The Minnesota Department of Commerce encourages people to keep furnace exhaust vents, air intake hoods, and chimneys clear of snow and ice in order to keep the heat on and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Homeowners with high-efficiency furnaces and other vented combustion appliances may have air intake and exhaust vents that exit the home through an exterior sidewall rather than a chimney. Water heaters, clothes dryers, and air-to-air heat exchangers may have similar sidewall vents. If the vents are covered by snowfalls or drifts, it may prevent the fresh air intake needed to operate the appliance. Some furnaces will shut off automatically if intakes or exhausts are smothered by snow and ice. However, for those furnaces that continue to run, carbon monoxide (CO) can build up in the home and cause a very dangerous situation. CO is a colorless, odorless gas that can be lethal.
To prevent the dangerous backdrafting of CO and to help keep your combustion appliances operating safely:
Minnesota law requires CO alarms in every single-family and multifamily dwelling; an approved and operational carbon monoxide alarm must be installed within 10 feet of each room used for sleeping purposes.
Minnesota building code requires that intake and exhaust vents be located not less than 12 inches above ground to prevent clogging. Also, buildup of snow and ice on gas and electric meters can cause them to malfunction; utilities recommend keeping them clear. Make sure that ice coming in from the ground upward has not insinuated itself into vents.
A well-functioning, older, less-efficient furnace that vents through the chimney will usually create exhaust temperatures that are hot enough to melt any snow that might collect on the chimney. But it’s a good idea to check chimneys and rooftop vents (such as on manufactured homes) to make sure they are not snow clogged. If you suspect a problem, clear the snow if it can be done safely or hire a snow removal professional.
The 2015 City Budget (adopted 12/22/2014) is now available for viewing via the City Budget page.
Once a month the Fridley Fire Department will draw a name from those who registered and the winner will receive a gift card to one of the local retail, grocery or gas stations. Need not be present at drawing to win. The Fire Department will deliver the gift card to the winner! If the hydrant is not free of snow at the time of delivery the gift card will not be awarded.
LET'S MAKE IT EASIER FOR OUR DEDICATED FIREFIGHTERS TO ASSIST YOU IN AN EMERGENCY. In the event of a fire emergency during the winter, could firefighters find the hydrant near your home or does it get buried under a snow pile?
The City of Fridley has 1,020 fire hydrants located throughout the city, and 200 private fire hydrants. The Fridley Fire Department is encouraging residents and businesses to "adopt a fire hydrant" near their home or business and keep snow shoveled away from it during the winter season. Please make it a point to clear the area around your fire hydrant after each snowfall. Clear a path approximately 3 feet around the hydrant and shovel a path from the street or roadway up to the fire hydrant. This will ensure hydrants are visible and will allow the Fire Department to quickly locate the fire hydrant, obtain a water supply for firefighting activities, and give the fire department room to work with this hydrant should the need arise. If a fire hydrant is buried by snow, it is difficult to find and valuable time must be spent digging it out. It may take from 4 to 6 minutes to dig out a fire hydrant buried by snow. Seconds matter! That delay in obtaining a water supply from a fire hydrant may allow a fire to grow.
On behalf of the entire Fridley Fire Department, thank you for keeping the City of Fridley’s fire hydrants clear of snow and keeping our communities safe! The Fridley Fire Department can be contacted at 763-572-3613.
On November 20, 2014, a kitchen fire broke out in the 6100 block of 5th Street in Fridley. Management of Brandes Place and Norwood Square had the forethought to install stovetop fire extinguishers in every unit and it made all the difference. Occupants escaped safely, no injuries reported and the property sustained minimal damage (less than $2,000), a sharp contrast to the recent tragic death of a 24-year old woman resulting from a similar fire on November 8.
“Cooking fires are extremely dangerous. These stovetop fire extinguishers can make the difference between life and death, and not enough people know about them,” said John Berg, Fridley Fire Chief.
Firefighters discovered that the fire had extended through the vent hood fan into a cabinet above the range. The cabinet held two 1 gallon containers of cooking oil which began to melt. The stovetop extinguisher was apparently enough to keep the fire from igniting the contents in the cabinet. Firefighters extinguished hot embers in the cabinet and removed a portion of the drywall to look for hidden fire but found none.
“It is extremely important that people do not store cooking oil above the stove,” stresses Chief Berg. “This had the potential to be a really bad fire.”
Using water on a grease fire is extremely dangerous and can result in explosions and/or a rapid spreading of the flames. Where is your baking soda? Would you have time to fumble with the box? Would your kids know what to do if a cooking fire broke out while you were distracted? A simple stovetop fire extinguisher could save your life.
These small canisters are available at most hardware stores, including Home Depot and Amazon. This small investment, under $50 for two canisters, could achieve priceless results by safely and automatically putting out a kitchen fire. No installation, assembly or maintenance necessary. The magnetic cans simply stick to your range hood and if a flame reaches the can, it automatically releases a non-toxic dry powder that is easily cleaned with a rag or vacuum.
Three multifamily residential management companies in Fridley have voluntarily installed stovetop fire extinguishers including RiverPoint Apartments, Mateer Properties LLC and Brandes Place/Norwood Square.
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Thank you to the 300+ visitors who came to this year's Fire Open House! Check out our video!
The City is pleased to announce street improvements in the North Industrial Area are finished. This mixed-use area combines retail, office, manufacturing and truck transport in the area from Burlington Northern Railroad on the west, University Avenue on the east, 83rd Avenue on the north and South Commerce Lane on the south.
After meeting with property owners and tenants, we designed the project with your needs and concerns in mind. The scope of the project included:
*Milling and paving 3.4 miles of streets
*Replacing 2,200 feet of water main
The final cost for the project was within the budget; street work is $1,100,000 and utility work is $450,000. The street cost will be paid using a combination of special assessments and MSAS funding according to City policy. The utility work is paid entirely with their respective utility funding. CenterPoint Energy replaced some gas main line and services. Xcel upgraded a buried cable and extended new aerial service to a business owner.
As the project unfolded, we kept communication lines open to minimize the headaches often associated with large construction projects. Staff provided notices and updates through mailings, door hangings and postings on the City’s website. Moving forward, the City will begin to utilize social media in these types of projects as well.
If you have questions about any of the projects discussed here, please contact the Fridley Public Works Department.
Follow along on the web as the Fridley Foundations remodeling project progresses. Weekly updates and photos will be provided. You can subscribe to this page via RSS by clicking the 'Subscribe to this page' link at the bottom.
For more information about the project, see the main Fridley Foundations project page.
Questions? Contact Paul Bolin, Assistant Executive Director to the HRA, at 763-572-3591.