Fire Safety

Fire Safety Policy and Home Safety Reminders – March 2021
(please see BOD Minutes from 12/01/2021 regarding fines)
Otis Wood Lands Policy:
❏     Open outdoor fires such as fire pits or campfires are prohibited in Otis Wood Lands Club.
❏     Fireworks of any kind are illegal in Massachusetts and their usage in the Wood Lands is strictly prohibited.
Additional Important Safety Reminders:
❏     The most frequent cause of house fires in our area is Chimney Fires:
❏     Chimneys must be cleaned of creosote on a regular basis: every year if full time winter use, every other year if weekend winter use. The creosote is a by-product of burning wood in the chimney. It can lodge anywhere in the chimney and when you light a fire in the stove or fireplace it can cause the whole structure of the chimney to ignite. Do not try to put out this fire on your own.  Call 911 immediately. Once liquid, the creosote can leak around the perimeter of the structure and set the entire structure of the house on fire. When the creosote catches on fire in the chimney you will hear a really loud noise like a freight train roaring.
❏     Some local chimney cleaning services include (not endorsements):
❏     Sweep-N-Scan Inc Tel: 413-442-0201
❏     Master Sweep & Repair Tel: (413) 499-4097
❏     ETG Chimney & Masonry Tel: (413) 445-5490
❏     Fireplace/woodstove
❏     Fireplace embers - do not dispose of these until fully cooled for days.
❏     Remind renters or those unfamiliar with stoves/ fireplaces to open the damper/ flue. Many don’t know this and the house fills with smoke.
❏    Firewood location storage and handling
❏      Best to keep firewood in a woodshed but it is okay under a deck. It is better to keep the wood at a bit of a distance from the house and not directly up against the house.
❏     Within the house, keep firewood at least 3 feet away from the lit stove or fireplace. Embers from the fire source can ignite a pile of wood and you might not know it because you are used to smelling the fire smell. It can set the whole pile of wood on fire.
❏     Propane tanks (home) - must be inspected before the initial propane is filled and ensure the propane company is updating the homeowner on any faulty gauges and rusted tanks.
❏     BBQ grills – gas or charcoal - use as far as possible away from home and overhanging trees and brush. Do not empty charcoal or embers until cooled, preferably days later. Do not leave grills unattended when in use.
❏     Keep driveways clear (and sanded if possible) to provide accessibility for firefighting equipment even if you are not using your home.
❏     Clothes dryer vents -  should be cleaned once a year. Frequent cause of fire is blocked vents.
❏     Electrical wiring and installation of equipment - have professional electricians perform wiring. Make sure surge protectors are grounded and you do not overload extension cords
❏     Electric portable space heaters - should never be left on unattended. Do not leave these on while sleeping either.
❏     Home fire extinguisher(s)- Strongly Recommend: 5lbs ABC (stands for each type of fire that it can extinguish) type extinguisher should be on the premises, ideally one for each floor.
❏     Smoking - be careful that cigarettes, cigars, or pipes are extinguished before placing in trash.
❏     Smoke and CO detectors (and battery checks)- smoke/ fire detector should directly wire signal to a monitoring company (which alerts the fire dept.). This is worth the $300/year that this might cost. Batteries on these devices should be checked and replaced regularly.
❏     Flammable objects i.e., rags, fuel containers, paint thinners should not be kept in the house.
❏     Electric appliances
❏     Safe use while at home
❏     Best practices while away (for the day or longer periods) - unplug
❏     E-911 house signs-Important to have the town’s REFLECTIVE house number sign so that fire and emergency service people can find your house if they are needed. Fill out an application at Sandisfield ($15) 413-258-4742 or call Otis fire department ($20) at 413-269-4409.