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Alerts: Snow Drifts Can Cause CO Poisoning

MTFD Alert Snow Drifts Can Cause CO Poisoning

The New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC) issued a Safety Alert advising homeowners and businesses throughout New York State that heavy snowfall and drifting snow may create a new hazard: carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, dangerous gas, commonly known as CO.

State Fire Administrator Floyd A. Madison said that with the recent onslaught of lake-effect snows in western, central and northern portions of New York State, local fire agencies have reported an increase in calls about carbon monoxide detectors going off in homes. Madison said that the reason for these calls is that high snow drifts may be blocking furnace vents and air intakes in some homes, particularly those that have newer high-efficiency furnaces.

“New, high efficiency furnaces vent out the side of a house rather than up through the roof,” Madison said. “This type of venting and air intake must be kept free and clear of snow. If it plugs up, the carbon monoxide would go back into the home. This is why the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control is issuing this warning.”

The State Fire Administrator said that some areas of New York State have received more than three feet of snow in the last week. Many newer high efficiency furnaces have an automatic device that shuts off the furnace when the vents are blocked, but not all of them. First responders say it is important to keep a three-foot area clear around the vent and intake tubes.

The New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control advises all New Yorkers affected by the recent heavy snows to inspect the area around their furnace and hot water heater vents to ensure that snow and ice are not blocking the efficient and safe operation of these fuel burning devices. Homeowners should keep a three- foot area around the vents clear of snow, shrubs, or other potential obstructions.

If your CO alarm sounds, evacuate all family members to a safe location and CALL 911

Additional information on carbon monoxide may be found at:



Important Clothes Dryer Safety Tips

Fires caused by dryer vent lint are one of the biggest causes of residential fires. Based on a report by The U.S. Fire Administration, an estimated 2,900 clothes dryer fires in residential buildings are reported to fire departments each year.

While house hunting be informed of the last time the dryer vents were cleaned out and request the dryer vents and ducts be cleaned out before you purchase your home. If you live in an apartment, you share the dryer with different individuals. If your clothes are still wet after being in the dryer for an hour or the clothes feel extremely hotter than normal let your manager know.

There are two ways that you can tell if something is wrong with the dryer:
1. If you have a big load of clothing that has been drying for 1 hour and is still not dry.
2. If your clothes at the end of the drying cycle feels hotter than usual.

It's important to clean the filter after every cycle in order to decrease dryer vent fires. Even after one cleans the filter of a dryer, lint can accumulate and reduce airflow and can create a potential fire hazard. All the dust that accumulates over time and not maintaining the dryer machine can over heat and cause a fire. It is important for the vents and ducts to be cleaned out so air can flow and keep the dryer cool.

Safety Checklist:
  • Clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry.
  • Remove lint that has collected around the drum.
  • Check the outdoor vent to make sure it is not covered by snow.
  • Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
  • Don’t overload your dryer (follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions).
  • Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.
  • Gas dryers should be inspected by a qualified professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.
  • Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time.
  • Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.


Main-Transit Firefighter Carol Jackson Receives Williamsville PTSA Service to Youth Award

Williamsville PTSA Council honored three individuals for their service to the children of the Williamsville Central School District at its 57th Annual Service to Youth Awards Celebration on May 12.

Carol Jackson (pictured left), a math teacher at South High School, received the professional award, recognizing her nearly two decades as teacher and faculty advisor for numerous student clubs, perhaps most notably, the AFS Club for foreign exchange students. Mrs. Jackson is also a volunteer firefighter with the Main Transit Fire Department, where she works with the Explorer Program giving teens the opportunity to learn about emergency services first-hand. In his introduction of Mrs. Jackson, South Principal Keith Boardman used a Disney analogy, describing how she is always looking to "bump the lamp" or go the extra mile to make things better and more special for her students.

Mary Faracca (pictured right), athletic assistant at East High School, received the support staff award, which was presented by East Principal Scott Taylor. Mrs. Faracca has worked at East since 2003 and is commonly referred to as the "School Mom" by students and staff alike. She is a die-hard Flames fan, attending countless games and cheering on 'her' East players from the sidelines. Mrs. Faracca is also an East High parent, with the youngest of her three children currently a junior.

The 2014 volunteer awardee is Jim Montgomery (pictured middle), PTSA Council Treasurer and an active member of the Forest Elementary and Mill Middle PTAs. According to his nominator, parent Amie Vredenburg, Mr. Montgomery is the go-to parent who readily volunteers for any activity that benefits children or the school community. She credits him with leading by example and getting more dads involved in PTA activities as well. The energetic and devoted father of three was also the subject of one of the evening's most memorable moments when his two young daughters serenaded him with the country ballad, "My Daddy Loves Me".

A string quintet comprised of East High student musicians performed Mozart's "Quintet No. 4 in G Minor" in a salute to Mrs. Faracca while pianist Sophie Xu-Friedman, a freshman at South High, performed Reinhold Gliere's "Prelude Op. 43, No. 1" in honor of Mrs. Jackson.

Dr. Craig Schmidt served as the Service to Youth Committee Chairman. PTSA Council Co-Presidents Amanda Simondson and Jami Knapp offered welcoming remarks and Tom Unger served as master of ceremonies. Superintendent Scott Martzloff delivered the closing remarks.



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