Follow these safety tips when using fireworks:
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them (They are not legal inside Columbia's City limits!)
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
Flash Flood Safety Rules
TURN AROUND DON’T DROWN!!!
- Avoid driving, walking, or swimming in flood waters.
- Stay away from high water, storm drains, ditches, ravines, or culverts.
- Six inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet.
- Do not let children play near storm drains.
- If you come upon a flooded roadway never drive through it.
- Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including SUVs and pickups.
For more information on flood safety, please visit: www.floodsafety.noaa.gov
Severe Weather Can Strike at Anytime!
"Events of the past year have served as a wake-up call for all of us to not take any severe weather threat lightly," says Interim OEM Director Scott Olson. " There's no way to prevent a tornado, but we can greatly reduce the risk of injury and death by being properly prepared."
Olson encourages individuals, families, businesses, schools, government agencies and hospitals to review their disaster plans, which include knowing how to prepare for a severe weather event, how to protect yourself and others during the event, and what to do in the aftermath of a disaster.
The Office of Emergency Management has a number of publications to help prepare for severe weather. Anyone interested in these publications can find links to them, as well as information on all types of threats, hazards and preparation, on the OEM website www.gocolumbiamo.com/EM, or by contacting the office at (573) 874-7400.
Burn Permits required
The Columbia Fire Department reminds everyone that a permit to burn is required for the kindling or maintaining of an open fire or a fire on any public street, alley, road or other public or private ground.
Recreational fires such as those used for cooking are allowed without a burn permit. (less than 3 feet in diameter and height)
For more information contact the Columbia Fire Department at 573-874-7392, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8am and 5pm.
TRAVELING TO AND FROM SCHOOL
Review the basic rules with your youngster:
- If your child’s school bus has lap/shoulder seat belts, make sure your child uses one at all times when in the bus. If your child’s school bus does not have lap/shoulder belts, encourage the school to buy or lease buses with lap/shoulder belts.
- Wait for the bus to stop before approaching it from the curb.
- Do not move around on the bus.
- Check to see that no other traffic is coming before crossing the street.
- Make sure you walk where you can see the bus driver (which means the driver will be able to see you, too).
- Children should always board and exit the bus at locations that provide safe access to the bus or to the school building.
- All passengers should wear a seat belt and/or an age- and size-appropriate car safety seat or booster seat.
- Your child should ride in a car safety seat with a harness as long as possible and then ride in a belt-positioning booster seat. Your child is ready for a booster seat when she has reached the top weight or height allowed for her seat, her shoulders are above the top harness slots, or her ears have reached the top of the seat.
- Your child should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle's seat belt fits properly (usually when the child reaches about 4' 9" in height and is between 8 to 12 years of age). This means that the child is tall enough to sit against the vehicle seat back with her legs bent at the knees and feet hanging down and the shoulder belt lies across the middle of the chest and shoulder, not the neck or throat; the lap belt is low and snug across the thighs, and not the stomach.
- All children younger than 13 years of age should ride in the rear seat of vehicles. If you must drive more children than can fit in the rear seat (when carpooling, for example), move the front-seat passenger’s seat as far back as possible and have the child ride in a booster seat if the seat belts do not fit properly without it.
- Remember that many crashes occur while novice teen drivers are going to and from school. You should require seat belt use, limit the number of teen passengers, and do not allow eating, drinking, cell phone conversations, texting or other mobile device use to prevent driver distraction. Limit nighttime driving and driving in inclement weather. Familiarize yourself with your state’s graduated driver’s license law and consider the use of a parent-teen driver agreement to facilitate the early driving learning process. www.healthychildren.org/
- Always wear a bicycle helmet, no matter how short or long the ride.
- Ride on the right, in the same direction as auto traffic.
- Use appropriate hand signals.
- Respect traffic lights and stop signs.
- Wear bright-colored clothing to increase visibility. White or light-colored clothing is especially important after dark.
- Know the "rules of the road."
Walking to School
- Make sure your child's walk to school is a safe route with well-trained adult crossing guards at every intersection.
- Be realistic about your child's pedestrian skills. Because small children are impulsive and less cautious around traffic, carefully consider whether or not your child is ready to walk to school without adult supervision.
- If your children are young or are walking to a new school, walk with them the first week or until you are sure they know the route and can do it safely.
- Bright-colored clothing will make your child more visible to drivers.
- In neighborhoods with higher levels of traffic, consider organizing a “walking school bus,” in which an adult accompanies a group of neighborhood children walking to school.
For more information visit the American Academy of Pediatrics at www.aap.org
Safety Tips for Students
- Make sure candles are in sturdy holders and put out after each use.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended.
- Keep candles away from draperies and linens.
- Use flameless candles which are both safe and attractive.
- Learn About Candle Safety
- Cook only where it is permitted.
- Keep your cooking area clean and uncluttered.
- Never leave cooking unattended.
