Sam DiGiovanna

CHIEF’S CORNER: DEALING WITH WILDFIRE SMOKE EFFECTS

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

October 12, 2017 (San Diego) -- Wildfires seem to be burning daily in almost every county. You may not live directly in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) however you will likely be impacted by the large amount of smoke generated by these fires.

Particulate matter generated from the smoke is the main public health threat during short-term exposure to wildfire smoke, so it’s crucial to protect yourself.

IT’S WARM, IT’S DRY, IT’S THE 4TH OF JULY!

By Sam DiGiovanna

June 30, 2014 (San Diego's East County)--These words are make fire officials cringe says Fire Cief Sam DiGiovanna, East County Magazine’s in-house fire chief and columnist.  It will be a long three-day 4th of July weekend.

As drought conditions worsen and the fire danger escalates, fire officials recommend everyone attend public fireworks shows, and leave the lighting to the professionals.  Purchase or use of fireworks by individuals is illegal across San Diego County.

“The problem is many cities that ban fireworks are already seeing an influx of illegal fireworks being set off, says Chief DiGiovanna.

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: IS THAT A HAZARDOUS MATERIALS INCIDENT OR THE FLU?

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

March 17, 2014 (San Diego)--During a hazardous materials incident, firefighters and first responders isolate the area and deny entry to keep it contained.  The same goes if you have the flu.  Both are toxic and pose an unreasonable risk to our Health, Safety and Environment!  Isolate yourself and stay away from others because it spreads through contamination.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: SMOKE DETECTORS

 

Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

March 3, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - “Now is the time to change your smoke detector battery reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.  Day light savings is the traditional time to do this.  A working smoke alarm can help you and your family escape a deadly home fire.  A working smoke alarm never takes time off as it continuously scans the air for smoke, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  It never sleeps.”

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: HOLIDAY FOOD SAFETY

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

December 23, 2013 (San Diego) -- It’s finally here!  Everything is out and up, presents are wrapped and time to eat and enjoy (if only it were that easy…) Here are some tips to keep your feasts safe during this Holiday season:

Go wash your hands!  Use hot soapy water to wash your hands, utensils, and work surfaces (including cutting boards). Repeat this throughout your preparation to ensure you aren't spreading bacteria around. 

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: WHAT'S THE BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT? SAFETY!

 

December 19, 2013 (San Diego) – We’re all kids at heart, but one of the first questions you should ask is, “What is the toy appropriate age?” says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. It's essential to adhere to the age guidelines indicated on toy packaging, because even a toy for a 3-year-old could have parts too small for a 2-year-old to handle properly.

Are there any small, loose parts that your child can swallow? If you're not sure, consider the toilet paper tube test: anything that can pass through the tube is too small to be given to a child under 3 years old. Marbles, coins and balls are common culprits.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: INDOOR CHRISTMAS SAFETY

 

December 11, 2013 (San Diego) – “Now that the outdoor decorations are in place, let’s look at a few indoor safety tips,” says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. 

When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant.” When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness.  When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces and radiators.  “Heated rooms dry live trees out rapidly, be sure to keep the stand filled with water,” reminds Chief DiGiovanna. Do not block doorways. Use only lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory.  Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections, and throw out damaged sets.  Always replace burned-out bulbs promptly with the same wattage bulbs.  Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord. 

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: OUTDOOR CHRISTMAS SAFETY

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

December 11, 2013 (San Diego) – It’s the Holiday season, and many of us will begin hanging decorations. “This week, we’ll start from the outside and work our way in,” says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. One of the most common causes of holiday-time house fires results from these bulbs being too close to gutters filled with dried out leaves. Make sure that the strings of lights you are using outside have built-in fuses on the lines. Check the actual plug. Make sure you are using lights designated for outdoor use only. Use Christmas lights and electric equipment that has been tested and verified by a reliable testing laboratory.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: I'VE GOT A DEAL FOR YOU! BLACK FRIDAY SURVIVAL AND SAFETY

 

November 25, 2013 (San Diego) – Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, when holiday gift buying begins.  Sales offering big discounts lure customers into stores, often beginning in the early hours of the morning.  “Unfortunately, Black Friday (and most major shopping days) is a day when shoppers may become victims of crimes and injuries,” says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: ELECTRICAL SAFETY

 

November 14, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) –Electrical failures cause thousands of home fires every year, says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Those fires cause death and injuries and close to $1.5 billion dollars in property damage. One simple way homeowners can prevent costly electrical fires is with a home fire inspection.  Many fire departments offer this service—often free of charge.

Ask your local department about having an inspection for potential electrical issues and recommend steps for improving fire safety. An inspection should review all fire hazards in your home, from testing smoke detectors to making sure curtains and other flammables are a safe distance from heat sources.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS

 

October 31, 2013 (San Diego) – Halloween is upon us and safety should be the number one priority for trick-or-treaters, says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.  Here are some tips for choosing the right costumes:

Costumes purchased should be made of flame retardant material (check the label).  Hemlines should be short enough to prevent tripping. Glow-in-the-dark reflective tape is great for night time costumes.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: RED FLAG WARNING...PREPARE NOW!

 

October 3, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Homeowners in hillside communities, you can help your firefighters by creating defensible space around your home as we experience our first Santa Ana Wind event of the season. There are currently Red Flag Warnings in effect and more to come as we head into dry, warm and windy weather over the next few days.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: SCHOOL IS BACK AND SO ARE SPORTS INJURIES!

