by Tom Quink, Vice-Chairman
La Casa Firewise Committee
At the annual Firewise Coffee hour held the first Wednesday in February, the La Casa Firewise Committee is able to take credit for each attending member for a one hour time period. This year we estimated that 150 people attended the Coffee hour. Therefor your H.O.A. Board of Directors is credited at $22.20 per person or $1,360.00 This figure is added to the annual cost of mowing the 40 acre fire break and La Casa has more than enough funds to credit the National Fire Protection Association annual cost for Firewise.
The slides below were well presented by Patrick Mahoney of the Florida Forest Service.
submitted by Howard Helman
The recent coffee hour featured La Casa Fire Wise representatives and local forestry and fire department personnel. Their presentations addressed prescribed burns as well as unwanted fires that are caused in vegetation detritus within forested areas, roof gutters, landscape materials, and grass areas and was well received by our community.
The presentations stressed damage related to fires that start outdoors and spread to our homes by way of burning grass and other materials that become pathways for the spreading flames. What seems to be taken for granted is carelessness within homes that are occupied. The talk did mention the absence of smoke detector/alarms in homes, dead batteries in alarms that render the alarms useless, and the advantage of residents keeping fire extinguishers handy.
Newspaper articles concerning fires and subsequent injuries and deaths of residents in “mobile homes” seem common. Our homes are constructed to codes at their times of manufacture, but lightweight materials that meet code are still less of a deterrent to the spread of fire than heavier building materials.
Staying safe requires that all of us follow all the precautions that we already know. While we all understand the need to keep focused on what we have cooking on our stoves, toasting in devices that are not on timers or thermostats, drying in our clothes dryers, and operating high wattage devices such as space heaters connected by extension cords, it is easy to become distracted by a phone call, TV program, or a nap while a pan of oil is heating on the stove.
Thanks to all who participated in the Fire Watch coffee hour and those who attended and left with the desire to be vigilant in keeping fires where they belong and no further.