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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Snow and Freezing Temperatures May Create Problems for the Morning Commute

Snow and Freezing Temperatures May Create Problems for the Morning Commute

For immediate release:
2/25/2015 2:45:00 PM

For more information, contact:
Carol Terry, Public Information Officer, DPW&T, 301-883-5600

LARGO, MD –Once again, the forecast of snow and freezing temperatures for the Washington Metropolitan area may create problems for the morning commute.  Prince George’s County will activate a full deployment of personnel and resources on Thursday morning at 2:30 a.m. to treat and clear the primary and major collector roadways and then move into the residential areas.   Crews will also be monitoring and treating the overpasses, bridges, hills and ramps.

Forecasters are predicting a light snow will begin in our area early Thursday morning with a possible accumulation of a trace to 2 inches of snow before ending around noon.  Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing for this snow event. 

“Prince George’s County warns drivers to be prepared for the possibility of delays during their commute on Thursday morning,” said Darrell Mobley, Director of the Department of Public Works and Transportation.  “Motorists are encouraged to add extra travel time, drive slowly and use caution when driving on the overpasses, ramps and bridges as they tend to freeze first.” 

County residents are asked to park on the even-numbered sides of residential streets or in their driveways.  Residents are also asked to shovel their driveways after plowing has occurred and to remove snow/ice from the sidewalks abutting their homes and businesses. 

To report road conditions, residents are encouraged to wait 12 hours after the precipitation has stopped before calling CountyClick at 311, the Snow Information Center at 301-350-0500 or going to the Snow Request Form on the County’s website at www.princegeorgescountymd.gov.

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Monday, February 23, 2015

House Fire 12800 block of Princeleigh Street in Kettering


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

At around 4:45 pm, Monday, February 23, Prince George's County Firefighters were alerted to a house fire in the 12800 block of Princeleigh Street in Kettering (Upper Marlboro mailing address).  Firefighters from Largo Fire/EMS Station 846 and Battalion Chief 881 were the first to arrive and found a 1-story single family home with smoke showing from the front door and roof with fire showing from a kitchen window in the rear.

The fire was quickly contained and extinguished.  Fire loss is estimated at $100,000 with 2 adults and 3 children being displaced.

The fire started in the kitchen and the exact cause is under investigation.

One firefighter sustained a shoulder injury and transported to a local hospital for treatment.


Friendly Female Competition in PGFD St. Baldricks Hair-Cutting Event - Donate Today!!!

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

The competition to raise fund for childhood cancer is on!!!  Captain of Team PGFD 2015 Rob Kight has found a challenger, Rebecca Richardson, for the St. Baldricks event to be held on March 15 in Annapolis.  Which one will raise more money??  Will either one beat the rest of the Team??  Will a newly appointed Deputy Fire Chief raise more friendly funds??

Let's be honest, which one of the below would you rather see have their locks cut???  Rebecca or Rob??  Rebecca is no stranger to raising funds for charity.  Just two of the charities Rebecca has been involved in are "PGFD Proud to Wear Pink Campaign" and "Wounded Warrior Project."  She was also part of the team that was successful in PGFD having PINK Fire/EMS units.  Our newest Pink Fire Engine "Courage" will be at Fados for the St. Baldricks event.

Make your vote in the form of a donation today.  Yes, we felt sorry for Rob and gave him a "head" start in raising funds.

You should also join in the fun at Fados Pub on West Street in Annapolis and cheer on and take pictures and videos of Team PGFD 2015 as they work to beat their goal of $10,000.  Rumor is that recently appointed Deputy Fire Chief Dennis Wood will be there to shave his head with 14 other members of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department and family.

To see the 15 members and to donate to an individual member, click here.

Fire Fighter/Medic Technician Rebecca Richardson

Fire Fighter/Medic Lieutenant Rob Kight

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Carbon Monoxide Overcomes Beltsville Homeowner - Kills Family Dog


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

At about 4:30 pm, Sunday, February 22, 2015. A family member arrived at her mother’s house in the 4900 block of Powder Mill Road in Beltsville.  She found her mother lying unconscious on the floor and immediately called 911.  While on the phone with the 911 call taker she found the family dog unconscious as well. 