- If a fire starts in a microwave, keep the door closed and unplug the
- Learn About Cooking Fire
- Make sure cigarettes and ashes are out. Never toss hot cigarette butts or
ashes in the trash can.
- Use deep, wide ashtrays. Place ashtrays on something sturdy and hard to
- After a party, check for cigarette butts, especially under cushions. Chairs
and sofas catch on fire fast and burn fast.
- It is risky to smoke when you have been drinking or are drowsy.
- Learn About Smoking Safety
- Get low and go under the smoke to escape to your safe exit.
- Feel the door. If it's hot, use your second way out.
- Use the stairs; never use an elevator during a fire.
- Practice your escape plan. Always have two ways out.
- Learn About Escape
Before Winter Storms and Extreme Cold
To prepare for winter weather you should do the following:
- Add winter supplies to your emergency kit (http://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/checklist_1.pdf)
- Rock salt
- Make a Family Communications Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
- Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS). Be alert to changing weather conditions.
- Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
- Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.
- Winterize your vehicle
- Winterize you home
- Have a CO detector
- Know the weather terms.
Columbia/Boone County Public Safety Joint Communications encourages use of Smart911
Smart911 is a web based software which allows you to provide critical safety information to first responders. You can enter as much or as little information as you wish in the Smart911 database which is visible only to local 911 and emergency responders. The information you enter can provide valuable information to first responders when seconds count.
Sign up today.
2012 International Fire Code and Local Amendments
The IFC 2012 and the 2012local amendments which were adopted October 1, 2013. Print a copy of the local amendments.
Residential Fire Sprinklers
Fire sprinkler systems are valuable life safety devices which are common in commercial buildings such as schools, shopping malls, office buildings, and warehouses. However residential fire sprinklers are being promoted by the fire service as a way to reduce the loss of life due to fire in the one building we all like to feel the safest in - our home. On average, over 2,800 people die in fire each year in their own home or apartment. Learn more about fire sprinklers by clicking on the links below or by calling us at 573-874-7556.
Smoke alarms save lives - there is no question about that. So why don't more people have working smoke alarms in their homes? Perhaps in these tough economic times they simply can't afford one. If you or someone you know who lives in Columbia needs a smoke alarm and can not afford one, call us at 573-874-7556 and we'll send fire fighters out to install free smoke alarms. We'll teach you how to test it and care for it and provide you with information you need to create a family fire escape plan.
We've partnered with the Columbia Professional Fire Fighters Local 1055 to ensure funding for this important project. We're working together to keep you, our customer, safe.
A message from the U.S. Fire Administration about smoke alarms.
Recent articles have placed some doubt that smoke alarms awaken children and some adults in the event of a fire in the home. While more research is needed to determine the facts surrounding these claims be assured of one thing -WORKING SMOKE ALARMS SAVE LIVES!
Campus and College Fire Safety
Each year college and university students, on- and off-campus, experience hundreds of fire-related emergencies nationwide. There are several specific causes for fires on college campuses, including cooking, intentionally set fires, and open flame. Overall, most college-related fires are due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention. According to information complied by Campus FireWatch, the great majority of student fire deaths occur in off-campus housing that lacks insufficient exits, missing or inoperative smoke alarms, and automatic fire sprinklers. Also, use of candles, careless smoking habits, and the misuse of alcohol—which impairs judgment and hampers evacuation efforts —contribute to off-campus housing fire deaths.
As the Fall semester approaches, colleges and universities are busy preparing for the arrival of new residents to their campus communities. Some will be first year students moving into the residence halls. Other arriving students will be moving off-campus and living on their own, some for the first time. For most of these students, the last fire safety training they received was in grade school; but with new independence comes new responsibilities. It is important that both off-campus and on-campus students understand fire risks and know the preventative measures that could save their lives.
Learn the facts about campus fire safety and be fire-wise! Learn more . . .
Children and Fire Safety
Did you know that 50 percent of child fire deaths affect those under the age of 5? Escaping from a fire can be difficult for very young children because they generally lack the motor skills and mental capabilities needed to quickly escape a burning building. Learn more . .
Fire Safety for Older Adults
Adults age 65 and older are at a higher risk of death from fire than any other age group. According to the USFA report Fire in the United States Fifteenth Edition, older adults account for approximately 32 percent of all fire deaths. Fire prevention and planning are key elements in reducing the risk of deaths and injuries from fire. In the event of a fire, remember that every second counts, so you and your family must always be prepared.
Every year, almost 1,000 smokers and non-smokers are killed in home fires caused by cigarettes and other smoking materials. The U.S. Fire Administration is working to help prevent home fire deaths and injuries caused by smoking materials. Fires caused by cigarettes and other smoking materials are preventable.
Help with emergency planning.
Review the latest planning tips from the Department of Homeland Security.
Columbia Fire Department
201 Orr Street
Columbia, MO 65201
573-874-7391 M-F 8 am to 5 PM NON EMERGENCY ONLY
573-874-7450 weekends and after-hours NON EMERGENCY ONLY
573.874.7446 - fax