Haldimand County Fire Department Issues Important Cooking Safety Reminders Ahead Of Fire Prevention Week (Oct 4-10)

With Fire Prevention Week just around the corner, Haldimand County Fire Department is reminding residents of simple steps that can be taken to prevent kitchen fires. This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, which runs from October 4-10, is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!™”

The theme is very timely as cooking fires continue to be the leading cause of home fires in Ontario.

Simple steps to serve up fire safety in the kitchen include:

  • Always stay in the kitchen when cooking and turn off the stove if you must leave the kitchen.
  • Keep a proper fitting lid near the stove. If a pot of oil catches fire, slide the lid over the pot and turn off the stove. Do not move the pot. Never throw water on a burning pot.
  • Keep anything that burns – plastic utensils, dishcloths, paper towels – a safe distance from the stove.
  • Cook responsibly. To prevent cooking fires, you must be alert. You will not be alert if you have consumed alcohol or drugs.
  • Wear tight-fitting or rolled up sleeves when using the stove. Loose, dangling clothing can easily catch fire.
  • Keep young kids one metre away from the stove. Turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge so they can’t be easily knocked off.
  • If you burn yourself while cooking, run cool water over the wound for three to five minutes. If the burn is severe, seek medical attention.

“As the weather cools and we start spending more time indoors, fire safety top should be top of mind, especially when cooking,” said Fire Chief Jason Gallagher. “Often when we’re called to a fire that started in the kitchen, residents tell us they only stepped away for a few minutes, but that’s all it takes for a dangerous fire to start,” Gallagher noted.

In addition to practicing fire safety in the kitchen, Gallagher urges all residents to test their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and ensure there is one working device on each floor of the home, as well as outside of all sleeping areas. Families are also encouraged to develop a home fire escape plan if they don’t have one already.

Residents with questions about fire prevention are encouraged to make use of the resources available on the County website or contact the County’s Fire Prevention Bureau at 905-318-5932.

Red Cross Babysitting Course Returns to Haldimand County Public Library

Haldimand County youth aged 11 to 15 can now complete the Red Cross Babysitting Course at the Caledonia, Cayuga and Dunnville Library Branches. This nationally recognized program is designed to help participants develop self-assurance, knowledge and skills required not only for babysitting duties, but also when at home. Topics covered in the course include caring for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children as well as creating safe environments and how to handle emergencies.

Revised to ensure participant safety, the Red Cross Babysitting Course will now run for 5 consecutive days after school. Participants will be required to attend all 5 days to receive their certificate. The number of participants has been reduced to ensure social distancing is maintained throughout the program. Masks must be worn by all participants.

The course cost is $40 per person and registration must be completed in person at the Caledonia, Cayuga and Dunnville Library branches.

The course dates, times and locations are as follows:

HCPL Caledonia Branch

Monday October 19-Friday October 23
4:00pm – 5:15pm

HCPL Cayuga Branch

Monday October 26 – Friday October 30
3:30pm – 4:45pm

HCPL Dunnville Branch

Monday November 2- Friday November 6
3:30pm – 4:45pm

For more information on the Red Cross Babysitting Course or other library programs, please contact Katrina Krupicz, Community Outreach/Inreach Coordinator.

More information about library services can be found at www.haldimandlibrary.com as well as the library’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Statement from the Haldimand County Police Services Board RE: Caledonia protests

On Wednesday, August 26, the Haldimand County Police Services Board (PSB) met to discuss the ongoing issue of illegal protests in Caledonia, related policing concerns and the significant impacts these incidents are having on the broader community.

The PSB recognizes that legally, its role is not to direct police operations. Rather, the PSB’s role is to serve as a conduit to the wider community and provide an avenue for communication between community members and the OPP. It is also the PSB’s responsibility to establish priorities, objectives and policies regarding policing in Haldimand County, in consultation with the Detachment Commander and Haldimand County Council.

At the August 26 meeting, PSB members expressed concerns to OPP Detachment staff regarding the adequacy and effectiveness of the OPP’s response to the illegal occupation at McKenzie Meadows and related occupations of municipal roadways, provincial highways and CN railway corridor. It is imperative that policing concerns related to illegal protests are addressed in a timely manner and even more critical that the OPP uphold the rule of law and maintain peace, order and stability within Haldimand County.

