Westminster Fire Dept. wants you to be ready for winter

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WESTMINSTER >> The Westminster Fire and Rescue Department holds its monthly meetings at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month and a combined drill on the third Tuesday of every month. Rescue training is the second Tuesday of the month. The next association meeting is set for Oct. 4 at 7 p.m.

The Prudential Committee normally meets twice a month. A warning will be posted 48 hours prior to each meeting.

Westminster Fire and Rescue Department responded to 29 calls in August and 37 as of Sept. 29. To date this year, it has responded to 285 calls, or 100 during this fiscal year.

The Westminster Fire and Rescue Association met for its regular meeting Sept. 6 with Vice President Paul Millman presiding. There were 26 members present and six members excused. Currently there are 41 members of the volunteer fire department. Don Dawson has volunteered to manage the website, westminsterfireandrescue.org.

To get ready for the upcoming winter, outside faucets should be shut off and drained properly to prevent freezing and breaking. Window air conditioning units should be removed and stored inside a warm building. Leaving the air conditioner in a window causes a lot of heat loss. Try to keep leaves cleaned out of rain gutters to avoid snow backup that may cause damage to the house. Close or install storm windows. Remove my screens on the side of the house facing the sun to get maximum solar through the windows. The screens can filter out an amazing amount of heat if left in.

Have your chimneys cleaned and inspected before you start a wood fire in the stoves and furnaces. And it's always a good idea to put new batteries in the smoke alarms and CO detectors and double check to be sure they are operating properly.

When hooking up a wood stove, refer to the diagram for proper installation and be careful not to pile your wood too close to the stove. The Westminster Fire Department is always available for advice and inspection of wood stove and wood furnace installation. Furnaces and pellet stoves should be cleaned and wood stoves and chimneys for those burning wood. Chimneys should be checked periodically throughout the heating season.

When stacking wood close to your heat source always allow two to three feet of air space between your stove and your wood. A hot stove can ignite a stack of wood if it is piled too close.

Sometimes using a portable heater to take the chill off in the early days of cold weather is a good idea rather than starting up the furnace or using wood in the wood stoves and furnaces. Read all warnings on heater labels and in the instructions. Keep them a proper distance from flammable materials. Use extra caution with electric heaters that could overload the circuits. Be careful not to store items on the top of a gas heater. And never hook up an electric heater with an extension cord.

This time of year the sun seems to be at an angle that can be very hazardous when driving into it, and having a clean windshield, inside and out, can make a huge difference in the driver's ability to see what lies ahead. It is pretty easy to keep the outside clean with windshield washers, but the inside takes a little more effort but can enhance visibility greatly.

The replacement for Tanker 1 has arrived, being driven from Illinois by Real Bazin and Gary Cobb. The replacement truck is a 2004 Mack 10 speed diesel with 3,000 gallons water capacity and a 750 gallon per minute pump. The truck it is replacing is the 1984 Ford Tanker.

The Westminster Fire and Rescue Association welcomes donations throughout the year from anyone wishing to remember a loved one or a friend.

Donations in September came from Wendy Odette, Mildred Barry in memory of Reg Cote, Kay Miller in memory of Bruce Miller and Jeff Miller, Joyce Miller in memory of Bruce Miller, and Ruth Grandy , Charlotte Kurkul , Claudia and David Allbee , John G. Burke and Associates , Jill M. Zachary , Gary and Tracy Smith , Donald Maguire, and Romano Trucking, Inc. in memory of Albie Lober. The association also received a number of donations via its Sept. 3 boot drive.


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