Thursday, March 29, 2018

"This is Just a Test" -- Wireless Emergency Alerts System Test Scheduled for April 5th - What You Need to Know

As Chief of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, I am joining the County’s effort to make certain that all our community members and visitors know that a test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system will be taking place on Thursday, April 5 from 10 to 11 a.m. The test will take place in 20 jurisdictions throughout the National Capital Region, which includes all of Montgomery County.

For anyone who has not previously received a WEA message, it is important to know that your WEA-enabled cell phone and other mobile devices will vibrate and produce loud warning audio signals, prior to the receipt of a text-like message. You don’t sign up for WEA alerts, they come automatically. This one is just a test, not a cause for alarm.

The WEA system was developed by the Federal Communications Commission in 2012 to send out geographically-targeted, text-like messages about threats to safety in specific areas. The state of Maryland uses the WEA system for Amber Alerts and the National Weather Service uses it for extreme weather information. It is also designed so that the President of the United States can send out nation-wide alerts during a national emergency.

Wherever you are on April 5 between 10 and 11 a.m., driving, at a store, in school, at work, in the gym, please know that this test will be taking place. And please help us spread the word by letting others know about it.

You can learn more at: WEA Test

Thursday, March 22, 2018

IMPORTANT: Kidde Recalls Dual-Sensor Smoke Alarms

Kidde is recalling almost 500,000 dual-sensor smoke alarms due to a manufacturing malfunction that can compromise the alarm's ability to detect smoke. Specifically, a yellow cap that was left on during manufacturing can cover one of the two smoke sensors, posing a risk of people not being alerted to a fire in their home. These dual-sensor types of alarms are not used in any of the department's smoke alarm installation programs.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commision:

"Consumers should remove the alarm from the wall/ceiling and visually inspect it through the opening on the side of the alarm for the presence of a yellow cap. Consumers should not attempt to take apart the alarm, open the casing, or otherwise remove the yellow cap themselves. If a yellow cap is present, the consumer should immediately contact Kidde to receive instructions and request a free replacement smoke alarm. They should remove and discard the recalled smoke alarm only after they receive and install the replacement alarm. If no yellow cap is present, consumers should reinstall the smoke alarm and no further action is needed."

The recalled models: Kidde PI2010 and Kidde PI9010
Dates affected: September 10, 2016 - October 13, 2017

How to check your smoke alarms to see if it is affected:

    Step 1:

   Step 2:

If a yellow cap is present, owners should immediately contact Kidde to receive a free replacement. They should only remove and discard the recalled smoke alarm after they receive and install their replacement. 

Consumer Contact:

You can reach Kidde at 833-551-7739 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or from 9 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For more information visit the "Product Safety" section of