The PSB also recognizes that actions taken by the OPP in response to the McKenzie Meadows occupation and related blockades are the result of decisions made not at the local detachment level, but higher up in the OPP’s chain of command. As such, the PSB has forwarded its concerns to the Ministry of the Solicitor General and senior OPP officials. Further, the PSB has requested that individuals involved in the decision-making attend an upcoming PSB meeting to discuss the community’s significant safety concerns.

The PSB remains committed to acting as the ‘voice’ of Haldimand County residents on matters of policing and will continue to advocate for the community with OPP decision-makers and senior levels of government.

The PSB will keep the community apprised of any developments related to policing services in Haldimand County, as well as the outcome of the requested meeting with senior OPP officials and representatives from the Ministry of the Solicitor General.

Haldimand County Police Services Board

Bernie Corbett (Board Chair) – Haldimand County Council Member

Dan Lawrence – Haldimand County Council Council Member

Brian Haggith (Vice Chair) – Community Member

Kerry Boon – Provincial Member

 

Haldimand County Fire Department Issues Safety Reminders For Farmers & Motorists Ahead of Harvest Season

As peak harvest season approaches, Haldimand County Fire Department is reminding farmers and rural property owners of important fire safety precautions. Additionally, the Department is urging the public to stay alert for slow-moving farm equipment on public roadways, slow down and share the road.

Fire safety during harvest season

Tractors and equipment have many moving parts that generate heat. The combination of heat, freshly cut fields and extremely dry conditions can be a dangerous mix. Farmers are encouraged to take a proactive approach to mitigate the risk of field fires, which includes having a water supply close by and equipment for tillage readily available.

Roadway safety for motorists

Farming plays a vital role in Haldimand’s economy, history and identity and in the coming weeks, motorists can expect to see an increase in farm equipment on public roadways. Motorists are asked to:

  • Stay alert for slow-moving farm equipment, especially at dawn or dusk when visibility is reduced;
  • Slow down and be patient when approaching slow-moving machinery from behind;
  • Wait to pass until you have a clear view of the road ahead and there is no oncoming traffic;
  • Never pass on a hill or curve.

Roadway safety for farmers

  • Make sure any farm equipment being driven on roadways is properly marked with lights and a “slow-moving vehicle” emblem;
  • Drive as far to the right as possible;
  • If traffic accumulates behind you on a road where it is difficult to make a safe pass, you should pull off onto the side of the road in a level area, so the vehicles can pass.
  • If possible, avoid traveling on roadways at dawn or dusk when it is more difficult for drivers of other vehicles to see.
  • Always use a seat belt when operating a tractor equipped with a roll-over protection structure.

Update on temporary burn permits from Haldimand County Fire Department

At the onset of the COVID-19 emergency, Haldimand County developed an interim process for rural landowners to obtain temporary burn permits. As Haldimand County gradually re-opens, the Fire Department is advising residents of the following:

  • No-cost, temporary, non-recreational burn permits will continue to be offered until July 10, 2020. To obtain a permit, residents must call the Fire Department at 905-318-5932 ext. 6230 or 6224 to set up an appointment and arrange for pickup.
  • All temporary burn permits issued will remain valid until August 31, 2020. After August 31 anyone who does not currently have a valid permit will be required to purchase one, including temporary permit holders as they will no longer be valid.
  • As of September 1, 2020, burn permits will be offered as they were prior to the pandemic – in-person at the Haldimand County Administration Building.

Anyone who conducts a non-recreational burn between July 10 and August 31 and does not have a permit can be charged under the open-air burning by-law.

Interim burn permits are only available at the Emergency Services Headquarters at 11 Thorburn St, S (Cayuga) with a prior phone call completed and an appointment time scheduled. Due to COVID-19 public health requirements, no walk-ins will be allowed without a pre-arranged appointment.

The Haldimand County Fire Department encourages all residents to practice fire safety, comply with the open-air burn by-law, be aware of risks and have protection measures in place when conducting an open-air fire. Many resources are available on the Fire Prevention page of HaldimandCounty.ca, including activity books for children.

Haldimand County Fire Department Urges Residents To Follow Open-Air Burn By-Laws Following Increase In Complaints/Violations

Haldimand County Fire Department is urging the public to practice fire safety and comply with the municipal open air burning by-law following an increase in calls and complaints about unsafe fires.

