Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems
Minnesota Legislative Updates on Residential Fire Sprinklers, March 2014
Smoke Alarm Information
U.S. Fire Administration Smoke Alarm Statement
When the Village of Fridley purchased its first fire engine in 1951 it was considered a high tech, modern, fire saving device that carried ladders, hoses and a pump that released water at 500 gallons per minute. It is no secret that fire engines are the work horse of the fire service and since 1951 fire engines have evolved into a complicated and highly specialized firefighting tool. Today buying a fire engine requires a considerable amount of staff time, careful planning and the support of the entire community. The City of Fridley recently underwent the long process of replacing a fire engine that now calls Station 3 its home.
Fridley prefers to replace its engines on a 20 year cycle. All of the trucks are maintained and kept in excellent condition, however, technology is always improving and provisions for safety are constantly being updated. The engine that is being replaced is over 20 years old. Its manufacturer is no longer in business making the repair processes on the engine difficult and expensive. The City actually benefits by having reliable, new equipment and incurs less cost over a period of time.
We began our process to replace the engine about six years ago with the Five Year Capital Equipment Fund Plan. Through discussions with the City Council this on fund was developed and approved to budget $600,000 which could be used in the year 2013 to purchase an engine to replace the 1991 engine housed at Station 3. This estimated cost included not only the engine but also the equipment to outfit the engine such as hose, ladders, small tools and a complete set of hydraulic extrication tools. The cost benefit of replacing the equipment at the same time as purchasing an engine is that the equipment will not be taxed. The cost estimate was based on purchases made by other fire departments in the metro area and also cost trends in the industry.
After acquiring the money to purchase an engine the process of choosing a vendor begins. Traditionally fire department staff would create a draft of specifications and bring those specifications to vendors for bids. This process, however, takes up time and money. Instead we utilized the benefits of HGACBuy. HGACBuy is an association of local governments in the 13-county Gulf Coast Planning region of Texas. The cities of Coon Rapids and Golden Valley had used HGACBuy with satisfying results. The City of Fridley benefits not only financially by purchasing through the HGACBuy consortium but also from avoiding the process of writing specifications and advertising for bids to a contract to construct an engine. Using this association also gives the department the freedom to select a product and manufacturer that they trust instead of selecting the lowest bidder.
Beginning in November 2012 the fire department staff began the process of identifying the key requirements for the engine that is now housed at Station 3. Station 3 is located at 110 77th Avenue and is staffed by firefighters only when they are called from their homes on a call. The firefighters were allowed to input their ideas on what they would like in an engine. The size of the engine and its pump volume was determined by the size of the industrial area that Station 3 serves. The engine needed to be able to respond to a variety of fires varying in size and complexity. It was decided that the new engine would not have an aerial device like the old truck. This allows more compartment space while allowing the engine to remain small in size. This extra storage space allows for more modern equipment that previously was not carried. Other features include a remotely operated “deck gun”, essentially a high volume nozzle, reflective chevrons on the back of the vehicle, there are lower hose compartments and video cameras that activate during turns and when the engine is backing up. There is also additional space for 5 inch hose and the ability to inject foam into the hose lines. All of these changes in design and technology provide for increased firefighter safety. Unlike Fridley Village Engine #1 this new engine has the capacity to pump 1,500 gallons per minute. While reviewing other metro purchases, Plymouth’s Engine 31 fell very close to the specifications we were looking for. Plymouth’s engine was manufactured by Rosenbauer America and is a HGACBuyer contractor.
Rosenbauer America is a Wyoming, MN based company that the Fridley Fire Department is very familiar with having previously acquired two engines built by them. Rosenbauer provided the specifications for the Plymouth engine which Fridley used as a model to create their own unique engine. It took us two months to complete the specifications which stretch over 100 pages. The detailed lists gave all the required specifications equipment lists to create our new engine.
On March 14, 2013 the City entered into a contract with HGACBuy and Rosenbauer America to purchase the engine at a cost of $484,370. After almost five months of planning and meetings the engine was finally ready for production. Fridley Engine 3 was completed on December 26, 2013 after six years of planning and preparation. On January 7th, 2014 the firefighting staff conducted a final inspection and took home Engine 3 for the first time. The engine is over 32 feet long, 8 feet wide and 10 feet tall. It weighs in at 29,000 pounds empty. It carries 2,150 feet of hose of varying size, 500 gallons of water and 30 gallons of foam concentrate. The engine can also illuminate an emergency scene using over 160,000 lumens of light and can provide up to 6 kilowatts of power with its hydraulically powered generator. It can be crewed by up to six firefighters and offers a climate controlled cab interior. Engine 3 has all of the equipment needed to combat a structure fire, respond to a medical emergency or to deal any number of emergency calls.
