Recent chilly weather has resulted in most area residents to raise their tempertures on their thermostats.

Tamaqua firefighters are encouraging residents and business owners to inspect their heating units and other areas of concern as the start of the winter season approaches. Approximately 30 Tamaqua firefighters volunteered their time recently as they separated into seven inspection teams visiting about 75 Tamaqua businesses for fire and related safety concerns.

This past year, 15 Tamaqua firefighters received their Fire Inspector I certificates for each completing 48 hours of classroom and field training. Since 1990, only one Tamaqua firefighter, Art Connely, had been certified. Mark Bower, South Ward Fire Chief, mentioned that the course was offered to all eligable firefighters and would better prepare them and provide important knowledge that can be used to stress proper fire safety.

Tom Banditelli Sr., of Tom's Auto Body and Marine, "mentioned his appreciation to all the Tamaqua firefighters who volunteered their time doing these inspections for local businesses. The fire department plans on doing this once or twice a year. Businesses are encouraged to contact the fire department if they want anyone to stop by and inspect their business. Tom Hartz, Tamaqua Fire Chief, stated, "Local businesses can use our reports for insurance reasons as well as providing a safer environment," adding, "The inspections help local businesses create a safer environment for the public while also giving firefighters an understanding of the layout and to better know the business in case of an emergency."