PGFD Recommended 2019 "Safe Home and Family" Resolutions

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Public Information Officer, 240-508-7930     @PGFDPIO

Are you having difficulty in choosing your 2019 New Year Resolutions???  The combined career, volunteer and civilian men and women of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department (PGFD) have a few ideas for you.  These resolutions will help you stay compliant with the State of Maryland Smoke Alarm Law and the County carbon monoxide (CO) detector law.  These are listed in no particular order, as they are all important.

I will install and/or maintain 10-year, tamper proof with hush feature smoke alarms and CO detectors on every level of my home.  

I will check my smoke alarms and CO detectors on the first day of every month by pushing the test button on the front cover and listen for a warning signal.  No sound = no protection.  Not working?? Replace with a new 10-year smoke alarm or CO detector.

I will check the manufacture date on my battery powered and hard-wired smoke alarms and CO detectors.  If they are close to or have exceeded the 10-year life span I will replace with a new models.  

If I have a 9-volt powered alarm that is within 10 years of its manufacture date I will continue to provide fresh batteries twice a year and test monthly.  Once the life span of 10-years is up I will replace with a new 10-year smoke alarm.  The day you provide a fresh battery should be consistent each year; your birthday, your spouses birthday, your oldest child’s birthday, a holiday, change-your-clock/change your battery.

I will designate one family member to be responsible for testing smoke alarms and CO detectors monthly.  Everyone in the family should be made aware of the responsible person and reminders should be encouraged.  Regardless of the type of alarm you have – test the alarm on the first day of every month.

I will replace my smoke alarm and CO detector if it is 10 years old and than every 10 years after.  A properly maintained smoke alarm works hard to protect you and your family every second of every day.  The alarm wears out and is not as reliable as it was when you first installed it; replace it every ten years.

I will include my smoke alarms and CO detectors when I perform household cleaning.  Use a vacuum wand or clean rag to remove any dust that may have accumulated.  Dust particles may affect the timely sounding of the alarm.

I will install working 10-year, tamper proof with hush feature, smoke alarms and CO detectors on every level of my home.  Most importantly is to have one in hallways outside of sleeping areas.

I will install a working 10-year smoke alarm in bedrooms where my family members sleep with their bedroom doors closed.

I will know and ensure my family knows what to do when a smoke alarm sounds – “get down, get low, get out.”  Have a family escape plan and practice it to ensure everyone knows two ways out of every room in the house and designate a meeting place outside when 911 can be called in safety.

A working smoke alarm provides you an early warning of a fire in your home.  Your chances of surviving a fire in your home is increased by 50% by having a working smoke alarm.   Having a family home escape planned and practiced increases your chances of survival even more.

A working smoke alarm allows home occupants to escape safely and make a quick notification to the fire department equating to an earlier arrival and mitigation of the fire before it is allowed to spread thereby saving property and helping firefighters to stay safe and go home after every call.

CO detectors are required by law if your home uses a gas to fuel your heat or to cook, has a fireplace and/or an attached garage.  CO detectors are required on every level of your home.

The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department resolves to continue to provide the very best in Fire protection, prevention and Emergency Medical Services to our citizens, residents and visitors.  We vow that if you call and say you need a new smoke alarm that we will come to your house and install a working smoke alarm for you and your family; free of charge.  Call 311 and ask about our smoke alarm program.