Fridley Engine 3 continues to carry on the same mission as Fridley Village Engine 1 did more than half a century ago. The careful planning and consideration given to construction of Engine 3 will provide the City of Fridley with a reliable, cost effective engine that will no doubt keep the community safe for the next 2o years.
Does everyone in your home know what the smoke alarm sounds like? Did you remove the batteries when they started chirping instead of replacing them? If it did sound, would you know what to do?
The Fridley Fire Department is teaming up with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) during October 9-15, 2011, to let our community know: "It's Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!" As always, the focus of FPW is to prevent home fires. This year, the campaign is also urging people to protect their homes and families with planning and life-saving technology -- like smoke alarms!
Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half. Unfortunately, many homes have smoke alarms that just don't work. In fact, according to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. About one in five of smoke alarm failures was due to dead batteries.
The Fridley Fire Department is urging you to use this week to be sure that your smoke alarms are equipped to help protect your family from fire by putting the following tips into action:
Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home (including the basement), outside each sleeping area, and inside each bedroom. Larger homes may need additional smoke alarms. Never remove or disable smoke alarms.Interconnection of smoke alarms is highly recommended; when one smoke alarm sounds, they all do. (This is particularly important in larger or multi-story homes, where the sound from distant smoke alarms may be reduced to the point that it may not be loud enough to provide proper warning, especially for sleeping individuals.) A licensed electrician can install either hard-wired multiple-station alarms. Wireless alarms, which manufacturers have more recently begun producing, can be installed by the homeowner.There are two types of smoke alarm technologies – ionization and photoelectric. An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires – like a pan fire or the smoke from cooking. A photoelectric alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires – like a cigarette, overheated wiring or something hot like a space heater. Install both types of alarms in your home or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms that take advantage of both technologies.Test smoke alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button. If an alarm "chirps," warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.All smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and those that are hard-wired alarms, should be replaced when they're 10 years old (or sooner) if they do not respond properly when tested.
On Saturday, October 11 from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The Fridley Fire Department is holding fun, family-oriented activities during Fire Prevention Week to support "It's Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!" locally. We strongly encourage Fridley residents to participate in these events to learn more about the importance of smoke alarms and other ways to protect your home and family from fire.
In 2008, after an extremely hectic third Friday in July, we began describing Fire Department calls for service on that date. While there's nothing magical about the third Friday in July, that's where we started and where we have been in each of the last three October newsletters. Here's the scoop on Fire Department activity on this date in 2011.
Altogether there were nine calls this year. They began at12:25 a.m. when a woman in an apartment reported hearing someone yelling for help. Firefighters found a forty-nine year old male in the hallway that had likely overdosed on medication and alcohol. The individual was transported by Allina. At 2:22 a.m. they responded to an eighty-five year old male who had fallen and suffered a head injury. One of our firefighters rode with Allina paramedics to assist with medical care. A little more than four hours later, at 6:37 a.m. firefighters responded to a report of "smelling something burning" at Grace Evangelical Church on 73rd Avenue. Firefighters found a hot electrical panel containing a sixty amp breaker and advised church staff to have an electrician inspect the panel.
The morning began with thunderstorms and rain. On this dark and stormy morning at 9:51 a.m. a neighbor reported seeing the house located at 1420 Glacier Lane struck by lightning. Firefighters responded and found a refrigerant line for a central air conditioner leaking on the building's exterior with vapor visible from the street. There was no other visible sign of damage, no one was home. After notifying the property owner by phone, firefighters cut a window screen and entered the home through a window. There was no sign of damage inside. Firefighters reported to the owner and secured the home before leaving.
