Safety First Day of the Month - May 2016

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

Today is May 1, 2016, the Safety First Day of the Month. The month of May features Mothers Day and Memorial Day.  Two festive occasions that include members of the family.  Perhaps the greatest gift anyone can provide mom is to make sure she is safe.  When you visit on Sunday, May 8, test her alarms and even better bring new 10-year alarms with you and install them in her home.

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:

Push 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 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.  We also recommend having a working alarm in every bedroom and to sleep with your doors closed.

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 (MOM) 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.

This month we will also highlight Arson Awareness Week and EMS Week.  We will provide additional information about these programs later this month.

Memorial Day is celebrated on May 30.  This is the traditional start of summer with many swimming pools opening and BBQ grills fired up for the big day.  It could be very festive as long as everyone keeps Safety First!!!  Please click here and visit our Memorial Day Safety Tips to help ensure everyone goes home.

A personal note, on this Safety First Day of the Month of May I changed my 30-day furnace filter, cleaned out lint from my dryer exhaust pipe and gave my dog her monthly heart worm pill and flea and tick ointment.  Safety First Day of the month is a convenient time to do all those 30 day projects that sometimes are forgotten.  Safety First Day of the Month - Make it a Habit!!!