Fire Safety should be a regular part of a family’s routine! On top of always checking for fire hazards, a family should make sure they know what to do in an emergency, make sure they have working fire protection equipment, and learn what they can do to prevent the worse from happening in their home.
Smoke Alarms – PUT A FINGER ON IT!
Smoke detectors save lives! Many times throughout the year calls are dispatched in Montgomery County that come into the dispatch center as “automatic fire alarms”. Typically these are false alarms, but on several occasions this year, Montgomery County Fire Rescue units have found smoke and/or fire conditions. While we suggest monitored alarm systems, offered to homeowners from the same companies that provided security systems, we insist that all homes have working smoke alarms, monitored or not! Safety in our Neighborhood, also referred to as “SION” is a program preformed throughout the county where on Saturdays members of Montgomery County Fire & Rescue go door to door in neighborhoods throughout the community to make sure residents check their smoke alarms, and provide smoke alarms or batteries as needed.
TO ANSWER A COMMON QUESTION: We are often asked, “Which smoke detector should I buy?” While we cannot, and will not endorse one brand over another, we strongly suggest you get a “dual detection” model. There are often two kinds of smoke detectors, photo-electric, and ionization. Each has their pro and cons, and due to different detection methods, depending on the fire one will activate over another. To get the best possible protection, we insist that you purchase a detector that has both methods of detection – this will be clearly marked on the box.
All fire-safe homes should be equipped with fire extinguishers, especially near kitchens, fireplaces, and laundry equipment. Extinguishers should be checked annually to make sure they are charged and ready-to-go. Contact Cabin John Park VFD at (301) 365-2255 to receive advice on types and mounting locations of extinguishers. Firefighters can also provide basic training on operation of extinguishers.
Who is EDITH you may ask? EDITH is the acronym for “Exit Drills in the Home”. All families, especially ones with children should have home escape plans that provide two ways out of every room in the house. Get the family together, draw a floor plan of the house and determine two ways out of each room, realizing that in most cases, the second way out will be a window. If the window is on the second or third floor, we suggest purchasing and having your children practice with escape ladders. If you do not have an escape ladder, teach children and family members to signal out of a window to firefighters that will then be able to rescue you from a window.
On top of planing and practicing escape from your home, make sure that you designate a “family meeting place”. Pick a spot WELL AWAY from the house where family members can meet in case of an emergency. This can include rocks, mailboxes, lamp posts, or even a neighbor’s house. That way, making sure all family members have safely made it out of the house is simple and safe.
To help us pass along important fire prevention information, Rachel, a student from Ms. Ward’s class in Delaware asked us to use the information she found on JMAC Supply Corp website. This information is a collection of tips cataloged from other resources:
Common Household Fire Dangers Include:
- Kitchen Stoves
- Faulty Wiring
- Electrical Appliances
- Electric Blankets
- Smoking Materials
- Clothes Dryers
Make sure you regularly check these items, clean as necessary, and use them per the manufacturer’s recommendations!