At 11.42 a.m. firefighters responded to Wal*Mart after two employees experienced an allergic reaction to what may have been "construction fumes". After examining one of the two employees, firefighters found no cause for action and departed the scene. Having just sat down for lunch just after Noon, firefighters got another call at 12:25 p.m. The Brooklyn Center Fire Department was requesting mutual aid for a house fire at 7200 Dupont Avenue. Lightning had struck the house causing natural gas to leak from the exterior gas meter. Fire spread up the exterior of the house and into the attic. Firefighters from Brooklyn Center, West Metro Fire District, Robbinsdale and Fridley worked to extinguish the fire and remove smoldering cellulose insulation from the attic space. Fridley firefighters were at this scene for ninety minutes. The last call was a medical assist call at 12:42 p.m. to a 30 year old female who was having difficulty breathing. The individual had been transported by Allina before firefighters arrived.
From that time things were quiet until early the next morning when the very intense rainstorm hit Fridley early in the morning. By the time of the train derailment near Locke Lake the Fire Department had already responded to several other storm-related calls. After the derailment the call level again became very intense as did the call level for our Police and Public Works Departments.
Fire Department staffing on July 15 initially included just two firefighters. At 8:00 a.m. these firefighters were replaced by three other firefighters and an EMT student from Anoka Technical College. Fire Chief John Berg and Assistant Fire Chief John Crelly were also available between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Three other firefighters came in to assist with the call to Brooklyn Center.
The overall number of Fire Department calls for service in 2011 is up almost 7% from 2010 due mainly to the increased number of storms in 2011. This year we have had 1,663 calls for service through the first seven months. This compares with 1,557 calls for the same period in 2010, and 1,595 calls for the first seven months of 2009. Fire losses for 2011 have decreased slightly from the prior year. The value of lost property due to fire during the first seven months of 2011 is $79,420. This compares with $87,850 during the same period in 2010.
Have you ever been driving and seen something that looked like a potential emergency situation? Perhaps you wondered whether or not you should call 911. According to Linda Hanson, Manager of Anoka County Central Communications, the answer is yes. If you believe there is a potential problem under any circumstances that may require police or fire assistance do not hesitate to call 911. Additionally, if you think something looks suspicious or you think you've seen something that police and fire personnel should know about, call 911. These situations could include the spotting of a stranded motorist, rail system crossing gates that are unexplainably down, traffic signal outages, a non-injury accident, or a front door to your home that is mysteriously open. Don't deliberate; just call 911.
As you call 911, however, there are some do's and don'ts. First, if you accidentally called 911, stay on the line and explain what has happened rather than generate a response from an officer. Secondly, take a moment to visualize where you are and be prepared to describe your location. Third, do not necessarily expect an immediate response. Police officers and firefighters are often very busy responding to concurrent calls and must be given the flexibility to prioritize their calls. Also realize that in some circumstances you may get a telephone response or no response at all if it is something that has already been reported.
While you should not hesitate to call 911 for circumstances that may require police and/or fire department assistance, you should not be calling 911 for information about public events, power outages or other circumstances that are not public safety issues. Also, do not call 911 for situations where keys are locked in cars. The Fridley Police Department does not assist with vehicle lockouts; nor does it respond to reports of deer running near your home.
While you should be calling Xcel Energy at 1-800-895-1999 to report power outage, you should call 911 immediately if you spot a downed power line. If you smell, hear, or see a natural gas leak call 911. Once you have alerted public safety responders to the gas leak, you should call Center Point Energy's emergency gas leak hotline at 1-800-296-9815 to report the leak.
Both emergency and non-emergency 911 calls are handled by Anoka County Central Communications from their facilities in the Anoka County Courthouse. Fridley residents who wish to make non-emergency police reports, report a crime tip, or request a vacation house check have the option of reporting their matter online. Just go to the Fridley website, click on Police Department and follow the directions to their online reporting system.
"Recreational Fire" means a fire set for cooking, warming, or ceremonial purposes. Recreational fires are allowed in Fridley as long as the fire is in a contained area such as a fire pit, outdoors, which is not larger than three (3) feet in diameter and you comply with the following requirements...
At this time the Fridley Fire Department does not have a licensed staff member to conduct child car seat checks.
There are a number of clinics being held in Anoka County in 2014. Please visit the web site www.safekidsanoka.org or call Safe Kids Anoka County at 763-767-4664 for more information. The 2014 Car Seat Clinic Schedule is available here - 2014 Safe Kids Anoka County Car Seat Clinics98.94 KB