Tuesday August 04, 2015

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To minimize injuries, and property loss from fire, hazardous conditions, rescue situations, and other disasters, by providing excellent state of the art, life and
property conservation, emergency and educational services while recognizing our people as our most important resource and the key to our success!

With summer upon us we must pay attention to the fast changing weather that comes through our area. 

The Farmington Valley is often impacted by storms that come from the Northwest out of Albany, New York passing through Canton and Granby and then into Simsbury. Storms also approach from the South and enter Simsbury from Avon via the Farmington River Valley.  In some cases, seemingly mild storm fronts become severe when they encounter the natural barrier of Talcott Mountain.  These storms can change in severity very quickly and may result in heavy rain, hail, severe lightning, and damaging winds. 

As we enjoy all of our summertime outdoor activities we need to be aware of weather conditions that can change quickly and we must immediately seek shelter when a heavy storm approaches.  Today we have many ways to receive alerts of quickly changing weather and it is very important to understand what each term means.  Smartphone weather apps from local radio and television stations are some of the best ways to stay aware of the changes in our weather.

The following is some of the information available from the National Weather Service at their website www.weather.gov which will help you be better informed so you can stay safe while you enjoy the summer activities and events here in Simsbury and surrounding areas.


Watches, Warnings and Cells.  What do they mean to me?

We are all familiar with the terms because we’ve heard them but do we really know what they mean?

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service website glossary ( http://w1.weather.gov/glossary/ ) these are the Watch and Warning terms and definitions you may hear.


A watch is used when the risk of a hazardous weather or hydrologic event has increased significantly, but its occurrence, location, and/or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so that those who need to set their plans in motion can do so.

Watch Box

(or simply "Box") - slang for a Severe Thunderstorm Watch or Tornado Watch issued by the SPC.

Watch Cancellation

This product will be issued to let the public know when either a Tornado Watch or Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been canceled early. It is issued by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Oklahoma. In the text of the statement it will specify the severe weather watch number and the area which the watch covered.

Watch Redefining Statement

This product tells the public which counties/parishes are included in the watch. This is done not only by writing them all out, but by using the county FIPS codes in the Header of the product. It is issued by the local National Weather Service Forecast Office (WFO).

Watch Status Reports

This product lets the NWFO know of the status of the current severe weather watch (Tornado or Severe Thunderstorm). During the severe weather watch, the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) will issue these reports periodically. These reports will describe, in plain language, the current evaluation of the severe weather situation and whether the watch will expire or be reissued. A status report is not issued if a cancellation or replacement has been issued at least 1 hour prior to the expiration time of the original watch.


A warning is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, is imminent, or has a very high probability of occurring. A warning is used for conditions posing a threat to life or property.


Convection in the form of a single updraft, downdraft, or updraft/downdraft couplet, typically seen as a vertical dome or tower as in a towering cumulus cloud. A typical thunderstorm consists of several cells.


In today’s day of technology we are often “plugged” into real time information especially with regards to weather reports.  Use this information to help you plan and to keep you and your friends and family safe.

Here is a link that may help you in the event you are caught in severe thunder and lightning storm.



Enjoy a SAFE summer!

Jim Baldis, Chief

The members of The Simsbury Volunteer Fire Company and The Simsbury Fire District honor the life and service of Honorary Life Member Jim Skilling by displaying Bunting on all Fire Stations.

Click here for important Fireworks Safety Tips

It’s time for outdoor activities and a reminder to stay safe!

With the weather finally allowing for traditional outdoor spring activities it’s important to always keep safety on mind.

While yard cleanup is rewarding it’s important that everyone know and practice safe and proper disposal of the yard waste you gather.  Open burning of yard debris is not permitted in town.  Yard debris needs to be disposed of properly and legally.  Also prohibited is the burning of lumber or construction debris. Simsbury does allow campfires provided that they are of proper size and burn only proper material.  

Camp fires must be fireplace size logs of three inches in diameter or larger.  There shall be NO burning of brush or leaves.

We ask that those wishing to have a campfire (even at your home) obtain a burn permit from the Fire Marshall’s Office.  Here is a link to allow you to download the permit:  http://simsburyfire.org/files/OpenBurnApp.pdf


In addition to yard clean-up it is Barbeque time!

Before you fire up that grill for your tasty delights take the time to check over your equipment from winter storage to ensure it’s safe and reliable.  If you have a gas grill, check the burners, connections, and hoses to be sure it’s not deteriorated which could cause a leak.  Inspect your cooking unit for rust and holes that may make the unit unsafe for use. When using your cooking appliance remember to never leave it unattended especially with children in the area as the surfaces will get dangerously hot and unsuspecting hands can be quickly burned if touched.  When you are finished cooking, be sure to turn off your burner valves and your gas tank.

Finally, if you use candles or torches to keep away mosquitoes during your outdoor events be sure they are kept away from items that could catch fire and from children who are often attracted to the dancing flames.

Enjoy your outdoor activities and we hope to see you at the Memorial Day Parades in Tariffville and Simsbury.

Stay Safe

Jim Baldis

Chief , Simsbury Fire Department

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