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Saturday, July 1, 2017

PGFD Safety First Day of the Month - July

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

Today is July 1, 2017, the Safety First Day of the Month.  A month that we celebrate Independence Day and plenty of opportunity to exercise “Safety First.” 

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 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.  At the end of this year 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.  This applies to homes protected by a battery powered alarm.

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.

Fireworks Safety

We understand that fireworks are a traditional component of our Independence Day celebration and we strongly encourage everyone to visit one of these approved fireworks displays.

All consumer purchased fireworks are illegal to purchase, posses, transport and use in Prince George's County.  This law has help to reduce the number of injuries and fires typically experienced during this festive time of year.

The following public and municipal locations have obtained appropriate permits to conduct an approved fireworks display.  Some locations may charge an entrance fee, please call ahead for details.  Most fireworks displays start shortly after dusk (approximately 9:00 pm).

Fireworks Display for Saturday, July 1, 2017

Daylong celebration in the City of Laurel ends with Fireworks from Granville Gude Park around 9:15 pm

Fireworks Displays for Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Town of District Heights, MD - E. Michael Roll Municipal Building - 2000 Marbury Drive

Town of Morningside, MD - 6901 Ames Street                   

City of College Park MD - University of Maryland Parking Lot 1 Concert at 7 p.m. Fireworks at 9 p.m. 

City of Greenbelt MD - Buddy Attick Park 555 Crescent Road. Fireworks at Dusk. 

Admission charges may apply for the following:

Six Flags America - Mitchellville, MD. The amusement park sponsors a spectacular fireworks display on July 4th. Enjoy a full day of family entertainment.  Call for more information 301-249-1500

Bowie, MD - Prince George’s Stadium, 4101 NE Crain Hwy. Fireworks after the Baysox baseball game. 


Hot Weather

The month of July ushers us into summer and warmer temperatures.  A quick reminder of life-saving actions:

1.     Never leave children or pets in cars.  Heat stroke can occur within minutes and sickness or death will occur very quickly.

2.     During our hazy, hot and humid days - remember to drink plenty of water.  Its how our firefighters and medics stay hydrated and are able to work in hot temperatures.  HHH2 - "Hazy, Hot and Humid = Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate."

3.     Always practice good fire safety habits when discarding cigarettes but pay particular attention when days are labeled "Red Flag" days where fires can start easily and spread rapidly.

Grill Safety

It is anticipated that many backyard barbecue's will be in use throughout the summer months. The PGFD recommend that you exercise caution and keep safety in mind when setting up, using and cleaning your BBQ grill.   Did you know that cooking, most notably "unattended cooking" is the number one cause of fires and fire related injuries in Prince George's County, this includes both inside and outside cooking: WATCH WHAT YOU HEAT!!!

•NEVER use a grill indoors including garages, overhangs and canopies

•By Law - Grills must be at least 30 feet away from any multi-family apartment dwelling.

•When using a grill at your single-family home – homeowners should use a 10-foot perimeter from anything combustible – including your house!!! Never place a grill up against your house, wood deck or fence.

•In Prince George’s County - all grills are illegal to use on balconies of apartments and condominium apartments

•Do not allow children and pets to play near a grill - set up a 10 foot safety zone around your grill.

•Only use approved ignition fluids – NEVER use gasoline to ignite a grill

•Keep a fire extinguisher, garden hose or bucket of sand nearby to douse a grill fire that gets out of control.

•Inspect your grill before you ignite to ensure everything is in working order. This inspection includes all connections on your gas grills are tight and not leaking.

Charcoal ashes and used briquettes should be disposed of in a metal container and allowed to cool down for up to 48 hours before disposal.  Keep ash container off of your wood deck and away from your house.

Swim Safely

It is anticipated that thousands of residents will be taking full advantage of swimming pools.  Keeping safety first will help to prevent such a festive occasion from becoming a tragedy.  You should know that 75% of drowning’s occur in backyard pools.

For parents:

•Always watch your children and never leave them unattended.  A lack of adult supervision is one of the leading contributing factors to children drowning.

•Do not rely on flotation devices to protect your children from drowning. You must supervise at all times.

•Have a phone nearby in the event you need to call 911.

•Have children swim in pairs - the "buddy system"

•If a child is missing - check the pool first.

•Teach your child how to swim. Visit www.pgparks.com/aquatics.htm for additional information.

•Learn CPR. Visit http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class or call the Fire/EMS Department CPR Information line at 301-864-LIVE (5483).

For home pool owners and managers:

•Install a fence around the perimeter of the pool.

•Use self closing latches and gates.

•Install a door alarm from the house to the pool area.

•Have life saving equipment nearby such as life rings or reaching poles   

CPR and AED 

As previously mentioned in swimming pool safety, everyone should take the time how to learn how to perform CPR and use an AED.   You can call 301-864-LIVE (5483) and find locations that teach CPR/AED or click here for additional information.

The Fire/EMS Department is currently providing instruction on Hands-Only CPR.  For additional information on this training call our EMS office at 301-583-1870.


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