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

September 12, 2013 (San Diego) – School is now back in session and along with it comes sports! With over 30 million youths participating in sports, injuries are very likely to occur. Most sports related injuries can be prevented with some basic preventive measures says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

Keeping in shape “prior” to the season is a good start.  It’s still hot, so take it easy on hot or humid days and keep hydrated. Warm up prior to engaging is also important. Many schools require a physical exam before starting a school sport. Check with your child’s school. You may even want to have your child get a physical from your family physician.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: ARE YOU PREPARED? SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH!

 

By Sam DiGiovanna

September 5, 2013 (San Diego) – Are You Prepared? Jeeepers, What Next?

It seems there are so many things we need to be prepared for, says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. How do you keep up and prepare with all these life and worldly events?

September is the 10th Annual National Preparedness Month, which means that public safety agencies are busy working on a number of events to ensure that their communities are educated, informed, and ready to face any type of crisis situation. “This year’s national theme is ‘Be Your Own Hero,’” says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: LABOR DAY SAFETY TIPS

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

August 29, 2013 (San Diego) – Next weekend is the start of Labor Day Weekend.  In order to ensure your Labor Day is a good one, there are some simple safety precautions to consider, says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.  Anyone want to barbecue or picnic?  Keep a close eye on the grill to ensure safety at all times.  Keep children away.  Keep the grill away from combustibles and vegetation.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: SUMMER THUNDERSTORMS - PRETTY, BUT DANGEROUS

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

July 30, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – We are in the monsoon season, where pop-up thunderstorms can quickly and unexpectedly bring flash floods no matter where you live, warns Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Though part of natures beauty, these storms can be very dangerous.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: DAD, THE BURGERS ARE BURNING, AND SO IS THE HOUSE!

 

“July has been dedicated National Grilling Safety Month…”

July 24, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Dad, the burgers are burning, and so is the house!” Not something one wants to hear. While gas grills contribute to a higher number of home fires than their charcoal counterparts, all grills pose a risk for fires and burns, says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: DOG GONE IT! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? 4TH OF JULY SAFETY FOR PETS

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

July 1, 2013 (San Diego) – If your pets could talk, chances are they “wouldn’t” give you a “lick in,” says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Dogs can develop heat stroke and sunburn in the hot weather, but one danger to dogs that's frequently overlooked is the potential for paw pad injuries and burns from walking a dog on hot pavement or sand. Walk the dog in the early morning or evening to avoid paw pad burns. Avoid walking the dog in the heat of the day, when the sun beats down, heating the pavement and sand. Walk the dog on the grass; it’s cooler for you and them. Are you taking your dog hiking? Would you like to hike barefoot in the heat on rocky terrain? Maybe your dog wouldn’t either! Make sure you have water for your dog while hiking and do so during a cool hour and “watch those paws!”

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: 4TH OF JULY SAFETY

 

July 1, 2013 (San Diego) – With warm weather and family events, the Fourth of July can be a fun time with great memories. But before you and your family celebrate, make sure everyone knows about 4th of July safety, says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. If not handled properly, fireworks, barbeques and heat can be dangerous and cause injuries to kids and adults. The best advice: “Attend public fireworks displays, and leave the lighting to the professionals,” says Chief DiGiovanna.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: THE HEAT IS ON

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

June 28, 2013 (San Diego) – The Heat is on and looks like it will be with us for a while!

If you work or play outside, you should know about heat stress safety tips. Heat stress is caused by over exposure to hot climates. You might not think it is possible, but you can suffer from heat related injuries inside as well as outside. Heat stress occurs when your bodies core temperature rises above normal.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: VACATION SAFETY TIPS - DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT THEM!

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

June 17, 2013 (San Diego) – It’s summer time, and time for a vacation! Many of us may be ready for or planning a vacation for the summer months.  Here are some safety tips to help make your vacation safe and enjoyable says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Vacation safety actually begins while you are still at home and begins with planning for safety!

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: SAFETY STARTS WITH ME

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

June 12, 2013 (San Diego) – Every day Fire and EMS personnel respond to workplace accidents resulting in injury and even death.  It’s estimated that nearly 4 million employees suffer from a workplace injury and employers spend more than $170 billion on associated costs each year.  Many of these accidents could be avoided if an education and prevention program were in place says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: BE A SPORT - PRACTICE SWIMMING POOL SAFETY

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

It’s safe to say Summer is here! Memorial Day is behind us, schools getting out for summer break and Hot Weather is ahead. Many of us will certainly be headed for the pools!  Before you take the plunge, read this says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: HAVE A SAFE GRADUATION

 

May 27, 2013 (San Diego) – Its graduation and summer break time once again; its celebration time! This can be expensive, however, cost is a minor concern for most parents when it comes to these events says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. "Their biggest concern is the risky behavior associated with graduation events and school break parties – drinking and driving, distractions while driving, drugs, unsafe sex." Yes, it happens and it's critical that parents talk to their graduates about these dangers. Here are a few tips that can help keep your teen safe and make this time of year something they fondly remember:

1. Know who’s driving all evening: Are your kids or a friend driving, is there a designated driver, or will they be renting a limo?

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: HOMELAND SECURITY BEGINS WITH HOMETOWN SECURITY

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.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: RED FLAG WARNING! DEFENSIBLE SPACE

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).

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: EARTHQUAKES, NOT MY FAULT!

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!

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: SPRING TIME, OUTDOOR TIME, SNAKE TIME!

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.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: HEALTHY EATING

By Fire Chief Sam 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!

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