The Faribault Fire Department is urging everyone to remember fire safety as they deal with the “new normal.” As people find themselves spending extended time at home for work, self-isolation, or practicing physical distancing, please remember the importance of preventing home fires.
Along with other essential services, the fire department has had to implement safeguards and physical distancing protocols in the workplace. Residents of Faribault are advised of the following changes to fire department services during this time:
• We are still responding to all calls for service but some changes to our response have been implemented.
o Medical response protocols have been revised to keep both responders and patients protected from COVID 19. Additional personal protective equipment (PPE) may be donned by responders before making patient contact. You may witness a more cautious approach to scenes and instead of multiple responders making initial patient contact it may just be one responder with the others standing close by ready to help.
o We are still following up on burning complaints and other fire code issues. We are implementing COVID 19 best practices while doing so.
o The fire station is still open to the public for questions, burn permits etc. No tours or other visits are allowed.
• We are not conducting whole department trainings at this time but you may see us training is small groups in outdoor settings to minimize the spread of COVID 19.
Fire Chief Dustin Dienst 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 Dienst.
Here are some simple things that people can do to protect themselves and their families:
• If you smoke, continue to 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 alarms, replace the device. Make sure to 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 may need help to escape. 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. Avoid placing electronics on soft surfaces when recharging to avoid the risk of overheating.
As the Faribault Fire Department continues to do our best to protect the community under these extraordinary circumstances, it is imperative that the public does all that they can to practice fire safety in the home and take the necessary steps to protect themselves and their families from the risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.
For more information about fire safety, contact Dustin Dienst, Faribault Fire Chief, 507-334-8773, or visit the State Fire Marshal’s Website at https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/sfm