MCFRS News Release

October is Fire Prevention Month in Montgomery County

“Remember to Change Your Clock – Change Your Battery”

It’s time for fire prevention and safety awareness in Montgomery County. Throughout the Month of October the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) will be promoting fire safety and injury prevention in a variety of ways, including many traditional fire-rescue station “Open Houses”, as well as, participating in various community events. Remember, at the end of the month on October 29, 2006, we change our clocks from Daylight Saving Time back to Eastern Standard Time. Get into a lifesaving habit - when you “Change Your Clock – Change Your Battery”.

The primary theme of this year’s national Fire Prevention Week is ‘Prevent Cooking Fires; Watch What You Heat.’ During this year’s fire safety campaign, firefighters and safety advocates will be spreading the word about the dangers of cooking fires – most of which are the result from unattended cooking – and teaching local residents how to prevent cooking fires from starting in the first place.

The best protection a family can have in order to survive a home fire is the combination of a residential sprinkler system and working smoke alarms. Since January 2004 all newly built single family homes in Montgomery County have been required to have residential sprinkler systems. It is recommended that a smoke alarm be installed on every level of a home and families have and practice a home escape plan. The simplest thing a family can do to protect themselves is to have a working smoke alarm and an escape plan. Get out and stay out!

The leading causes of fire are improperly discarded smoking materials, heating equipment (including those associated with space heaters and fireplaces), cooking, arson and electrical (not necessarily in that order). In Montgomery County improperly discarded smoking materials and/or careless smoking is the leading cause of residential fire fatalities, followed by cooking.

SAFETY TIPS:

More “cooking” safety tips that firefighters and safety advocates will be emphasizing:

Finally, having a working smoke alarm dramatically increases your chances of surviving a fire. And remember to practice a home escape plan frequently with your friends and family.

Recent fires throughout Montgomery County have often been the result of food left cooking unwatched, candles left burning unattended, combustibles too close to a heating system, discarded smoking materials, misplaced fireplace ashes and a malfunction with heating systems. Improperly discarded smoking materials and careless smoking have been the primary cause of the most recent residential fire deaths. Many of these fires could have been prevented.

It is important that all residents know to have a working smoke alarm on each level of a home, have an escape plan (know how to get out quickly) and call the fire department from a safe area, preferably a neighbor’s house. Do not delay!

Montgomery County Fire Prevention Month activities and activities:
(Not all inclusive)

###