Firefighters and Medics arrived and believed CO maybe involved due to the unconscious person and dog.  The assignment was upgraded to a carbon monoxide (CO) incident bringing additional medics, haz-mat team and incident commanders to the scene.  Medics evaluated and treated the unconscious adult female while firefighters searched for the possible source of CO.

Using gas tracking meters firefighters found 1000 parts per million (PPM) of CO in the homes interior atmosphere.  Anywhere from 0 to 35 ppm is considered normal, any reading over 35 is considered unhealthy.  1000 ppm of CO is extremely high and lethal with a very short exposure time.  At that level of CO, I believe that if the daughter had not arrived and found her mother, the female occupant would have succumbed to CO within a short period of time.

Firefighters located a malfunctioning natural gas water heater in the basement, which appeared to be the source of the high CO.  The appliance was turned off as well as the natural gas to the entire house.  The Washington Gas officials were made aware of the incident.

The adult female was transported by medics to a hospital with a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, the preferred medical treatment for CO exposure.  Her condition is serious.  Tragically, the dog was declared deceased.

CO is called the “Silent Killer” by firefighters and medics because you cannot smell, see or taste the toxic gas.  With unhealthy levels of CO going undetected, home occupants will start to feel sick with flu like symptoms.  The higher the level of CO the shorter amount of time it takes to start making people sick.  CO is a by-product of fossil fuel combustion and can be problematic when over combustion occurs at the appliance or the product is not properly vented outside.

The only way homeowners can detect the presence of unhealthy CO in their home is to purchase and install a carbon monoxide detector.  County law currently requires a working CO detector on every level of your home, primarily, just outside of sleeping areas.  This law also applies to all apartments, condos, hotels, motels and dormitories in Prince George's County.

The Fire/EMS Department highly recommends the purchase of 10-year, tamper proof, with hush feature detector that can be purchased at home improvement and hardware stores.  Test your smoke alarm and CO detector on the first day of every month to ensure they are working.  CO detectors have a active life of about 7 years and should be upgraded to a 10-year detector as soon as possible.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Coldest Temperatures in 20 Years Forecast Tonight and Friday


Cold Weather Coming - Stay Warm Safely



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

The Coldest temperatures in 20 years are in our immediate forecast and the men and women of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department (PGFD) want you to stay safe while staying warm.  We are joining the United States Fire Administration (USFA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to remind everyone that home fires are more prevalent in cold weather than in any other time of the year. This is due in part to an increase in cooking and heating fires.  This reminder involves the safe use of space heaters and general heating safety tips.

The USFA, NFPA and the PGFD want to remind everyone that fire safety and prevention are especially important during times of cold temperatures.  “Temperatures drop and fires increase,” said Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor.  According to NFPA statistics space heaters account for about one third of the home heating fires yet more than 80 percent of the home heating fire deaths. 



The Winter Residential Building Fires report released by USFA in 2010, reports an estimated 108,400 winter residential building fires occur annually in the United States, resulting in an estimated average of 945 deaths, 3,825 injuries, and $1.7 billion in property loss.  

Cooking and heating are the top causes of fires during cold weather. 

“The winter season brings the highest number of home fires than any other time of year,” said Fire Chief Bashoor. “Each winter season, home fires increase in part due to cooking and heating fires. Fire safety and injury prevention must not be lost in an effort to stay warm. Stay warm and do so safely.” 

The men and women, career and volunteer, of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department recommend the following safety tips for space heaters. 




Electric Space Heaters


• Buy only heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). 




• Check to make sure it has a thermostat control mechanism, and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over. 



• Heaters are not dryers or tables; don't dry clothes or store objects on top of your heater. 




• Space heaters need space; keep combustibles at least three feet away from each heater. 




