few additional safety tips to be aware of!
We’re going to be cooking more over the next few days and on Christmas. Be careful wearing loose clothing around open flames on the stove. Use a timer and use “post it’s” to remind yourself of cooking times in the oven (were going to be distracted more this week than ever). Do not cool hot pans with water if grease is in the. Have a fire extinguisher near-by and know how to use it. A lid placed over a pan on fire will remove oxygen and put the fire out! Be careful using candles at the dinner table (especially if toddlers are present).
December 20, 2012 (San Diego) – Now that your outdoor decorations are placed, it’s time to focus on some indoor holiday safety tips. Thousands of accidents and fires can be prevented each year if you take the time to practice safety measures says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.
December 5, 2012 (San Diego) -- During this busy time of year, there are more and more people on the road now than ever before. This is the “season” and we will likely be spending more time ourselves shopping, traveling, attending gatherings and rushing about during this time. This is when accidents occur as we have many distractions. If you or someone you love is in need of emergency assistance, you want help to arrive immediately.
December4, 2012 (San Diego) -- Regrettably, far too many of us tumble from ladders and rooftops, receiving a numberless wounds, sprains, busted bones, head wounds and even death when trimming for the holidays. Last year, over150, 000 people were treated in emergency rooms just from ladder accidents, not to cite thousands more electrical and additional trimming misadventures. Neglecting to adopt the suitable safety safeguards when trimming your home this holiday season can rapidly take the Merry right out of your Christmas says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.
November 20, 2012 (San Diego)--Thanksgiving signifies the beginning of the Holiday Season and many of us will be spending more time in the kitchen preparing for the Holidays according Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times as many occurring on Thanksgiving as any other day of the year. In 2010, there were 1,370 fires on Thanksgiving, a 219 percent increase over the daily average. “Thanksgiving is a fun, festive holiday, but it’s also very hectic says DiGiovanna. “All the entertaining and distractions make it easy to forget about what’s cooking on the stovetop.”
November 18, 2012 (San Diego)--As temperatures cool down, home heating use goes up. It’s important for homeowners and renters to inspect their home-heating appliances and perform any maintenance necessary to avoid any health or safety hazards.
November 15, 2012 (San Diego) – Fire prevention and flu prevention stages?
We just changed our smoke detector batteries with daylight savings this weekend for fire preventive measures. Flu season is among us and like fire prevention, it’s important to take cold/flu preventive measures. Emergency rooms become saturated this time of year due to those with the flu. Unfortunately this may delay those that have significant health/medical issues or injuries from getting treatment quickly according to Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.
October 29, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--It’s time to change our clocks this coming Sunday November 4th “back” for daylight savings and when we do that it’s a good time to change our smoke detector batteries and check their condition says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths occurred in homes without working smoke alarms. Since most fatal fires occur at night, it’s essential that every home have working smoke alarms to provide an early warning.
October 25, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Wildfires are a major concern for us beginning today and into the weekend says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Warm temperatures, with wind gusts anticipated to reach up to 60 mph in wind prone areas with relative humidity expected to be in the single digit area with little over-night recovery.
This warning applies to most all of the Southern California area. If a wildfire fire does develop under these conditions anticipate a rapid rate of spread due to low fuel moisture content!
October 8, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service (NWS) issues Red Flag Warnings & Fire Weather Watches to alert fire departments and land management agencies about the onset, or possible onset, of critical weather and fuel moisture conditions that could lead to rapid or dramatic increases in wildfire activity. This could be due to low relative humidity, strong winds, dry fuels, or any combination thereof.
October 4, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--The cooler weather is beginning to slowly settle in as we are now into Fall. This is a great time for many of us to start those outdoor activities that we avoided during the summer heat. We have plenty of great spots to hike and enjoy the scenery here in East County (and surrounding area).
It’s not just the health concerns and power outages associated with hot days…we are stepping right into our first high pressure system of the season and if you ask any fire service authority, all will agree this will be an extremely dangerous fire season according to Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.
By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna, East County Magazine’s “In-House Fire Chief”
September 5, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – We continue in our summer “monsoon season” which can quickly and unexpectedly bring flash floods. More people lose their LIVES in floods than in any other weather-related event. 80% of flood deaths occur in vehicles, and most happen when drivers make a single, fatal mistake - trying to navigate through floodwaters.
From Fire Chief Sam DiGiovannaEast County Magazine’s “In-House Fire Chief”
August 18, 2012 (San Diego) -- School is starting to begin for many of our districts. It’s important to use extra caution while driving as excited students will be walking, bicycling, driving, riding buses so excited and may not be paying attention while traveling to school and back home. Here are some safety reminders:
By Sam DiGiovanna, East County Magazine’s in-house Fire Chief
August 16, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Below is a checklist of documents that are commonly lost in a fire. Under the type of document is the institution or agency to contact for a replacement. Do not forget to take any medications.
If you are asked to evacuate, please do so immediately… Don’t become part of the existing problem!
By Sam DiGiovanna, East County Magazine In House Fire Chief
August 8, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--As spring and summer time calls people and snakes alike to the outdoors, encounters with snakes become inevitable. California has a variety of snakes, most of which are benign. The exception is California’s only native venomous snake - the rattlesnake.
East County Magazine In House Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna
July 30, 2012 (San Diego's East County) -- Though right now we are concerned of the high fire danger it’s important to remember disasters both natural and manmade can strike at any given time according to Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna of East County Magazine.
This checklist (whether at home or work) should help you prepare for most any emergency says DiGiovanna. Don’t wait until it’s too late!