Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Portable Heating Safety Tips; Historical Committee Officers; Outstanding Youth Awards


Portable Heating Safety Tips
January 29, 2013   
     With the high cost of home heating fuels and utilities, many people use alternative heating methods to keep warm. These alternatives often come with a risk of fire. Residential building fires during the colder months occur mainly in the early evening hours, peaking from 5 to 8 p.m. Although at its highest in December, residential building fire incidence is collectively highest in the three winter months of January, February and March.
     The York County Department of Fire and Life Safety's Fire Chief, Stephen Kopczynski, urges you to use care when heating your home this winter. An estimated 900 portable heater fires in homes are reported to U.S. fire departments each year and cause an estimated 70 deaths, 150 injuries, and $53 million in property loss. Only two percent of heating fires in homes involve portable heaters; however, portable heaters are involved in 45 percent of all fatal heating fires in homes! Many of these fires can be prevented. The following fire safety tips can help you maintain a fire-safe home this winter.
Electric Space Heaters
     Buy only heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Check to make sure it has a thermostat control mechanism, and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over. Heaters are not dryers or tables; do not dry clothes or store objects on top of your heater. Plug space heaters directly into wall outlets and never into an extension cord or power strip. Always unplug your electric space heater when not in use.
Kerosene Heaters
     Buy only heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Never fill your heater with gasoline or camp stove fuel; both flare-up easily. Only use crystal clear K-1 kerosene. When refueling, allow the appliance to cool first and then refuel outside. Never overfill any portable heater. Use the kerosene heater in a well-ventilated room.
     You can prevent a fire in your home and prevent tragic injury or death by following these additional fire safety steps.
·         Turn portable heaters off when you got to bed or leave the room.
·         All heating equipment needs space. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away.
·         Supervise children whenever a heat producing appliance is being used. Have a three-foot "kid-free" zone around open fires and space heaters and all heat-producing appliances.
·         Make sure your smoke alarms work by testing and cleaning them at least once a month, and make sure you have alarms inside occupied bedrooms and near the sleeping areas. They dramatically increase your chances of surviving a fire.
·         Remember to practice a home escape plan frequently with your family. Test all windows to be sure they can be opened and NEVER place furniture in front of a window. In an emergency, this may be your only way out.
     For additional information, please contact the York County Department of Fire and Life Safety, Monday through Friday, from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 890-3600 or visit our website at www.yorkcounty.gov/fire.


York County Historical Committee installs new officers
January 29, 2013   
     At its annual installation ceremony recently, the York County Historical Committee presented its new slate of officers for 2013. The Honorable Sheila S. Noll, York County Board of Supervisors District 2 representative, presided over the induction of Lois Winter, chairman; Chris Mollenkamp, vice-chairman; Dick Lusk, treasurer; Kathy Rose, recording secretary; and Kathleen Manley, corresponding secretary.
     Appointed by the Board of Supervisors, the 25-member Historical Committee begins the new year with a full calendar of planned public events. Commemorations of Memorial Day and Veteran's Day will be held, along with a Memorial Day student poster/essay contest and the Yorktown Christmas Tree lighting. The Committee also lends support to the Yorktown-Zweibrucken Student Exchange, Yorktown Day festivities, and the York County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee.
     The Historical Committee meets the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at York Hall. For more information, visit www.yorkcountyhistoricalcommittee.org or call 890-3508. Interested citizens are invited to apply at www.yorkcounty.gov, select "On-Line Services" and then "Board Bank Applications."


Nominations due February 13 for 2013 York County Outstanding Youth Award Scholarships
January 29, 2013   
     Citizens are encouraged to nominate a deserving student for one of the county's $500 Outstanding Youth Award Scholarships sponsored each year by the Board of Supervisors and the Youth Commission. Nominations in the categories of Compassion, Courage, Community Service, and Overall Achievement are due in the Parks and Recreation Office by Wednesday, February 13, 2013.
     Anyone can nominate a deserving student for one of these scholarship awards. Nominees must be residents of York County and currently enrolled in grades 9-12. Students attending public, private or home school are all eligible. A Selection Committee will review the nominations and choose an award recipient for each category. The four award recipients will each receive one of the educational scholarships and be formally recognized with their families and nominators at a reception in their honor and at a Board of Supervisors meeting in May 2013.
     The Board of Supervisors will send a letter and signed certificate to all nominees congratulating them on their nomination and informing them of their nominator. You can make a positive impact on a student's life by showing him/her that you recognize and appreciate their character and the inspiration they are to our community!
     Nomination forms and complete program details are best available by downloading them from the York County Youth Commission's website at www.ycyc.info. Hard copies of the nomination forms are also available at the Yorktown and Tabb libraries, Williamsburg-James City County libraries, and the Parks and Recreation Office at 100 County Drive.
     Please call Parks and Recreation at 890-3500 if you have any questions regarding this program.
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