Public Education, Training and Safety
The Washington Township Fire District offers several training courses a year open to the public. If you are interested in attending, please click the link below to see the current courses available.
Led by our Career Staff along with the Volunteers of the Department, the Fire Prevention Team also educates children as well as adults by going to schools, daycare centers, senior centers and churches. If you are located within Washington Township, and would like us to come and provide an educational course or you are interested in stopping at a Firehouse in your neighborhood, just give us a call at (856) 863-4000 to schedule an appointment.
Car Seat Program
The Washington Township Fire Department provides child car seat inspections at no cost to the public. Inspectors are trained through the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration car seat program. Seats are inspected to insure proper installation and are reinstalled if incorrect. The department staffs inspection stations at a host of community events throughout the year and through monthly inspections at the firehouse. Contact one of our inspectors at (856) 863-4000 for more details.
Fire Extinguisher Training Program
The Washington Township Fire District provides training to local businesses on how to use a fire extinguisher. Students get a classroom lecture on the dangers of fire in the workplace. Then the students get to use a training fire extinguisher on a live fire prop under the direction of a member of the fire prevention team. It is a great way to provide fire prevention and safety training to employees.
Fire extinguishers are also an important tool to have in the home. They can knock down a small fire before it would have a chance to spread. Under the New jersey Uniform Fire Safety Act, there is a local ordinance that was adopted for fire safety when a change of occupancy has occurred. Home owners must have an ABC fire extinguisher no less than 10 pounds in weight and located within 10 feet of the kitchen in order to receive a certificate of occupancy.
Click on the video below to learn how to use a fire extinguisher:
Tot Finder Program
The new Tot Finder Fire Safety Program is designed to help alert firefighters to the location of a child's bedroom in the event of a fire.
The new Tot Finder Fire Safety Stickers are now designed to be used inside the home. The larger, oval sticker is to be placed on the bottom of the child's bedroom door, below the door handle and the smaller rectangular stickers are to be placed on either side of the door jambs. The front of the stickers are produced on a highly reflective material while the back is made of a special removable adhesive so they can be removed easily when the child no longer occupies that room.
Pet Finder Program
Pet Finder Stickers are available at the District Headquarters. These stickers are placed on all the doors leading into your home so firefighters know that pets live in your home in the event you are not home during an emergency.
Pet Finder Stickers are available free of charge at the Washington Township Fire Department located at the District Headquarters at 213 E. Holly Ave. Ask for Fire Prevention Coordinator Dan Pacewicz if you have questions.
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation/Automated External Defibrillator - Our instructors under the American Heart Association guidelines conduct CPR/AED classes. Classes on Heart Saver AED, Heart Saver Healthcare Provider are offered to Students and Adults throughout the year. For more information, please call us at (856) 863-4000.
Fire Safety Prevention
There are several ways to protect yourself, your family and your community
Exit Drills In The Home - Make sure that your entire family knows the escape route out of your home in case of an emergency; as well as a safe meeting point once you are out of the building. Practice a home fire drill monthly involving all members of the household including adults, kids and pets. If you have a dog for example, take a treat with you to the safe meeting place. Practicing home fire drills will become second nature to everyone and in a real emergency, the actions everyone will take will be automatic.
Smoke alarms are crucial to alert you in case you are not near a problem that may occur, or you are sleeping and in danger. There should be at least 1 smoke alarm on every level of your home or apartment, as well as one near the sleeping areas. Make sure you change the batteries in the device at least once a year and test them monthly to ensure they are working properly. Please also make sure that there is no dust or dirt in the alarm, which can cause a malfunction if not properly maintained. Smoke alarms also have a lifespan of 10-15 years depending on the manufacturer. Please note this and replace them accordingly!
Make Placement a Priority
A recent NFPA report on smoke detectors found that there is a substantial number of households that do not have the devices on every level of the home, as needed. The majority of fire deaths occur at night when people are asleep. NFPA's National Fire Alarm Code (NFPA 72) says homes must have smoke detectors on every level of the home including the basement and outside each sleeping area. New homes are required to have a smoke detector in each sleeping area as well.
