Spring Cleaning Offers Opportunity for Fire Prevention

Presented By Chillicothe VAMC

(Columbus) – It will stop raining eventually, and for many of us that will mean it’s time to start spring cleaning inside and outside our homes. While spring cleaning focuses on improving a home’s appearance, State Fire Marshal Kevin Reardon urges Ohioans to focus on those tasks that also improve a home’s safety.

“Spring is a perfect time for a refresher on fire safety tips that you can follow year-round,” said Reardon. “Keeping fire safety in mind during your spring-cleaning routine will help prevent fires.”

Ohioans are urged to incorporate the following safety guidelines and recommendations into spring-cleaning activities:

Declutter to reduce fire risk

  • Excessive storage or hoarding is a fire risk to residents and first responders.
  • Remove the clutter from your home.
  • Make hallways and doorways accessible and clear. 
  • Items should be stored at least 3 to 4 feet away from furnaces and hot water heaters.

Clear debris outside

  • Dispose of branches, weeds, leaves, pine needles, and grass clippings.
  • Remove leaves, pine needles, and other flammable material from the roof, gutters, and on and under the deck to help prevent embers from igniting your home.
  • Remove dead vegetation from within the first 5 feet of the home.
  • Move construction material, trash, and woodpiles at least 30 feet away.

Maintain your clothes dryer

  • Make sure the vent pipe for your dryer is not restricted and that the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating. 
  • Move flammable items, such as boxes, cleaning supplies and clothing, away from the dryer.
  • Clothes that came in contact with flammable substances like gasoline, paint thinner, or solvents should be laid outside to dry, then can be washed and dried as usual.

Inspect electrical cords

  • Electrical cords can become damaged and frayed over time. 
  • Check every cord in your house. If they show even the slightest damage, replace them immediately. 
  • Limit the number of cords running from a single outlet as this can cause overloading to occur.

Check your grill

  • Inspect your grill carefully and make sure it’s free of grease or fat buildup. 
  • Clean out any nests, spider webs, or other debris you may find.
  • For propane grills, check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.

Properly use and store gasoline

  • Use gasoline only as motor fuel, never as a cleaner or to break down grease.
  • Only store gasoline in approved containers.
  • Never bring it indoors, even in small amounts.
  • Make sure the container is tightly capped when not in use.

Check your smoke and CO alarms

  • Replace smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries and test them once a month.
  • Gently clean the alarms, but make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions first.
  • If detectors are over 10 years old, replace them.

Incorporate these tips into your spring-cleaning routine to ensure your house is safer and more secure. 

If you need assistance with hoarding or know someone who does, please contact your local health department, fire department, or Adult Protective Services at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services jfs.ohio.gov

See additional fire prevention resources at the State Fire Marshal’s website: com.ohio.gov/fire.

National Work Zone Awareness Week

Presented By Horizon Connects

(Columbus) – The Ohio Department of Transportation are observing National Work Zone Awareness Week, an effort launched in 1997 as a public awareness campaign to help everyone understand they play a role in keeping motorists and roadway workers safe. This year’s theme is “Work Zones are a Sign to Slow Down.”

Last year, there were 4,796 crashes in Ohio work zones, 35% of them occurred with workers present. These crashes resulted in 1,759 injuries and 29 deaths. Of those, 20 workers were injured and 1 killed.

ODOT workers, vehicles, and equipment were hit 154 times last year, resulting in 5 injuries. Already this year, ODOT crews have been hit more than 70 times.

“Speed and distracted driving are two of the biggest issues we see in our work zones. Ask any ODOT worker and they likely have a ‘close call’ story to tell. That’s unacceptable. Move over, slow down, and above all pay attention when you’re on the road. The lives of our men and women depend on it,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks.

In 2021, the Ohio State Highway Patrol issued 6,015 citations in work zones with 41% being more than 20 mph over the posted speed limit.

Ohio law requires you to move over a lane for any roadside worker or vehicle with flashing lights. If you cannot safely move over, you’re required to slow down.

There have been 162 ODOT workers killed on the job, the last being John Pasko who was hit on I-680 in Mahoning County on March 15, 2018.

Nationally, work zone deaths have risen for five of the past six years. What many fail to recognize is the vast majority of people killed in work zone crashes are motorists and their passengers. In 2020, 117 of the 857 fatalities were work zone workers, making it all the more important for drivers to slow down and stay focused while approaching and passing through a roadway work zone.

Walnut Street Children’s School Registration On For 2022-23

Presented By Scioto Valley Dumpsters, LTD

Walnut Street Children’s School, in Chillicothe, is currently registering students for the 2022-2023 School Year.  Classes are for 3-5 year olds, and they need to be potty trained to attend.  

Registration forms are available on the school’s website at Walnutstreetpreschool.com  or in the Preschool office at 16 South Walnut Street.  The office is open Monday through Thursday from 9am-2:45pm, however is closed April 14th and 18th for Spring Break. Call Director Debbie Rossman at 740-703-6589 with any questions.  

Walnut Street Children’s School will be continuing the STREAM curriculum started this school year.  This curriculum aligns with the State Standards and includes Science, Technology, Religion,  Reading, Engineering,  Art.  and Mathematics. Students get a Music and Motion class daily,  as well as a daily snack.