Why We Do It!

To Serve & Protect the Lives and Property within our Community.

About the Nichols Volonteer Fire Department

The Nichols Joint Fire District and Wappasening Hose Company proudly protects an area of 34.21 square miles within the village & Town of Nichols, New York. We operate out of one station that protects a primarly rural area. Our department is a public department whose member are on a all volunteer status.

Located about 30 miles west of Binghamton in New York's Southern Tier area, the Nichols VolonteerFire Department provides Fire Protection & Rescue, EMS, and Fire Police services to a combine Village and Town fire district. Organized in 1908, the Nichols VolonteerFire Department is an all-volunteer organization.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas tree fires likely to be more serious than average home fires

NFPA shares tips for safe holidays

December 2011 – Festive lighting, windowsill candles and ornamented Christmas trees are staples of the holidays, but these decorative items also pose a fire risk if handled improperly. In 2005-2009, on average, one of every 18 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 141 total home fires.

Holiday lights and other decorative lighting were involved in an estimated average of 150 home fires per year during the same time. These fires caused an average of eight civilian deaths, 14 injuries, and $8.5 million in direct property damage per year.

“December is an exciting time where almost every home on the block is accented with decorations and seasonal lighting,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). “Though decorations such as candles or Christmas trees certainly spread holiday cheer, it is important to follow basic safety steps so celebrations go off without a hitch.”

Video: A demonstration showing how flammable a dry Christmas tree can be as opposed to a tree watered regularly.

Here are NFPA’s tips for safe holiday decorating:

  • Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
  • Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
  • Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Check the packaging; some lights are only for indoor use.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.
  • Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
  • Keep decorations away from windows and doors.

For proper Christmas tree safety:

  • Keep your tree well watered. A dry tree can be extremely dangerous. See how flammable a dry Christmas tree can be in comparison to a well-watered tree in a demonstration by NFPA.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Get rid of the tree when it is dry. Check with your local community to find a recycling program.
  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Colder temperatures draw NFPA warning on fire hazards

NFPA’s simple tips to stay safe and warm this winter

‘Tis the season for rosy cheeks, button-down coats, and cranking up the heat. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), it’s also the time of year when home fires peak, many of which are caused by heating equipment.

“Half of all home heating fires occur during December, January, and February, when we are fully utilizing our heating systems” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for NFPA. “The public can reduce their risk of getting left out in the cold by following NFPA’s safe heating behaviors.”

In NFPA’s report “Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment,” in 2009, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 58,900 reported home structure fires, 480 civilian deaths, 1,520 civilian injuries, and $1.1 billion in direct property damage. Stationary and portable space heaters accounted for one-third (32 percent) of reported home heating fires, but nearly 80 percent of the home heating fire deaths, two-thirds (66 percent) of associated civilian injuries, and half (52 percent) of associated direct property damage.

Overall, fires, injuries and damages from fires involving heating equipment were all lower than in 2008 and fit into a largely level trend over the past few years. The number of deaths from heating equipment was virtually unchanged.

As temperatures begin to drop, here are some safe heating behaviors to follow:

  • All heaters need space. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.

In an effort to reduce winter fires, NFPA is partnering with the U.S. Fire Administration on a special campaign – Put a Freeze on Winter Fires. For more information, visit NFPA’s website at www.nfpa.org/winter.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thanksgiving is peak day for home cooking fires

NFPA urges caution when preparing holiday meals

November 9, 2011 – The number of home cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day was three times the national average of fires per day in 2009, according the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA.) NFPA is urging the public to keep fire safety in mind when preparing holiday meals.

“Thanksgiving can be a whirlwind of cooking and entertaining guests,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for NFPA. “With so much multitasking taking place, fire hazards around the oven or stovetop can easily be overlooked. Cooks should be conscious of fire safety this Thanksgiving whether the menu is meant to serve two or 20.”

Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and related injuries. In 2005-2009, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 155,400 home fires per year involving cooking equipment. These fires caused an annual average of 390 civilian deaths, 4,800 civilian injuries, and $771 million in direct property damage.

Thanksgiving safety tips
Download NFPA's Thanksgiving safety tips. (PDF, 868 KB)
To reduce the risk of cooking fires this holiday, NFPA recommends the following safety tips:
  1. Keep anything that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains away from the stovetop.
  2. Always stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  3. When simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  4. Stay alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.

If you have a cooking fire…

  1. Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  2. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  3. If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear path (to your way out of the home and someone has called the fire department).
  4. Keep a lid nearby when cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  5. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Nov. 9 Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS)

FEMA and the FCC will conduct the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) at 2 pm eastern time on Nov. 9; the alert will be transmitted throughout the country and will be monitored by EAS participants. After it has been completed, EAS participants will report to the FCC on the results. Although the nationwide test may resemble the periodic monthly EAS tests most consumers are familiar with, consumers may see or hear some differences.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It is time to reset your clocks! This year, Daylight Savings Time officially ends on Sunday, November 6, 2011 when clocks are set back one hour at 2:00 a.m.

