As Colder Weather Approaches, Keep these Wood Burning tips in mind from the Ohio State Fire Marshal

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Installation of a wood burning stove should be done in accordance with local codes and the manufacturer’s instructions. Use a qualified professional to install stoves, chimney connectors and chimneys. Wood stoves should bear the label of a recognized testing laboratory.

Firing Your Stove

Some ash left over from the last fire can be desirable, since it acts as a heat reflector in the bottom of the stove.

Crumple a small amount of paper and place it in the fire chamber. Over the paper place kindling wood and a few pieces of small fuel wood, be sure the damper is open, then light the paper. Once the wood begins to burn well and a good draft has been created, larger pieces of wood may be added.


• Use flammable liquids to light a fire.
• Store flammable liquids in an area where a stove is being used. • Burn trash, large amounts of paper or small twigs.
• “Over Fire” so that stove pipe becomes “Red Hot”.
• Leave the doors open or screen off except to fuel the fire.
• Dry clothing closer than three feet to the stove.

Chimney Fires

A chimney fire can be a frightening and dangerous experience. A Chimney fire may produce loud crackling, rumbling or roaring noises and a red hot stovepipe. These fires can spread to the building itself, causing serious loss and endangering the lives of
your family.

Chimney fires are caused when CREOSOTE, a normal by-product of burning wood, collects on the inside of the chimney and is ignited. The causes of creosote buildup are listed below.

Reduce Creosote Build

These steps will help limit creosote buildup. • Burn only dry, seasoned wood.

• Use of a chimney thermometer will help provide monitoring of temperatures to ensure you are maintaining the ideal burning temperatures.

• Avoid slow burning smoky fires.
• Have your chimney inspected and cleaned every year.

If you do have a chimney fire, in spite of your precautions, do these things:
• Call the Fire Department and get everyone out of the house.
• Close the stove door, draft opening and damper to cut off air to the fire. • Never throw water on a hot stove.

A chimney fire may damage parts of the chimney or stove pipe. Be sure to have an inspection made of your entire system before you use it again.


Selecting Wood to Burn

One important factor in preventing creosote buildup is using only dry, seasoned wood. To be seasoned, wood must have been cut and dried six to twelve months or longer depending on the kind of wood. If you cut your own wood, cut well in advance of the time of use. Give the wood time to dry and become seasoned before use.

If you buy the wood, shop around and purchase the driest wood you can find. Dry wood looks and feels different than green wood. A stick of dry wood weighs less. The end of the stick may have cracks radiating from the center. Green wood does not have this appearance.

Remember that dry wood is not only safer to burn; it is also more economical because it produces more useable heat.

Chimney Cleaning

Chimney cleaning is a fact of life for the wood burner. If you burn wood, the formation of some creosote is unavoidable. Your chimney should be cleaned when creosote at any point reaches 1⁄4 inch. The only way to tell when this point is reached is to inspect your chimney. How often you should conduct an inspection varies according to many factors. To begin, make your inspections fairly often. After a time, experience will tell you how often your flue needs to be inspected and cleaned. If you want to become you own chimney sweep. Start with the correct tools. Makeshift equipment may damage your chimney. For those who are not inclined to perform the inspection and cleaning chore themselves, professional chimney sweeps are available in most areas. Next to proper installation, proper cleaning is the most important wood stove fire safety rule.


Dispose of ashes carefully. Place them in a metal container with a tight fitting lid. Set container only on a non-combustible surface, away from the house and/or garage.

Added Precautions

For the greatest measure of safety for yourself and your family, you should install one or more approved smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Check them monthly to ensure they are in good working order.

 Each family should also practice a home fire escape plan/drill with two ways out of every room. Once OUT stay OUT.

 Family members need to establish a meeting place, a gathering point to ensure everyone is safely out of the house.

 Have a 3-foot “kid-free” zone around the wood burning stove and never leave small children in a room when a wood stove is in use.

The use of wood burning stoves brings into the home certain dangers associated with the use of wood fuel. These dangers can result in serious problems for the unsuspecting home owner.

Enjoy your wood heat. Remember that the use of wood fuel requires constant attention to safety practices.

Ohio Department of Commerce

Division of State Fire Marshal

Fire Prevention Bureau


TTY/TDD: 1-800-750-0750

Follow us on Twitter @OhioFire

United States Fire Administration 


You are cordially invited to celebrate the dedication of Lafayette’s new memorial flag pole!

