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Monday, April 1, 2013

Fire Chief Bashoor on Cheverly House Fire - 59th Place

Firefighters go Door to Door Checking Alarms Today

Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor will join firefighters going door to door in a Cheverly neighborhood this morning.   This effort is a result of a house fire yesterday where a deceased female was found.  While a smoke alarm was found in the debris, it was non-working due to the lack of a battery.

Fire Chief Bashoor and firefighters will go door-to-door and check with residents about the status of their smoke alarm and offer to test the alarm and replace it if needed.

In other parts of the County firefighters will be spending time in communities as part of the Departments "Safety First Day of the Month" which is when we ask all residents to test their smoke alarm to ensure it is working.

The Cheverly effort will begin at 11 am in the 2400 block of 59th Place in Cheverly.

Safety First Day of the Month Reminders

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

The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department has developed a program to help remind you to keep Safety First.  Our “Safety First Day of the Month” program is a reminder that the first day of each month is the day to perform quick and easy tasks that will help keep you, your family and your property safe and healthy. 

By following our Safety First tips you can help us to reduce the number of incidents we respond to as well as early 911 notification will reduce the intensity and impact a fire will have by reducing injuries and death to our firefighters.  You are helping us to help you.  Keeping Safety First will ensure everyone, firefighter/medics and you, to go home.

April is our Spring Clean-Up reminders.   Everyone will be sprucing up inside and outside of their homes.  One of the many to-do list items is to clean-up your clothes dryer.  See our Safety First Day of the Month reminders.  Are you aware that clothes dryers cause an estimated 2,900 fires across the U.S. resulting in an average of 5 deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in property damage??

Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors 

Test your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide (CO) detector by pressing the TEST button on the cover of your devices.  If they emit an audible warning – you are done until next month.

If no audible warning is heard after pressing the TEST button – replace the battery and re-test.  If your alarm still does not emit a warning – immediately replace the alarm or detector with a new one.  Smoke alarms have a productive life of about 10 years.  CO detectors last about 8 years.

clear dust particles from on and around your alarms and detectors.  Dust particles may effect the detection of smoke or CO.  Use a clean dust rag or vacuum your device.

Install a working smoke alarm on every level of your home, especially outside of sleeping areas.  If you sleep with your bedroom door closed; install a working smoke alarm inside of your room.

When testing your smoke and CO alarms – allow your family or other home occupants to hear what the audible alarm sounds like.  This would also be an excellent time to review and practice your home escape plan.  Your plan should include 2 ways out of every room in your house and a safe meeting place outside.

Need a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm??  Call our Safety First Safety Program at 301-864-SAFE (7233) and arrange for these devices to be installed in your home; free of charge.

Breast Cancer Self-Exams
The Fire/EMS Department has committed to keeping Breast Cancer awareness a year round event.  Every month we will post reminders that adult women of all ages are encouraged to perform breast self-exams at least once a month. Remember, Safety First Day of the Month.  Johns Hopkins Medical center states,
“Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.”
While mammograms can help you to detect cancer before you can feel a lump, breast self-exams help you to be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can alert your healthcare professional if there are any changes.


The Fire/EMS Department responds to about 130,000 incidents per year.  About 100,000 of these incidents are EMS calls and there are a high percentage of these incidents that are for some type of diabetic related episode.  We want you to stay healthy and you can help reduce the number of paramedic responses by doing so.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends getting regular exercise to help manage diabetes. However, people with diabetes may need to take certain precautions to ensure that exercise does not induce hypoglycemia (in someone taking insulin), hyperglycemia, or exacerbate complications resulting from their disease.
To work out safely, the ACSM suggests that you: 
            Check your blood sugar before you exercise. If it is > 300 mg/dL and no ketones are present, proceed cautiously.
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Check your urine or blood for ketones before exercising. Postpone if your blood sugar is greater than 250 mg/dl and ketones are present.
            Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your exercise session.
            Have a carbohydrate-rich snack, such as a piece of fruit or some yogurt or crackers—especially if you are taking insulin—if your blood glucose is < 100 mg/dL.

            Keep carbohydrate-rich snacks or drinks handy to eat before or after exercise to avoid hypoglycemia. If you are taking insulin, you know that when it peaks, your blood sugar drops—so avoid exercise during these times.

            Examine your tootsies before and after exercise for foot ulcers if you have lost sensation in your feet, and stick to moderate or low-weight-bearing activities.

            Avoid high-intensity exercise or any activities involving jumping up and down or dropping your head below your heart (such as yoga inversions) if you have diabetes-related vision issues. The increased pressure can damage the eyes.

            Get your doctor's approval before undertaking any exercise more intense than brisk walking.

More from Prevention: 15 Celebs Living With Diabetes

Clothes Dryer Fire Safety Tips

An estimated 2,900 clothes dryer fires in residential buildings are reported to U.S. fire departments each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.

Clothes dryer fire incidence in residential buildings was higher in the fall and winter months, peaking in January at 11 percent.

Failure to clean (34 percent) was the leading factor contributing to the ignition of clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.

Dust, fiber, and lint (28 percent) and clothing not on a person (27 percent) were, by far, the leading items first ignited in clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.

Fifty-four percent of clothes dryer fires in residential buildings were confined to the object of origin.

lint filter
Clean the lint filter before or after each use.
  • Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
  • Do not operate the dryer without a lint filter. Clean the lint filter before or after each use. Remove accumulated lint around the drum.
  • Rigid or flexible metal venting materials should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time.
  • Make sure the air exhaust bent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating.
  • Once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry, clean lint out of the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.
  • Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to ensure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.
  • Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.
  • Do not leave a dryer running if you leave home or when you go to bed.
  • Never dry items that have come in contact with flammable substances, such as cooking oil, gasoline, paint thinner, or alcohol.
  • Keep the dryer area clear of things that can burn, such as boxes or clothing.

Washer Fire Safety Tips

  • Avoid overloading a washing machine.
  • Washing machines should be properly grounded.
  • Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.