Thursday, December 17, 2009

Broken Water Pipe info from TVF&R and the Tual. Valley Water Dist.

Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue firefighters are recovering from a busy week dealing with broken water pipes across the District. In the past seven days, firefighters responded to 130 calls for service because of water problems at homes and businesses. “Now that the temperatures are back above freezing, this is a great time to educate yourself about how to shut off the water in your home,” says TVF&R Communications Officer Brian Barker, “this can happen to anyone, and many homeowners suffer thousands of dollars in damage because they don’t know how to stop the water from flowing.”

This is also a good time to prepare yourself for power outages and other problems that happen during the winter months. TVF&R advises that you take the following preventative measures:

§ Gather necessary supplies for your family including flashlights, extra batteries, water, food, blankets, cell phone (vehicle) charger, manual can opener, battery-operated clock, etc. Stock up on food and water, as well as necessary medications.

§ Candles are a fire hazard – use only flashlights, battery-operated lanterns, and light sticks as emergency lighting in your home.

§ Prepare your vehicle. Inspect and change fluids (oil, antifreeze, wiper washer, etc.) and ensure your tire tread and brakes are in good working order. Keep your fuel tank at least half-filled and have emergency supplies (flares, blanket, water, cell phone) on hand in case you’re stranded. Avoid driving when roads are treacherous.

§ Never use outdoor equipment including propane or kerosene heaters or charcoal barbecues inside a home due to the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that claims hundreds of lives every year.

§ Gas-fueled generators must be used outside in a well-ventilated area to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using a generator.

Shut Off Your Water | How to Find Your Shut Off Valve

If a water pipe broke in your home, are you able to find the shut off valve? Know where it’s located before you have an emergency. There should be a valve near the house.

Look for your shut off valve in the following places:

§ In the crawl space or basement, where the water line enters the home.

§ In the garage where the water line enters the wall or ceiling, near the water heater or laundry hookup.

§ Outside near the foundation, often protected by a concrete ring or clay pipe.

Your Water Meter

Your water meter is located in a concrete or plastic box in the ground, generally in front of your house and near the side property line. It’s important to keep the box free of plants and roots that can obstruct or hide the meter or damage the service line.

Can't Find Your Shut Off Valve?

You may want to have a shut off valve installed if you can’t locate one. If you have an emergency and need help shutting off your water at the meter or locating your water meter, please call Tigard Public Works at 503-639-4171 or (after 5 p.m.) 503-639-1554. This is for Tigard Water Service Area customers.

If your water provider is the Tualatin Valley Water District, call them at 503-642-1511.

Not sure who provides your water? If your bill comes from the City of Tigard, then you are receiving water from the Tigard Water Service Area.

Types of Shut Off Valves

Your water shut off valve may take many different forms. Below are a few of the most common types of shutoff valves:

You can also turn off your water at your backflow device

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tigard Library Book Group Explores The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

The Tigard Library evening book group will discuss The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie on Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. and welcomes readers to join the discussion. C. Alan Bradley’s debut novel is a mystery set in Great Britain in the 1950s, featuring a charming and diabolically intelligent young sleuth.
Early one morning, Flavia de Luce discovers a dying man in the cucumber patch. When her reclusive father is arrested for the murder, she hunts for the real murderer. Kirkus Review says “Brilliant, irresistible and incorrigible, Flavia has a long future ahead of her.”
The evening book group meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Grace Tigard Houghton Room on the second floor of the Library. For information about Library book groups and other activities, visit the Library’s Web site at and click on Adult Programs or call 503-684-6537.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fire Department Safety Tips

Cold Weather and Wind Prompts Fire District to Issue Safety Tips

Posted: 07 Dec 2009 12:00 PM PST

With prolonged below-freezing temperatures predicted for this region and the potential for power outages due to high winds, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue has concerns about individuals heating their home with alternative heat sources. This may also be more of an issue this year as people try to save money due to the economy.

A recent survey conducted by the National Fire Protection Association and the American Red Cross indicated that in light of increasing heating costs and a suffering economy, 48% of the households surveyed will use an alternative heating source to reduce their bills this winter. Alternative heating sources include portable space heaters, stoves, ovens and fireplaces. A third (36%) of people with fireplaces reported they never cleaned or inspected their chimneys.

“It’s cold and some will choose to heat their homes with fireplaces or stoves,” says TVF&R Public Information Officer Brian Barker, “we just want to remind people to use caution when heating your home.”