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The memorial was built by brothers of FF Shane Jenkins as an Eagle Scout project. Ben and Tommy Santabarbara have both been involved in Boy Scouts since Tiger Cub Scout (1st grade).  Now, both separately, with Troop 453 out of Lafayette United Methodist Church, they have reached the rank of Life Scout and are finishing their Eagle Scout rank.  To achieve this rank, one of the requirements is to find a project that will benefit an organization other than the Boy Scouts. As Ben was working on other parts of his rank, his brother Shane inquired about his Eagle project and discussed possibly installing a flag pole. During the same time, Tommy was searching his options for a project. He also thought it would be nice to benefit the fire department.

The idea was brought before the leadership of the fire department and all agreed that the idea was a good one!

Fundraising was a huge part of their projects. Ben decided to sell wooden roses and bake goods at the pancake breakfasts that Lafayette Fire Department had last February.  Tommy held a bake sale at the Lafayette United Methodist Church during one of their Bluegrass festivals. The community was very generous during each of these fundraisers. Also the township had donated additional funds to help with the costs. Finally, the boys had donated the money raised in their years of scouting and had enough to pay for the project. In addition, both scouts received a donation of materials from MGM Landscaping and discounts from local merchants.

The planning portion of the project had to be within the Boy Scout guidelines. Both scouts individually met with an Eagle Scout advisor where they had to get their project approved. After the approval, the planning portion took many months to ensure that the projects would be completed without any defects or problems. Each boy assembled their crew. They utilized the people to their best strengths and abilities. Meticulous planning was imperative.  Each crew was made up of six people. The construction portion took a full Saturday. Through delegation and hard work the project was completed.


There will be a dedication ceremony for the memorial project on September 21, 2014 at Lafayette Twp Fire Station #1 located at 6776 Wedgewood RD Medina, OH 44256. Please RSVP to 330-764 -9966 or



Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk is this Sunday!!

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What is the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation?

Firefighter Stephen Gerard Siller was the youngest of seven children born to Mae and George Siller.  At the age of eight Stephen’s father died and a year and a half later he also lost his mother, which left him an orphan to be raised by his older siblings. For a while Stephen went through a period of struggle, but because of the love of his siblings and the values instilled in him by his parents, he grew up to be an extraordinary individual and dedicated firefighter. More than most, he knew that time was precious and accomplished much in his 34 years.

On September 11, 2001, Stephen had just gotten off the late shift at Squad 1, Park Slope, Brooklyn. He was on his way to play golf with his brothers when his scanner told of the first plane hitting the Twin Towers.  When he heard the news, Stephen called his wife Sally and asked her to tell his brothers he would catch up with them later, and then returned to Squad 1 to get his gear.

Stephen drove his truck to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, but it was already closed. So he strapped 60 lbs. of gear to his back, rushed on foot through gridlocked traffic and ran from the Tunnel to the Towers where he gave up his life while saving others.

Stephen had everything to live for, a great wife, five wonderful children, devoted extended family and friends. Stephen’s parents were lay Franciscans and he grew up under the guiding philosophy of St. Francis of Assisi, “While we have time, let us do good.”  Stephen’s life and heroic death serve as reminder to us all to live life to the fullest and to spend our time here on earth doing good  – this is his legacy.

Building for America’s Bravest

Building for America’s Bravest is a program of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation that builds Smart Homes for our most catastrophically injured service members returning home. Each home is custom designed to address the unique needs of each individual. Energy efficient, automated and easily accessible—these homes use “adaptive technology” to help our most severely injured heroes live better, more independent lives.


But as amazing as adaptive home technology is, it’s far beyond the reach of most veterans and their modest pensions. The waiting list is long – and for every home we build, another three veterans join the list. When the call came, these brave service members went. They made extraordinary sacrifices in our place. Please help give them a home they can come home to.


Plans for the Medina 5K Run & Walk

Join us for the Firefighter Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers 5K Run and Walk in 2014 when our run returns to Medina. Cities across the country honor our first responders and military each year with a local Tunnel to Towers Run, and, each year on the last Sunday in September the Tunnel to Towers Run is held in NYC attracting over 30,000 participants from around the world. All proceeds from these events benefit Building for America’s Bravest program providing custom built smart homes for our most seriously wounded soldiers.


This year’s race will be held Sunday September 14, 2014 on Medina Public Square.

Today is the last day to register online! You can register in-person tomorrow 9-13-2014 at Medina Hospital from 8am to 3pm!!