Friday, May 29, 2015

Outdoor Grilling Safety

The onset of warm weather signals the beginning of Barbecue Season! Fire Chief Scott Goldstein of the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service wants you and your loved ones to enjoy this season SAFELY! Below are some tips from the National Fire Protection Association that he hopes will help:
Safe Grilling
  • Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
  • Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets far away from grills: declare a three-foot "safe zone" around the grill.
  • With charcoal grills, only use charcoal starter fluids designed for barbecue grills and do not add fluid after coals have been lit.NEVER use gasoline!
  • With gas grills, be sure that the hose connection is tight and check hoses carefully for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
  • All propane cylinders manufactured after April 2002 must have overfill protection devices (OPD). OPDs shut off the flow off propane before capacity is reached. OPDS are easily identified by their triangle-shaped hand wheel.
  • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions and have the grill. repaired by a professional, if necessary.
  • Remember to keep your grill clean! Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.
  • Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto grill and catch fire.
  • REMEMBER! Propane and charcoal BBQ grills must only be used outdoors. If used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces, such as tents, they pose both a fire hazard and the risk of exposing occupants to toxic gases and potential asphyxiation.

Grilling Safety

According to the Barbecue Industry Association, three out of four households in the United States own a barbecue grill. From making a quick dinner to barbecuing a feast for family and friends, when lighting a charcoal or gas grill, it's important to remember that a savory barbeque is a safe barbeque.
  • According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), gas and charcoal grills cause an annual average of 1,500 structure fires and 4,200 outdoor fires in or on residential properties, resulting in a combined direct property loss of $29.8 million.

Make Fire Safety a Priority

Protection can be relatively simple and inexpensive. To help prevent fire fatalities and injuries at your home this summer:
Safe Grilling
  • Only use your barbecue grill outside. Grills are not designed to be used in a trailer, tent, garage, or house. Carbon monoxide can build-up and poison you.
  • Set-up a grill in an open area away from buildings, overhead combustible surfaces, dry leaves or brush. Be sure to avoid high traffic areas and always barbeque in a well-ventilated area. Be aware of wind blown sparks.
  • Always read the owners manual before using the grill.
  • Never use a grill indoors. Use the grill at least 10 feet away from your house or any building. Do not use the grill in a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or under a surface that can catch fire.
  • Keep a multipurpose fire extinguisher within easy reach.
  • When purchasing a fire extinguisher, choose the largest size that can be handled comfortably.
  • Wear clothing that does not have hanging sleeves or apron strings, and use flame retardant mitts when adjusting hot vents.
  • Never leave a grill unattended once it is lit.
  • Use long-handled utensils to avoid burns and splatters.
  • Never attempt to move a hot grill.
  • If using a charcoal grill, gasoline should never be used in place of charcoal lighter fluid. And never reapply charcoal lighter fluid after the fire has started; the flames can ignite the vapors, and travel up to the can causing an explosion.
Consumers should use caution when storing LP gas containers. Always keep containers upright. Never store a spare gas container under or near the grill or indoors. Never store or use flammable liquids, like gasoline, near the grill.

To avoid accidents while transporting LP gas containers, consumers should transport the container in a secure, upright position. Never keep a filled container in a hot car or car trunk. Heat will cause the gas pressure to increase, which may open the relief valve and allow gas to escape.

Consumers should use extreme caution and always follow manufacturer's instructions when connecting or disconnecting LP gas containers.

Grills manufactured after October 1, 1995, are required to have three additional safety features to eliminate leak hazards: a device to limit the flow of gas in the event of hose rupture; a mechanism to shut-off the grill; and a feature to prevent the flow of gas if the connection between the tank and the grill is not leak proof. Consumers should consider purchasing grills that have these safety features. Sources: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and NFPA

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Splash into Summer SAFELY!

As the weather heats up, chances are you will be headed to the beach or the pool. Drowning is the second leading killer of children ages 14 and under and the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service urges you to follow these important tips to ensure safety around the water:
Never leave children unattended around any body of water (bathtubs, pools, ornamental backyard ponds, etc.).
Small children don't think of water as a danger and, by nature, are very curious. Being left alone in or around water without supervision can be fatal. Do not leave water or any other solutions unattended in buckets or other containers - a child can drown in as little as two inches of water.
Learn to swim. But remember - even good swimmers can drown.
Swimming lessons are no substitute for supervision of children and never swim alone.
Learn CPR.
Valuable lifesaving seconds are lost by having to wait for Emergency Medical Services to respond and administer CPR. Four to six minutes without oxygen can cause irreversible brain damage or death.
Pay attention to local weather conditions and forecasts.
Stop swimming at the first indication of bad weather.
Watch out for the "dangerous too's"
...too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, too much strenuous activity.
Always have a phone
Keep a phone (cell or cordless) by the pool or nearby when engaged in recreational water activities so that you can call 9-1-1 in an emergency.
Know where your children are at all times.
Never leave a child unattended in the water or pool area. Don't be distracted by phone calls, chores or conversations. If you leave the pool area, take the child with you.
Don't rely on substitutes.
The use of floatation devices and inflatable toys cannot replace parental supervision. Such devices could suddenly shift position, lose air, or slip out from underneath, leaving the child in a dangerous situation.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Pool Safety PSA

This past weekend, here in Montgomery County and across the metro area, provided a stark reminder that we all need to be vigilant when hitting the local swimming pool. Please take a moment to watch the below reminder from our friends at Montgomery County Recreation.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Hear Us, See Us, Clear for Us!

“Please Abide – Pull Aside”

Do you know what to do when approached by an emergency vehicle? The metropolitan area is often crowded and congested with traffic conditions caused by commuters, collisions, work zones and sometimes just “normal” traffic.

