Hot Weather Reminder From State Fire Marshal

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STOW, Mass. — State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey reminds residents that air conditioners and other major appliances should be plugged directly into wall outlets, not extension cords or power strips.
 
"We're looking at a hot, humid weekend, and many folks will be bringing out their air conditioners or heading to the store to buy them," State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said. "Like all major appliances, these devices should be plugged directly into a wall outlet. They can overload a power strip or extension cord and cause a fire."
 
Electrical fires are the second-leading cause of fire deaths and the third-leading type of residential fires overall in Massachusetts, the Marshal said. 
 
Protect yourself and your family by following these safety tips at home:
 
  • Avoid overloading outlets
  • Use only one device plugged into a power strip at a time
  • Remember that extension cords are for temporary use
  • Check electrical cords for damage and keep them out from under rugs and furniture
  • Charge laptops, phones, e-cigarettes, and other rechargeable devices on hard, stable surfaces, not beds or couches
  • Call a licensed electrician if you experience flickering lights, frequently blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers, or unusually warm plugs, cords, or switches
  • Call your local fire department if you see arcs or sparks, hear a sizzling or buzzing sound, or smell the odor of something burning in the home
  • Have a licensed electrician review your home's electrical system every ten years
"No matter the weather, every household should have working smoke alarms on every floor and a practiced home escape plan that accounts for two ways out," State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said. "A fire at home can become deadly in less than three minutes."

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Goodwill Makes Promotions

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Goodwill Industries of the Berkshires and Southern Vermont announced the promotions of Karen Harrington to director of retail operations, northern territory, and Mary Killeen to the position of director of finance.
 
Harrington is the manager of Goodwill's retail store in Bennington, Vermont, a position she has held since 2015. She oversees operations at Goodwill's store in North Adams and Rutland and is a member of the team working on the July reopening of Goodwill's flagship store in Pittsfield. Prior to joining Goodwill, she was employed at the Bennington Museum for 22 years, including 16 years as administrative assistant to the executive director, followed by six years as manager of the museum's gift shop.
 
Harrington attended Southern Vermont College and is a Bennington native. She resides there with her husband Tim, 13 chickens, two ducks and a Labrador retriever. She has two grown children, three grown stepchildren, and ten grandchildren.
 
Killeen, a Pittsfield native and resident, joined Goodwill in 2020 as its senior accountant. With a B.S. in business administration from Stonehill College and many years of accounting experience, she brings expertise in accounting principles and best practices to Goodwill's administrative team. In her new role as director of finance, Killeen will oversee all the day-to-day financial aspects of Goodwill's operations, as well as short- and long-term planning for the nonprofit organization.
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