TVF&R offers the following tips on the safe use of alternative heating sources:

§ If using a fireplace or woodstove, check to ensure the flue is unobstructed and the damper is open. Always use a tight-fitting fireplace screen or glass doors to contain burning embers.

§ Keep a close eye on your fire and keep it manageable. A fire that grows too large and hot can result in a chimney fire. Also, ensure your fire is extinguished before going to bed or leaving your home.

§ Never use gasoline or lighter fluid to start a fire.

§ Keep combustible materials (Christmas tree, furniture, paper, etc.) at least three feet away from fireplaces, woodstoves, and all heating devices.

§ Ashes can rekindle and start a fire. Wait several days before cleaning out your fireplace or woodstove or dispose of ashes in a metal container with a lid, placed outside your home.

§ Candles are a fire hazard – use only flashlights, battery-operated lanterns, and light sticks as emergency lighting in your home.

§ Never use outdoor equipment including propane or kerosene heaters or charcoal barbecues inside a home due to the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that claims hundreds of lives every year.

§ Gas-fueled generators must be used outside in a well-ventilated area to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using a generator.

§ Check your smoke alarms to ensure they are working and install a carbon monoxide detector as a precaution.

Protect Your Pipes!

Posted: 07 Dec 2009 09:34 AM PST

With temperatures dipping below freezing, pipes and faucets near or in exterior walls may be at risk of freezing and bursting, resulting in a water problem when warmer temperatures return. TVF&R advises individuals to take the following preventative measures and know how to shut-off the water to their home in case of emergency.

§ In your home you may have pipes located in the exterior wall because they serve a fixture that is placed against that wall. While they may be somewhat insulated, they can still become cold enough to freeze. In the case of a sink, it may be helpful to open the cabinet doors under the sink to allow warm interior air to warm the wall. You can also leave a trickle of water running from the faucet.

§ Exposed pipes in the attic, basement or crawl space can also be at risk of freezing. Leaving a trickle of water running from a faucet farthest away from the water meter can be helpful. You can also wrap insulating material or electrical wire heating wrap around the pipes. This can be purchased at any home improvement store.

§ Never use a propane torch or an open flame to thaw a pipe due to the risk of igniting wood beams, flooring and other combustible materials around pipes. Hair dryers should also be avoided due to the risk of electrocution.

As water freezes, it expands. With enough expansion, pipes can develop cracks which are not apparent at first, but begin to leak as the ice melts. In the case of a broken pipe shut off the water valve (See how:–outreach/shut-off-your-water.aspx) and contact a professional plumber or fire and water restoration company. These companies—located in the Yellow Pages—have the skills and equipment to remedy any water damage and get your home quickly back in order.

Tigard Public Works Department - READY for the SNOW!

The City of Tigard’s fleet of snow removal equipment, which includes plows and sanders, has been inspected and is ready to go. The city’s street sanders have chains on the tires and are loaded with sand.

Did you know that the City of Tigard has enough sand stockpiled to complete the sanding routes throughout the city over four times! Our crews have chains and studded tires available for all city vehicles so city services will continue, even if it does snow.

For more information, including sanding routes, visit the City of Tigard website at or call the Tigard Public Works Department at 503-718-2591.

Traditional Andean Folk Music at the Tigard Public Library

The trio Beautiful Flute will perform traditional Andean folk music at the Tigard Public Library on Friday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. The music of Beautiful Flute will include songs in Spanish and Quechua, the indigenous language of the Incas. The mesmerizing music of the panflutes and Andean flutes evokes images of the mystic lands of their origins.
Alex LLumiquinga, inspired by the popular Andean folk groups of his grandfather’s native Ecuador, has played Andean folk music for the past 15 years. Also inspired by his grandfather’s love of the music of the Andes, Sean Koreski has played various Andean flutes and panflutes for the last 24 years. Bolivian Fernando Lopez acquired his love of music from his father.
This free Spanish and English bilingual musical performance will be held at the Library Community Room and is sponsored by the Friends of the Tigard Public Library. For more information, please call the Library at 503-684-6537 and request the Adult Reference Desk or visit the Library’s web page at: and click on Adult Events.

Winter Weather Riding Tips

Conditions can change quickly. Before you leave, get the latest updates on snow routes, delays and cancellations:

· Check the Service Alerts page on this website

· Call 503-238-RIDE (7433) and press "2" for Service Alerts

· Check local TV and radio stations

Using TransitTracker

TriMet's TransitTracker™ estimates the next arrivals for buses and trains in real time, based on each vehicle's location and average speed. But when many vehicles are off-route or significantly delayed, it cannot make accurate arrival predictions. TransitTracker can, however, tell you if your line is canceled, or, in some cases, how far away the next vehicle is.

