Thursday, April 30, 2015

Busy Child Passenger Safety Seat Check Today

Three car seat technicians busy with over twenty appointments this morning at our Community Services Building in Aspen Hill.  ABC7 and News Channel 8 were there for a live interview at 9:30 with our Child Passenger Safety Program Manager Emilie Crown as well. 

The interview will be shown again during the 4 PM news hour on Channel 7.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Thursday Is National PrepareAthon! Day

Would you and your loved ones know what to do if you heard a loud roar that sounded like a train; looked out the window and saw a tornado in the distance heading your way?

Know what to do if another Derecho hit the area and you were without power, food or water for several days?

Or would you know what actions to take if another earthquake hit the region that was stronger than the last two "minor" quakes we have experienced over the last several years?

If the above questions have caused you to think and/or left you unsure as to what you would do, please consider participating in National PrepareAthon! Day tomorrow, Thursday, April 30.  The initiative, sponsored by FEMA, will revolve around taking actions to prepare for six specific hazards:

Help us to help you when disaster strikes!  Please take time to review the information and PREPARE!  Also please take a couple of minutes to watch the powerful video below.  If that does not inspire you and your loved ones to prepare than nothing will:

Saturday, April 25, 2015

2nd Alarm Apartment Fire

From 2nd Alarm Apartment Fire last night 4/25/15 - 3904 Blackburn La; 4-story apartment building. Probable Cause, improperly discarded smoking materials. Damage estimate of $450k; 12 families displaced with one minor injury. Photo via Burtonsville VFD Facebook Page

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Safety Recalls

Several safety recalls occurred yesterday that I wanted to make you aware of. They cover potential fire and injury hazards.

I am posting these as all of us at MCFRS hope to prevent any of you from having to call 911 because you have been injured or your house has caught fire.  Help us to help YOU by reviewing the recalls below and take the recommended steps to handle the situation if you find you are impacted by any of the recalls.

As always thanks to our partners in safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission, for making this important information available.


Lenovo Expands Recall of Battery Packs for ThinkPad Notebook Computers Due to Fire Hazard

Gorsuch Recalls ERTLRENZ Ski Boot Heat Liners Due to Fire Hazard

Hair Dryers Recalled by AG Hair Due to Electrocution Hazard

Trek Recalls Bicycles Equipped with Front Disc Brakes to Replace Quick Release Lever Due to Crash Hazard

Monday, April 20, 2015

Chief Jim Jarboe Receives National Award

Congratulations to Takoma Park Volunteer Fire Department’s Chief Jim Jarboe as he was recognized by the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) with the NVFC Fire Prevention and Education Award. 

Chief Jarboe was recognized for his over 50 years of providing fire prevention and education training to the Takoma Park community.  To view the write up please click here.

Congratulations on this well deserved Award Chief! 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Attention Fire Service Personnel - Arrive Alive & Survive Symposium Conference

A must attend, national conference for all public safety personnel. The conference will include best safety practices for the fire service. These best practices will focus on: modern fire-fighting (based on research), roadway safety and traffic incident management, burn injury prevention and support, solar panel fire-fighting operations, Rescue Task Force operations, contamination of protective gear, Line-of-Duty Death and Close Call Reports, cancer in the fire service, and NFFF Programs.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Outdoor Cooking and Recreational Fires near Multi-Family Buildings

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services would like to share with you the criteria for cooking outdoors and recreational fires near multi-family dwellings to ensure a safe and enjoyable summer. “Multi-family” is any building that has three or more separate living units. This includes garden-style apartments, mid and high-rise apartments, and some condos.

Fire Attendant: 
All outdoor cooking or recreational fires must be constantly attended by a responsible person at least 18 years of age until the fire is extinguished. A garden hose or other extinguishing equipment has to be nearby and readily available for use. Grills or recreational fires cannot be used to burn trash or other combustible waste. If the fire department is contacted and determines your situation to be hazardous, the fire department can require you to extinguish your fire.

Outdoor Cooking: 
Outdoor cooking includes any gas-fired, charcoal, or electric grill. All outdoor cooking must be done at least 20 feet away from any building. It is not permitted on balconies, under overhanging portions of buildings, or on roofs. Gas-fired, charcoal, and electric grills cannot be stored on balconies.

Recreational Fires: 
Recreational fires include campfires, fire bowls, chimineas, and fire pits. Please notify the Office of Fire Code Compliance at 240-777-2457 prior to initiating a recreational fire. Permits from the Office of Fire Code Compliance and the Department of Environmental Protection are required. Recreational fires must be kept at least 25 feet away from any building. Fires are not permitted on Code Orange or Code Red Air Quality days.

