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Saturday, November 22, 2014

PGFD Stay Warm Safely Tip of the Day - Layers

PGFD Stay Warm Safely Tip of the Day

Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor says, "couple more days of cold mornings, 'layers, layers, layers' is the warm defense against a cold offense!"

Image of Executive Aide Susan Taylor Proels by Marc S. Bashoor


Friday, November 21, 2014

Public Safety Assistance Program Seeks Financial Support



PGFD - Stay Warm Safely - Tip of the Day - Having HVAC Appliances Inspected

An annual check of your gas-fueled appliances by a certified technician are highly recommended by firefighters.  These appliances include your furnace, water heater and cooking equipment.  Technicians will check that combustion of the fuel is occurring correctly and that the toxic fumes, carbon monoxide (CO), are being ventilated to the home exterior.  Many HVAC companies provide special discounted pricing this time of year for these check-ups.

CO is a by-product of combustion and is normally removed from your home through ventilation pipes.  CO is unhealthy and can kill you if the toxic gas builds up in your home by way of a faulty ventilation system or if the combustion process malfunctions.  CO can be generated by burning wood in your fireplace and wood burning stoves, furnace, water heater and cooking appliances.

CO is inhaled and will displace oxygen in your blood cells.  When this occurs your vital organs are receiving toxic gas instead of oxygen which will make you sick.  If the CO levels are high enough, the CO will kill you.

A Prince George's County law that went into effect this year requires every home that has a fireplace, natural gas service and/or an attached garage have a working CO detector installed on every level of your home.  Firefighters highly recommend the use of 10-year CO detectors that will not require changing the battery twice a year.

There are two ways a homeowner can detect the presence of CO in their home:

1. Feeling sick inside their home with a sudden relief of flu symptoms once outdoors.  This could go on for days until the CO will make you sick enough to go unconscious and possibly die.

2. A CO detector will detect the presence of CO; a toxic gas which is invisible and has no smell.  A CO detector will emit an audible warning before the levels of CO reach unhealthy levels.

These images are of a HVAC technician visually inspecting the ventilation of a furnace and water heater.





Thursday, November 20, 2014

Help PGFD Win 200 Smoke/CO Alarms & You Can Win $300 from KIDDE

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
mebrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO

Kidde’s “Giving Back” Sweeps includes a 200 Smoke Alarm Donation to the Winner’s 
Local Fire Department

Kidde is one of the leading manufactures of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Kidde is doing something a little different in the month of November when it comes to their sweepstakes opportunity on Facebook. They love having a winner, but it’s even better when there are many winners. 

Their “Giving Back” sweeps was designed so that they could celebrate many winners! Here’s the scoop -- Their online community can enter to win a $300 gift card of their choice plus a Kidde Kitchen Worry Free Smoke/CO Alarm & Kidde Kitchen Fire Extinguisher. Kidde will also donate 200 Kidde smoke alarms to the winner's local fire department plus $500 to their local food bank! 

KIDDE would love to be donating to Prince George's County!!!.

Here’s the link to enter: http://woobox.com/noyg9w Share it with your connections. 

This sweepstakes runs through November 30, 2014. A winner will be picked during the first week in December.

Local Fire/EMS Department Info

You can list the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department - 240-508-7930

For a list of all local PGFD Fire/EMS Stations and their phone numbers, click here.

Our designated food bank will be the Prince Georges County Public Safety Assistance Program.

PGFD - Stay Warm Safely - Tip of the Day - Fireplace Ashes

Discarded Fireplace Ashes Reignite Damaging Bowie Home

Stay Warm Safely - Tip of the Day


MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
mebrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO


A fire of accidental origin caused significant damage to a Bowie home and required the family to be relocated.  Their misfortune, while extremely unfortunate, should serve as a timely reminder for others of how to stay warm safely during our cold winter months.

Just after 1:30 pm, Tuesday, November 18, a 911 caller informed call takers the rear of a neighbor’s house was on fire.  Firefighters responded and arrived quickly at a 2-story single-family home in the 14000 block of Heatherstone Drive with heavy smoke coming from the rear.

A quick primary search of the home indicated no occupants were inside.  Firefighters encountered a fire in a converted garage to living area and the rear deck on fire.  The fire was contained within 10 minutes of arrival.

