Thursday, May 28, 2020

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: Routes for May 29 from 4 - 6 pm

While our crews are excited to see everyone, their first and foremost job is responding to emergencies. Because of this, we would ask that you please be understanding, as firefighter crews may need to alter, delay or cancel their routes.

We will not be able to drive through every Montgomery County neighborhood or down every street, but will do our best to make it to as many areas as possible. MCFRS crews will remain in service to respond to emergencies, so may get pulled away to respond to calls. Please adhere to social distancing guidelines and do not approach the fire trucks or equipment as they drive by. 
We can’t wait to see you … from 6 feet away.  Please be sure to check your smoke alarms and there’s never been a better time to have a home fire drill! 

How do I find out if MCFRS will be visiting my neighborhood? 

Below please find a listing of the communities and streets that we plan to visit on May 29th. Find your color-coded "Battalion" on the map and check out the list below.  

Battalion 1 
Maple Ave
White Oak
Woodside Park
Wolf Acres

Battalion 2
Town of Somerset - Dorset to Surry to Graystone

Dunlop St-Glendale Rd-Kerry Lane-Cypress Pl-Cardiff Rd-Cardiff Court-Kerry Court- Kerry Rd-Club Dr

Carderock Springs Neighborhood- Fenway dr. Fenway rd. Hamilton Spring ct. Hamilton Spring rd. Park Overlook Drive, Lilly Spring Drive

Goldsboro-Tulip Hill - Mohican Rd - Wisscasset Rd - Dahlonega Rd - MacArthur Blvd - Walhonding Rd. - Tuscarawas Rd - Iroquois Rd. - Wehawken Rd

Greentree Rd, L Bradmoore Drive, R Roosevelt St., R Ewing Dr, R Beech Dr, R Linden Ave., L Alta Vista Ave,  R Kingsley Ave, L Elsmere Ave, to Broad Brook Dr to R Elmhirst Pkwy

Democracy Blvd. to Old Georgetown Rd. to Tuckerman Ln. to Rosemont Dr. to Wayside Dr. to Ralston Dr. to Windermere Circle

Stanmore neighborhood (Stanmore Dr to Pleasant Hill Dr to Belmart Dr to Brickyard Rd, including all side streets)

Edgemoor (Fairfax Road, Exeter Road, Mooreland La, Glenbrook Road, etc) & Battery Park (Glenbrook Road, Fairfax Road, Battery Lane, Park Lane, Goddard Road, etc. )

Battalion 3
Winding Rose Drive, Rose Petal Way, all cross streets in neighborhood

Whetstone Drive and all side streets from Montgomery Village Ave to Centerway Road

Hitching Post Ln, Farmland Dr, Old Stage Rd, Old Bridge Rd
Falls Grove Blvd to include all the streets between Shady Grove Rd, Darnstown Rd and West Montgomery Ave

Falls to Montrose to Seven Locks to Gainsborough to Bells Mill to Seven Locks to Tuckerman to Falls.
We will also ride around the Park Potomac Neighborhood when we are in area of Montrose and Seven Locks.

Main St.- Darnestown Rd to Kentlands Blvd.. Chevy Chase St.- Kentlands Blvd. to Center Point Way to Main St.. Lakelands Dr. - Great Seneca Hwy. to Market St. E to Main St.

Battalion 4

Lake Hallowell neighborhood - Old Baltimore Rd. and cross streets - Georgia to Pond Ridge Ct.

Kensington Park

Glenmont Forest - Bordered by Randolph/Kendell/Judsonrd

Holiday Park neighborhood - Ferrara Drive, IndigoRd, Selfridge Rd, Mentone Rd, Pittson Rd, Charles Rd.

Longmead Crossing Drive and Cross Streets Between Layhill & Homecrest

Willimsburg Village - Area encompassing Cherry Valley Dr and Hines Road between Georgia Ave and Power lines.