After the fire: 
Dispose of all ashes in a safe manner. After 24 hours have passed, all left over hot ashes should be thoroughly dampened, cooled and stored in a metal can that is solely used for ash storage. Do not discard hot ashes in a compost pile, paper bag, cardboard box, or anything that is combustible. Be careful handling partially burned wood that may still be smoldering as it can cause serious burns

Friday, April 10, 2015

Use of Fire Pits, Fire Bowls and Chimineas in One- and Two-Family Homes

The Use of Fire Pits, Fire Bowls, Chimineas and other similar appliances has become popular in our Community. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service would like to share with you the criteria for their
Photo via

  • You must have permission of the land owner.
  • There must be one person at least 18 years of age to assume responsibility for the use of these appliances.
  • A permit from the Fire Marshal or the Department of Environmental Protection is not required. 
  • Use in accordance to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Once you purchase this appliance, keep these guidelines in a safe place for future reference. 
  • Use of Fire Pits, Fire Bowls, Chimineas and similar portable devices must be at least 20 feet away from any building or structure. Keep a clear area (clear meaning free of anything that can burn) of at least 3 feet in diameter around the appliance. Please remember that mulch can burn so keep your appliance at least 3 feet away from mulch as well. 
  • Do not use or store Fire Pits, Fire Bowls, Chimineas or similar devices on a balcony or deck. 
  • Burn only aged dried wood. The burning of any type of construction material or trash is prohibited. 
  • Do not use any type of flammable or combustible liquid at any time. 
  • Have a garden hose connected to a constant water source available and close by.
  • Smoke is not allowed to cross property lines. Be mindful of the wind speed prior to starting this type of fire. 
  • Do not use on Code Orange or Code Red Air Quality days. 
  • Dispose of all ashes in a safe manner. After 24 hours has passed, all left over hot ashes must be thoroughly dampened, cooled and stored in a metal can that is used solely for ash storage. Ashes that are 2 or 3 days old may appear to be safe, but can still retain enough heat to cause an unwanted fire. Do not discard hot ashes in a compost pile, paper bag cardboard box or anything that is combustible. Also, be careful in handling partially burned wood. The wood may still be smoldering and cause a serious burn. 

Please keep in mind, that if the Fire Department is contacted and determines your situation to be a fire hazard, the Fire Department can require you to extinguish your fire. If additional questions arise, please call the Office of Fire Code Compliance at 240-777-2457.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Little Help With a Science Project

By: MFF Steve Laughman

Fire Station 10 (Cabin John) C-Shift was asked to participate last week (3/31) at the Little Flower School’s 34th Annual Incredible Egg Drop. A bunch of 5th grade students were tasked to drop an egg 70' off the ladder truck and to have it successfully remain intact after landing. They could design and use any material they wanted. Some succeeded and some failed. Captain Mike Stream and FF Larry Celender dropped the "science projects" into the bulls eye below.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Smoke Alarm Saves!

At a townhouse fire earlier this morning on Knoll Mist Lane, a smoke alarm alerted two sleeping children, in the basement, who then escaped with no injury! Cause - unattended cooking. Area was the 1st floor kitchen. Damage estimated at $100k with one family, two adults and two children, displaced. Approximately 45 Firefighters responded to extinguish the fire.  

Fire Chief's Ride in Honor of Former Chief Tom Carr

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Cooking -- The Leading Cause Of Home Fires

Did you know that one out of three home fires begin in the kitchen? This is more than any other location in the home.

Over the next several days there are a few significant religious celebrations that can involve family, friends, and food. Obviously, cooking can and will play a major role at various points.

Please make sure your family or friends do not have to meet our Firefighters, over the next several days, by “accident!” The vast majority of cooking fires are preventable and NOT an accident.

Take a quick moment to review a few safety tips, as well as a short video, below.

Cooking safety checklist

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Thank You Lewis Orchards!

By: Lieutenant Tim Burns

One of the challenges that MCFRS faces during rural fire fighting operations is where to get water.  In the more urban and suburban areas of the county we use fire hydrants which are rarely more than 1000 feet from any fire.  However, in areas of the county that are without municipal water supply, crews have to be more resourceful.

On Sunday, March 29th during a barn fire on Darnestown Road, the initial plan was to use a pond located on the property.  Unfortunately, execution of that plan was not possible due to power lines coming down and separating the pond from the fire apparatus.  Crews had to rapidly transition to an alternative site, which is where the assistance of a few Montgomery County residents became key.

Paramedic Engine 709 (Hyattstown) noticed a pond that was on the property of Lewis Orchards on Peach Tree Road, located about a mile and a half from the fire scene.  MCFRS needed to use the pond and associated parking lot at Lewis Orchard to establish a “fill site” operation to fill water tankers so that they could shuttle water to the fire engines on the fire scene.

The folks working at LewisOrchard were more than accommodating to the MCFRS operation and really seemed to take the intrusion on their business as a civic duty.  They never questioned why or what the crews were doing, they went out of their way to move vehicles and answer questions, and even went as far as using one of their pickup trucks to shuttle some equipment between two engines that were several thousand feet apart. 

MCFRS sincerely appreciates the support that Lewis Orchards provided and thanks them for all of their help during the operation.  In all, crews filled approximately 8 loads of water or about 25000 gallons from this site.