Nov 18

Smoke Alarm Requirements in Pre-1975 Built Homes Modified

Beginning December 1, older one- and two-family homes cannot be sold with expired or out-of-date smoke alarms. The Board of Fire Prevention Regulations has revised the State Fire Code to require that one- and two-family homes built before 1975 must have working smoke alarms that have not expired.


Most manufacturers of smoke alarms indicate they have a service life of about ten years and recommend replacement after that because the sensing technology deteriorates over time. This revision to the State Regulations will ensure that older homes remain protected by smoke detectors that will meet manufacturer’s recommendations and activate during a fire incident in your home.


New Requirements When Replacing Alarms

When replacing expired alarms, the regulations require the new alarms be photoelectric with a hush button feature to silence nuisance alarms. Intensifying smoke will override the hush feature. Alarms can be photoelectric alone, or in combination with ionization technology. They may also provide smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detection in the same device (combination type).


The biggest change is that replacement battery powered alarms will have to have a 10-year, sealed, non-replaceable, non-rechargeable battery. These batteries won’t ever have to be changed for the life of the smoke alarm. The entire unit, the smoke alarm and the battery, will need to be replaced at the end of ten years, and the alarm will give you an end-of-life warning.


Guide for Homeowners and Realtors

The Brewster Fire Department has posted an updated version of the requirements on our website at under the “fire Prevention” tag at the top of the home page. Anyone requiring further information may call Fire Headquarters at 508-896-7018 Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.



Nov 18

Brewster Firefighters Conduct Rapid Intervention Training

On Wednesday November 16 members of the Brewster Fire Department conducted Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) training at the old Water Department building. Rapid Intervention teams are a mandatory integral component of ensuring the safety of firefighters operating at fire suppression operations. In Barnstable County and across the country these teams are exclusively utilized to rescue firefighters who may become trapped, disoriented, or lost while operating inside a building fire.


The physically demanding program included a classroom session on search practices, mayday messages, managing the mayday, size-up, and the tools and staffing levels required to compose and operate a RIT team after which firefighters were placed in several hands-on practical evolutions that tested their ability to employ the learned team based skills and abilities required to successfully remove distressed firefighters from dangerous environments.

Nov 18

Barnstable County Dive Team Conducts Monthly Training at Massachusetts Maritime Academy

n Wednesday November 16 members of the Barnstable County Regional Dive Team conducted their monthly training at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. During the drill session team divers exercised their cache of specialized dive equipment while practicing a variety of search patterns used during underwater search and rescue and recovery missions around the berth and hull of the T.S. Kennedy which is the Academy’s training ship.


Using the ship as a large prop the team divers became acclimated to deploying their search equipment and search patterns around the confines of the ships large hull and mooring.  Since most prior training sessions have taken place in a variety of open water locations where the probability of a search and rescue or recovery operation is more likely to occur the scenarios and location presented during this training session provided the divers with an exceptional opportunity to practice their skills in an unusual dive environment.


The Barnstable County Dive Team and the Barnstable County Fire Chief’s Association would like to thank the staff at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy for providing their location to allow Team members the opportunity to improve their dive skills and abilities. Dive team members from Brewster include Captain Dan Kimball, FF Chad Foakes, FF Joseph Cox, and FF Michael Gerlach.





Nov 15

Millions of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms recalled


(NBC) — More than 3.5 million combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are being recalled in the US.

The recall involves Kidde Nighthawk talking combo smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, manufactured from June 2004 through December 2010.

The alarm can fail to continue to chirp when it reaches its 7-year end-of-life if the batteries are replaced, leading consumers to believe it is still working.

The problem poses a risk of consumers not being alerted to a fire or carbon monoxide incident in their home.

Kidde has received 8 reports of incidents. No injuries have been reported.

Consumers should contact Kidde directly for a free replacement alarm.

An additional 1.5 million units were sold in Canada.

(Copyright 2016 NBC News Channel. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Nov 11

Brewster Firefighters Attend Live Burn Training


During the months of October and November members of the Brewster Fire Department attended live fire training at the Barnstable County Fire Academy. During this rapid paced and dynamic training session Fire Academy instructors placed the firefighters in a variety of challenging live burn scenarios designed to simulate typical structure fire responses common to the Brewster Fire Department and our surrounding mutual aid communities.


Throughout the training session’s department members carried out a number of fireground scenarios that tested their operational skills and techniques in areas such as fire attack, ventilation, search & rescue, forcible entry, and incident command. This hands-on live fire training is a valuable asset to preparing and maintaining our members ability to operate safely, effectively, and efficiently at structure fire related incidents.


The Brewster Fire Department would like to thank the staff at the Barnstable County Fire Academy for their dedicated and expert guidance during this outstanding training event.


