Letter: Darien firehouse horns — unsafe, unhealthy and unnecessary

02-24-darien-fire-horn-dfd

To the Editor:

Darien firehouse horns are blasting us with over 120 decibels of toxic noise that hurts the ear and degrades the ear drum. Science has proven that noises over 85 decibels can damage eardrums, and there’s no medical procedure to repair the eardrum.

Reviewing Connecticut law on “disturbing the peace” it indicates that no noise over 100 decibels shall be allowed during the daytime and 80 decibels at night. If you worked in a machine shop or any operation where noise levels reach 85 decibels, Connecticut law says that the company must provide ear protection devices to all exposed to those loud and harmful noises. Connecticut workers and most residents of the state are protected, but not in Darien. The fire department claims an “emergency” exemption. Again our firehouse horns are blasting us with over 120 decibels in all three stations in our most densely populated areas. And these toxic horns are blowing at over 4,000 times a year, or 100,000+ times a generation.

These horns should have been silenced decades ago, but our volunteer fire fighting leaders claim it adds safety to their operations. If this were true, then all firehouses professional or otherwise would use horns. In fact, these horns are inherently unsafe and continue to deafen our town citizens.

There’s so much communication technology today it’s disturbing to think that we are still using a one-way communication system that dates back to when carrier pigeons were a viable option.

It’s time to silence these toxic blasts. With the town’s 200th anniversary coming up next year no one could give the town a better gift than silencing these radical horns. That would actually make Darien safer for children, seniors and all citizens. Please let our town officials know these toxic horn blasts are unacceptable and unnecessary.

Jim Bogie

Coordinator

Forever Darien Action Group