• Always unplug your electric space heater when not in use. 

  Turn off at night or whenever you sleep.


General Heating Tips

  •  Furnaces, fireplaces and Chimneys should be cleaned and checked each year by an appropriate professional prior to using.
  •  Only use seasoned wood in fireplaces and never use ignitable liquids to start a fire.
  • The 3-foot rule applies to furnaces and fireplaces.  No combustibles items within 3 feet of these heating appliances.
  •  Dispose of fireplace ash into a metal container and store outdoors away from structures on a concrete surface.  Fireplace ash can ignite a fire days after they have been discarded.

Colder weather also increases the potential to carbon monoxide (CO) exposure.  To help prevent illness and possibly death from exposure to CO:


  • Have a certified technician inspect all heating related equipment, kitchen appliances and vent pipes.
  • Purchase and install a CO alarm that has a 10-year battery.
Finally, having a working smoke alarm dramatically increases your chances of surviving a fire. Remember to practice a home escape plan, including 2 ways out of every room,  frequently with your family. 

Residents of Prince George’s County can contact 311 and request a smoke alarm or battery.  A firefighter will install a working smoke alarm in your home; free of charge. 

For additional information from the USFA and NFPA on Winter Fire Safety; click here.

PGFD Firefighter/Medic Presented With Honeywell Scholarship to Attend FDIC


MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
mebrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO
Honeywell, in personal fire protective equipment industry, and UL, whose Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) is dedicated to reducing injuries and deaths in the fire service, announced Wednesday, February 18 they are awarding a financial scholarship to Prince George's County Fire Fighter/Medic Sara A. Shaffer to attend the 2015 FDIC trade show.

"The FDIC Trade Show is the industry's most important North American training event and trade show, yet fire departments often simply cannot afford to send as many firefighters as they would like to the show," said Jeff Morris, president of Honeywell First Responder Products.


"Honeywell and UL want to help by creating an easy contest, allowing firefighters to nominate a deserving colleague with a short video, taken with their phone, explaining why they are nominating a fellow firefighter for the program."  Fire Fighter/Medic Shaffer was nominated by Fire Fighter/Medic Technician Katherine "Katie" Fisher.



The FDIC scholarship program prize includes:

      • Round-trip airfare
  • Accommodation
  • Passes to attend all classes and FDIC exhibits
  • Breakfast voucher
  • Invitation to inauguration dinner





The Honeywell-UL scholarship program is an effort to address the challenge fire departments face, with tight budgets, to send firefighters to the industryĆ¢€™s premier safety and training event. Shaffer will receive admission to FDIC classroom training, seminars, and exhibits, along with travel and accommodation expenses for the entire event.
Fire Fighter/Medic Shaffer was presented her scholarship at a surprise visit to a 12-lead ECG class being held at  the Firefighters and Paramedics Association, IAFF Local 1619, Headquarters in Bowie, MD.  Honeywell Sr. Regional Manager Chad Sears made the presentation and stated, "Sara is one of 17 firefighters selected to receive this scholarship from over 1,100 nominations. Congratulations!!!"

You may recognize Sara Shaffer as she was the Gold Medal recipient and Fire Fighter of the Year for Prince Georges County in and the American Legion National Fire Fighter of the Year in 2014.

L to R - Fire Fighter/Medic Sara A. Shaffer, Chad Sears/Honeywell, Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor, IAFF Local 1619 President Andrew Pantelis, Battalion Chief Charles Waggoner


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

County Monitored by Operations Centers During Snowstorm

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

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III activated the County’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Monday at 8:00 p.m.  The Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department followed with opening the Department Operations Center (DOC).

“Prince George’s County is prepared for our first major winter weather event of the season.  I want to thank all essential County personnel in advance for their hard work and service during this significant weather event,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. “I am asking citizens to stay off the roads as much as possible and to be safe.  During times like these, it is important that we look out for neighbors, family, and friends – especially the elderly.”

