Saturday, July 23, 2016

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!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Tips on Surviving the Heat Wave

As some of you are no doubt aware, the weather forecast over the next several days calls for sustained, high temperatures and heat index making it especially dangerous for the those at greatest risk including the elderly, the young, those with existing medical conditions and those that work outdoors. Montgomery County government is also offering Tips on Surviving the Heat 

graph displaying expected highs over the next several daysWhile staying hydrated is essential all year long, it is particularly important when temperatures soar. MCFRS is urging residents to to stay cool, stay hydrated and to check on the welfare of elderly or at-risk neighbors. 

During hot weather and extreme heat these next several days, and throughout the summer, keep informed by listening to local weather and news channels, use common sense and take a minute to review the tips below.

1. Pre-hydrate, hydrate and re-hydrate. 
During hot weather you will need to increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. Drink plenty of fluids in advance, during and after activities and don’t wait until you're thirsty to hydrate.  Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluids you drink or has prescribed water pills, ask how much you should drink when the weather is hot. 

2. Dress for the heat. 
Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect some of the sun’s energy.Limit your direct exposure to the sun and wear a hat for extra protection.

3. Monitor those at high risk.
Extreme heat can be hazardous to your health and although anyone can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Those most at risk for heat-related illnesses include children, older adults, those that work or exercise outside and those with pre-existing medical conditions. Elderly, low income or individuals with disabilities in Montgomery County in need of a fan can call 240-777-3000 for information on free fans.

4. Children and cars - use common sense.
Never leave infants, children, pets or the elderly in a parked car where temperatures can become life-threatening in minutes, even with the windows rolled down. Additionally, hot interior surfaces of a car can burn a child’s skin. Before you put your child in a car that has been parked in a warm/sunny spot, check the temperature of the car seat or upholstery first.

5. Avoid strenuous activity.
When possible, strenuous activities should be reduced, eliminated or rescheduled to the coolest part of the day. Take regular breaks when exercising or engaged in physical activity on warm days. If you recognize that you, or someone else, is showing signs of a heat-related illness, stop the activity immediately, find a cool place to rest, hydrate and seek medical attention if necessary.

Remember, heat stroke is a MEDICAL EMERGENCY that can be fatal if not treated promptly. The American Red Cross advises that warning signs can vary among individuals but common signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke may include:  

Heat Exhaustion:

      -  Heavy sweating
      -  Muscle cramps
      -  Pulse rate: fast and weak
      -  Breathing: fast and shallow
      -  Nausea or vomiting
      -  Fatigue
      -  Weakness
      -  Headache and/or dizziness

Heat Stroke:

-  An extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees)
-  The absence of sweating
-  Rapid pulse
-  Difficulty breathing
-  Throbbing headache
-  Strange behavior and/or hallucinations
-  Confusion, agitation and disorientation
-  Unconscious

6. Be a good neighbor.
Isolated, elderly adults are at a much higher risk of health-related issues. Be a good neighbor and take a minute to check in with your neighbors.

7. Remember your pets. 
Hot weather can affect the well-being of pets making them susceptible to overheating which can lead to very dangerous heat stroke. Always provide a source of water and a cool, ventilated place for your pet. Leaving your pet inside a parked car, even for a few minutes, can be fatal. The inside of a car can reach 120 degrees in a matter of minutes.

8. Stay indoors, if possible.  
Stay indoors and, if possible, in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, consider going to the shopping mall, community center or public library. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you return to the heat. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Candle Safety

Yet another important 101 Days of Summer Safety topic - Candles.

Candles may look festive and smell pretty but understand that unattended candles account for thousands of fires annually. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that, on average, 25 home candle fires are reported across the United States each day. Back in May, a candle caused a house fire in Bethesda.
photo of several lit tea candles on a surface

In addition, the NFPA reports that from 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 9,300 home structure fires that were started by candles. These fires caused 86 deaths, 827 injuries and $374 million in direct property damage.

MCFRS asks that all residents consider battery-operated, flameless candles instead. Many look and smell like real candles - you really can’t tell the difference!

If you still wish to use open flame candles, MCFRS would like to remind all residents to check your smoke alarms regularly and please follow these safety tips while using candles in the home:

  • Extinguish all candles when leaving the room or going to sleep.
  • If power is out please use flashlights for emergency lighting. Never use candles.
  • Keep candles away from items that can catch fire (e.g., clothing, books, paper, curtains, Christmas trees, flammable decorations, etc.).
  • Use candle holders that are sturdy, won't tip over easily, are made from a material that can't burn and are large enough to collect dripping wax.
  • Don't place lit candles in windows. Blinds and curtains can easily ignite.
  • Place candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface and do not use candles in places where they could be knocked over by children or pets.
  • Keep candles and all open flames away from flammable liquids.
  • Keep candle wicks trimmed to one-quarter inch and extinguish candles when they get to within two inches of the holder or decorative material. Votive and containers should be extinguished before the last half-inch of wax starts to melt.
  • Avoid candles with decorative items embedded in them.

For more tips go here: Candle Safety

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Quiz Results

Yesterday, we decided to give a little Twitter quiz to see how much our loyal followers knew about the cause of home structure fires and injuries.

Well over one hundred of you took the challenge and we are happy to report that 52% of you got the answer correct. Cooking related fires are the leading cause of home structure fires and home fire injuries!

Heating equipment comes in at number two. Smoking is the leading cause of civilian home fire deaths.

Please see below for the question and the answers. Thanks to all of you who participated!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Community Connections

By: Lieutenant Robert Furst

Fire Station 19, in Montgomery Hills, is located directly next Snyder's Super Foods. The parking lots touch each other and the apparatus bay is in plain view of the customers that are patronizing the store. The constant traffic moving in and out of Snyder's affords the crew of Company 19 with many opportunities to interact with their customers - who are also our customers.

Frequently, we have the pleasure of meeting young children and their parents or guardians which proves to be a twofold win. First, we have a chance to show the children the fire apparatus (kids love fire trucks) and the station. And we take the opportunity to educate the adults about our mission and fire safety practices.

We frequently converse with the same people, and sometimes we are presented with showings of appreciation of our efforts for which we are grateful.

photos of father and child visiting fire station 19 in silver spring
Lt. Dustin Poist showing off Engine 19