Monday, July 27, 2015

His Super Powers Don’t Work In Water.

As part of our "Summer of Safety" program, this week will focus on pool/water safety.  For those of you with children, the below says it all.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Can We Find You In An EMERGENCY?

As part of our Summer of Safety program, this week's focus has been on home escape planning. A critical part of that planning is knowing your home address as well as making sure we can SEE your house numbers on your home so we can find you and get help to you quickly! 

In an emergency, police, fire and rescue workers depend on house numbers to find YOU as quickly as possible. Finding your home - especially at night - can be challenging if address numbers are unreadable, hidden, unlighted or have missing numbers and may delay emergency responders from getting to you as quickly as possible.

Are your house numbers visible from the street? Are they set on a background of contrasting color? If your house is hidden from the street, are your numbers attached to a visible fence, mailbox or gate? Is your mobile home identified with your house number? If you live on a corner, does your house number face the street named in your address?

If you've answered "no" to any of these questions, please follow the guidelines below to make sure your house number is easy to read:
  1. Numbers must be visible from the street. Existing residential home numbering can be 3 1/2 inches high, however new residential homes must be at least 5 inches high and if you replace existing numbers they must be at least 5 inches high.
  2. Numbers should be placed on a contrasting background, with a reflective coating on the numbers for easy visibility at night.
  3. Repair or replace aging address number placards, especially on mailboxes that are a distance from the front of the residence.
  4. Prune any bushes, tree limbs or other growth that has covered your house numbers.
  5. Numbers should be placed on or beside the front door. If your door is not easily seen from the street, put the numbers on a post, fence or tree at the driveway entrance so they can be clearly seen from the street. In addition to numbers on the front door of your house, if you have a rural-style mailbox, reflective and contrasting numbers should be placed on both sides of the box so they can be seen by an emergency vehicle approaching from either direction.

Montgomery County Code on Addresses

  1. The owner of any structure presently existing or constructed in the future must display Arabic numbers designating the address assigned to the structure by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, or by the municipality in which the structure is located. Numbers must be at least five (5) inches high for single-family detached and attached residences and at least six (6) inches high for commercial, industrial or multifamily structures. However, if the numbers designating the address of a single-family residence on April 5, 1988, were at least three (3) inches high, those numbers comply with the size requirement of this section as long as they remain in place. Address displays must be posted on a contrasting background displayed in a conspicuous place that is unobstructed and clearly readable from the street named in the official address of the structure. Where a structure has more than one (1) address or where more than one (1) structure shares a common entry or driveway, numbers must designate the addresses in sequence.
  2. An agency of the county must not require a permit for a sign containing only the address of a residence if the sign is smaller than a maximum size set by the county executive by regulation.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

It's Home Escape Planning Week! Learn How to Plan Exit Drills in the Home (E.D.I.T.H.)

As part of our Summer of Safety program, this week is Home Escape Planning week. Please take a moment to review below and learn how to develop, and practice, a Home Escape Plan!

Being ready is the key to surviving a home fire.

There are three things YOU can do to protect your family. They are simple, but they are very important. Do them now, before fire strikes.
  1. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home.
  2. Test smoke alarms monthly to be sure they are working and replace batteries at least once a year. If your smoke alarm makes a "chirping sound" - replace the battery immediately.
  3. Plan and practice home fire drills.

Make a Home Escape Plan!

Fire strikes quickly, often in the middle of the night while your family is asleep. Establish a plan now for evacuating each member of your family. Then, if fire does strike, everyone will know what to do and where to go.

One of the ways to keep your family safe is by practicing E.D.I.T.H. (Exit Drills In The Home). Many injuries are caused by people of all ages reacting improperly when there is a fire in their home. They may be affected by smoke, disoriented by being awakened abruptly and frightened.
It is critical that every household have a step-by-step plan for escaping a fire and practice it by having a "Home Fire Drill" at least twice a year.

Remember, your primary route should be the quickest, most direct way out. For example, through the front door to your meeting place or through a window to a roof or balcony where you can safely wait for help. The secondary route should be the next safest, most direct path out. For example, through the window of the room next door. Unless your children are infants, don't have them wait for your help. In a fire, parents may be blocked from their children's bedrooms by smoke or flames. As soon as they are able, each child should know how to escape a fire and be taught to do so as soon as he or she smells smoke or hears the sound of the smoke alarm.
Practice your plan with a HOME FIRE DRILL.
Make sure everyone understands what to do and assess each escape route realistically to be sure it can be used in an emergency. Walk through the primary and alternative escape routes, ensuring that all exits are accessible to all members of your household. For example, will windows open easily? Are ropes and ladders required to escape from second-story windows? (If you choose to have escape ladders, always practice using a ground floor window). Practice your plan at night because things look very different in the dark.
If windows or doors in your home have security bars, make sure that the bars have quick-release mechanisms operational from the inside so that they can be opened immediately in an emergency. Quick-release mechanisms won't compromise your security, but they will increase your chances of safely escaping a home fire.
Go outside to see if your house number is clearly visible from the street.
Numbers must be visible to ensure that responding emergency personnel can find your home. In Montgomery County, Maryland existing residential home numbering can be 3 1/2 inches high, however new residential homes must be at least 5 inches high and if you replace existing numbers they must be at least 5 inches high. Numbers should be placed on a contrasting background, with a reflective coating on the numbers for easy visibility at night.
Escape first and then call 9-1-1 from a neighbor's house.
In the event of a fire, do not stop for anything. Do not try to rescue possessions or pets. Closing doors on your way out slows the spread of fire, giving you more time to safely escape. Go directly to your meeting place and then call the fire department from a neighbor's phone. Every member of your household should know how to call the fire department.
Get out and stay out.
Once you are out of your home, do not go back for any reason. If people are trapped, firefighters have the best chance of rescuing them. The heat and smoke of a fire are overpowering. Firefighters have the training, experience and protective equipment needed to enter burning buildings.
Establish a meeting place outside your house and everyone should proceed to this location immediately to take attendance and make sure everyone has escaped.
Crawl low under smoke.
Smoke contains deadly gases and heat rises. During a fire, cleaner air will be near the floor. Teach your family that in a fire they must stay low to the floor to avoid smoke and intense heat. If you encounter smoke when using your primary exit, use your alternate escape plan. If you must exit through smoke, crawl on your hands and knees keeping your head 12 to 24 inches above the floor.
Revise your escape plan as circumstances change in your household. Make sure everyone including young children, older adults and people with disabilities are included.
Remember - children sleep very deeply.
Adults need to make sure that children know the sound of the smoke alarm and what to do if they hear it. You can find out who can hear the smoke alarm if you have a fire drill when everyone else is sleeping. If anyone in your home does not wake to the smoke alarm or requires assistance getting out, plan to designate an adult to help them escape.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Electrical Safety

While cooking/kitchen fires remain the number one cause of fire in Montgomery County, our firefighters do respond to fires whose cause is electrical in nature.

With that in mind, below, please find some very helpful electrical safety tips from our partners in safety at the National Fire Protection Association.   

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Heatstroke - How Hot The Inside Of A Car Can Get

An extremely eye opening video from our friends at SafeKids. Please take 53 seconds to watch!

If you ever see a child alone in a car, please call 911. You could save a life!