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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

PEPCO Donates Smoke Alarms to Fire/EMS Department

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

PEPCO officials re-stocked the empty shelves of the Fire Departments supply of smoke alarms today.  Jerry Pasternak; Vice-President of PEPCO Region – Maryland, and Pete Pedersen; Director of PEPCO’s Emergency Services Partnership Program, delivered 500 10-year, tamper proof with hush feature, smoke alarms and hearing impaired alarms today to the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department.  The Department has a waiting list of about 50 residents waiting for the new alarms to be installed by firefighters in their home; free of charge.

Pete Pedersen, speaking on behalf of PEPCO stated, "PEPCO truly appreciates the dedication of the men and women of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department and hopes that our annual donation in some small way contributes to the life-saving work they do every day for the residents of Prince George's County." He further stated, "This donation is a great way to support an initiative that is so important to our customers and communities, as well as strengthen the partnerships that exist with our first responders.”

The donation of smoke alarms was made at the base of the Fallen Firefighters Line of Duty Death (LODD) Memorial located at the Cranford Graves Fire Services Building in Landover Hills on Tuesday, November 5.  County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor accepted the donation and stated, “As we stand here at the Prince George’s LODD Memorial, I encourage everyone to ‘Be a Hero’ to your family – ‘Save a Hero’ from having to rescue you, because you were able to rescue yourself with a working smoke alarm.  We do not want to etch any more names to this stone.  Be a safety hero!”  Jan DeMeritt, vice-president of the Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association accompanied Chief Bashoor on the dais.

A law was recently passed that requires all homes in Maryland that are currently protected by a 9-volt battery powered smoke alarm to upgrade to a new 10-year smoke alarm.  These new alarms will start to save lives immediately.  The 40% failure rate of smoke alarms in homes found today will start to reduce each year saving close to 1000 lives each year.   Nearly 3000 people die in home fires every year.  Nearly 1/3 of all fire fatalities can be saved with the addition of a 10-year smoke alarm in homes and that number could be conservative.  The law also requires at least one alarm on every level of your home as well as the alarm being located in sleeping areas.  This is a law we can live with.

If you can afford to purchase your own smoke alarms, please do so.  If you need assistance in installing the alarms, call us.  If you are not capable of purchasing a smoke alarm, call our Safety First Smoke Alarm Program at 301-864-SAFE (7233).  A firefighter will contact you and set up a convenient time to bring a new smoke alarm and install one in your home; free of charge. 

The Fire/EMS Department has a limited supply of alarms and can only install one in your home.  The homeowner will be personally responsible to install additional alarms to meet the requirements of the new law.

Fire Chief Marc Bashoor
Pete Pedersen, PEPCO, Director of Emergency Services Partnership Program
Michael Neuschatz, a resident of Riverdale Heights, was the first to receive one of the new smoke alarms

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