MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department offers the following safety tips, to ensure that all citizens and residents will enjoy a safe and festive Thanksgiving holiday. Unfortunately, fire safety and injury prevention guidelines are often overlooked during the holidays. Prince George's County Fire Chief Benjamin M. Barksdale stated, "Everyone needs to keep Safety First and by doing so our citizens, visitors and businesses can avoid tragedy and disruption of their holiday festivities."
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) United States Fire Administration (USFA) issued a special report recently examining the characteristics of Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings. The report, Thanksgiving Day Fires in Residential Buildings, was developed by USFA's National Fire Data Center.
The report is based on 2011 to 2013 data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). For each year, an estimated 2,100 residential building fires were reported to fire departments in the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day and caused an estimated 10 deaths, 50 injuries and $28 million in property loss. The leading cause of Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings is, by far, cooking. Additionally, smoke alarms were not present in 20 percent of Thanksgiving Day fires that occurred in occupied residential buildings.
If your Thanksgiving plans include a Turkey Fryer, this is another whole story by itself, click here for Turkey Fryer Safety Tips.
These safety tips work for every day of the year, however, home fires increase dramatically, twice as many, on Thanksgiving Day. While these safety and cooking tips may not make Thanksgiving dinner taste any better--they will help to avoid potential disaster;
• Overnight guests should be instructed on your exit drill from the home and designated meeting place for your family. Sleep with bedroom doors closed.
• Keep Thanksgiving decorations and kitchen clutter away from sources of direct heat.
Working smoke alarms are required in all residences in Prince George's County. Consider upgrading to a 10-year tamper proof with hush feature smoke alarm and never change a battery again. The 10-year alarms and placement in your home will become law effective January 1, 2018. If you can not afford to purchase an alarm you can call 311. A firefighter will install a working smoke alarm in your home; free of charge.
The men and women; volunteer, civilian and paid, of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department wish everyone a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!!!