The Turlock Fire Department responded to a total of 440 incidents during the month of March, which included a total of 304 emergency medical service calls.
Turlock Fire responded to 15 motor vehicle accidents, and 26 commercial/residential fire alarms. There were a total of 13 fire type calls classified as: five building fires, one unauthorized burning, two cooking fires, two vegetation and/or rubbish fires, two electrical wiring fires, and one fire in a portable building.
The remaining incidents consisted of public assists, assist to police, person in distress, smoke checks, gas leaks, water problem, haz-mat investigation, power lines down and service calls.
Noteworthy events in March consisted of a possible residential structure fire. Upon arrival, fire crews said the home looked completely normal from the outside. The occupants stood outside by the family car in the early morning twilight; mom, dad and two kids.
Inside the home, on the other hand, was filled with smoke layered down about two to three feet off the floor. There was a considerable amount of heat along with the smoke, but no apparent fire. The kitchen was hottest with the oven being the culprit; a self-cleaning model had turned itself on to the clean cycle late in the night. Unfortunately, the unit continued to heat up until it was so hot that it was producing smoke that traveled throughout the home.
Under ideal conditions at this point, the smoke would have passed a smoke detector and caused it to activate, alerting the sleeping occupants.
Dangerously, the batteries had all been removed from the detectors rendering them nonfunctional. Luckily in this case, something woke the family up - the crying baby and a trip to the bathroom. The exposure to the smoke while they slept had not yet taken their consciousness so far down that they were unable to wake up and call 911.
The fire department recommended replacing the oven as it had seen very high temperatures, beyond normal cleaning or cooking. Being a gas-fired range, the vent fan above the stovetop MUST vent to the outside of the home. When a gas-fired appliance burns fuel, it inevitably produces a small amount of carbon monoxide, which can accumulate in enclosed spaces if not vented to the outside.
Carbon monoxide is poisonous to humans and pets. That's why the law states that ALL homes must have carbon monoxide detectors along with the already required working smoke detectors.
Never remove batteries from smoke/carbon monoxide detectors - except to put a new battery in immediately.
With sunny weather returning, it's important for you to review these tips on Barbeque Safety before you start up that grill.
• Clean your grill thoroughly and check for leaks, cracking or brittleness before using it. Clean out the tubes that lead into the burner.
• Make sure the grill is at least 10 feet away from your house, garage or trees.
• Store and use your grill on a flat surface that cannot burn.
• DO NOT use grills in an enclosed area, such as a garage or on top of any surface that can catch fire (porch, deck, etc).
• Keep children away from fire and grills. Create a safety zone around the grill and instruct children to remain outside that zone.
• Have a fire extinguisher, garden hose, bucket of water, or sand nearby.
• DO NOT wear loose clothing that might catch fire.
• Use long handled barbecue tools and/or flame resistant mitts.
• NEVER use any flammable liquid other than a barbecue starter fluid. NEVER pour starter fluid onto an open flame.
• NEVER leave the grill unattended.
• Keep your grill clean and free of grease buildup that may lead to a fire and ALWAYS follow the manufacturer's cleaning and storing instructions that accompany the grill.