Wheaton Hills

Battalion 5
Little Bennett Drive, Bennett Chase Drive, Snowden Farm Parkway

Sweepstakes Road Neighborhoods

Poolesville (Westerly and Wesmond neighborhoods), Peach Tree Rd, Whites Ferry Rd

Town of Laytonsville, Golf Estates, Brooke Knolls

Father Hurley, Kingsview, Leaman Farm areas

Waterford Hills and Waters Road

Tall Pines, Virginia Pines, Seneca Crossing neighborhoods

Cabin Branch Ave, Broadway Ave, Fulmer Ave, Byrne Park Dr

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Summer Is Here

For Spanish click here

Five words that save lives --- All Eyes On The Pool! It's easy to get distracted when  you're balancing everything from work and careers, to school and day care all from home due to COVID-19. MCFRS officials are urging residents to diligently supervise children when they are around any water sources. Whether you’re a seasoned swimmer or just learning how to swim, many water-related injuries can be avoided by constant supervision and knowing what to do and how to stay safe. Did you know that drowning is the leading killer of children between the ages of 1 - 4 years? The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service kicks off the 2020 Summer of Safety Campaign with the most important topic: Water Safety. 

Be attentive.  Research from the National Safe Kid Campaign shows that nearly 9 out of 10 children between the ages of 1 and 14 who drowned were under supervision when they died. How is this possible? Distractions – cell phones, ipads, reading materials, chores and socializing needs to be resisted when YOU are on “lifeguard duty” watching your child. Be engaged and committed to watching them constantly. The study defined supervision as being in someone’s care, not necessarily in direct line of sight.

Learn to swim and never swim alone. One of the best things you can do to stay safe around the water is to learn to swim and to always swim with a buddy. Make sure they know how to tread water, float on their backs and get to the edge of the pool and hang on. Even the most experienced swimmers can become tired or get muscle cramps which might make it difficult to get out of the water safely.  

Teaching your child how to swim does not mean that your child is “drown-proof.” If you have a pool or are visiting a pool, protect your children by supervising them at all times and being prepared in case of an emergency. Consider designating a adult “water watcher” when children are participating in water activities.

Seconds count when it comes to water emergencies. 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.

Learn life-saving skills. Know how to prevent, recognize and respond to emergencies. In the time it might take paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills could make a difference in saving someone’s life.

Avoid relying on inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties” and “noodles” to keep your child safe. These toys are not designed to keep your child safe, can deflate or shift quickly and should never be used as a substitute for supervision. Use only Coast Guard approved flotation devices that fits your swimmer properly.

Lifeguards are an important safety feature but are NOT intended to replace the close supervision of parents or caregivers. Remember, lifeguards are not babysitters.

Maintain constant supervision of children around water (bathtubs, pools, ornamental backyard ponds, etc.). 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. Remember: swim lessons are no substitute for the supervision of children. Formal swimming lessons can help protect young swimmers around the water however constant adult supervision is critical. 

Diving dangers. Diving injuries can cause permanent spinal damage, injuries and even death. Protect yourself by diving only in designated areas that are known to be safe, such as the deep end, of a supervised pool. 

Pay attention to local weather conditions and forecasts. Stop swimming at the first indication of bad weather. 

Know Your Limits. Watch for the “dangerous too’s” . . . too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, too much strenuous activity. 

Water and alcohol don’t mix. Each year, up to half of all adult drownings are linked to alcohol use. Never swim impaired. 

Friday, May 22, 2020

Grill Like a Pro!

For Spanish click here

Six Major Grilling Mistakes You Might Be Making

It happens every year. The weather gets warmer, more people use outdoor grills – and incidents of grill-related fires go up. With Memorial Day approaching and many families at home due to COVID-19, Fire Chief Goldstein is reminding residents to review these important safety tips before lighting up the grill this season.

Mistake #1: Not Keeping Your Grill Clean
If you haven’t used your grill in a while, give it a good cleaning. Did you know that grease is a major source of flare ups? If you allow grease and fat to build up on your grill, they provide more fuel for a fire. Regularly remove grease and fat buildup from the grill grates and drip trays.

