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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

PGFD Safety First Day of the Month - Safety Advice for September 2015

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

Today is September 1, 2015, the "Safety First Day of the Month."  Having a working smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarm could be the difference in life or death - yours and your family.  Today is the day that the Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department has designated for everyone to test their smoke and CO alarms.  It's simple:

PGFD Press to Test

Press the TEST button on the front cover of your smoke and CO alarm.

An audible beeping noise SHOULD sound.  If it does, congratulations, your done until next month.

If it does not sound an audible alarm - replace the battery.  Push the TEST button again - still no alarm - remove the alarm and immediately replace with a new 10-year, tamper proof, with hush feature smoke or CO alarm or better yet a 10-year combination smoke/CO alarm.

If your alarms are at about 10 years old or you don't remember if you ever replaced the alarm, do it today!!!  Smoke and CO alarms work all day - every day and will wear down over their 10 year service life.

County Law requires a working smoke alarm in your home.  Over the next two years the law will continue to evolve to require a working 10-year smoke alarm on every level of your home, primarily outside of sleeping areas.

County Law currently requires a working CO detector on every level of your home, primarily, outside of sleeping areas.  This law includes all homes with a gas service (natural, propane, oil, etc), a fireplace or an attached garage.  This law also requires that all hotels, motels, dormitories and all apartments and condos have working CO alarms.

Have you ever noticed that it is sometimes a challenge to reach your alarms installed on your ceiling or high on the wall.  Perhaps you use a step-ladder or stand tall on your toes to reach the test button.  Think about your senior citizen neighbors and relatives that may have difficulty even reaching a light switch.  Test their alarms for them every month, change their batteries at least once-a-year and contact 311 for them if they need a new 10-year smoke alarm installed by firefighters, free of charge.

Don't wait for a firefighter to knock on your door.  If you need a working smoke alarm and can not afford to purchase one, call 311 and ask about the free smoke alarm program.

Plenty of activities in September!!!

September is National Preparedness Month.  Are you ready in the event of a disaster??  Do you have an emergency kit stocked and ready to go??  Visit the FEMA web site on being READY and take advantage of readiness and awareness tips to ensure you and your family are ready.

The International Association of Firefighters Local 1619 will once again host a Softball Championship for Firefighters from across the United States and Canada.  Festivities start on Thursday, September 10 and run through Sunday, September 13.  All activities will be held at Watkins Regional Park in Kettering, Maryland.  Plenty of fun and excitement for the entire family.  For more information visit their website by clicking here.  All proceeds are donated to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

On Saturday, September 12, there will be a National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Stair Climb and 5K Walk/Run.  This event raises money for the Foundation and is a great time for everyone involved.  This event is held at the Gaylord National Hotel at the National Harbor.  For additional information click here.

The Prince George's County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association will hold their Annual Convention September 12 through the 19th.  The Convention is being hosted by the Riverdale Volunteer Fire Department.  Not all events are open to the public but be sure to check out the competitive events.  For a full schedule of convention activities, click here.

The Prince George's County Fair will be held September 10th through the 13th this year at Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington.  You can click here to visit the website that details all the family fun and excitement at this years County Fair!!!

Joint Base Andrews Air Show is September 18 and 19.  The 18th is for DoD only.  This event is always well attended and will have plenty of PGFD Fire/EMS units there as well.  Click here for additional information.

2015 Papal Visit to Washington DC occurs on September 22nd and 23rd.  Pope Francis will land at Joint Base Andrews in Prince George's County on September 22nd.  It is unknown if the visit will place any special demands on Prince George's Public Safety or possible traffic related problem in the County.  Click here for more information about the Pontiffs visit.

The Washington Redskins will have 3 home games at Fed Ex Field in Prince George's County during September.  The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department has about 60 Firefighters and Medics on duty at each home game.  Home games are September 3rd (7:30 pm exhibition game), 13th and 20th (regular season games at 1:00 pm).  For additional information, click here.

The University of Maryland Football team also has 3 home games at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium, College Park, Prince George's County, MD.  Home games are scheduled for September, 5th, 12th and 19th, all starting at 12:00 Noon.  For additional information click here.  There are always plenty of firefighters and medics on hand at the game and in the parking lot.

It's shaping up to be a very busy month, one of the busiest of the year for the Fire/EMS Department.  We anticipate responding on nearly 12,000 fire and EMS calls for service during the month of September. 

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