Safety Tips

"We're There Because We Care"

PROUD TO SERVE:

The Baltimore County Fire Department consists of professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics who respond to you in your time of need. Whether you have a fire or medical emergency, we're there because we care.When called to respond to your emergency, Fire Fighters and Paramedics work in extreme conditions, and in all types of weather, on highways and in homes, to provide EMS and Fire Suppression services to you, our neighbors.

WHAT WE DO:

The Fire Fighters and Paramedics must wear over 70 pounds of protective clothing in order to extinguish a fire. With this gear, they must climb ladders, pull hoses, an rescue persons from burning buildings. Fire Fighters are trained and retrained in all principles of extinguishing fires, and are nationally certified to the highest level. Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians respond to over 80,000 calls for aid each year. These professionals respond to your medical emergencies and provide the highest level of care available. Our EMS personnel are nationally certified and must maintain that certification biennially which requires ongoing training. The Baltimore County Fire Fighters Association is the organization that represents all the Fire Fighters and Paramedics in the career fire service. These Fire Fighters and Paramedics live in your neighborhood. We are husbands, wives, sons, and daughters. Even off the job, we're involved because we care. Listed on this web site in our fund raising section are some of the many projects that we are involved in throughout our communities.

THE RIGHT WAY TO INSTALL SMOKE DETECTORS

Install smoke detectors on every level of home, including the basement, making sure there is an alarm outside every separate sleeping area. Hew homes are required to have a smoke alarm in every sleeping room and all smoke alarms must be interconnected* Hard-wired smoke alarms operate on your household electrical current. They can be interconnected so that every alarm sounds regardless of the fire's location. This is an advantage in early warning, because it give occupants extra time to escape if they are in one part of the home and a fire breaks out in another part. Alarms that are hard-wired should have a battery backup in case of power outage, and should be installed by a qualified electrician.* If you sleep with bedroom doors closed , have a qualified electrician install interconnected smoke alarms in each room so that when one alarm sounds, they all sound.* If you, or someone in your home is deaf or hard of hearing, consider an alarm that combines flashing lights, vibration and/or sound.* Mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings (remember, smoke rises) Ceiling mounted alarms should be installed at least four (4) inches away from the nearest wall; wall mounted alarms should be installed four (4) to twelve (12) inches away from the ceiling.* If you have ceilings that are pitched, install the alarm near the ceiling's highest point.* Don't install smoke alarms near windows, doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with their operation.* Never paint smoke alarms. Paint, stickers, or other decorations could keep the alarms from working. Almost everyone remembers participating in a fire drill during elementary school. But as adults many Americans can't recall the last time they practiced or thought about fire safety. Basic fire safety measures can dramatically reduce the thousands of needless deaths and injuries caused each year by home fires. Perhaps the most critical fire safety measure is smoke detector maintenance. A working smoke detector reduces by nearly half your risk of dying in a home fire. Yet, although smoke detectors are in 85% of American homes, about one third don't work because of worn or missing batteries. For this reason, the International Association of Fire Chiefs and Energizer Batteries team up for a national home fire safety campaign called "Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery". "Change" urges Americans to adopt a lifesaving habit: Changing the batteries in smoke detectors when they change clocks back from daylight savings time each fall.
On the time change weekend, when you set your clocks back, use the extra hour to change the batteries in your smoke detector and take some other basic safety measures.

Are You Prepared for a Home Fire?1.Change your smoke detector batteries - you should change your smoke detector batteries at least annually2.Check your smoke detector - push the test button after changing batteries and make sure it works3.Count your smoke detectors4.Vacuum your smoke detectors - clean your detectors of dust and cobwebs which can impair sensitivity5.Change you flashlight batteries - keep a working flashlight near your bed, in kitchen and family room6.Install and test fire extinguishers7.Plan and Practice your escape (see EDITH below)

E.D.I.T.H.(Exit Drills In The Home)WHY EDITH?Most fatal home fires happen between midnight and 8 a.m. when most people are asleep. Toxic gases and heat rise and can travel far ahead of the actual flames. When your smoke detector sounds, you may have less than two and a half minutes to get out. HAVE AN ESCAPE PLAN - PRACTICE EDITH.PLAN- Draw a floor plan for each floor in your home where bedrooms are located- Label each bedroom, hall, stairways, windows, and roof areas that can be used as a fire escape- Test windows to see that they open easily and are large enough and low enough to be used by children- KNOW TWO WAYS OUT- Check each bedroom for the best emergency escape routes- Include a safe meeting place outside the house on the plan drawing- Draw black arrows on the floor plan for nomal routes- Draw red arrows on the floor plan to show emergency routes in case fire blocks normal route.MEET & DISCUSSHold periodic meetings (at least twice a year) with your family to discuss the importance of an emergency escape planImpress on everyone the importance of the following:Sleep with bedrooom doors closed, this keeps heat and smoke out for a short timeHave a way for everyone to sound the alarm (whistles, bells, yelling)Do not dress, gather valuables or pets, GET OUT!Roll out of bed and stay low. Air is cleaner near the floorFeel the door - IF HOT, DON'T OPEN.. use 2nd way out!Once out go to designated meeting place immediatelyCall Fire Department from neighbor's housePRACTICEHold emergency drills on a monthly basis. Start with everyone in their beds.Sound the alarm -- press test button on smoke detectorRoll out of bed, stay low, and feel door for heatFirst drill - use normal exitsSecond drill - everyone must see 2nd routeGather at designated meeting place outsideCheck that everyone is outSimulate calling the Fire DepartmentReview the drills and make any corrections.