“As Haldimand County moves into Stage 2 of Ontario’s re-opening plan, there are more opportunities to gather and enjoy recreational pursuits outdoors. Campfires are a quintessential part of summer for many, but it’s crucial that they comply with the Open Air Burning By-Law,” said Jason Gallagher, Manager of Emergency Services and Fire Chief. “COVID-19 has placed added pressure on emergency services and we need the public’s cooperation to prevent these avoidable fire calls,” he added.

Recreational fires (e.g. campfires) are allowed in all areas without a permit as long as the fire meets all of the regulations set out in the Open Air Burn By-law. These regulations include, but are not limited to: ensuring the fire is contained and supervised at all times and that it is set back at least 10 meters from combustible buildings/structures. A means of extinguishing the fire must be available and measures must be in place to ensure that no one is adversely affected by the products of combustion (smoke and odours).

Non-recreational fires are only permitted in certain areas of the County and require a burn permit. Currently, interim burn permits are available for rural residents at no cost and may be obtained by contacting the Haldimand County Fire Department (905-318-5932). Interim burn permits are available by appointment only, as all County facilities are temporarily closed to the public.

Open air fires that are not conducted according to the by-law present potential safety hazards. Anyone conducting an open air fire that violates the by-law are subject to fines, provincial prosecution and recovery of costs required to respond to and/or extinguish the fire.

Anyone with questions about fire safety or the open-air burning by-law is encouraged to contact the Haldimand County Fire Department at 905-318-5932. A number of helpful resources, including a Safe Fire Guide, is available at HaldimandCounty.ca.

Haldimand County Reminding Residents Of All-Terrain And Off-Road Vehicle Use Rules

Haldimand County is reminding the public that all-terrain & off-road vehicles are NOT permitted to be ridden on municipal roadways or County-owned property (e.g. public trails or parks).

As outlined in the Province of Ontario’s Off-Road Vehicles Act, certain types of ATVS and ORVs are permitted to travel on roadways ONLY if a municipality has a by-law permitting on-road ATV/ORV use. Currently, Haldimand County DOES NOT have a by-law permitting on-road ATV/ORV use and as such, on-road driving of ATVs/ORVs is prohibited.

As outlined in the County’s Parks & Facilities by-law, motorized recreational vehicles of any kind – meaning snowmobiles, go-carts, ATVS/ORVs or any vehicle propelled or driven by an internal combustion engine – are prohibited from traveling in any public park or County-maintained trail.

Individuals who witness the illegal operation of ATVs/ORVs are encouraged to contact Haldimand County By-Law or the Ontario Provincial Police. Anyone who is found to be in violation of the Off-Road Vehicles Act by driving the off-road vehicle on or across a highway is subject to a fine of $300, and subject to a minimum of $125 or a maximum fine of $50,000 for riding on County property.

Driving ATVs/ORVs on County roadways and public spaces poses a threat to community safety and can cause significant damage to property. Haldimand County appreciates the public’s cooperation in complying with the above-mentioned regulations and completing due diligence with respect to finding an appropriate, legal space to ride.

Haldimand County To Offer Interim Burn Permits For Rural Landowners

Haldimand County has developed an interim process for rural landowners who wish to obtain burn permits. Starting May 6, 2020, no-cost, temporary, non-recreational burn permits will be available to rural residents. Permits will be valid only during the pandemic situation.

Once regular operations resume, all temporary, non-recreational burn permits will be VOID and the existing burn permit process will take effect. At this time, anyone wishing to conduct non-recreational burns will be required to purchase a permit for the remainder of the year.

To obtain a temporary, non-recreational burn permit:

Contact Haldimand County Emergency Services Staff  at 905-318-5932 ext. 6230 or 6224 to arrange an appointment time. During this phone call you will be asked to provide:

1) Your name;

2) Your address;

3) Whether you are the owner or tenant of the property;

If you are the tenant, an authorization form from the owner is required to complete the permit approval process. The form is available on the Fire Safety web page. Please bring this completed document to your scheduled appointment time.

4) What items you wish to burn.

You will be given an appointment time for you to attend to pick up your permit.

When you arrive for your appointment at the Cayuga Emergency Services Headquarters (11 Thorburn St. S, Cayuga), you will be asked to:

1) Show identification that you are a Haldimand County resident;

2) Provide the authorization form from the owner (if required), should you be a tenant of the property;

3) Review the permit information and rules and regulations;

4) Sign the permit.

You will be given a copy of the completed permit to have readily available during the burn.

