MCFRS News Release

Fire Safety Holiday Gift Ideas

Fire Chief Tom Carr and all of the men and women of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service hope that everyone has a safe and happy Holiday season. Looking for that perfect gift? Need something for somebody that has everything? Why not give a gift that can save a life and/or protect your family! By the way, smoke alarms make excellent stocking stuffers.

Listed below are our gift recommendations:

Smoke Detector: A smoke detector should be installed on every level of your home and outside of each sleeping area. Give a gift of life: A Smoke Detector.

Batteries: Batteries in smoke detectors need to be changed annually. Batteries make wonderful stocking stuffers!

Calendars: Give a calendar with one day a month marked as smoke detector testing day, and include one day each year to remind your loved one to change the battery (Change your Clock - Change your Battery) and to vacuum the unit. (P.S.: Include your Birthday, too!) Choose two dates per year to practice home escape plans.

Fire Extinguishers: Purchase a good fire extinguisher that can be recharged easily. Don't be fooled by high pressure door-to-door salespersons making unusual claims.

Flashlights: Use for emergency lighting instead of candles, to avoid the risk of fire from an open flame.

Escape Ladder: This handy device will enable persons sleeping in a bedroom in a 2nd or 3rd story to escape in situations where fire and smoke make it impossible to escape from house via the primary escape route.

Sturdy candleholders: prevent tip-over when candles are lit.

A sturdy fireplace screen: keeps embers out of the room.

Gift certificates: for clean-up services to remove clutter that could give fires a place to start or trip you up if you need to escape quickly if fire occurs. Chimney sweeps can reduce oily creosote build-up that can be easily ignited in chimneys. Many chimney sweeps provide more comprehensive fire inspection, maintenance, and clean-up services.

Warm nightwear or bedding: can help reduce the need for space heaters, particularly at night. Space heaters (fixed and portable) are the equipment involved in about 75% of home heating fire deaths, and NFPA recommends they be turned off at night before going to sleep. Nightwear or bathrobes with tight-fitting sleeves will stay well away from cooking flames and hot surfaces like stove burners.

Oven mitts: for handling cooking equipment, tableware or cookware and especially to permit safe placement of a lid on a stove pan to smother a small fire.

Large house numbers: so firefighters can quickly locate a home at night in an emergency.

Carbon monoxide alarms: While this item won’t help keep your loved ones safe from fire, it’s something you should consider for home safety. Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas formed when fuels—such as natural gas, oil and wood—burn incompletely.

Remember – this is a busy time of year for area firefighters. 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!