Each agency had opened some level of an operation center for the Presidents Day snow storm which left the County anywhere from four to six inches of snow.  County Government closed for Tuesday, February 17 with essential personnel still reporting to work.  Initial call volume for the morning after the snow was slower than a normal day.  Dispatchers handled nearly 800 calls for service on Sunday where a normal volume of calls is about 350.

Deputy Fire Chief Ben Barksdale oversees the Fire/EMS Department Operations Center at the Cranford-Graves Fire Services Building in Landover Hills
Staff from the Office of Emergency Management monitoring County-Wide activity

Phyllis Jenkins working in the County-wide Emergency Operations Center


Ron Gill, Director of the County Office of Emergency Management, sits at the helm of the County EOC





Assistant Fire Chief Erroll George staffs the Fire/EMS table in County EOC
Fire/EMS Department Operations Center








Monday, February 16, 2015

Tips to Help Prevent Frozen Pipes in your Home and Business



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

mebrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO
Prince George’s County homes constructed since the early 1990’s have a residential sprinkler system installed to save lives and protect property.  Therefore there are a large number of single family homes, in addition to commercial buildings and multi-family dwellings, that are equipped with these life-saving systems.  The Fire/EMS Department has documented hundreds of incidents since the law changed requiring residential sprinklers that demonstrate that lives have been saved and damage to property limited when fires have occurred.  Prince George’s County now has a very high percentage of structures protected by sprinkler systems.

Home, apartment, condos and commercial building owners and management companies should take the time now to ensure that sprinkler and plumbing systems are adequately protected against pipes freezing.  During long periods of below freezing temperatures exposed water-filled sprinkler pipes can freeze expanding the pipe to the point when it will break. Sprinkler pipes tend to freeze before other water pipes because the water is not moving. Most sprinkler systems are wet systems that contain water all the time.

When water freezes inside a sprinkler pipe or any exposed water pipe such as a hose bib or under cabinet plumbing, it creates an obstruction that can damage and break the plumbing pipes.  This freezing will also render sprinkler system useless in the event of a fire. As the ice expands, it increases the internal water pressure in the pipe and causes the pipe to burst.

Alternatively, the expanding ice can cause a pipe, fitting or sprinkler head to crack but the ice will block the flow of water while it is solid. In this case, the actual water damage will not be apparent until the ice melts and water flows out of the burst section.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

The best way to protect a residential fire sprinkler system and plumbing pipes from freezing is to provide sufficient insulation and maintain adequate heat during the winter months.   Insulation helps block the flow of heat or cold from one space to the next. Most plumbing pipes are within the walls or ceilings of a home. Cold air can enter these concealed spaces through small gaps in the exterior sheathing and insulation and find its way into pipe chases and soffits that focus the air directly onto the piping and accelerate freezing.

Under cabinet plumbing in your bathrooms and kitchen, especially if they are located up against an exterior wall, can freeze.  Keep the cabinet doors open so heat from your house will circulate through the cabinets.  Leaving the faucet open just a trickle will also help to prevent freezing plumbing pipes.

Hose faucets on a homes exterior can be turned off.  There should be a valve on the inside of the home near the location of your exterior faucet that can be easily tuned off.

In attics, piping should be as close to the ceiling as possible with insulation placed over the pipe.  If you inspect your plumbing pipes that are in the attic and you can see exposed pipes; they need to be insulated immediately to prevent freezing.

When sprinklers are required in unheated spaces such as attics or crawl spaces, the use of a dry system, or special dry sprinkler heads are required.

If a sprinkler pipe or plumbing pipe bursts ensure that the location of the water shut-off valve is known and the proper method to turn it off.  Contact a residential sprinkler professional or plumber immediately to initiate repairs.  It is recommended that a sprinkler system is tested and inspected on a periodic basis to ensure it is in proper working order to prevent against rupture and flooding.