This interim burn permit service is only available at the Emergency Services Headquarters at 11 Thorburn St, S (Cayuga) with a prior phone call completed and an appointment time scheduled. Due to COVID-19 public health requirements, no walk-ins will be allowed without a pre-arranged appointment.

Residents are asked to be aware of and comply with all of the rules and regulations associated with Open Air Fires under the By-law No. 1662/16. Individuals who are found to be in violation of the by-law could be subject to penalties and/or fines.

More information on fire safety is available on the Haldimand County Emergency Services web page.

Haldimand County Emergency Services Issues Important Reminders Ahead of Emergency Preparedness Week (May 3-9, 2020)

Emergency Preparedness Week (EP Week) is an annual, nationwide event that encourages Canadians to be proactive in planning for potential emergencies. This year, EP week runs from May 3 to 9, 2020. Haldimand County Emergency Services is encouraging all residents to spend some time creating a family emergency plan and assembling a 72-hour emergency kit.

“Emergencies and disasters can happen anytime, anywhere. We’ve seen this firsthand with the emergence of COVID-19,” said Don Otterman, Deputy Chief, Paramedic Services. “Emergencies aren’t always environmental and can take many forms. In order to be prepared, every resident should have a plan and an emergency kit ready to take care of themselves and their family for at least 72 hours,” he added.

72-hour kits should include a variety of items including: a flashlight, batteries, non-perishable food, water, a sewing kit, copies of important IDs (e.g: birth certificates), medications, towels, rope and garbage bags among other necessities.

Otterman emphasized the importance of including children in emergency readiness discussions and planning, so they know what to expect should a dire situation arise. “With ample time at home these days, there’s no better time to sit down with your whole family, make a plan and assemble a kit. You can even turn it into a fun activity and allow kids to be active participants in planning,” he added.

For an emergency plan to be successful, every family member should have a role and know what to do. Parents are encouraged to utilize Haldimand County’s activity books to educate their children on what to do and how to stay calm in case of an emergency. Family pets should also be considered when making preparations.

Staying connected and informed is another important part of emergency preparedness. Knowing where to look for information and updates throughout an emergency situation is critically important. In addition to local radio – specifically 92.9 The Grand FM, the County’s emergency broadcast partner – residents should monitor local news outlets, the County website and County social media accounts (Facebook & Twitter). Specific instructions and timely updates from emergency officials (e.g: evacuation information) will be shared through these channels.

Emergency preparedness resources – including a 72 hour kit and evacuation checklist – are available on the Haldimand County website and GetPrepared.gc.ca. Anyone with questions related to emergency preparedness may also call Haldimand County Emergency Services at 905-318-5932.

Haldimand County Fire Department Asks For Public Cooperation With Open Air Fire Burning By-Law

With a return to warm weather there has been an increase in the number of recreational and non-recreational fires occurring throughout Haldimand County. So far this year several of the fires have been found to violate Haldimand County’s Open Air Fire Burn By-law. As a result, several Notice of Violations have already been issued.

With the warmer weather upon us and in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Haldimand County Fire Department is asking for the public’s co-operation in complying with these by-laws, which are in place to ensure fires remain safe and controlled.

Recreational fires are allowed in all areas without a permit provided the fire meets all of the regulations set out in By-law 1662-16. These regulations include, but are not limited to: ensuring the fire is contained; that it is set back at least 10 meters from all combustible structures/objects and 4m from any property line; that the fire is supervised at all times and that smoke produced from the recreational fire has no adverse affects. Favourable weather conditions must also be present in order to have a recreational fire: there must be no fog, no air quality alerts, no burn bans & winds must be less than 20 km/hr.

Non-recreational fires are only permitted in rural areas of the County and require a burn permit. Non-recreational fires must meet all of the regulations set out in By-law 1662-16. These regulations include, but are not limited to: ensuring fires are supervised at all times; contained to an area not exceeding 6 meters by 6 meters and is set back at least 60 meters from all combustible structures/objects. Residents who have burn permits may conduct burns as long as they are following the by-laws. No new burn permits are being issued at this time.

Open air fires that are not conducted according to the by-law present potential safety hazards. Anyone found conducting an open air fire without a current permit are subject to enforcement, provincial prosecution and recovery of costs required to respond to and/or extinguish the fire.

The by-law and further information on open air burning can be found at HaldimandCounty.ca.

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