Quick, someone dial 9-1-1!
Believe it or not, we still get 9-1-1 emergency calls on the firehouse seven-digit business phone number. This is a dangerous practice. In a true emergency, whether it’s a fire, medical call, or other emergency situation, calling the firehouse will not guarantee that you will get an answer, even in the daytime during “normal business hours.” The fire trucks may be on the road, at a call, returning from a call, at an inspection, at a public education demonstration, at training or some other activity. The fire administration staff (chief, deputy chief, fire marshals, administrative assistant) may be in a meeting at town hall, at training or other activity. If you have an emergency or think you do, dial 9-1-1.
Another dangerous practice is calling fire headquarters after an alarm is transmitted to your alarm company. Don’t try to cancel us before we get there. We are coming anyway to investigate and to ensure your safety. We are truly concerned that well-meaning citizens will get themselves in a bind by calling us off, believing that “the fire is out” or that “it was only food on the stove.”
Let the professionals make the determination even if you believe you’ve had a glitch in your alarm system. What appears to be a glitch could actually be an emergency. There are thousands of documented cases where fire departments were called off, only to get a call 10 minutes later to head back to that very same address with the fire having a good head start. Don’t let this happen to you.
For the safety of your family, your home or your business:
- Dial 9-1-1 if you have an emergency or think you have an emergency.
- Do not call fire headquarters for an emergency. (We’ll be happy to speak with you for all other business.)
- Don’t try to cancel us once we have the alarm. We’re coming anyway, just to make sure everything is secured and in good order.
- Teach your children how, why and when to dial 9-1-1.
- Test your smoke alarms once a month.
- Conduct periodic home fire drills.
- Test your carbon monoxide alarms according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- When you change your clocks, change your smoke alarm batteries. Note that newer smoke alarms have 10-year lithium batteries. Make sure you know which one you have.
- Being we just entered the cold-weather season, take great care when using wood-burning stoves, fireplaces and portable heaters. Keep combustibles far away from these appliances.
Please use the 9-1-1 system. It’s the best and quickest way to get emergency assistance for fire, police and EMS. Be safe!
Chief Ronald E. Kanterman
Wilton Fire Department