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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Use Flashlights and Keep Candles in the Cabinet

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

With widespread power outages the use of candles to increase illumination inside of homes will increase.  The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services department is cautioning citizens, businesses and visitors that candles should not be used for this purpose as it causes a potential for home fires.

Over 60 residents of a Landover apartment building without electrical power on 64th Avenue this morning were displaced and 5 injured when an unattended candle ignited a fire at about 1:45 am today.  The fire required a second alarm of firefighters to extinguish

Without even bringing power outages into the equation, candles present problems for firefighters everyday.
  • On average, in the U.S., there are 35 home candle fires reported per day.

  • Roughly two-fifths of these fires started in the bedroom.

  • More than half of all candle fires start when things that can burn are too close to the candle.

The problem is only compounded when power outages are involved and the first item that families reach for when the lights go out are candles and matches.  The men and women of your Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department strongly recommend that families use battery powered flash lights and lanterns instead of candles.

It is also recommended that families have a battery-powered radio available to remain informed.

Batteries, flashlights, lanterns and a radio are all items that are recommended to have in your emergency kit that should be prepared and available.  For additional information on preparing an emergency kit can be found at www.ready.gov

This is a good time to test your smoke alarm and ensure it is working.

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