MCFRS News Release

Firefighters going door-to-door in Chevy Chase neighborhood checking smoke alarms

Yesterday, Tuesday, November 25, 2008 there was a significant fire located at 3119 Rolling Road, in Chevy Chase.  There was about $1.5M in property damage, one of the residents suffered a minor injury, and a cat perished in the fire. 

This afternoon, Wednesday, November 26, 2008, from 3:00 p.m. until about 4:30 p.m., various local fire-rescue station crews from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service will be going door-to-door in the neighborhood in the vicinity to where the fire occurred.  Uniformed firefighters will be handing out fire and injury prevention information, offering to check smoke alarms, and replacing batteries or installing smoke alarms as needed (all free of charge).  We believe that these educational efforts can go a long way in preventing similar disasters.

Having a functional smoke alarm is one of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce tragic deaths and injuries from fire. In fact, working smoke alarms nearly cut in half the risk of dying in a home fire.

The men and women of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) have been checking smoke alarms in neighborhoods throughout Montgomery County the past few weekends as part of the ‘Safety in Our Neighborhood’ campaign.  Firefighters have visited over 5,000 homes, installed over 100 smoke alarms and installed or changed nearly 200 batteries.  The primary focus has been in areas populated with older residents and where residential fire fatalities have occurred.  There have been five (5) residential fire fatalities this year to date in 2008 compared with thirteen (13) all of last year in 2007.

Fire Chief Richard Bowers notes, “This is a busy time of year for firefighters in this region.  The simplest thing a family can do to protect themselves from fire is have a working smoke alarm, on every level of their home, and have fire escape plan.”

Recent surveys conducted by fire fighters after serious fires in Montgomery County have found that nearly half, 50%, of the smoke alarms checked did not work.  That is alarming!  Smoke alarms DO save lives !

MontgomeryCounty residents may schedule a home safety evaluation by calling the Home Safety Hotline @ 240.777.2476.

The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service recommend that homeowners follow these tips to help prevent fires, deaths, and injuries:

Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as two minutes to escape safely. Your ability to get out depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning—a home fire escape plan that everyone in your family is familiar with and has practiced.

Because fire can grow and spread so quickly, having working smoke alarms in your home can mean the difference between life and death. Once the alarm sounds, you may have as few as two minutes to escape. Smoke alarms are the most effective early warning devices available. Remember, check you smoke alarm and put a finger on it!

Note: Firefighters will be going door-to-door in the Chevy Chase-Rollingwood neighborhood this afternoon, November 26, primarily from 3p until 4:30p in conjunction with the MontgomeryCounty Fire and Rescue Service “Safety in Our Neighborhoods” campaign.