Prince George's County DPW&T Activates Full Deployment for Winter Storm

Prince George's County: Subscribe MyPGC

Prince George's County Activates Full Deployment for Winter Storm Warning

For immediate release: 
2/16/2015 11:20:00 AM

For more information, contact: 
Carol Terry, Public Information Officer, DPW&T, 301-883-5600
LARGO, MD –Prince George’s County will activate a full deployment of personnel and contract services today at 3:00 p.m. in preparation for the snow and frigid temperatures forecasted for the Washington Metropolitan area.  Approximately 250 vehicles will monitor and plow the primary and major collector roadways first and then will move into the residential areas.

Forecasters are predicting the snow will start in our area this afternoon with a possible accumulation of 4-8 inches before ending on Tuesday morning.  Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing for this snow event with winds between 5 to 10 miles per hour.  

“With the slick roadway conditions expected with this winter storm, motorists are encouraged to stay off the road,” said Darrell Mobley, Director of the Department of Public Works and Transportation.  “If you must travel, please add extra travel time, stay alert and drive slowly; and stay well behind the salt trucks.”

County residents are requested to park on the even-numbered sides of residential streets or in their driveways.  Residents are also asked to shovel their driveways after plowing has occurred and to remove snow/ice from the sidewalks abutting their homes and businesses. 

To report road conditions, residents are encouraged to wait 12 hours after the precipitation has stopped before calling CountyClick at 311, the Snow Information Center at 301-350-0500 or going to the Snow Request Form on the County’s website at www.princegeorgescountymd.gov.

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PGFD Firefighters Battle Cottage City House Fire

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

No sooner had the "ink dried" on the press release describing a busy Valentines weekend when firefighters fought yet another house fire.  At about 9:45 am dispatchers at the Public Safety Communications alerted firefighters to a house fire in Cottage City.  Along with the address of the fire, dispatchers stated multiple 911 calls were received reporting a house fire and that a person and a dog were trapped in the basement.

Firefighters from the Bunker Hill Fire/EMS Station 855 were the first to arrive at the 1 1/2 story single family home in the 3800 block of 37th Avenue reporting fire showing from the rear of the house and heavy smoke from the front.  The bulk of the fire was located in the rear portion of the house, including a detached shed which were well involved with fire.  As firefighters battled to knock the fire down other firefighters were searching the structure for anyone still inside despite the intense heat and blinding smoke.  Firefighters also extended hose lines to protect the houses on either side of the burning home from the radiant heat.

Both occupants had escaped the home safely prior to the fire departments arrival, however, a dog was found deceased inside the home.

Preliminary investigation indicates that it appears the fire started in or around the detached shed in the backyard with the fire extending into the house.  The fire extended throughout the interior of the house and attic.  Fire damage is significant if not total.  No injuries have been reported.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.  Fire loss estimates are still being tabulated.

The two displaced residents will be receiving assistance from the Office of Emergency Management Citizen Services Unit will be staying with friends.

Images provided courtesy of PGFD Deputy Fire Chief Ben Barksdale

The backyard with detached shed and rear of house.

The 1 1/2 story Cottage City home sustained significant fire damage.

Current Forecast, Warnings and Safety Tips for Presidents Day Snowstorm

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

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE...UPDATED
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
509 AM EST MON FEB 16 2015

...WIND CHILL ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM EST THIS
MORNING...
...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING
TO NOON EST TUESDAY...

* PRECIPITATION TYPE...SNOW.

* ACCUMULATIONS...5 TO 10 INCHES.

* TIMING...SNOW IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP EARLY THIS EVENING AND
  CONTINUE INTO TUESDAY MORNING. HEAVIEST SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED
  THROUGH TONIGHT.

* WIND CHILL...AS LOW AS 10 BELOW.

* TEMPERATURES...4 TO 24 ABOVE.

* WINDS...NORTHEAST 5 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 25 MPH.

