Still a bargain at just $15, the investment could be well worth it if firefighters or rescue squad personnel are trying to find your home on a foggy night this winter.

Escalon Consolidated Fire Protection District officials are still offering reflective address markers to residents, with the markers made to order for your home. Installation is also provided if necessary and Escalon Assistant Fire Chief Terry Pinheiro said with the foggy weather starting to roll in, those that don't have the reflective markers would do well to consider the purchase.

"We started this program about two years ago and we started it solely to provide assistance to us in finding addresses," Pinheiro explained. "At the time, we updated our entire map system."

The reflective address signs help responding emergency vehicles find a home quickly and can be installed on mailboxes, fence posts or on stand alone posts, vertically or horizontally.

It is not a moneymaking venture for the fire department, added Pinheiro, with the fee still at the $15 level it was at when the program began.

"The cost pretty much offsets what we paid for the signs and numbers," he said. "Hogan Manufacturing is very generous in that they provide the brackets for us when we mount them, and that (installation) is provided at no extra charge."

Order forms are available at the firehouse on Coley Avenue and those interested in learning more about the reflective signs can see photos of them on the department's website, www.escalonfire.com.

"They're throughout our entire district," Pinheiro said, noting that the program has proved popular, especially in the outlying areas. "We've got them all over, some in Ripon, some in Farmington, we've even had people order them to send them out of state for gifts."


Signs Can Be Lifesaver In Foggy Weather
By Marg Jackson
Editor The Escalon, CA Times
Escalon firefighter Cassidy Bohannon puts the final number in place on a bright blue reflective road sign, which the fire department sells and installs to help them find homes in the area at night and during foggy weather. Behind him, on the wall, is a map of the county, including the Escalon coverage area.      Marg Jackson/The Times 

The white reflective numbers are placed on the blue signs and then are mounted near the roadway, often at a driveway entrance.

Time is often of the essence in emergency service calls and not having to slow down and search for an address can mean the difference between life and death in some cases, officials said.

"When we're flying down the road on a foggy night and we can find you because of the sign, it's worth its weight in gold," Pinheiro said.

As the fall weather brings cooler temperatures, rain and fog, more people will also be firing up the heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves and Pinheiro reminded residents to play it safe. Batteries in home smoke detectors should have been changed when Daylight Saving Time ended at the end of October, and, if they haven't been, Pinheiro advised residents to do it now. They also should take some basic steps to help keep their home safe this winter.

"Fireplace cleaning is important," Pinheiro said. "Also, check for any combustibles around heating sources."

As always, keep dryer vents clean and lint free, especially when you are more likely to use the dryer during the winter as opposed to hanging laundry out to dry. And though it is still a few weeks away, Pinheiro reminded residents to not put any holiday gift wrap or Christmas trees in fireplaces.

"Burn dry, seasoned wood only in your fireplace," he said.

Also, remember to check on the wood burning status with the   San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District   before firing up a fireplace or woodstove.