Upon investigation it was determined that fireplace ashes discarded into a plastic container sitting on the wooden deck was the cause of the fire.  The fire caused $75,000 in estimated fire loss.  Tuesdays wind was a likely factor in the reheating and ignition of the plastic container and wooden deck.

No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.  The family made their own alternate living arrangements, as the house is uninhabitable until some repairs are made.

Fireplace ashes can remain capable of reigniting for hours after you think they have stopped burning.   The Fire/EMS Department recommends fireplace ashes be discarded into a sturdy metal container with a lid and stored outdoors on a concrete surface at least 10 feet away from anything combustible.  These ashes can be wet down and left outdoors for several days before discarding. 

Stay Warm Safely!!!

All images provided courtesy of Mark Brady, PGFD PIO
























Wednesday, November 19, 2014

MEDIA OP - Branchville Volunteers Deliver Thanksgiving Food Baskets to Families in Need


MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
mebrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO

In what has become an annual tradition just before the Thanksgiving Holiday a volunteer fire/EMS department is preparing to do more.  The Branchville Volunteer Fire Company and Rescue Squad, Inc. is an all-volunteer department that operates within the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS combined system.  The station is located in North College Park.

The volunteer membership has received a list of pre-identified families from a local public elementary school that are in need of assistance in order to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with family and loved ones.

The membership, including the Departments Ladies Auxiliary, will gather at the station on Sunday, November 23, at about 10:30 am to fill 16 food baskets with items purchased by the station.  Items include food products typically served on Thanksgiving including turkeys with all the trimmings. 

At about 1:00 pm, the food baskets will be loaded on-board Branchvilles Fire/EMS apparatus with the caravan of units departing to personally visit each of the 16 homes located within a short distance over the next couple of hours to deliver the bountiful food baskets.

While firefighters are making their visits they will also check the families smoke alarms.  If an alarm is absent or found non-working a new 10-year smoke alarm will be installed by firefighters, free of charge.

Branchville Volunteer President Ron Leizear Sr. stated, “We are doing our part as a member of the community to make the Thanksgiving Holiday festive and joyful for those that need some assistance.  Providing these baskets makes our membership feel as thankful as the families we visit, truly a wonderful event for everyone involved.”

The Branchville Volunteer Fire Company and Rescue Squad, Inc. has extended an invitation to members of the media that may want to cover this story of giving and thanks. 

WHAT:            Thanksgiving Food Basket Delivery

WHEN:            Sunday, November 23,
                        10:30 am – filling the food baskets at the Fire/EMS Station
                        1:00 pm – departing station with 16 food baskets to make deliveries
                        (1st delivery will have media clearance pre-arranged)

WHERE:         Branchville Volunteer Fire/EMS Station
                        4905 Branchville Road, College Park, MD 20740
                        301-474-1550

WHO:              Volunteer members of Branchville and pre-identified 16 families 

Discarded Fireplace Ashes Reignite Damaging Bowie Home


MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
mebrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO


A fire of accidental origin caused significant damage to a Bowie home and required the family to be relocated.  Their misfortune, while extremely unfortunate, should serve as a timely reminder for others of how to stay warm safely during our cold winter months.

Just after 1:30 pm, Tuesday, November 18, a 911 caller informed call takers the rear of a neighbor’s house was on fire.  Firefighters responded and arrived quickly at a 2-story single-family home in the 14000 block of Heatherstone Drive with heavy smoke coming from the rear.

A quick primary search of the home indicated no occupants were inside.  Firefighters encountered a fire in a converted garage to living area and the rear deck on fire.  The fire was contained within 10 minutes of arrival.

Upon investigation it was determined that fireplace ashes discarded into a plastic container sitting on the wooden deck was the cause of the fire.  The fire caused $75,000 in estimated fire loss.  Tuesdays wind was a likely factor in the reheating and ignition of the plastic container and wooden deck.

No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.  The family made their own alternate living arrangements, as the house is uninhabitable until some repairs are made.

Fireplace ashes can remain capable of reigniting for hours after you think they have stopped burning.   The Fire/EMS Department recommends fireplace ashes be discarded into a sturdy metal container with a lid and stored outdoors on a concrete surface at least 10 feet away from anything combustible.  These ashes can be wet down and left outdoors for several days before discarding. 

Stay Warm Safely!!!

All images provided courtesy of Mark Brady, PGFD PIO