MCFRS News Release

PEPCO Donates Smoke Alarms

County has begun door-to-door initiative to Keep Seniors Safe from Fire

Tuesday, November 25, 2008
10:30 a.m.

Montgomery County Fire Station #25
Kensington – Aspen Hill
14401 Connecticut Avenue, Aspen Hill
(Connecticut Ave and Bel Pre Road)

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) will accept a sizable smoke alarm donation as part of the PEPCO Emergency Services Partnership Program in conjunction with the MCFRS ‘Safety in Our Neighborhood’ campaign. Additionally, firefighters will go door-to-door checking smoke alarms of senior citizens.

Montgomery County Has Begun Implementing Recommendations of Senior Citizen Fire Safety Task Force to
Keep Seniors Safe from Fire

The Senior Citizen Fire Safety Task Force (SCFSTF) recently concluded a two-year commission with the release of a final report that recommended dozens of ways to reduce the number of seniors who lose their lives in fires.  From 2005 to 2007, there were 14 fire fatalities in Montgomery County -- all of which were senior citizens over the age of 65.  Montgomery County has one of the lowest fire death rates per capita, but senior citizens were dying in fires in disproportionate numbers.

Recognizing the efforts of the Senior Citizen Fire Safety Task Force several weeks ago, County Fire Chief Richard Bowers recently announced the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) ‘Safety in the Our Neighborhood - Put a Finger on It’ initiative to check thousands of residential smoke alarms.

During the past four weekends alone firefighters have visited over 5,000 homes, installed over 100 smoke alarms and either provided, replaced or installed nearly 200 smoke alarm batteries.  The Thanksgiving Day holiday typically begins the busiest time of year for area firefighters.

Within the final SCFSTF report were a number of recommendations - some of which have already been put into motion. These were recently announced, including a county-wide door-to-door initiative to check and install smoke alarms concentrating on senior high risk areas, forming community-wide partnerships to deliver safety messages.

The donation of smoke alarms by PEPCO allows the the MCFRS to continue a community-based life saving initiative we call ‘Safety in Our Neighborhood.’  PEPCO has provided hundreds of smoke alarms each to fire departments in the District of Columbia, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County as part of an overall emergency preparedness effort that focuses on the communities served by the company.

In addition to the regular smoke alarms, PEPCO will also be donating  special “hearing impaired” smoke alarms for distribution to hearing-impaired residents in their jurisdictions.

These smoke alarms will enable the MCFRS to expand the range of safety services to residents to make our communities safer.

The 10:30 a.m. event, which is expected to last about 30 minutes, will take place at the Fire Station #25, Kensington-Aspen Hill, located at 14401 Connecticut Avenue. It will take place inside the apparatus bay area.  Immediately following the donation of smoke alarms, firefighters will visit a nearby neighborhood going door-to-door checking smoke alarms.