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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fire Prevention Month - Open House Events!!!

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

October has traditionally been the month that Fire Departments highlight the need to practice fire prevention education.  Although, in Prince George's County, firefighters take this responsibility to heart and to your front door all year long.  Firefighters throughout the course of the year go door-to-door throughout communities providing fire safety information and checking smoke alarms to ensure they are working.

In October, we invite you to come to our house.  Fire/EMS Stations throughout Prince George's County will open their doors and hold Open House events to help educate and inform citizens and residents of all ages about the need for fire safety and injury prevention.

The Following Fire/EMS Stations will be holding Open House events:
Additional locations and dates will be added as they become available.

Branchville Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad
Saturday, October 1, 2011,  11 am until 3 pm
At the Branchville Station, Rhode Island Avenue and University Boulevard, College Park

Brandywine Volunteer Fire Department
Sunday, October 2, 2011, 3 pm until 7 pm
At the Brandywine Station, 14201 Brandywine Road, Brandywine

Bowie Volunteer Fire Department
Sunday, October 9, 2011, 11 am until 4 pm
Bowie Fire Station (Free State), 15454 Annapolis Road, Bowie

Glenn Dale Volunteer Fire Association
Sunday, October 9, 2011, 1 pm until 5 pm
At the Glenn Dale Station, 11900 Glenn Dale Boulevard, Glenn Dale

Baden Volunteer Fire Department
Sunday, October 9, 2011, 10 am until 2 pm
Baden Station, 16608 Brandywine Road, Brandywine

"Protect Your Family from Fire"
Courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association

Home Fires 

  • One home structure fire was reported every 87 seconds in 2009.
  • On average, seven people died in home fires every day. Adults 65 and over face the highest risk of fire death.
  • In 2009, U.S. fire departments responded to 362,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 12,650 civilian injuries, 2,565 civilian deaths, $7.6 billion in direct damage.
Escape planningEscape Planning  
  • According to an NFPA survey, less than one-fourth of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan (PDF, 640 KB).
  • Almost three-quarters of Americans do have an escape plan; however, less than half actually practiced it.
  • One-third of Americans households who made and estimate they thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in there home would become life threatening. The time available is often less. And only 8% said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out!  
Smoke Alarms 
  • Roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. About one in five smoke alarm failures was due to dead batteries.
  • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
  • In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 91% of the time, while battery powered alarms operated only 75% of the time.
Home Fire Sprinklers
  • Automatic fire sprinkler systems cut the risk of dying in a home fire by about 80%.
  • Home fire sprinklers can contain and may even extinguish a fire in less time than it would take the fire department to arrive on the scene.
  • Sprinklers are highly effective because they react so quickly in a fire. They reduce the risk of death or injury from a fire because they dramatically reduce the heat, flames and smoke produced, allowing people time to evacuate the home.
  • Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires and associated injuries, and was tied for the third leading cause of home fire deaths.
  • Unattended cooking was by far the leading cause of these fires.
  • Households using electric ranges have a higher risk of fires than those using gas ranges.
  • Children under five face a higher risk of non-fire burns associated with cooking than being burned in a cooking fire.
  • Nearly half (45%) of microwave oven injuries seen at emergency rooms in 2009 were scalds.
  • U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 155,400 cooking-related home fires each year between 2005-2009, causing an average of 390 deaths, 4,800 injuries and $771 million in direct property damage.
  • Fires involving heating equipment peak in December, January and February, as do deaths from these fires. Overall, homes fires and home fire deaths are also more common in the cooler months of the year.
  • Heating equipment was the second leading cause of all reported home fires and home fire deaths.
  • The leading factor contributing to heating equipment fires was failure to clean, principally creosote from solid fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.
  • Half of home heating fire deaths resulted from fires caused by heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses or bedding.
  • U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 64,100 heating-related home fires each year between 2005-2009, causing an average of 560 deaths, 1,620 injuries and $904 million in direct property damage.
Smoking Materials 
  • The risk of dying in a home structure fire caused by smoking materials rises with age.
  • In recent years, Canada and the United States have required that all cigarettes sold must be “fire safe,” that is have reduced ignition strength and less likely to start fires.
  • U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 18,900 smoking-relate home fires each year between 2005-2009, causing an average of 660 deaths, 1,270 injuries and $492 million in direct property damage.
  • 41% of home electrical fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment.
  • 53% of home electrical fires involved other known types of equipment, including ranges, washers/dryers, fans and space heaters.
  • During 2005-2009, electrical distribution and lighting equipment was involved in the ignition of 23,400 home structure fires, on average, per year. These fires caused an average of 390 deaths, 970 injuries and $822 million in direct property damage.
  • On average, there are 35 home candle fires reported per day.
  • Roughly two-fifths of these fires started in the bedroom.
  • More than half of all candle fires start when things that can burn are too close to the candle.
  • During 2005-2009, candles caused an average of 12,900 home fires, 140 home fire deaths, 1,040 home fire injuries and $471 million in direct property damage. 