After turning the clocks back one hour, spend part of the hour gained to change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the home.

Test those smoke and carbon monoxide detectors also for that monthly test.

The USFA notes, "One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is to have a working smoke alarm that can sound fast for both a fire that has flames, and a smoky fire that has fumes without flames. It is called a ‘Dual Sensor Smoke Alarm.’ A smoke alarm greatly reduces your chances of dying in a fire."

It simple, the only good smoke detector is one that works. BEEP-BEEP-BEEP A Sound You Can Live With! Learn Not To Burn, Be Fire Safe!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween Fire Safety Tips

Halloween is approaching fast. Here are some fire safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association presented by the Nichols Fire Department:

First, begin thinking safety. When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long, trailing fabric. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see out.

Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part of their costume.

Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and

heat sources, including light bulbs, and heaters.

It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution. Make sure children are watched at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside jack-o-lanterns, use long, fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far enough out of way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards.

Keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.

Tell children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire. (Have them practice, stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their face with hands, and rolling over and over to put the flames out.)

Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.

If your children are going to Halloween parties at others’ homes, have them look for ways out of the home and plan how they would get out in an emergency.

Happy trick-or-treating!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Proper Escape Plan Becomes Essential

The fire prevention saying of “Play it safe, Plan your escape” has a lot of meaning for everyone’s daily routine. It’s usually during the month of October that schools and places of work hold yearly fire evacuation drills.

Usually we walk into a building the way we leave, through the main entrance. “No big deal,” most will say, “we do this when entering any building, even our homes.”

What if, and it has happened, this path of travel through the main entrance is blocked because of a fire? What do you do then?

A proper plan of escape now becomes essential. Preplanning maximizes a safe escape and is part of everyone’s daily fire prevention duties.

It only takes a moment to do a quick survey, upon entering a building, and plan an escape. Knowing two exits out of a building requires nothing more than a glance around. You can also try getting in the habit of taking an exit other than the normal entry.

NFPA Public Service Announcement - Escape Plan from NFPA on Vimeo.

A facility may have the maximum occupancy allowed. If something should happen, most people will head for the main entrance automatically. This action could result in injury or loss of life in a fire situation. Everyone should be aware of an alternate exit out.

In our homes we all have a feeling of security that nothing bad will happen. Seventy percent or so of fatal fires in homes occur between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.. This fact makes it even more important to have a home escape plan. Exit Drills in the Home, otherwise known as E.D.T.H. plan is a good way to begin.

Have a diagram or floor plan of your home showing locations of all doors and windows. Each family member should know two routes out, from every room. Bedroom doors should always be kept close at night to keep fire away if one should start. In a fire situation, check doors by touching the upper part first. If it’s hot do not open in. Exit out another door to the outside or a window. If the home is a multi-story building, open a window and wait for the fire department’s assistance. It’s a good idea to have smoke detectors installed on every level of the home. Test them monthly and change the batteries each year.

If a fire occurs, all family members should leave the home quickly, closing doors behind them to help confine smoke and fire. Do not stop to take possessions along. Report the fire immediately.

No one should ever go back into the house that’s on fire. People die or are injured because fire intensify and can get worse in a matter of seconds. Have a pre-arrange meeting place outside the home.

Your local fire department can answer questions concerning the establishing a fire escape plan.

Learn Not to Burn, Be fire Safe.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Smoking Leading Cause of Fatal Residential Building Fires

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recently issued a special report examining the characteristics of civilian fire fatalities in residential buildings. The report, “Civilian Fire Fatalities in Residential Buildings,” was developed by USFA's National Fire Data Center and is based on 2007 to 2009 data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS).

According to the report:

  • Ninety-one percent of all civilian fatalities in residential building fires involve thermal burns and smoke inhalation.
  • Bedrooms (55 percent) are the leading location where civilian fire fatalities occur in residential buildings.
  • Fifty-one percent of civilian fire fatalities in residential buildings occur between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. This period also accounts for 49 percent of fatal fires.
  • Seventy percent of fire victims in residential buildings were escaping (36 percent) or sleeping (34 percent) at the time of their deaths.
  • Smoking was the leading cause of fatal residential building fires.
  • Males accounted for 57 percent of civilian fire fatalities in residential buildings; women accounted for 43 percent of the fatalities.
  • Approximately 43 percent of civilian fatalities in residential building fires are between the ages of 40 and 69.
  • Thirteen percent of civilian fire fatalities in residential buildings were less than 10 years old.
Fires that affect our homes are often the most tragic and the most preventable. September, as our Nation marks the ten-year anniversary of 9/11 and the eighth annual observance of National Preparedness Month, FEMA encourages all Americans to prepare for emergencies—including home fire emergencies. “By preparing for a home fire emergency, you can greatly reduce your chances of becoming a fire casualty,” said Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines. “Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, test them once a month, change the batteries at least once a year, and make and practice a home fire escape plan.”

