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Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Safety First

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

Summertime includes outdoor activities that are designed to be fun and festive. The men and women of your Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department do not want to meet you by accident.

The combined career, civilian and volunteer personnel want you to enjoy a safe summer and remind everyone to keep "Safety First" to ensure everyone goes home and offer you a few safety tips to keep in mind.

Stay Healthy

Throughout the course of the summer there will be periods of unhealthy high temperatures and humidity. Drink plenty of water throughout the course of each day, wear light colored clothing and take frequents breaks in an air conditioned environment. If someone becomes is sweating profusely with a pale skin color and is ill with any or all of the following symptoms; cramps, light headiness, dizziness, shortness of breath and nausea; remove them to a shady or air conditioned area, provide them with water and cool wet compresses to help reduce their body temperature. These symptoms could indicate that the person is possibly suffering from heat exhaustion. If their condition does not improve within a matter of a couple minutes; call 911.

If a person is experiencing similar symptoms and goes unconscious, does not display signs of sweating and skin color is red; call 911 immediately as this person may be experiencing heat stroke; a life threatening condition. Relocate this person to a shady or air conditioned area, provide cold compresses and loosen clothing in order to reduce this person's body temperature. Do not provide any fluids to an unconscious person.

Grill Safety

It is anticipated that many backyard barbeque's will be in use over the course of the summer. We ask that you exercise caution and keep safety in mind when setting up, using and cleaning up 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!!!

• 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

• 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

• 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.

Swim Safely

Thousands of residents will be swimming this summer and keeping safety first will help to prevent such a fun occasion from becoming a tragedy.

For parents:

• Always watch your children and never leave them unattended. Constant adult supervision is the most effective method to prevent drowning.

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

• Have a phone nearby.

• 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.redcrossnca.org/ for additional information.

For 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.

Remember that if everyone keeps "Safety First" then everyone will return home.  Enjoy your summer safely!!!

Celebrate the Fourth of July Safely and Legally

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

The Prince George’s County Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department is concerned about the potential for injury and property damage from fireworks. Every year, near the Fourth of July, we see and hear of thousands of people injured and sometimes killed due to accidents involving fireworks in the United States. Sadly, many of these injuries and deaths involve children. A recent example of the damage that can be caused by fireworks was just yesterday, Sunday, June 24, a large brush fire was ignited, possibly by the use of fireworks, injuring one firefighter in Kent Island, MD.  Our fireworks law is designed to remove confusion and to keep Safety First so that everyone can go home.

There may be some confusion among our citizens, visitors and businesses in Prince George's County about what is legal and what is not when it comes to fireworks available to the consumer.  The laws governing the sale and use of fireworks vary from county to county.  You may drive through a neighboring jurisdiction that allows the sale of fireworks out of temporary stands. The consumer may not know that the fireworks products you are purchasing are illegal where you live. 

Prince George’s County has a law that is meant to protect you.  We have removed any confusion about the legality of consumer fireworks in Prince George's County.  Plain and simple - ALL consumer fireworks from the smallest to the largest are illegal.  From sparklers to large ground displays - all fireworks are illegal.

The Law in Prince George’s County

• It is illegal for any person to manufacture, possess, store, offer for sale, sell, discharge, use, burn, or explode any fireworks in Prince George's County, Maryland, except that an authorized display may be conducted by a licensed pyrotechnic professional. Penalties for violations of the law include a fine of up to $1,000 and/or six months in jail.

• Each year, across the U.S. thousands of people are injured and some killed in accidents involving the use of fireworks. These primarily involve those fireworks classified as 1.4g explosives by the U.S. Department of Transportation, commonly referred to as "consumer fireworks." Prince George’s County has banned the sale, use and possession of these fireworks based on the danger to our citizens caused by the misuse of these products.

The men and women of your Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department encourage you to attend one of the many public and municipal fireworks displays that will be offered for the Fourth of July Celebration throughout the County.