Safety First Day of the Month - A "Labor" of Love

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

Monday, September 1, 2013, is Safety First Day of the Month!!! 
Labor Day Weekend - Make a "Labor" of Love this weekend by updating your smoke and CO alarms.

•A New Law in the State of Maryland into effect JULY 1 - watch the video below. 
•Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms today to ensure they are working. 
•Check the age of your alarms. Alarms have a life expectancy of 10 years. 
•Consider replacing your alarms with a new 10-year alarm. 
•Test your alarm and check with your neighbors to see if they tested theirs. 

The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department has developed a program to help remind you to keep Safety First. Our “Safety First Day of the Month” program is a reminder that the first day of each month is the day to perform quick and easy tasks that will help keep you, your family and your property safe and healthy. By following our Safety First tips you can help us to reduce the number of incidents we respond to as well as early 911 notification will reduce the intensity and impact a fire will have by reducing injuries and death to our firefighters. You are helping us to help you.  Keeping Safety First will help to ensure everyone, firefighter/medics and you, to go home.

Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors 

Test your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide (CO) detector by pressing the TEST button on the cover of your devices. If they emit an audible warning – you are done until next month. If no audible warning is heard after pressing the TEST button – replace the battery and re-test. If your alarm still does not emit a warning – immediately replace the alarm or detector with a new one. Smoke alarms have a productive life of about 10 years.

Clear dust particles on and around your alarms and detectors. Dust particles may effect the detection of smoke or CO. Use a clean dust rag or vacuum your device.

Install a working smoke alarm on every level of your home, especially outside of sleeping areas and in every bedroom.

When testing your smoke and CO alarms – allow your family or other home occupants to hear what the audible alarm sounds like. This would also be an excellent time to review and practice your home escape plan. Your plan should include 2 ways out of every room in your house and a safe meeting place outside.

Important – Check the age of your alarms!!! Remove the alarm from it’s mounting bracket during this “Safety First Day of the Month” and locate a date on the backside of the alarm. If the manufacture date is 10 years or older, replace the alarm!!! Smoke alarms have a life expectancy of 10 years and may not operate correctly, even if they monthly test demonstrates it works. If there is no date on the back; your alarm is well beyond the 10-year expectancy – replace the alarm with a new one.

Replace your older alarms with up-to-date technology and install 10-year smoke alarms. You will still need to perform monthly tests, however, the need to replace a battery once or twice a year is longer needed. See our story here. Need a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector??

Call our Safety First Safety Program at 301-864-SAFE (7233) and arrange for these devices to be installed in your home; free of charge. Prince George’s County Firefighters will be going door-to-door today and will assist you in checking your alarm and if needed, installing a new one for you.

Firefighters will also provide information on how to plan, with 2-ways out of every room, a home-escape.

All Fire/EMS station will be open from 6 to 8 this evening if you would like to stop by and visit. BP checks and fire safety information will be provided.

The Fire/EMS Department is also promoting “Neighbor Helping Neighbor” by asking everyone that after they test their smoke alarm to go the neighbors on either side of you and ask if they have checked their alarms today. Senior citizens often are challenged to reach the alarm on the ceiling and may not ask for assistance in testing the alarm or replacing batteries – this is the day to be neighborly by helping your neighbor.