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lawn Mower Safety

The mowing season is in full swing and keeping the grass cut is a chore. Everyone is doing quite a bit of mowing this summer. I’m sure all those home owners with lawns are looking forward to the weekly grass cutting? Yeah Right! lol

The result of a freshly mowed lawn is always a present sight but, using lawn mowers can be dangerous when they’re used incorrectly.

Each year 75,000 people are injured annually in lawn mowing accidents and 16,000 of those are children. Many of these injuries are burns caused by careless use of mowers before using or cleaning your mower. Before using or cleaning follow these safety tips:

1. Do not smoke while fueling lawn mowers. As we all know, gasoline is flammable and is explosive too.

2. Wait for machines to cool before refueling. Wipe up spilled fuel immediately. Never fuel a running mower.

3. Store and pour gasoline carefully and keep it in an approved container with a tight-fitting lid.

4. Check electrical mower cords for frayed or damage spots. Frayed insulation added to a metal mower, damp or wet grass, can cause lethal shocks or severe electrical burns.

5. Leave blade sharpening and electrical repairs to professionals

6. If you do your own cleaning and tune up, disconnect the spark plug or remove it before beginning. If your mowers clogs up with grass it’s safe to make sure they are shut off first. If a blade is turned by hand, the mower can start if the spark plug is still intact.

7. Never leave the mower without turning it off. It takes only a few seconds to run inside and only a few seconds for the mower to run over someone and caused serious injury.

Here's a very funny but good to the point on Lawn Mower Safety YouTube video that shows how important Lawn Mower Safety is …

When you're mowing your lawn, be mindful of children. “Awareness,” it's everything. Always be conscious of your surrounding and know what's around you while mowing.

Have a safe enjoyable lawn mowing season.

Learn Not To Burn! Be Fire Safe

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Be Fire Safe When Barbecue!

Summer is here! Millions of Americans will be having cookouts grilling those hamburgers and hotdogs. It’s important to remember and follow fire safety tips so that all can enjoy a safe summer season at those fun BBQs.

With the outdoor BBQ cookout season well on it's way and in full swing, a barbecue grill could start a fire if certain safety rules and precautions are ignored. Part of the beauty of grilling is its simplicity. So it’s simple but very important to position the grill far away from siding, deck railings, trees and other flammables. If there are children around, it’s critical that a child-free zone of at least three feet, if not more, is established around the grill to keep from an accident from happening.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2004-2008, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 7,700 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year, including an average of 3,200 structure fires and 4,500 outside fires.

These 7,700 fires caused an annual average of 13 civilian deaths, 120 civilian injuries and $70 million in direct property damage.

Gas grills were involved in an average of 6,200 home fires, and charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were involved in 1,300 home fires.

More than one-quarter (29%) of the home structure fires involving grills started on a courtyard, terrace or patio, 28% started on an exterior balcony or open porch, and 7% started in the kitchen.


• Check your grill thoroughly for leaks, cracking or brittleness before using it.

• Check the tubes leading to the burner regularly for blockages. Check your specific grill manufacturer's instructions.

• Make sure the grill is at least 10 feet away from your house, garage or trees.

• Store and use your grill on a large flat surface that cannot burn (i.e.- concrete or asphalt).

• Don't use grills in a garage, on a porch, deck or on top of anything that can catch on fire. Never use a propane barbecue grill on a balcony, terrace or roof; it is both dangerous and illegal.

• Keep children away from fires and grills. It is a good idea to establish a safety zone around the grill and instruct children to remain outside the zone.

• Before getting a propane cylinder filled, check for any damages to it.

• Never transport or store propane cylinders in the trunk of your automobile.


• Keep children away from the grill.

• Don't wear loose clothing that might catch fire.

• Use long-handled barbecue tools and/or flame-resistant mitts.

• Never use any flammable liquid other than a barbecue starter fluid to start/freshen a fire.

• Never pour or squirt starter fluid onto an open flame. The flame can easily flashback along the fluid's path to the container in your hands.

• Keep alcoholic beverages away from the grill; they are flammable.

• Never leave the grill unattended.


• When lighting your propane barbecue, make sure all the connections are secure, open the lid and strike your match or lighter before turning on the gas.

• Always shut off the propane fuel at the grill and at the bottle after you have finished barbecuing. Otherwise, this will lead to fire hazards, such as leaks and faulty regulators.

• Store your BBQ grill and propane cylinder outdoors.

• Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the safe use, cleaning and maintenance of your grill.

• Test your cylinder for leaks on a regular basis. When testing for leaks, never use matches or an open flame. Use soapy water or a leak detector.

