MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
Regionally, two recent house fires in Reston, VA and Waldorf MD communities occurred that have claimed lives and injured occupants. Both occurred while residents were sleeping. While the investigation into these two tragic incidents are on-going it highlights the need for everyone to review some basic fire safety habits.
- Have a working 10-year smoke alarm on every level of your home and in every bedroom.
- Design and practice an escape drill from your home. Identify 2 ways out of every room and a safe meeting place outside. Practice your plan, at least twice a year, when you test your smoke alarms on the first day of every month. Sadly many residential fire related fatalities involve our senior and our youngest family members. Often this is due to mobility challenges and not knowing what to do in an emergency. Plan and Practice escape drills.
- As we transition into colder weather and less daylight, use space heaters safely providing a safety area of 3-feet from anything that can burn and never leave space heaters or candles burning unattended.
- Now is a good time to call a HVAC Technician to have them check your heating system and have your fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected.
Fire Departments around the region have been conducting fire prevention open houses throughout the month of October. Our theme this year is to Hear the Beep Where you Sleep to encourage residents to install 10-year smoke alarms just outside of sleeping areas and one in each bedroom as well.
Fire Safety is a year-round project and should always be included in your everyday life.
This upcoming weekend Maryland State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci is encouraging firefighters to go our into the community and promote fire safety. There are two fire prevention open houses this weekend that residents are encouraged to attend and bring their children. These open houses are as follows:
31st Annual Open House and Fire Prevention Day - Sunday, October 18, 11:00 am until 4:00 pm
On Saturday, October 24, volunteer and career firefighters from Bowie will be going door-to-door in the Old Town community to check for working smoke alarms and provide fire safety information to residents. Don't wait for a firefighter to knock on your door - test smoke alarms today and if they don't work - replace with a new 10-year alarm available at home improvement stores.
Open House and Fire Prevention Day - Sunday, October 18, 12:00 Noon until 4:00 pm
As I mentioned before, our days are getting colder and shorter. They are about to get even colder and shorter and families need to be prepared as it is no secret that fires occur more frequently in colder weather. Daylight Saving Time will end Sunday, November 1, 2015 and we will change our clocks back one hour. It is this time of year that we must insist that when you change your clocks to change the battery in your smoke and CO alarms, better yet, upgrade to a new 10-year, tamper proof with hush feature alarm and never change a better again.