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Friday, January 1, 2016

A New Year Resolution We Can Live With - Safety First Day of the Month/Year 2016

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

January 1, 2016, a day many of us make and start our New Year Resolutions.  It is also our Safety First Day of the Month/Year.  Combine the two and make a resolution that is simple to keep, it's healthy, inexpensive and may save lives.  Make a Resolution to remember the Safety First Day of the Month.  Every 1st of every month is designated as the day to test your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms to ensure they emit that life saving alert.  Simply press the test button on the front of the alarm.

Lets make a New Year Resolution we can live with and PGFD will help by reminding you every month.  This New Year Resolution just may save your life and loved ones. Finally, it is so simple to keep!!!  

"I resolve to test my smoke and CO alarms on the first day of every month."

On the first day of every month, regardless of whatever day it is, simply press the test button on the cover of your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms.  What is important to note here is that you need to have smoke and CO alarms installed in your home for you to keep your resolution.

When you "Press to Test"

If you hear the audible warning – you are good for another month.

No audible warning?? – provide a fresh battery in your alarms and re-test.

Audible warning??  Yes – you are good until next month!!!  No tones – remove the alarm and replace it with a new 10-year alarm.

While you’re tending to your alarms – remove any dust or other particles from your alarm by dusting or using a vacuum.  Remember these alarms could be the difference between life and death of you and your family.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors - Keep in mind that some of our neighbors may not physically be able to reach their alarms to test or change batteries.  If you have senior citizens family members or neighbors, please, perform this lifesaving function for them. They may not ask for help but they certainly could use some.

Anyone that can not afford to purchase their own 10-year smoke alarm or batteries to rejuvenate your 9-volt alarms may call 311 and make arrangements for a firefighter to visit your home and install these life saving items for you.

Remember that it is now a law for homes that have gas service, fireplace and/or an attached garage are required to have CO alarms installed on every level of your h.

The Fire/EMS Department strongly endorses the use of 10-year, tamper proof with hush feature smoke and CO alarms on every level of your home, outside of sleeping areas and in every bedroom.

Also, design a exit drill in your home and identify two ways out of every room in the event of a fire.  Designate a safe meeting place outside and practice you exit drill at least twice a year.

**  Hint **  Other monthly tasks such as changing filter furnaces, providing our pets with monthly medications, etc. can be done on the safety first day of the month as well.

January Safety Tips

Be ever mindful of cooking and remaining in the kitchen if using the stovetop or broiler. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires and fire related injuries.

Candles should be used with extreme caution.  Keep them away from items that can burn and never leave them burning in a room unattended.

Inspect cords and bulbs on electrical holiday decorations as you take them down to store away. If cords are frayed or have wires showing, discard them now and purchase new ones later.  No good reason to try to get “just one more year” out of damaged decorations when you consider the consequence of a home fire.

While we have enjoyed warm than normal temperatures in December the forecast calls for colder weather this month.  Give space heaters space (at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn).  Turn off space heaters before you go to sleep and never use an extension cord with a space heater.

Clear clutter from around your furnace and water heater.

Never overload extension cords or power strips.  Electrical cords can overheat and ignite a fire.