MCFRS News Release

Prevent Fires - Save Lives - Here's How

Prevent Homes Fires
National Fire Prevention Week – Month

The winter months of November, December, January and February are typically the busiest for Fire Departments in this area.  On Sunday, October 5, 2008 the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service joins forces with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Boy Scouts of America in a major event  at the Public Safety Training Academy, in Rockville to remind local residents of their role in preventing home fires.

Also on Sunday, October 5, 2008 several other local fire and rescue stations in Kensington, Sandy Spring and Cabin John will conduct an Open House, in combination with Fire Prevention month in Montgomery County. On Saturday, October 4, 2008 the Bethesda Chevy Chase Rescue Squad will open their doors and sponsor activities in conjunction with the Taste of Bethesda. 

You and your family are invited to attend the second annual Montgomery County Fire/Rescue Expo on October 5, 2008, open to the public and free of charge. The event will feature emergency equipment from throughout Montgomery County, as well as, 'live' fire and rescue demonstrations, fire truck displays, educational activities for all ages and other activities.

There are time-tested ways to prevent and survive a fire. It's not a question of luck. It's a matter of planning ahead.

Remember – the message is simple:

Develop an Escape Plan – Identify two ways out of each room in your home, identify a meeting place for your family outside, practice your plan at least twice a year when you change your clock.  Once Outside – Account for all family members at your designated meeting place, call 911 from a safe location, never go back inside a burning building for any reason.
Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives – Ensure you have a working smoke alarm on each floor of your home, additional smoke alarms can be placed in sleeping and kitchen areas, test your smoke alarms monthly, change the battery when you change your clock twice a year, if your smoke alarms are powered by your homes electrical system consider installing battery powered smoke alarms as a back up in case of a power outage.

National Fire Prevention Week 2008 will be observed from October 5-11, and this year's theme is "Prevent Home Fires." Montgomery County Fire Chief Tom Carr suggests, most Americans underestimate their risk for fire, and many either lack emergency response plans-or fail to practice them with fire drills.

"Annual observances like National Fire Prevention Month and other initiatives in Montgomery County like “Put a Finger on It” and “Safety in Our Neighborhood” are excellent opportunities to focus on fire hazards - but we should all practice fire safety every day-at work, at play, and particularly at home," said Chief Carr. "The most common causes of home fires result from cooking, heating, electrical malfunction, smoking materials and candles."

Safety tips to reduce home fires include:

Chief Carr also cautions against complacency. "As winter approaches, the rate of fire in Montgomery seems to increase and fire-related deaths happen more often across the United states.   And I encourage everyone to contact their local fire department to learn more about making their homes safer from fire, or how to best participate in fire prevention activities."

For a free home safety evaluation in Montgomery County call the hotline at 240.777.2476 to schedule a time.