Nov 06

Brewster Firefighters Attend Fireground Command and Control Training Seminar

On Saturday November 5, 2016 seventeen Brewster firefighters attended a one-day fireground command seminar hosted by the Barnstable County Fire Chiefs Association titled “Command, Control, and Accountability” at the Captains Golf Course in Brewster. The instructor for this dynamic training program was North Hudson (NJ) Regional Fire Department Deputy Chief Anthony Avillo (ret) who is a nationally recognized speaker and author known for his dynamic presentations involving fireground command, strategy and tactics, and company officer leadership.During the program which attracted approximately 100 firefighters from across Cape Cod and the region Deputy Chief Avillo used his many years of fireground experience and familiarity with current fire suppression strategy and tactics to deliver a variety of incident command alternatives, fireground command and control systems, and company officer leadership tips that fire officers and firefighters could use to improve their level of safety at emergency incidents. Using real life video and audio as the foundation of his presentation Deputy Chief Avillo discussed subjects such as decision making, size-up, incident command, safe driving, accountability, radio reports, apparatus placement, and the deployment of effective strategy and tactics at structure fires.

This is the fifth firefighter training event sponsored by the Barnstable County Fire Chiefs that Brewster firefighters have attended and gained valuable information from a dynamic group of cutting-edge, innovative, and nationally recognized instructors who have presented at these seminars.

Oct 31

Brewster Firefighters Respond to Eastham Structure Fire

img_5344-600x450On Sunday October 30 at 5:21 a.m. the Brewster Fire Department responded to the Town of Eastham to assist at the scene of a second alarm structure fire located at 45 Oak Ridge Road. Upon arrival Engine 239 under the direction of Captain Jeff Sturtevant was assigned to hook up to the hydrant to supplement the water supply being utilized at the scene of the well involved structure fire. (This was the first fire during which the recently installed water mains and fire hydrants in the Town of Eastham were utilized).  The engine crew also stretched an additional attack line to assist with the fire suppression operation. Car 231 (Chief Moran) was assigned as the Sector Commander at the front of the structure and assisted in directing the multiple companies that were operating at the scene. Due to the home being well involved in fire on arrival with a collapse of the interior first and second floors an exterior fire attack was conducted throughout the incident. Mutual aid units from Orleans, Wellfleet, Brewster and Dennis responded to the scene while the Chatham and Yarmouth Fire Departments provided coverage at Eastham Fire Headquarters. The Red Cross also responded to the scene to assist with firefighter rehabilitation services.

Two people were injured during the incident. One firefighter suffered minor injuries after slipping and falling and shortly after 11:30 a.m. as an excavator was demolishing the house an employee from Eversource Power Company fell approximately 10’ into a hole in the floor of an adjacent shed while attempting to secure power to the area. The worker was conscious and not seriously injured.


The cause of the fire is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office. All Brewster apparatus were released and returned to service at approximately 8:30 a.m.

Oct 31

Brewster Fire/Rescue Association Donates AED to Pleasant Bay Community Boating

Earlier this year the Brewster Fire/Rescue Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit fire department based organization donated an automatic external defibrillator (AED) device to Pleasant Bay Community Boating Inc. , a nonprofit organization dedicated to offering educational and recreational boating opportunities to residents and summer visitors in the Pleasant Bay communities of Brewster, Chatham, Harwich, and Orleans. This $1,600 donation was made possible through the cooperative effort of the Pleasant Bay Community’s Executive Director Charles Sumner and Michael Gerlach, the President of the Fire/Rescue Association.

President Gerlach stated “Our association is extremely pleased to have the opportunity to furnish the Pleasant Bay Boating Community with this life saving piece of equipment while at the same time highlighting our membership’s ongoing efforts to support and improve the high-quality of life safety and rescue services we deliver within the Brewster community”.

In the picture President Gerlach and association members can be seen presenting the AED device to the Pleasant Bay Boating staff.


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Oct 26

Brewster Fire Department Offers Halloween Safety Tips

More children are injured by cars than fire on Halloween, so it’s important for children to learn and practice pedestrian safety and for drivers to use extra caution. Drive more slowly and watch for children who may forget to cross at corners and use crosswalks.

Reminder: Be Careful with Halloween Costumes, Decorations and Trick-or-Treating

▪ Use a small flashlight or battery-operated tea light in pumpkins instead of a candle.
▪ Make sure your home is well-lit inside and out and that there is a clear path to your door.
▪ Keep decorations like cornstalks away from heat sources and lit candles.
▪ Be sure all parts of costumes are labeled flame retardant.
▪ Costumes should not have trailing materials or tails long enough to cause falls.
▪ If a child is wearing a mask instead of make-up, make sure the eye holes are large enough to see through clearly.
▪ Children should carry a flashlight or glow sticks; costumes should be bright-colored or have reflective tape to highlight them.
▪ Children under 12 should always be with an adult. It’s best to take little ones out early. If older children are going out without you, go over the ground rules first and set a curfew.
▪ Remind youngsters to cross at crosswalks or corners as more children are hit by cars on Halloween than any other single day.

For more information on Halloween Safety, contact the Department of Fire Services website at, click on Halloween Safety, or call the Public Fire Safety Education Hotline at 1-877-9-NO-FIRE.

Oct 12

Sparky on the Street – Smoke alarm testing

Sparky on the Street interviews people about their smoke alarm smarts. What do you know?

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