Mistake #2: Not Giving the Grill Enough Space
Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house. Farther away is even better. While you may to want to stand in the shade while you’re grilling, having an awning, umbrella or tree branch too close to the grill can be dangerous and could easily spark a fire. Your grill—whether it’s charcoal or gas—should be at least 10 feet away from your home or garage, deck railings and other structures.

Mistake #3: Leaving a Lit Grill Unattended 
Never leave a lit grill unattended – not even for a minute. Fires double in size every minute. Plan ahead so that any food prep chores are done and you can focus on grilling. Never try to move a lit or hot grill and remember the grill will stay hot for at least an hour after use. Supervise kids and pets when a grill is in use and have a “10 foot” kid free zone near the grill.

Mistake #4: Garages and Grills Don’t Mix 
Charcoal and gas grills are designed for outdoor use only. It’s a common mistake to think it’s safe to use a grill, particularly a small one, in your house or garage. Never do this. In addition to being a major fire hazard, grills release carbon monoxide — a  colorless, odorless gas -- that can be deadly. Keep your charcoal and gas grills outside!

Mistake #5: Starting a Gas Grill with the Lid Closed
Lighting your grill with a closed lid can cause a dangerous buildup of gas, creating a fireball. Keep your gas grill lid open when lighting it. If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off, and wait at least five minutes before relighting. Charcoal grill owners: dousing lit coals with extra lighter fluid is another big mistake and doing so can easily cause a flare-up.

Mistake #6: Not Shutting Down the Grill
Don’t get distracted and forget to properly turn off your grill! As soon as you’re done cooking, turn off the burners and the fuel supply for gas grills. If you’re using charcoal, let the coals completely cool before safely disposing in a metal container.

Be sure to:


Check for propane leaks on your gas grill
Before the season’s first barbecue, check the gas tank hose for leaks by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose and then turning on the gas. If there is a propane leak, the solution will bubble. Other signs of a propane leak include the smell of gas near the barbecue or a flame that won’t light. Consult your owner’s manual.

If the flame goes out, wait to re-light
If you are using a gas grill and the flame goes out, turn the grill and the gas off, then wait at least five minutes to re-light it.

Be careful with charcoal starter fluid
If you use a charcoal grill, only use charcoal starter fluid. If the fire starts to go out, don’t add any starter fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.

Make sure your grill is stable
Position your grill in a well-ventilated, flat and level surface away from your house, overhangs, deck railings. Make sure the grill can’t be tipped over.

Wear the right clothing
Clothing can easily catch fire, so be sure your shirt tails, sleeves or apron strings don’t dangle over the grill.

Links to Code Requirements:
Outdoor Cooking and Recreational Fires near Multi-Family Buildings:

Use of Fire Pits, Fire Bowls & Chimineas:

Friday, May 1, 2020

Don't Overload Your Home

For Spanish click here

Kids are home from school. Adults are telecommuting. Home learning continues. If you are facing a full house it is more important than ever to make fire safety a top priority in your home. Technology is an important part of our lives -- especially in these COVID-19 days -- with  everyone plugged IN. With more people charging mobile devices, using laptops and desktop computers and appliances running at the same time, Fire Chief Goldstein is asking families to be fire safe and fire smart and is sharing some important electrical fire safety tips to protect your family now. . . and for years to come.

One of the Chief's simplest electrical safety tips is also one of the easiest to forget: when an appliance is not in use, unplug it. Not only does this save you power by reducing any phantom drain (the amount of energy the device consumes even when not actively in use) but unplugging unused appliances also protects them from overheating or power surges ... and igniting a fire.   

