VIDEO: Syosset Businesses Schooled in Fire Safety

Fire Prevention Officer Ken Johnson of the Syosset FD speaks at Chamber of Commerce meeting.


Syosset business owners got a lesson from 's Ken Johnson on fire safety at Thursday's meeting. Johnson, the department's Fire Prevention Officer and former chief, offered tips to safeguard homes and businesses from common types of fires.

"When a fire starts, it has no boundaries; it goes where it wants and it does what it wants," said Johnson.

Some of the top reminders Johnson offered included:

  • "Change your clocks, change your batteries."

Smoke detector batteries should be changed twice a year, and should be replaced altogether about every 10 years.

"When you buy a detector, write the date of purchase on the back," advised Johnson.

  • Out in the open.

Make sure alarms are "out in the environment." Couches, drapes and other obstacles can skew readings on detectors, so make sure they are uncovered.

  • Remember: P-A-S-S

"Pull, aim, squeeze, sweep," or PASS, is the best way to remember fire extinguisher operation.

And don't worry about the mess. Extinguishers are filled with nontoxic powder, so a quick vacuum is the only tool you will need after using one.

Bring old fire extinguishers to the Syosset Fire Department. "We can send them to be recharged, or dispose of old ones," said Johnson. "But if it's used, we'll be asking you why you didn't call us."

  • More fires start in the kitchen than in any room of the house.

If the phone rings, grab something to hold in your hand while you talk. It will serve as a reminder that something is in or on the stove. However, the best thing to do is to either not talk on the phone at all while cooking, or to turn everything off while you're talking. Also, unplug your appliances when you're not using them.

  • Flu-Like Symptoms

"Warm up your cars outside," said Johnson of a common wintertime issue. "Even with that big garage door open, carbon monoxide still flows into the house."

Carbon monoxide, the toxic, odorless gas, is not a hazard reserved for homes with oil burners. Any home is susceptible to CO overload, which is why it is just as important to have CO detectors on each floor of the house. Flu-like symptoms, like a headache and nausea, are indicators of poisonous levels.

Guest speaker ideas for upcoming Chamber of Commerce meetings can be emailed to info@syossetchamber.com. For questions, information and meeting details,


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