The Lehrer Report for Feb. 10, 2017


Thursday, February 16, 2017

A house fire has been reported at least once a week in the papers, ranging from Greenfield to Springfield as well as Amherst recently.

I asked Fire Chief Tim Nelson for some advice for residents to protect their property.

His suggestions:

Have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Portable /space heaters need three feet of clearance of combustible materials. Shut off the devices when you leave the room and when going to bed.

Use wood and pellet stoves according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Check heating equipment and chimneys once a year.

If smoke and/or CO detectors go off for something other than cooking smoke or shower steam, call the Fire Department — don’t hesitate!

“We would rather come out to discover that there is a minor problem or no problem at all instead of responding to a delayed call that allows a problem to become a serious issue,” he wrote.

Chief Nelson also said to check the website at amherstma.gov/fire.

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Fran Caporello of Amherst sent me a beautiful postcard of scenes from the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand, including the Maori Maiden statue and the volcanic White Island.

She was in Auckland, which she called a great city with good food and plenty to do.

Next up, the hot springs in Rotorua. She hoped we aren’t getting too much snow then added salt to the comment by citing the 70 degree temperature.

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Speaking of snow — and how can we not — I had 16 inches in my driveway Feb. 9. Some reports had Amherst at 10 inches but most agreed we had more than that. I have a red yardstick that I used. I will get it out again. It is snowing as I write this.

What do adults do on a snow day? Income taxes.

Phyllis Lehrer can be reached at phyllehrer@gmail.com.