WF Fire Corner: Don't be spooked by the cold weather moving in, be prepared

Fire Marshall Dell Sprecher gives a glimpse of what the West Fargo Fire Department has been working on

File photo
We are part of The Trust Project.

Happy Halloween — fall is here and winter is knocking on our door.

I hate to even mention colder weather since it seems like yesterday, we were talking about the melting snow. This summer went by very fast, and what a weird summer it was.

Not sure about others, but with the rainfall we had, I did not see many mosquitos. Other oddities, such as no frogs croaking at night until late in the summer, lack of bird activity amongst many other things that just seemed out of whack. Got that off my chest, so let’s check in with fire department updates since last month.

The new headquarters is taking shape with walls and a roof to be erected soon to get enclosed before cold weather approaches. We are still on track for a June opening and looking forward to more space.

Fire crews have been busy with medical runs and a few fire alarm calls. Fire calls have been down, which is good. The Narcan hand out program is going well, with many being left with individuals, as well as, being picked up at the stations. Mika (accelerant dog) has had a busy year with reaching close to her 50 required fire investigations already. Mika gets called out from various fire departments for accelerant detection throughout the tri-state area whenever there is a suspected fire.


The Risk Reduction program has started preliminary reports on 911 assessments. As of today, we are up to 27 cases that are being worked on to slow the need of crews responding.

We will start out with the most important item on this list, which is smoke detectors. We preach and preach about smoke detectors, and how important they are. But did you know that that average smoke detector has a life span of only 10 years? When was the last time you took your smoke detector down and looked at the date on the back?

Daylight Savings is coming up on Nov. 6, and as you change your clocks and change the batteries on your smoke alarms also look at the date for replacement. Like everything else, they get old and don’t work as efficiently as they are intended.

Also, carbon monoxide detectors have the same life expectancy as smoke detectors. If you have one, please treat them the same as a smoke detector by changing batteries yearly and replacing the unit after a 10-year period. And if you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector, please get one, especially, if you have a gas furnace or gas water heater. They will let you know if you have the deadly silent killer, carbon monoxide.

When we mention furnaces, if becomes an out of site out of mind product. In the summer you don’t use it and when it gets chilly you assume it will work. The assumption usually is correct and it does work.

However, it does it need cleaning, changing the filter, checking to make sure the heat exchanger isn’t cracked. All the items that need to be addressed for your furnace to operate efficiently. So please, schedule a furnace inspection from your local heating contractor to be sure your furnace is operating properly.

Halloween is also approaching; with this in mind please be safety conscious when using candles. Never leave candles unattended when they are being used. It is much easier and safer to use battery operated candles that can provide the same effect.

Make sure all your costumes and Halloween decorations are fire resistant. Have a safe October and be fire safe.

What to read next
Highlights from holiday happenings around the metro as captured by The Forum's photographers.
The 90-minute limit in front of the VFW will be removed
Time to prepare for winter fire safety
Instead of towing, police will install an immobilization device if tickets go unpaid.