Emergency vehicles are impacted by these conditions, as well. When somebody calls 911 for help – the men and women of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service respond. How can everyday drivers help us to help you? – Normally drivers will HEAR us first, next they will SEE us, and then we need drivers to CLEAR for us.


C – L – E – A – R for emergency vehicles.

– Calmly pull to and as close to the edge of the roadway as possible and stop.

– Leave room. Keep intersections clear and never try to follow emergency vehicles.

E – Enter into traffic with caution after the emergency vehicle has passed. Remember to use signals.

A – Aware (be). Be aware of your surroundings. Keep radio volume low and check rear view mirrors frequently.

R – Remain stopped until the emergency vehicle has passed. Be mindful that there may be additional emergency vehicles approaching.

When approached by an emergency vehicle – the law says to pull over to the closest parallel edge of the roadway and yield the right of way to the emergency vehicle. An emergency vehicle is one with an audible siren and/or siren and emergency flashing lights. When driving and approaching an emergency scene – slow down and move over. In other words - “Give us a brake!”

Reduce the risk of an accident near an emergency scene and around emergency equipment.

Stay alert – expect anything to occur when approaching emergency vehicles.

Pay close attention – watch for police or fire direction.

Turn on your headlights – let on scene workers and other motorists see you.
Don’t tailgate – unexpected stops frequently occur near emergency scenes.

Don’t speed – slow down.

Keep up with the traffic flow – dedicate your full attention to the roadway and those traveling around you.

Minimize distractions – avoid changing radio stations and using mobile cell phones while approaching these areas.

Expect the unexpected – keep an eye out for emergency workers and their equipment.

Be patient – remember, firefighters and EMT’s have been called to the scene and are working to help someone.

In Montgomery County pedestrian and traffic safety issues are front and center. If you travel by car or are a pedestrian, please place extra emphasis on safety. Simply looking both ways before crossing a street, crossing in a crosswalk, spending a few extra seconds to cinch the belt on your child's safety seat, or delaying departure to ensure you get enough rest before a long trip can make all the difference. Preventative safety, while measured in seconds or minutes, can save you from months or years of anguish, grief, and "what if". Be smart. Be safe.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May 17-23 is Emergency Medical Services Week

May 17-23 is Emergency Medical Services Week!  MIEMSS to recognize EMS 'Stars of Life' today in Annapolis.  Among those being honored is our own Becky Ramirez, 911 Dispatcher, who is being recognized as Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) Provider of the Year.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Scott E. Goldstein Appointed Fire Chief

This afternoon, County Executive Ike Leggett announced the selection of Scott Goldstein as the next Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Chief.

Commented Mr. Leggett, "As a 25-year veteran of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, Scott Goldstein has a thorough knowledge of our system and the many operations that keep it functioning at its high-level of service. His service as acting chief, since the retirement of Chief Lohr in January, has been exceptional. His experience at all levels of fire and rescue service at the local level and with major incidents across the country gives him a broad perspective on issues that could arise locally.” 

Fire Chief Goldstein's Bio via County Office of Public Information:

During his 25-year career with the Montgomery County Fire-Rescue Service (MCFRS), Goldstein has worked his way up the ranks, achieving increasingly higher positions of responsibility and gaining a broad base of experience. 

Before being named acting chief upon the retirement of Chief Steve Lohr on January 1, Goldstein was Division Chief of Operations , the second-highest position in the department. Under his leadership were multiple functions, such as Special Operations, Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Communications (9-1-1) and Field Operations. The division had more than 900 personnel that provided services from 37 stations to more than one million County residents situated over 500 square miles. 

His previous position was Assistant Chief of Special Operations that involved daily management of fire-rescue personnel in the section serving in Hazardous Materials, Technical Rescue, Water Rescue and WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) Response. 

Goldstein has experience in developing and coordinating MCFRS preventive and reactive response to mass gathering events such as pro golf tournaments, multi-day walks, the County Agricultural Fair and music festivals/concerts. 

He has participated in a number of disaster response operations, including the Oklahoma City bombing, the attack on the Pentagon on 9/11, hurricanes, and the 1996 bombing at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta. 

Goldstein has an Associate Degree in Applied Science from Montgomery Community College, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fire Science from the University of Maryland, College Park and is a candidate for a Masters of Science in Homeland Security from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Several Safety Recalls

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


1. Schylling Recalls Police Press and Go Toy Vehicles Due to Choking Hazard 
2. IKEA Recalls Pressure-Mounted Safety Gates Due to Fall Hazard 
3. Cost Plus World Market Recalls Twist Swivel Stools Due to Fall Hazard

Monday, May 11, 2015

Proclamation Recognizing Building Safety Month

It is Building Safety Month and we are partnering with our friends at the Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services and the County's Department of Housing and Community Affairs to help celebrate and promote this important safety initiative.

The theme this year is, “Resilient Communities Start with Building Codes,” which will hopefully raise awareness of the importance of safe and resilient construction, fire prevention, disaster mitigation, backyard safety, energy efficiency and new technologies in the construction industry.

To learn more you can go here: Montgomery County Proclaims May as Building Safety Month

You can also view the video below.


Friday, May 8, 2015

Learn About CPR

Great job by Captain Triplett, Master Firefighter/Paramedic Russell, and Firefighter Richardson.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Help Protect Kids From Heatstroke

Our partners in safety, SafeKids, has an important message to share as we head into summer. Timely for today as we expect temperatures in the upper 80's!

Reduce the number of deaths from heatstroke by remembering to ACT.

A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.

C: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.

T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Child Passenger Safety

Need to have a car seat installed/checked/inspected?

Montgomery County residents may click here to schedule an appointment.