Friday, May 24, 2013

Barbecue Safety

This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer. In our area, many will light their barbecue grills for the first time since September. Below are some reminders for barbecue safety.

Grilling is one of the most popular ways to cook food. But, a barbecue grill placed too close to anything that can burn is a fire hazard. They can be very hot, causing burn injuries and unwanted fires.

Follow the tips below and you will be on the way to safe grilling.

Safety Tips
  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
Charcoal Grills
·         There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
·         If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
·         Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
·         There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
·         When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Gas Grills
·         Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. 
·         Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. 
·         If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department
·         If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.

Summer is the peak time for grill fires
  • More than half of home grill structure fires begin on either a courtyard terrace or patio, or an exterior balcony or open porch.
  • Roughly half of the injuries involving grills are thermal burns.

More information about barbecue safety is available at the National Fire Protection Association's page on grilling safety.

The summer is a great time to come together with friends and family; a time to celebrate and share in the joy of community.  With a little extra care together we can make it a safe time to experience these celebrations.  For more information about the Vigilant Fire Company visit or like us on or follow us on Some of this information is provided courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association. Remember, in Great Neck, if you have a fire or medical emergency, you must call your local fire department directly to ensure the fastest response possible.

·         Great Neck Vigilant Fire Company for fire and medical emergencies anywhere north of the Great Neck Railroad Station dial (516) 482-5000.
·         Great Neck Alert Fire Company for emergencies in the Villages of Great Neck, Kings Point and Saddle Rock dial (516) 487-7000.
·         Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department for fire and medical emergencies south of the LIRR in Great Neck dial (516) 466-4411.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins June 1

A reminder from the Nassau County Police Department:

With the devastation to Moore, Oklahoma caused by a gigantic tornado that touched down on Tuesday May 20 still a major focus of attention, and the memory of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in September 2012 still fresh in people’s minds, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is urging people to prepare for the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially begins on June 1. In addition, the week of May 26 through June 1 is officially designated as National Hurricane Preparedness Week.

More information is available in our 2012 blog post about this as well.

FEMA’s website provides information on how to prepare for hurricanes. They provide the following tips and suggestions:

“To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:
To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
1)     Know your surroundings.
2)     Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
3)     Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
4)     Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you      would go how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.           

Make plans to secure your property:
1)     Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows.
2)     A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.
3)     Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
4)     Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
5)     Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
6)      Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
7)     Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
8)     Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans, and anything else that is not tied down.
9)     Determine how and where to secure your boat.
10)   Install a generator for emergencies.
11)   If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.
12)   Consider building a safe room.”

According to, “Hurricanes cause heavy rains that can cause extensive flood damage in coastal and inland areas. Everyone is at risk and should consider flood insurance protection. Flood insurance is the only way to financially protect your property or business from flood damage. To learn more about your flooding risk and how to protect yourself and your business, visit the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (NFIP) website,, or call 1-800-427-2419.”

“To learn what you can do to prepare for hurricane season and pledge to prepare, visit You can access the mobile version of the website at, making it easier to access critical information regarding emergency preparedness and what to do before and after a disaster from your smartphone and tablet. You are encouraged to download the FEMA smartphone app, which contains disaster safety tips, interactive lists for storing your emergency kit and emergency meeting location information, and a map with open shelters and open FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers. The app is free to download through your smartphone provider’s app store.”

Learn More
National Weather Service 

Resources from the NHC

According to the National Hurricane Center, the names to be used for hurricanes for the 2013 season are:

For more information about the Vigilant Fire Company visit or like us on or follow us on Remember, in Great Neck, if you have a fire or medical emergency, you must call your local fire department directly to ensure the fastest response possible.