To slow the spread of smoke and fumes if a fire develops, NFPA suggests that you sleep with your bedroom doors closed. If you sleep with your bedroom doors closed, install a smoke detector inside each bedroom. Detectors should also be installed in other areas of your home where people sleep. In new homes, the National Fire Alarm Code requires hard-wired detectors to be interconnected, so that if one detector is activated, all detectors will sound the alarm signal. On floors without bedrooms, smoke detectors should be installed in or near living areas, such as family rooms and living rooms.
Detectors that are hard-wired into the home electrical system should be installed by a qualified electrician. If your detector plugs into a wall socket, make sure it has a restraining device to keep its plug from being pulled out. Never connect a detector to a circuit that could be turned off at a wall switch. Most detectors are battery-powered and can be installed with a screwdriver and drill and by following the manufacturer's instructions.
Since smoke and deadly gases rise, detectors should be placed on the ceiling at least 4 inches from the nearest wall, or high on a wall, 4-12 inches from the ceiling. This 4-inch minimum is important to keep detectors out of possible "dead air" spaces, because hot air is turbulent and may bounce so much it misses spots near a surface. Installing detectors near a window, door or fireplace is not recommended because drafts could detour smoke away from the unit. In rooms where the ceiling has an extremely high point, such as in vaulted ceilings, mount the detector at or near the ceiling's highest point.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Carbon Monoxide alarms are another crucial and necessary tool to have inside your home. These can alert you to increased levels of carbon monoxide - a colorless, odorless, invisible, tasteless gas that can be extremely harmful. You should have at least one of these in your residence. If you have a detector and if goes off, get everyone out of the house immediately and call 911. When in doubt, CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT (DIAL 911). There may not be a problem in your home, but since the gas is very harmful and you can't tell if it is there, it's better to have the problem checked by the fire department. Be cautious when using a vehicle in a garage attached to your home. Running a vehicle without proper ventilation (garage door open) can cause elevated levels of carbon monoxide in your home.
It is always best to have a fire extinguisher easily accessible in your home in case of an emergency. These must be checked for a proper charge by referencing the meter on the top of the cylinder. There are many types of fire extinguishers, and you can purchase an extinguisher that has a specific one-class rating. However, there are also class ABC extinguishers available that will protect any class of fire, and they are the best type to have in your home to protect you. This tells you that the extinguisher can handle three (3) different classes of fire. The classes of fire are as follows.
- Class A fires are considered wood and paper
- Class B fires are considered flammable liquids such as gasoline and oil
- Class C fires are anything that involves electrically energized fires involving electrical equipment such as a television, lamp or oven.
Chimney and wood stove safety
If you have a fireplace, or wood stove that heats your home, please be sure that the chimney is cleaned and checked yearly. Creosote (thick, black residue that is left from burning wood) can clog chimneys and let dangerous gases enter your home. Chimneys are also a source of fire. The mortar or lining inside a chimney can crack and wear away with time, as well as with heat that is inside the chimney. Cracks inside chimneys can cause a fire to spread inside the walls, attics, crawl spaces and floors of your home. Wood Stoves that have elbows in the chimney should be checked often for ash build up which can clog the chimney and cause a fire. Keep tree branches and leaves at least 15 feet away from the top of the chimney. Install a chimney cap to ensure debris and animals stay out of your chimney. Inside, make sure you have a fireplace screen, or doors closed to ensure that hot embers and ashes don't get on the carpet. Never leave fires unattended.
Adopt a Fire Hydrant
The fire hydrants located around Washington Township are a valuable asset to the Fire Department and to the community. They provide the main source of water during our fire fighting activities. It's very common during a major snow storm for hydrants to be buried either from street plowing or shoveling. When this happens we are delayed in starting fire suppression operations because we can't find the hydrant.
To help us, and the community, we are asking residents to Adopt a Hydrant. As you shovel your walks and driveways, we ask that you also include the area around the hydrant that is located on your block. Hydrants are typically located at the end or middle of each block, but they are used to protect all of the properties for 500 to 1,000 feet in both directions. In a fire situation, seconds count! Every few minutes a fire can double in size so it's important for us to locate a hydrant, connect and establish a water supply quickly. Please join us in our efforts to keep Washington Township safe!