  • Extension cords and power strips provide more outlets, NOT more power. (read again)
    Just because there are 6 outlets does not mean it is safe to use all of them.
  • Don't get overloaded when using extension cords. Extension cords are rated for capacity based on cord length and gauge. Do not exceed the manufacturer's recommendations. If the requirements of the items you plan to plug in exceed the circuit capacity, you are overloading the circuit and creating a potential fire hazard. Unplug your brother's PlayStation instead.   
  • Power strips do not play well together. Never "piggy back" or create a "daisy chain" with power strips. This means plugging one power strip into another power strip to increase the number of outlets. Creative? Yes. Dangerous? Very. Power strips are not designed to be used this way and doing so can result in a fire ... and then what are you going to do? 
  • All extension cords and power strips are not created equal. Know what you are buying. Only purchase cords certified by an independent testing lab like UL (Underwriters Laboratory) or ETL (Electrical Testing Laboratories). If there is no stamp or sticker on an electrical device you are thinking about purchasing, choose another product. 
  • It is easy to exceed the capacity of the power strip and the circuit, so use caution when adding multiple appliances to the strip. Only use light-load appliances on power strips like computers, phones, lamps, clocks, etc. Major appliances like your refrigerator are not "light-load" (even if it's empty) and need to be plugged into a dedicated wall outlet.
  • Use the right charger for the right product - that's the one provided by the manufacturer. Don't be tempted to pick up a cheap one on-line.They may not be compatible and may use  substandard materials or parts. Yep, increased fire risk. 
  • Understand that a surge protector, which is a feature in some but not all power strips, may protect your electrical equipment (such as your computer) from damage in the event of a surge of electricity; it does not function to prevent fires. 
  • Do not use power strips in damp or potentially wet areas such as a bathroom, a kitchen countertop or a garage that is not climate controlled. Water and power strips don't mix, and if they do, a fire or electrocution may result. If you must use a power strip in an area that is prone to moisture, buy one that is specially designed to be safe in such conditions. If you require a power strip in your garage, have a professional electrician hard wire a moisture-resistant one and mount it to a wall.
  • Never hide or cover a power strip or extension cord with anything like a rug. Electricity generates heat and that heat needs to disperse. If the cord is covered the heat becomes trapped the risk for a fire greatly increases. 
  • Periodically inspect the condition of power strips, including the cord and plug, test the reset button and make sure all plugs are firmly inserted into the outlets. If the power strip feels hot, or if a defect is found, discard the power strip and replace with a new one. Like, right away.
Bottom line: power strips and extension cords should be used with caution and are meant to be temporary and not permanent solutions. If you are using them on a more permanent basis, consider upgrading your home's electrical system by a qualified electrician. And thank you for staying home and staying safe during the current COVID-19 pandemic! We got this.
(and please don't forget to check your smoke alarms)

Friday, February 14, 2020

Last minute shoppers, still looking for a Valentine’s gift?

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue officials are recommending smoke alarms as the PERFECT Valentine’s gift for loved ones. Nothing says you mean everything to me like the 24-hour protection that comes with a smoke alarm. And while you are busy planning the perfect evening, make it memorable for all the right reasons. A few tips to keep in mind:
  • Cooking up a great meal? Stand by your pan. Too many meals are ruined when cooks get distracted or forgetful and leave cooking unattended. As much as Fire/Rescue loves your cooking, you really don’t want us to have to extinguish that perfect meal. Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires so keep anything that can catch fire – potholders, paper or plastic bags, dish towels, newspapers and curtains – away from your stovetop, oven and appliances that generate heat.
  • Candles may look festive and set the mood however unattended candles account for thousands of fires annually. The National Fire Protection Association reports that, on average, a candle fire in the home is reported to a US Fire Department every 30 minutes. Consider battery-operated, flameless candles instead. You really can’t tell the difference!
  • Lighting up the fireplace? Make sure that’s all you light up. Believe it or not, every year people dispose of fireplace ashes before they have sufficiently cooled. Keep your ash out of the trash and only dispose of fireplace ashes in a sealed, metal container located far from anything combustible. Never dispose of fireplace ashes in your recycling bin, trash can, paper or plastic bags or in a garage, carport or on a deck or porch. 
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue wants you to have a great Valentine’s Day. Remember, smoke alarms save lives. They make great gifts, one-size-fits-all and MCFRS will even come out and check your alarms for free! Just call 311 or visit for info.