Riding the bus: What to expect

Buses will follow their normal routes as long as the streets are safe for travel. We work with city and state road crews to help make sure bus routes get plowed first.

Snow routes

If there is a significant accumulation of snow, ice or freezing rain, some buses will be put on snow routes and others may be canceled. (Buses won't be able to serve parts of the route that are hilly or too dangerous to drive on.)

To plan ahead, find the typical snow route for your bus line(s). Snow routes may change depending on road conditions, so always check the Service Alerts page or call 503-238-RIDE for details.

Dress warmly and expect delays

Road conditions affect all traffic, so buses may experience significant delays. Chained buses cannot travel more than 25 mph. They won't be on schedule, but buses should still arrive at regular intervals. To be safe, please dress warmly.

Some bus lines may be canceled

If a route has many hills or other potential dangers, the bus line may be canceled until the roads have been cleared. We'll make announcements on and 503-238-RIDE.

In extreme conditions, when snow or ice causes many buses to become stuck, we may cancel bus service on all but the most heavily used routes that serve the majority of riders. This allows us to better serve major population centers and dedicate buses where they can be most useful.

Riding tips

· If there's no traffic going by your bus stop, walk to a stop on a busy street.

· If your bus stop is in the middle of a hill, walk to the bottom where the operator can safely stop.

· Stand back from the curb until the bus comes to a complete stop. Buses can slide sideways in slippery conditions.

· Keep in mind your bus may not pull all the way over to the curb, to avoid getting stuck.

Riding MAX, WES or Streetcar: What to expect

MAX Light Rail, WES Commuter Rail and Portland Streetcar will operate normally unless there is a problem with the tracks, switches or the overhead wires. Still, we recommend you dress warmly and expect minor delays. When there is a major disruption, service updates are posted on the reader boards at MAX and WES stations, in addition to alerts via web and phone.

During a major disruption, we use shuttle buses

If we expect MAX, WES or Streetcar service will be interrupted for a significant period of time, we'll send out shuttle buses to carry riders between stations. That means you'll go to the station like you normally would, but you'll board a shuttle bus instead. (It will pull up near the station, with a sign that says "Shuttle.") Unless otherwise indicated, the buses will stop at all stations your train would serve during its normal hours of operation.

At times, MAX may continue running overnight in order to prevent ice from building up on the overhead wires. If this is the case, MAX will be in service and carrying passengers all night long.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Heartburn or Heart Attack? What to Know This Thanksgiving Holiday

For many people the Thanksgiving dinner and heartburn go hand-in-hand. But how do you know that your chest pain is heartburn and not a heart attack? Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue responds to hundreds of heart-related calls each year. Many of these incidents involve patients who believed they were simply suffering severe heartburn.

Being uncertain if you or a loved one is experiencing a heart attack is normal, but a delay can be deadly or result in permanent heart damage. Unlike a cardiac arrest—which strikes suddenly and includes a loss of consciousness—a heart attack can develop so slowly that you are unaware of what’s happening. Symptoms typically include:

§ Chest discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and returns. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.

§ Upper body discomfort, such as pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.

§ Shortness of breath before, during, or after other discomforts.

§ Other signs, including breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness.

§ Women are more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

Time is of the essence. The heart deteriorates with each passing minute from the onset of a heart attack to definitive hospital care. If you are experiencing one or more symptoms:

§ Don’t ignore your symptoms. Do not drive yourself to the hospital.

§ Call 9-1-1.

Having paramedics assess your situation will help expedite life-saving treatment.

With 22 stations and paramedics on every unit, TVF&R provides the highest level of cardiac care. Every TVF&R unit carries specialized drugs and advanced cardiac monitors with 12-lead EKG capability. These monitors enable paramedics to diagnose if the heart is failing and begin immediate treatment. If a patient must be transported, information gathered by paramedics is relayed to the local hospital, enabling physicians and staff to activate special heart teams and prepare for the patient before their arrival. This cooperative EMS system is already proving to be an asset in the race against time for heart attack patients. The national standard for field to cath lab is approximately 90 minutes. Data from local incidents show TVF&R/Providence patients making it from field to the cath lab in 49-62 minutes – and in one case, 26 minutes!