Members of the FCVFD are often asked by residents, “What can we do to help?” While we are always looking for new volunteers and monetary donations are most appreciated, perhaps the biggest way in which community members can help us is by ensuring that their home addresses are clearly posted and easily visible.
Why Address Signs?
The FCVFD strongly encourages you to purchase an address marker/sign to place at the end of your driveway if you do not already have one. Placing an address marker on your mailbox post is also an excellent idea. If you live on a private lane with multiple residences, we encourage you mark both your mailbox and the end of your driveway or front yard. Unlike UPS, FedEx, or Amazon, we don’t have the luxury of taking time to find your home address when dispatched.
Here are some helpful tips to ensure we can find your home when called:
- Ensure you have address sign/marker with large, simple font
- The font of your sign/marker should be a highly contrasting color from its background
- Choose reflective lettering/backgrounds whenever possible
- Ensure that trees or overgrown vegetation are not blocking view of your address sign/marker
- Place your address sign/marker in a location where it will not get buried by a snowplow
- Consider illuminating your address sign/marker
Below are a few good examples of address signs/markers. When in doubt about purchasing or placing such a sign, imagine being awakened from your bed at 2:00 am during a thunderstorm and driving to a residence you have never been to, on a long private lane – would you be able to find it?
Planning Improvements To Your Property?
Another way in which Borough residents can assist the FCVFD is considering the response of a twenty-five ton fire engine when planning any property improvements. It is no secret that fire engines are large, but they are also surprisingly heavy as they carry thousands of pounds of hose and water. The FCVFD’s two primary fire engines carry 750 gallons of water each – that’s over 6,200 lbs of water alone. Narrow gates, pillars, and low-hanging branches are also obstacles that we encounter on many calls. Please consider the following when planning any property improvements:
- All gates, pillars, or anything a fire engine must drive through to access your residence must be a MINIMUM of ten feet wide.
- Fire engines need AT LEAST 12 feet of height clearance to access your house. REMOVE ALL LOW HANGING TREE BRANCHES.
- Consider weight rating when building or replacing any bridge on private property.
- Do not block fire hydrants with decorative landscaping or hardscaping.
Finally, financial gifts are always welcome and most appreciated. The FCVFD utilizes funds from donations to help purchase department vehicles, fire and rescue equipment, fund training events, purchase general operating supplies, and other similar expenditures.
Donations made via check may be made payable to Fox Chapel Volunteer Fire Department and mailed to:
Fox Chapel VFD
401 Fox Chapel Rd
Pittsburgh, PA 15238