Fire Prevention

In 2000, according to the National Fire Protection Association, 3,420 Americans were killed and another 16,975 were injured as a result of fire. Direct property loss due to fires was estimated at $5.5 billion. Fire killed more Americans than all natural disasters combined. 85% of all fire deaths occurred in residences.


  • Never smoke in bed.

  • Install smoke detectors on every level of your home, including the basement, and outside each sleeping area.
    1. Test detectors every month
    2. NEVER "borrow" a smoke detector's battery for another use.
  • Fire Extinguishers
    1. Purchase an ABC type extinguisher for extinguishing all types of fires.
    2. Learn how to use your fire extinguisher before an emergency.
    3. Never let the fire get between you and an exit.
    4. Only use an extinguisher on small fires. For large fires, get out immediately and then call 911.
  • ESCAPE ROUTES should be planned and practiced.
    1. Be sure that everyone knows at least two exits - doors & windows - from every room and from the house.
    2. Agree on a fixed location outdoors where you will gather for a head count. Remember: ONCE YOU GET OUT, STAY OUT!
  • Crawl low under smoke
    1. If you encounter smoke on your way out of a fire, use your second way out instead.
    2. If you must escape through smoke, crawl low under the smoke to your exit.
  • Stop, Drop And Roll
    1. If your clothes catch fire, don't run.
    2. Stop where you are, drop to the ground, cover your face with your hands, and roll over and over to smother the flames.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach. Use child resistant lighters.

 COOKING AND GRILLING (Click Here for more information!)

  • Never leave cooking unattended.

  • Turn pot handles inward on the stove.

  • Enforce a "Kid-Free Zone" three feet around your kitchen stove.

  • Keep cooking areas clear of combustibles and wear clothes with short, rolled-up or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook.

  • If grease catches fire in a pan, slide a lid over the pan to smother the flames and turn off the heat. Leave the lid on until cool.

  • Never close grill hoods until ignition occurs when lighting a gas grill.

  • Keep a fire extinguisher or a charged garden hose near by.

  • Keep n 10-foot radius above and around grill clear of any combustibles.

  • Always shut off valves to propane tanks when not in use.


  • Always store propane cylinders outside.

  • Never store gasoline, paints, or flammable liquids in your home. Keep them in a detached garage/shed, in a well-ventilated area and only in approved containers.


  • Use the proper size fuses in your fuse box.

  • Don’t overload extension cords or run them under rugs.

  • Replace any cord that is cracked or frayed. If an appliance smokes or has an unusual smell, unplug it and have it repaired by a professional.


  • Have your furnace inspected by a professional prior to the start of every heating season.

  • Don't store combustible materials near a furnace, hot water or space heater, etc.

  • Don't leave space heaters operating when you're not in the room.

  • Keep a 3ft radius around space heaters clear of anything that might burn, including the wall.

  • Don't use extension cords with electrical space heaters.

  • Never use a gas range as a substitute for a furnace or space heater.



Fire Laws & Ordinances

The members of Union Center Fire Company are dedicated to the advancement of sound fire safety practices by all citizens of our Community and increasing the effectiveness and proficiency of the Community's fire service. We think it is important to educate the public with basic information on Fire Laws or Codes, such as open burning laws, smoke and carbon monoxide alarm requirements, and general fire safety. We want to provide as much information as possible, and answer any questions or concerns a person may have.

This website is part of these efforts and we trust that the information provided will assist all of us in achieving a more fire safe Community.

Please contact us if there are further questions to something that are read on this site. However, we recommend that a Code Enforcement Officer from the Towns of Union or Maine are contacted, if there are further questions to information that can't found on this website.

In September of 2009, New York State changed the LAW regarding open burning. Due to our geographic location and somewhat rural setting, this is an item of interest for many of the people we serve.

This article was written by Jon Campbell, Gannett News:

New York enacts ban on open waste burning

By Jon Campbell • Gannett
ALBANY -- The state Department of Environmental Conservation enacted a statewide ban on burning trash Wednesday, eliminating so-called burn barrels and open pits used to incinerate waste. The ban is an effort to curb the amount of toxic chemicals released into the air, including dioxin, a carcinogen. Residents were previously allowed to burn home waste only in towns and villages with a population less than 20,000.

"These regulations are long overdue," said Laura Haight, senior environmental associate for the New York Public Interest Research Group."Smoke and fumes from outdoor garbage burning contaminate our air, water and food with dioxins and other toxic chemicals that can cause breathing difficulties such as asthma attacks." Open burning is also the leading cause of wildfires in the state, the DEC said.

David Carpenter, a professor at the University at Albany Institute for Health and the Environment, said burning plastics at low temperatures causes dioxin to be released into the air and land on vegetables and grass that cows eat, allowing it to enter the human food supply."We must get dioxin out of the food supply and the only way to get dioxin out is to reduce the dioxin that is released and gets into the environment," Carpenter said.

The ban does allow for some exceptions, including the burning of tree limbs and branches from May 15 through March 15 in towns with under 20,000 people. Small campfires and barbecue grills are still allowed. Among those affected by the ban are farmers. Previously, burning was the main disposal method for agricultural plastics, such as those used to wrap hay bales, officials said.

The state has allocated money in the current budget to form a program that will collect plastics at individual farms, state Farm Bureau spokesman Peter Gregg said. The program has not launched yet, but the state has partnered with Cornell University to get it off the ground, he said. Until then, Gregg said he expects farmers will simply hold on to their plastics at their farms.

Click here to read the full regulation.

Click here to see an FAQ about open burning.