• Store your cylinder away from heat and insert a safety plug on the valve.


• Always follow the manufacturer's cleaning and storing instructions that accompany the grill.

• Keep your grill clean and free of grease buildup that may lead to a fire.

• Never store liquid or pressurized fuels inside your home and/or near any possible sources of flame.


• For PROPANE grills - turn off the burners. For CHARCOAL grills - close the grill lid. Disconnect the power to ELECTRIC grills.

• For PROPANE grills - if you can safely reach the tank valve, shut it off.

• If the fire involves the tank, leave it alone, evacuate the area and call the fire department.

• If there is any type of fire that either threatens your personal safety or endangers property, ALWAYS call the Fire Department.

• NEVER attempt to extinguish a grease fire with water. It will only cause the flames to flare up. Use an approved portable fire extinguisher.

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; this is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

NFPA announces theme for Fire Prevention Week 2011

"Protect Your Family From Fire"

News releases By: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

May 31, 2011 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) announces the theme for Fire Prevention Week - "Protect Your Family From Fire." Fire Prevention Week will be held October 9-15, 2011. NFPA has sponsored the fire prevention campaign since 1922, spreading awareness of the dangers of fires and inspiring individuals to prevent the deaths, injuries, and destruction they cause. This year’s theme focuses on how to protect your family from fire by planning ahead and integrating simple things into your everyday life.

Fires in the home take a great toll on life and property each year. During the five-year-period from 2005-2009, NFPA estimates that U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 373,900 reported home structure fires per year. These fires caused an estimated average of 2,650 civilian deaths, 12,890 civilian injuries, and $7.1 billion in direct property damage per year. Smoking materials remain the leading cause of home fire deaths, while cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires and home fire injuries.

Installing systems such as smoke alarms and residential fire sprinklers, as well as identifying potential hazards, can reduce the risk of home fires and property loss, injury, or death due to fire. Nearly two-thirds of home structure fire deaths occur in homes where there was no smoke alarm, or where smoke alarms were present but failed to operate.

NFPA has taken the lead in public fire safety outreach by serving as the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for 89 years. The annual public awareness and safety commemoration, which is proclaimed by the President of the United States each year, is observed by fire departments in the U.S. and Canada to mark the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. According to the National Archives and Records Administration’s Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record.

Visit the Fire Prevention Week website for safety tips, statistical information, and more. The materials are available for use by fire departments, teachers, families and anyone interested in learning or teaching about fire safety.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spring Cleaning Begins...

Spring cleaning time is here again. Remember, a clean house is a safe house. Remember that trash, boxes, piles of clothes and other combustibles in the home are fuel for fire. Getting rid of them will help reduce the chance of fire in your home.

Clean out storage areas such as garages, attics, closets, sheds and basements on a regular basis. Even warehouses are limited to the amount of storage they can safely keep. Don't allow areas in your home to become tempting fuel for a fire. Throw away or giveaway items you are no longer using. Clutter gives fire a place to start and creates obstacles that might prevent a safe escape.

Oily rags can ignite without a heat source because they produce their own heat. Throw them out or store them in the closed metal container. This includes dusting rags used with a furniture polish or spray.

Spring and summer time present the return of several seasonal fire hazards with activities shifting outdoors.

Among the most common involve cooking grills, wooden decks, and use of gasoline and other flammable liquids.

As we many begin the cleaning and clearing the debris that accumulated over the winter month, it's recommend that all should add home fire safety to their list.

To assist in fire proofing the home during the spring season consider the following fire safety tips:

* Check and clean your smoke alarm. Replace batteries in smoke alarms.

* Check and clean your Carbon monoxide alarm. Replace batteries in Carbon monoxide alarms.

* Check your fire extinguisher.

* Make sure electrical electrical outlets and extension cords are not overloaded.

* Have air conditioning units and other electrical appliances checked by a licensed professional

* Clear your basement and attics from old papers, oily rags and broken furniture.

* Make sure all fire exits or escapes routes that are indicated in your fire escape are clear of any debris and are not blocked off.

* Inspect your charcoal gas grills.

* Spread mulch at least a foot away from the house with a not combustible barrier in between, such as rock.

* Know when and how to call for help. And remember to practice your home escape plan.

* Finally, when you are finishing spring cleaning make sure all cleaning products are stored in child safety latched drawers and cabinets with the original labels.


Keep Your Place Firesafe: Hunt for Home Hazards and ...

Fire Won't Wait...Plan Your Escape!


First Monday Of Each Month at 7:00 PM

MONTHLY DRILL (Monday): Second Monday Of Each Month at 7:00 PM

MONTHLY DRILL (Sunday): Third Sunday Of Each Month at 10:00 AM

MONTHLY MEETING NIGHT: Third Monday Of Each Month at 7:30 PM