MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
Prince George’s County Firefighters are going “trick or treating” and it may be the homeowner that receives the treat. On Sunday, November 1, 2009, citizens and residents will set their clocks back one hour to standard time. It is during this time of year that firefighters remind homeowners that this is an excellent time to also change the battery in smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms as well.
Firefighters will take advantage of the timing of “Halloween” and the changing of the clocks to go door-to-door and trick or treat. On Saturday evening, October 31, 2009, is a time normally reserved for children to go to neighbor’s home, dressed as their favorite character, in hopes of receiving treats. This year, firefighters will also visit neighbor’s homes and say, “Trick or treat, we want to hear beep, beep, beep.” Uniformed firefighters will ask homeowners to check their smoke alarm and when the alarm operates and firefighters hear the “beep, beep, beep” the homeowner will receive coupons good for complimentary popcorn and soda from AMC Movie Theatres. If the alarm does not operate; firefighters will ensure the homeowner has a working smoke alarm before they leave. “This is a win-win situation for every homeowner” says Prince George’s County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones. Chief Jones stated, “Homeowners will be the ones receiving a treat this Halloween when their alarms work and if we find a smoke alarm not working, we will ensure it works before we leave. Having a working smoke alarm provides you the early warning of a fire and increases the chances of someone surviving a fire by 50%.” An additional benefit of our “trick or treating” campaign is the increased public safety visibility within communities will enhance the safety of children and adults while partaking in Halloween festivities.
For homeowner safety, Firefighters will be in uniform and have a photo ID available to show upon request. A fire department vehicle should also be visible within the community.
Homeowners should prepare for our firefighters visit and install a fresh battery in their alarm now. Prince George’s County Citizens and residents are eligible to receive a fresh battery and new smoke alarm installed in their home, free of charge, by calling our smoke alarm hotline at 301-864-SAFE (7233). This free service is made possible from a donation of batteries from ENERGIZER and smoke alarm donation from PEPCO.