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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mount Rainier Fires Are Under Investigation

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930, mebrady@co.pg.md.us

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department’s Office of the Fire Marshal in conjunction with the Mount Rainier Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are aggressively investigating a series of fires in the Mount Rainier community. Evidence has been collected from each scene.  At this time there is no indication of any connection between these incidents and the fatal fire that occurred last week in the City of Hyattsville.

Citizens and residents are encouraged to be vigilant, leave outside lights on and report any suspicious or unusual activity to 911 immediately or to the Mount Rainer Police Department at 301-985-6565.

Anyone with information about these fires are encouraged to call the Fire/EMS Department’s Arson Hotline at 301-77-ARSON.

Drive Safely During Inclement Weather - SUV's - This Means You Too!!!

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930, mebrady@co.pg.md.us

During the early morning snow today, sleet and rain were creating hazardous driving conditions on area roadways. The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department responded to an above average number of incidents for motor vehicle crashes, most of which did not result in serious injury.


As is a typical scenario when Mother Nature creates these dangerous driving conditions, Firefighter/Medics found a high number of crashes involving four-wheel-drive Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV) leaving the roadway and crashing, often times being the only vehicle involved.

NEWS FLASH – SUV’s do not posses any magic capability that allows them to drive in an unsafe manner on poor road conditions during inclement weather.

The men and women of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department do not want to respond during hazardous conditions and you can help us stay inside the station. With additional snow/ice predicted for this afternoon we offer the following safe driving tips so you can arrive home safely and we can stay available for other emergencies.

Please follow these simple driving safety tips:

Stay off the roads during and immediately after the storm, allow road crews to do their jobs safely.

If you must drive; use your headlights, reduce your speed and increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. If possible, travel on flat roads and avoid hills and roads with steep inclines. Start your braking earlier then normal and allow the vehicle to coast to a complete stop.

Some operators of SUV’s believe they can negotiate snow covered roads at higher rates of speed and shorter stopping distances; this is a dead wrong belief. SUV drivers need to follow the same safe driving habits just like everyone else, if not, then one of our firefighter/medics will soon pay them a visit off the side of the road somewhere.

The safest way to travel during a snow/ice storm is not to travel, wait out the storm and continue when road conditions improve.

Snow Predicted - Power Outages Are a Possibility - Be Prepared

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930, mebrady@co.pg.md.us

The National Weather Service is predicting accumulating snow this afternoon in Prince George’s County. Snow will arrive this afternoon and is expected to fall and accumulate quickly during the evening hours. The snow is expected to be of a heavy and wet texture, meaning, the weight of the snow accumulating on trees and overhead utility lines could result in power outages. The men and women of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department want you to remember Safety First!!!


Stay away from any downed power line – treat every downed line as if were energized and notify 911. Avoid unnecessary travel and make plans to stay at home tonight.  While you are indoors, test your smoke alarm and ensure it is working, if not, replace the battery and test again.  If it still fails to work, call 301-864-SAFE (7233) to arrange for a new smoke alarm installed in your home.

Top Safety Tips for a Power Outage

• Use a battery powered flashlight for emergency lighting.

• Never use candles for illumination.

• Turn off electrical equipment you were using when the power went out.

• Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer.

• Do not run a generator inside a home or garage.

• Ensure you have fresh batteries in your radio and be prepared to stay informed if a power outage occurs.

• Before a power outage occurs - Listen to local radio and television for updated information.

Safety First – Stay Informed – Stay Ready – Stay Safe


Sudden power outages can be frustrating and troublesome, especially when they are
prolonged due to Mother Nature.

The Prince George’s County Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department wants you to know the following when handling generators in the case of a power outage.

Using Portable Generators Safely

• The primary hazards to avoid when using a generator are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution, and fire. Follow the directions supplied with the generator. Every year, people die in incidents related to portable generator use.

• Under no circumstances should portable generators be used indoors, including inside a garage, carport, basement, crawlspace, or other enclosed or partially-enclosed area, even with ventilation.

• Be sure to turn the generator off and let it cool down before refueling. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.

• Store fuel for the generator in an approved safety can.

• Be sure to turn the generator off and let it cool down before refueling. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.