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Monday, March 31, 2014

Don't be Foolish - Make it a Combo!!! Safety First Day of the Month - April 1, 2014

Don't be Foolish - Make it a Combo!!!

Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
MEBrady@co.pg.md.us     Twitter: @PGFDPIO


Don't be foolish.  April 1, 2014, is the designated day to perform your monthly task of testing your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms to ensure they are working.  The first day of every month has been designated as the Safety First Day.  Not only is it the day to test alarms, you can also use it to practice your exit drills in the home (2 ways out of every room & designated meeting place outside), change air filters, clean clothes dryer vents, remove clutter from furnaces and water heaters and clean out fireplace ashes by placing them in a metal container and removing them to the exterior at least 10-12 feet from any that can burn (including your house).

If your alarms are 10 years old, they need to be upgraded.  Even if they emit an alarm during the monthly test they need to be removed and upgraded with a new 10-year alarm.  If your home has the 9-volt battery style of alarm - upgrade now to the new 10-yer alarm.  Make it a combo - a 10-year, tamper proof, with hush feature, smoke/carbon monoxide alarm.  New laws will require both by the end of the year anyway.  Make it a combo today!!!

Don't be a fool, test your alarms for the sake of your family, friends, visitors, yourself and firefighters.  You may have heard that over the past two months there have been 9 families that will tell you how important working smoke alarms are.  When a fire started in their homes, a working smoke alarm sounded and alerted the family to get out!!!  In all but one of the incidents everybody made it safely outside.  Minor injuries occurred in one incident which demonstrates the precious few seconds you have to get out.

On July 1, 2014, a law will go into effect that is a law we can live with.  In Prince George's County all applicable homes and commercial establishments, new and existing, will be required to install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms.  I have made a copy of the law for you.  The underlined sections are the new parts of the law that were added to the existing law.  Again, this goes into effect on July 1.

The Fire/EMS Department highly recommends the purchase and installation of combined smoke and CO 10-year, tamper proof with hush feature alarms.  Another new law that goes into effect on January 1, 2015, will require these style smoke alarms (10-year) so upgrade now and make it a combo!!!




Sec. 11-295.  Carbon Monoxide Detectors.

        (a)   This Section shall apply to any new residential unit for which an initial building permit is issued on or after January 1, 2007, and which is to be constructed with a gas heating system, fuel burning appliances, and/or an attached garage.  This Section shall also apply to all new and existing One- and Two- Family, Multi-family, Hotel, Motel, and Dormitory residential dwellings with a gas heating system, fuel burning appliances, and/or an attached garage.  Carbon Monoxide detectors shall be installed in new and existing residential dwellings by July 1, 2014, in the manner hereinafter provided, unless any other provision of County, State or Federal law shall require installation before that date.

        (b)   General Requirements.
                (1)    Requirements for new and existing one- and two-family residential dwellings.  The requirements for installation and maintenance of a carbon monoxide detector in a new or existing one- and two-family residential dwelling shall be at least one (1) carbon monoxide detector installed on each level of the dwelling in close proximity to sleeping quarters in a residence constructed or to be constructed with a gas heating system, fuel burning appliances, and/or an attached garage.  For a new residence, [C]carbon monoxide detectors shall be directly hardwired to the building’s power supply and have a battery-powered backup.  For an existing residence, carbon monoxide detectors shall be AC and/or battery powered/backup.  Each carbon monoxide detector must comply with all applicable Federal and State regulations and must bear the label of a nationally recognized standard testing laboratory.  Each detector must be an Underwriters Laboratory (U.L.) 2034 listed product or its equivalent.  The owner/occupant of each dwelling unit shall be responsible for installing, inspecting and maintaining the carbon monoxide detectors in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.
               
(2)    Multi-family apartment house.  It shall be the responsibility of the owner of each new or existing multi-family apartment house to install carbon monoxide detectors in each such multi-family dwelling unit intended to be used or originally built or designed to be used for residential purposes, not to include any dwelling unit within any structure which has been wholly converted to a non-residential use.
                
(3)    Hotels, motels, and dormitories.  The owner of each new or existing hotel, motel and dormitory shall install carbon monoxide detectors near sleeping areas, in the manner hereinafter provided[, unless any other provisions of County, State or Federal law requires installation before January 1, 2007].
        (c)   Location.  At least one (1) carbon monoxide detector installed in close proximity to the access for each sleeping area in a residence constructed or to be constructed with a gas heating system, fuel burning appliances, and/or an attached garage.
        (d)   Installation.  For a new residence, [C]carbon monoxide detectors shall be directly hardwired to the building's power supply and have a battery-powered backup.  For an existing residence, carbon monoxide detectors shall be AC and/or battery powered/backup.  Each carbon monoxide detector must comply with all applicable Federal and State regulations and must bear the label of a nationally recognized standard testing laboratory.  Each detector must be an Underwriters Laboratory (U.L.) 2034 listed product or its equivalent.
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