* IMPACTS...THE COMBINATION OF GUSTY WINDS AND COLD TEMPERATURES
  WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE DANGEROUS WIND CHILLS THAT CAN QUICKLY
  CAUSE HYPOTHERMIA AND FROST BITE THROUGH THIS MORNING. BEGINNING
  THIS EVENING...ROADS WILL BECOME SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY WITH
  VISIBILITIES BEING REDUCED TO ONE HALF MILE OR LESS AT TIMES.
  THE COMBINATION OF SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LOW VISIBILITY WILL
  MAKE TRAVELING DANGEROUS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER
CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW
ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN
EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT...
FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

A WIND CHILL ADVISORY MEANS THAT VERY COLD AIR AND STRONG WINDS
WILL COMBINE TO GENERATE LOW WIND CHILLS. THIS WILL RESULT IN
FROST BITE AND LEAD TO HYPOTHERMIA IF PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN.
IF YOU MUST VENTURE OUTDOORS...MAKE SURE YOU WEAR A HAT AND
GLOVES.


The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Prince George's County. The men and women of your Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department want you to help us by staying safe yourself.  This is a storm everyone needs to stay informed, stay ready and stay safe.   Some of our highest concerns during a winter weather event is everyone driving, staying warm and power outages. Stay Informed, Stay Ready, Stay Safe

• Stay prepared by bringing out your emergency preparedness kit and having a supply of essential items (food, water, warming items, radios, batteries, flashlights, etc.) available.

• Stay informed by monitoring TV news, news radio, National Weather Service radios and the Internet. Important information may be broadcast that could affect you and your family. Ensure your cell phones and lap top computers are fully charged now – before the storm occurs.

• Stay safe by keeping fire safety and injury prevention a priority in your activities. It is important to remember that fire apparatus and ambulances will be slower to respond to your emergencies due to the weather and hazardous driving conditions. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms now to ensure they are working. In the event of an emergency, have an escape plan and call 911 immediately from a safe location. 

• If possible, stay indoors and off the roads at all costs. Reduced traffic on roadways will allow public works crews an opportunity to clear a path that can be used by first responders to handle emergencies. If you must venture outdoors, dress warm and in layers, wear a hat and gloves, and cover your face with a scarf. 

• A winter storm always has the potential to cause power disruptions as snow and ice will collect on power lines and tree branch’s that will then come in contact with power lines. Do not approach a downed power line – always consider downed power lines to be “live.” Restrict access to the downed lines and call 911. 

• Speaking of calling 911 – please – only call 911 for emergencies. Activity for Fire and EMS service could be high. If you do not have an emergency you should call 311 for assistance.
 
• In the event of power outages – use flashlights and battery powered lanterns for illumination – do not use candles. Ensure you have a battery powered radio. 

• Give space heaters space – keep space heaters at least 3-feet away from anything combustible like bedding, furniture, paper, etc. 


• Use only seasoned wood products in your fireplace and use extreme caution when disposing of fireplace ashes as they can remain hot for days after the fire is out. Dispose of ashes in a metal container outside and away from the house.

• Some winter storms produce enough snow and ice that will make it difficult to shovel, especially for those that have an existing heart condition or anyone over the age of 50. Limit shoveling to only a few minutes at a time, shovel smaller amounts, and take frequent breaks. 

• It is time to be a good neighbor – check on your senior citizen neighbors and ensure they have heat and food. Shovel their sidewalks and check on them frequently.

• Clear away snow from the fire hydrant on your street. If the fire hydrant is on your property; you are required to clear away the snow. 

• If you must drive – reduce your speed, increase the distance between you and the car in front of you, turn on your headlights, and do not be distracted by cell phones. Keep an eye out for pedestrians as they will venture out into the streets as sidewalks disappear.This information especially applies to 4-wheel drive SUV operators.

Finally, remember to think of our four-legged furry friends and keep your pets indoors. 

The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Fire Department stands ready and prepared to provide the best emergency and non-emergency services available. We ask you to help us by preventing emergencies from ever occurring to avoid the need for us to have to respond to that emergency. Remember, Safety First ensures Everyone Goes Home.