For additional information on fire prevention contact the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department Community Outreach office at 301-883-5250.  For a smoke alarm installed in your home, free of charge,  contact our Safety First Smoke Alarm Line at 301-864-SAFE (7233).

Safety Tips to Avoid the Tragedy of Home Drowning

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
Tragically, there have been two separate incidents of death of young children by (reported) drowning in Prince George’s County, Maryland, within hours of each.   The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department is the lead agency in the Prince George’s County Coalition of Safe Kids USA and we want to remind parents and caregivers of basic safety tips to avoid these tragic incidents.  Safe Kids USA is a nationwide network of organizations working to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability for children ages 1 to 14.
Safe Kids USA educate families, provide safety devices to families in need and advocate for better laws to help keep children safe, healthy and out of the emergency room. 
The home environment has many hidden drowning hazards for children. Drowning deaths can occur not only in pools and spas, but also in bathtubs, toilets and buckets. Keep these safety tips in mind to make your home safer from these hidden hazards.  The best advice is to never leave a child alone in a bathtub or in any body of water, even just for a moment.
On Monday evening around 8:45 pm firefighters and paramedics worked to save the life of a 6-year-old female that caregivers reported had drowned in a bathtub on Hubbard Road in Landover.
On Tuesday morning, around 10:45 am, firefighter/medics did everything they could to save the life of an 11-month-old male reported to have drowned in a bathtub on Evans Trail in Beltsville.
Despite the best efforts of dispatchers, firefighters, medics and emergency department staff both of these children succumbed.  The County Police Department is investigating each of these tragic deaths.
For additional information about programs to promote safety for children contact the Fire/EMS Departments Community Outreach office at 301-883-5250.
For additional information on CPR courses call the Fire/EMS Department's CPR Information line at 301-864-LIVE (5483).
The men and women of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department and Safe Kids USA provide the following safety tips.  Remember, Safety First – Ensures Everyone Goes Home. 

Keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed.

Large 5-gallon buckets are common household items and may be a potential hazard. Empty all buckets, containers and wading pools immediately after use. Store them upside-down and out of children’s reach.

Keep toilet lids closed and use toilet seat locks. According to the CPSC, toilets are overlooked as a source of drowning in the home – toddlers can fall headfirst into the toilet.

Once bath time is over, immediately drain the tub.

Always stay within an arm’s reach of your child when he or she is in or near pools, spas, bathtubs, toilets or buckets.

Never leave your child unattended in a tub or around any other body of water, even if he or she knows how to swim.

Never leave your child alone or in the care of older children during bath time.

Children in baby bath seats and rings must be watched every second.

Learn adult and infant CPR.
Did you know??

One-third as many children under age 5 drown from other hazards around the home as drown in pools (CPSC).

Two-thirds of drowning deaths in the home, not including pools, occur in bathtubs (CPSC).

Home swimming pools are the most common place for a child younger than age 5 to drown.

Additional Info