Structure Fire at Stavola Road Home
Structure Fire at Stavola Road Home in 2020 - photo credit Laurie Kegley/MTFD

MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Middletown Township Fire Marshal Buddy Skelly, Middletown Township Fire Chief Bernard Chenoweth and members of both respective agencies want to extend their deepest and heartfelt condolences to all the families who suffered catastrophic losses in New York City and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Fire’s such as these with the number of human fatalities associated, remind us of the importance fire safety precautions where we live and work.

The importance of “closing doors” has, unfortunately, been in the forefront of several deadly fires. Closed doors can and will prevent smoke and fire from rapid spread and will buy precious time which can aid in your escape and if needed rescue.

Smoke alarms and Carbon Monoxide detectors should be in every home and business. These devices should be in good working order and checked regularly.

Space Heaters:

Kerosene Heaters are illegal in all but one- and two-family homes in New Jersey. Use manufacturer recommended fuel only. Store fuel and always refill outdoors. Keep heater 3 feet away from everything. Never move it while in use. Keep pets and small children away.

Wood & Coal Stoves – use only seasoned wood or coal in the respective stove type. Dispose of ash in an approved covered container, outdoors and away from the home by at least 15 feet. Check flue pipes and clean all chimneys annually. DO NOT use lighter fluid or flammable liquid to light a fire. Keep stove door closed and use a fire screen.

Electric Heaters – Check for independent lab approval and a “tip switch” that would shut off the appliance if it’s moved. Exposed element heaters are being phased out. Look for UL approved self-contained fluid heat transfer units. Keep heater away from flammables, including curtains, shag rug and clothing. Keep on a level hardwood or vinyl surface. Plug device directly into an approved wall receptable. IF an extension cord is necessary, only use UL approved extension cord and monitor regularly for heat to the touch. Unplug immediately if any cord is hot to the touch.

Have a plan! Know what to do if you experience a fire. Have at least two means of egress and be sure they are clear and unobstructed (snow). The plan needs to be discussed with all the members of each household. If you rent, please purchase renter’s insurance. This very inexpensive insurance has proven to be an incredible asset to anyone who has suffered a fire loss.

Again, on behalf of the membership of the Middletown Township Fire Marshal’s Office and Middletown Township Fire Department, we pray for all those affected by these recent tragedies and know that we are here to serve the citizens of our community. 

 Any Questions Please call the Middletown Fire Marshal’s Office 732-615-2272


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